Life & Affection
Relics are mortal remains of Saints or Blesseds, which the believing Christian venerates and through which he feels close to these exemplary people. They are either carried on ones person or kept at a worthy location. Sometimes they are also venerated publicly. They invite to trusting prayer and remind us that the Saints and Blesseds from heaven are our intercessors and that we all belong to the large community of saints. Relics bring us close to the Saints and by their life’s example we are led to Jesus Christ.
2. Touch Relics
In the case of Anna Schäffer we possess two kinds of touch relics. Before her beatification (on the 30.1.1999) and before her canonisation (from the 20th to the 28th September 2012) the crypt in the old parish church was opened. A doctor correctly placed the bones of Anna Schäffer onto a large white sheet. This sheet thus touched the bones of Anna Schäffer. Some weeks later it was cut up into small pieces and one such small piece was included into a devotional picture. They are now placed at the disposal of the faithful as touch relics. The oak coffin within which the bones of Anna Schäffer were buried in the church was treated in the same way. Small wooden chips of this coffin were wrapped in parchment. Both the fabric relic and the wooden relics can be asked for at the parish of Mindelstetten.
2.1. Relics of the bones
When Anna Schäffer’s tomb was opened – as already mentioned twice – each time some bones of the Saint were taken, which the bones were cleansed, disinfected and conserved. Since they are part of Anna Schäffer’s body they are particularly valuable. They are kept in the bishop’s secretariat in Regensburg. On request they can be passed on to churches or ecclesiastical communities (not to private individuals). Often they are placed within an altar or they are exposed for public veneration. Out of reverence the bishop does not permit sending them by post, they have to be collected or brought personally.
2.2. The reliquary casket
Prior to the canonisation the bishop of Regensburg caused Anna Schäffers’s tomb in the parish church of Mindelstetten to be redesigned. Amongst other items a reliquary casket was commissioned which was adapted to the tomb yet also permitted removing it to expose it elsewhere for veneration. The casket consists of a gold-plated metal container, which in its turn encloses a wooden box containing a part of Anna Schäffer’s fibula. Already this reliquary casket has been requested by many parishes and was exposed in many individual churches for veneration, thus drawing many people for prayers. During such festivities focussing on Anna Schäffer, the Christians feel very close to her and are thus led to the Lord. It can be said: The more Anna Schäffer goes to the various parishes by means of her reliquary casket, the more she evangelises and supports the parishes’ re-evangelisation efforts. In this surprising way her childhood dream to become an active missionary is being fulfilled. The casket can be requested from the parish of Mindelstetten.