Like Gollum, I consider some things very precious: such as my collection of second- and third-class relics. Ever deserve they to be kissed and revered, for in doing so I pay veneration to the spirits of just men made perfect, one day to rise again in glory (may I be numbered amongst them), and ultimately refer all honour and glory to Him, our King Christ, Who elected them and made them holy by His most Precious Blood.
As a layman, of course, I can hardly lay claim to any great hoard of sacred remains: it would hardly be fitting if I had such; for Canon Law prescribes that a bishop's permission is needed for to have first class relics, I recall. (Yet I knew a priest who kept relics of all the apostles in a shoebox under his bed! And a former seminarian of my acquaintance had known "a corrupt nun at the relics' office" from whom he had obtained many valuable relics which he shouldn't have had. But worst of all was the American seminarian in Rome who was dismissed in the late nineties for forging relics out of animal bones and selling them to gullible countrymen of his.)
- Of Bl Columba Marmion, abbot (feast day: 3rd Oct.) – attached to a holy card, a piece of cloth labelled "A piece of the Religious habit worn by Blessed Columba Marmion" (2nd class);
- Of St Dominic, priest, founder of the Dominicans (4th Aug.) – attached to a holy card, a piece of cloth labelled "Cloth which has touched the Head of St. Dominic" (3rd cl.);
- Of St Antony Mary Zaccaria, priest, founder of the Barnabites (5th July) – attached to a holy card, a piece of cloth labelled pannolino che toccò le ossa di S. Antonio M. Zaccaria (3rd cl.);
- Of St Pio of Pietrelcina, priest, O.F.M.Cap. (23rd Sep.) – attached to a holy card, a piece of cloth labelled "third class relic" (3rd cl.);
- Of St Martin de Porres, O.P. (5th Nov.) – attached to a holy card, a piece of cloth labelled "Linen touched to his body" (3rd cl.);
- St Peregrine, priest, Servite (1st May) – attached to a medal, a piece of cloth labelled "relic" (prob. 3rd cl.);
- St Catherine of Siena, virgin (30th April) – attached to a medal, a piece of cloth labelled reliquia (probably 3rd cl.);
- St Faustina, virgin (5th Oct.) – attached to a holy card, a unlabelled piece of cloth (prob. 3rd cl.);
- St Thérèse of Lisieux, virgin, O.C.D. (3rd Oct.) – attached to a medal, a small unlabelled piece of cloth (prob. 3rd cl.); and, attached to a holy card, a small piece of cloth labelled "cloth touched to relic of St Thérèse" (3rd cl.);
- Bl Maria Sagrario of St Louis Gonzaga, virgin & martyr, O.C.D. (16th Aug.) – attached to a holy card, a small unlabelled piece of cloth (prob. 3rd cl.).
Out of curiosity I have compiled this list of these relics I have; they repose with icons, crucifix and candles on the makeshift altar (or, as the Russians would have it, in the "beautiful corner", the krasnyy ugol, красный угол) in my study, in front of my prie-dieu. What prayer to pray? That said by the priest when kissing the altar at the start of Mass, Oramus te, or, more anciently, Oro te - in either case, perhaps changing to the plural at the end to pray for all; or perhaps that used of old likewise at the farewell osculation of the altar; and of course the Collect for the feast of All Relics, observed in sundry places on this very day, the 5th of November:
Oramus [Oro] te, Domine, per merita Sanctorum tuorum, quorum reliquiæ hic sunt, et omnium Sanctorum, ut indulgere digneris omnia peccata mea [nostra]. Amen.
(We [I] pray thee, Lord, by the merits of Thy Saints, whose relics are here, and of all the Saints, that Thou wouldst deign to forgive all my [our] sins. Amen.)
Meritis et intercessionibus istorum et omnium Sanctorum suorum misereatur nobis omnipotens Dominus.
(By the merits and intercessions of these and of all His Saints, may the Lord almighty have mercy upon us.)
Auge in nobis, Domine, resurrectionis fidem, qui in Sanctorum tuorum reliquiis mirabilia operaris: et fac nos immortalis gloriæ participes, cujus in eorum cineribus pignora veneramur. Per...
(Increase in us, O Lord, faith in the resurrection, Who dost work wonders by the relics of Thy Saints: and make us partakers of that immortal glory, a pledge of which we venerate in their ashes. Through...)