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The Life And Writings Of Saint Patrick -Saint Patrick

WE use the word ‘Relics’ here in its widest sense to include all those things that are specially worthy of veneration on account of their intimate connection with our National Apostle. They are of two classes, (1) the martra, or corporeal relics of the Saint; and (2) the minna or extrinsic relics which are worthy of veneration because they were the personal implements used by the Saint in discharge of his duties, and hence came to be regarded as the insignia or symbols of his high office as the Head of the Irish Church. Hence, also, these holy minna, sanctified by the use of the Saint, came to be held in the highest veneration, and, as the sacred symbols of the primatial office, were regarded as indispensable for the exercise of the primatial functions. The prelate who had the minna of St. Patrick in this way came to be regarded as the true comarb of Patrick; without them no one was regarded as his lawful successor.

The most venerable of the minna of St. Patrick, from this point of view, was the Staff of Jesus.






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