Austria, Belgium, Germany, & Switzerland
First Class Relics
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Albert the Great, bishop and doctor (November 15th) and Andrew, apostle (November 30th)
St Albert the Great (d. 1280, Cologne, Germany) (Relics: Cologne, Germany)
St Andrew (Relics: Amalfi, Italy; Florence, Italy; Patras, Greece; Edinburgh, Scotland; Cologne, Germany; Kiev, Ukraine)
50667 Cologne, Germany
*The remains of St Albert the Great rest within a tomb in the crypt of this church. Also an arm of St Andrew rests within a reliquary located in the back of the choir in the main body of this church. It was placed here in 1997.
*The city of Cologne is also noted for its connection to a number of other prominent relics and traditions. The remains of the Three Kings are said to rest within a magnificent golden reliquary located in the apse of the Cologne Cathedral. Blessed John Duns Scotus is buried within a tomb in the church called the Minoritenkirche. Also it was in this city that St Thomas Aquinas studied theology under St Albert the Great and where St Bruno, the founder of the Carthusians, was born. Finally, it was here in 1933 that Edith Stein entered a Carmelite Convent and took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
Anne, mother of The Blessed Virgin Mary (July 26th)
(Relics: Apt, France; Bologna, Italy; Sainte-Anne d’Auray, France; Sainte-Anne de Beaupré, Quebec, Canada; Vienna, Austria)
Annakirche (Saint Anne’s Church)
1010 Vienna, Austria
*A relic of St Anne’s hand is preserved within this church. Each year this relic is brought out on July 26th for public veneration.
Apollinaris, bishop and martyr (July 20th)
St Apollinaris (d. 1st century, Ravenna, Italy) (Relics: Ravenna, Italy; Remagen, Germany; Düsseldorf, Germany)
(Saint Apollinaris Church)
53424 Remagen, Germany
*Relics of St Apollinaris were brought to this city in the 12th century. In 1383 all of these relics, except the skull, were stolen by Duke Wilhelm I and brought to Düsseldorf, Germany. At a later date the skull was also taken and over the next few centuries transferred between several cities before its return to Remagen in 1857. It now rests within a magnificent reliquary bust placed within a large sarcophagus in the crypt of this church. Twice a year this bust is removed for the blessing of pilgrims.
Sankt Lambertus (Saint Lambertus)
40213 Düsseldorf, Germany
*The relics of St Apollinaris that were stolen by Duke Wilhelm I, as mentioned above, rest within the main sanctuary of this church.
Bartholomew, apostle (August 24th)
St Bartholomew (Relics: Rome, Italy; Benevento, Italy; Lipari, Sicily; Frankfurt, Germany)
Frankfurter Dom (Frankfurt Cathedral)
60313 Frankfurt, Germany
*The skull of St Bartholomew is venerated within this church. It rests within a Gothic reliquary located on the eastern wall of the right transept. Small wooden statues of Joachim, Cleopas, and Zebedee adorn the sides of this reliquary.
Basil the Great, bishop and doctor (January 2nd)
St Basil the Great (d. 379, Caesarea) (Relics: Mount Athos, Greece; Bruges, Belgium)
Basiliek van het Heilig Bloed
(Basilica of the Holy Blood)
8000 Bruges, Belgium
*For the last 750 years this church has preserved a precious relic of the Holy Blood of Jesus Christ. Veneration of this relic occurs every Friday in this basilica and culminates with a grand procession on the Solemnity of the Ascension.
*The lower chapel of this church is dedicated to St Basil. Within this chapel to the left of the choir is an even smaller chapel dedicated to St Yves. It is within this chapel that a relic of St Basil rests. It was brought here during the first part of the 12th century.
Boniface, bishop and martyr (June 5th)
St Boniface (d. 754, Dokkum, Netherlands) (Relics: Fulda, Germany)
Fuldaer Dom (Fulda Cathedral)
36037 Fulda, Germany
*Part of the skull of St Boniface rests on an altar located within the museum of this church. A mitre is positioned upon this relic.
*The tomb of St Boniface rests in the crypt chapel directly below the main sanctuary. The relief on the side of his tomb shows St Boniface rising from his grave as he pushes the cover off of his coffin. The majority of his relics are presumed to be located within this tomb. However, some of his relics have been distributed as gifts over the centuries.
*Other cities that hold St Boniface in great honor include the two Dutch cities of Dokkum and Groningen and the two German cities of Fritzlar and Mainz.
Cornelius, pope and martyr (September 16th)
St Cornelius (d. 253, Civitavecchia, Italy) (Relics: Rome, Italy; Aachen, Germany)
Pfarrkirche St. Kornelius
(Parish Church of Saint Cornelius)
52076 Aachen, Germany
*This church was once part of the historic Kornelimünster Abbey that was founded in the 9th century by the Carolingian Emperor, Louis the Pious. However, in 1802 the abbey was dissolved and this church was made into a parish. The abbey has since then been reestablished and now exists in a new building just a short walk from this church.
*A number of remarkable relics are preserved within this church. In 875, through the efforts of Emperor Charles the Bald, this church received the relic of St Cornelius’ head from L’abbaye Saint-Corneille in Compiègne, France. This relic is now enshrined within a magnificent bust reliquary positioned in the center of the octagonal chapel located in the apse of this church. Also preserved at this church are the cloth used by Christ to wash the disciples’ feet, a cloth used to wipe the brow of Christ, and finally a cloth used in the burial of Christ. These relics are often not available for public viewing.
Cosmas and Damian, martyrs (September 26th)
Saints Cosmas and Damian (d. 287, Syria) (Relics: Rome, Italy; Munich Germany)
Saints Cosmas and Damian suffered martyrdom during the beginning of the Diocletian persecutions around the year 287 AD. In life they were greatly respected as medical doctors who often offered their services free of charge. As a result many have adopted these two great saints as their patrons due to their connection to the medical field. In particular this was true for the powerful Medici family of Florence whose last name when translated to English means doctors. Thus Fra Angelico and other painters frequently depicted Saints Cosmas and Damian in the works commissioned by this family. (Due to the great popularity of these saints numerous shrines claim to have their relics. In addition to those listed in this work are St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, and a Convent of Poor Clares in Madrid)
Jesuitenkirche St. Michael
(Jesuit Church of Saint Michael)
Neuhauser Straße 6
80333 Munich, Germany
*The skulls of Saints Cosmas and Damian purportedly rest within an ornate reliquary chest placed within a chapel on the right side of the nave of this church.
Damien Joseph de Veuster of Moloka’i, priest* (May 10th)
St Damien Joseph de Veuster of Moloka’i (d. 1889) (Relics: Leuven, Belgium; Kalawao, Hawaii; USA; Honolulu, Hawaii; USA)
(Saint Anthony’s Chapel)
3000 Leuven, Belgium
*St Damien Joseph de Veuster, who faithfully and heroically served the leper community in Moloka’i, Hawaii for over fifteen years before finally succumbing himself to the disease, is buried within the crypt of this church. He is a native of Belgium.
Elizabeth of Hungary, religious (November 17th)
St Elizabeth of Hungary (d. 1231, Hesse, Germany) (Relics: Vienna, Austria)
Kloster der Elisabethinen
(Convent of Saint Elizabeth)
Landstraßer Hauptstraße 4a
A-1030 Vienna, Austria
*Resting within this convent are some bones and the skull of St Elizabeth of Hungary. Her skull is crowned with the crown she wore during her life.
(Saint Elizabeth's Church)
35037 Marburg, Germany
*Today this church is only used for Protestant worship services. Nevertheless, the church still promotes and maintains the memory of St Elizabeth of Hungary.
*Prior to the Protestant Reformation the remains of St Elizabeth of Hungary rested within two separate reliquaries within this church. The one held her bones and the other her skull. On special occasions these relics would be placed upon the ornate mausoleum pedestal which can still be seen today within the left transept of this church. However, all veneration of her relics ceased in 1539 by decree of Philip of Hesse (d. 1567). He had the relics removed and all Catholic services halted.
Fidelis of Sigmaringen, priest and martyr (April 24th)
St Fidelis of Sigmaringen (d. 1622, Grüsch, Switzerland) (Relics: Feldkirch, Austria; Chur, Switzerland)
(Capuchin Monastery of Feldkirch)
6800 Feldkirch, Austria
*The skull of St Fidelis, a Capuchin friar of the Counter-Reformation, rests within this monastery. He was martyred in the nearby town of Grüsch, Switzerland.
Kathedrale Chur (Cathedral of Chur)
7000 Chur, Switzerland
*Relics of St Fidelis rest within a reliquary in the crypt of this church.
Francis Xavier, priest (December 3rd)
St Francis Xavier (d. 1552, Shangchuan Island, China) (Relics: Rome, Italy; Goa, India; Antwerp, Belgium)
Sint Carolus Borromeuskerk
(Saint Charles Borromeo Church)
Hendrik Conscienceplein 12
2000 Antwerp, Belgium
*A small relic of St Francis Xavier is preserved in this church in a chapel to the left of the main sanctuary.
Gertrude, virgin (November 16th)
St Gertrude the Great (d. 1301, Helfta, Germany)
The remains of St Gertrude the Great originally rested at the Old Helfta Monastery near Eisleben, Germany. Today, however, the location of her relics is unknown. (Note: This St Gertrude is not to be confused with St Gertrude of Nivelles or Gertrude of Hackeborn.)
Hedwig, religious (October 16th)
St Hedwig (d. 1243, Silesia, Poland) (Relics: Andechs, Germany; Berlin, Germany)
St Hedwig was both the Duchess of Silesia and a mother of seven children. Upon her husband’s death she joined a Cistercian convent where she died in 1243. She should not be confused with St Hedwig, Queen of Poland (1371-1399), who was canonized in 1987 and is buried in the Wawel Cathedral in Kraków, Poland.
Kloster Andechs (Andechs’ Abbey)
82346 Andechs, Germany
*In 1929 this abbey received a fragment of St Hedwig’s skull from Cardinal Bertram of Breslau. This relic can be viewed in the Holy Chapel. However, access is only permitted for those who have reserved a tour.
St Hedwigs Kathedrale
(Saint Hedwig's Cathedral)
Hinter der Katholischen Kirche 3
10117 Berlin, Germany
*Some of St Hedwig’s relics rest in the Treasury of this church within a small silver-gilded statue of her likeness. She is depicted holding both the Blessed Virgin Mary and a model of the church. This statue was completed in 1513 by Andreas Heidecker.
Henry (July 13th)
St Henry (d. 1024, Gottingen, Germany) (Relics: Bamberg, Germany)
Bamberger Dom (Bamberg Cathedral)
96049 Bamberg, Germany
*St Henry was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1014 – 1024. Both he and his wife, St Cunegonde, are canonized saints. They are buried next to each other at the base of the east choir within this church.
John the Baptist, martyr (June 24th, August 29th)
St John the Baptist (Relics: Rome, Italy; Florence, Italy; Siena, Italy; Amiens, France; Munich, Germany; Damascus, Syria)
Residenzmuseum (Residenz Museum)
80333 Munich, Germany
*A relic of the skull of St John Baptist rests within this museum. The authenticity is uncertain since this same relic is said to be located at a number of other places throughout the world including the Cathedral of Amiens in France, San Silvestro in Capite in Rome, Italy, and the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.
Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs (June 2nd)
St Marcellinus and Peter (d. 304, Rome, Italy) (Relics: Rome, Italy; Seligenstadt, Germany)
Basilika St Marcellinus und Petrus / Einhardbasilika
(Basilica of Saint Marcellinus and Peter / Einhard Basilica)
63500 Seligenstadt, Germany
*Relics of Saints Marcellinus and Peter were transferred from Rome to this beautiful church in the 9th century. Shortly thereafter the city took on its new name of Seligenstadt which translated into English means ‘Blessed City’. These relics are now located within a golden chest under the main altar of this church.
Mark, evangelist (April 25th)
St Mark (d. Alexandria, Egypt) (Relics: Venice, Italy; Cairo, Egypt; Reichenau, Germany)
Münster St. Maria und Markus
(Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Mark)
78479 Reichenau, Germany
*For many centuries the island of Reichenau served as a very important monastic center in Medieval Europe. This island rests upon Lake Constance in southern Germany near the Liechtenstein border. In 1803 the island was secularized leading to the destruction of many of its churches and religious buildings.
*Relics of St Mark were brought to this island from Venice in the year 830 AD. This was just two years after Venetian merchants smuggled these relics out of Egypt. Today these relics rest within this newly constructed church.
Matthias, apostle (May 14th)
St Matthias (Relics: Rome, Italy; Trier, Germany)
St Helena is said to have acquired the relics of St Matthias. These relics were then distributed to both Rome, Italy and Trier, Germany.
Benediktinerabtei St Matthias
(Saint Matthias Benedictine Abbey)
54290 Trier, Germany
*The tomb of St Matthias lies within the nave of this church and is surrounded by candles. A sarcophagus within the crypt is said to contain some of his relics.
Peter Canisius, priest and doctor (December 21st)
St Peter Canisius (d. 1597, Fribourg, Switzerland) (Relics: Fribourg, Switzerland)
(The Church of Saint Michael)
Rue Saint-Pierre-Canisius 10
1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
*The relics of St Peter Canisius, a zealous preacher and defender of the faith during the Counter-Reformation, lie under the main altar of this church.
*In order to make his relics more accessible there is a possibility that his relics may be transferred in the near future. If this occurs his relics would be transferred just a few blocks away to the Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas in Fribourg.