The term “relics” comes from the Latin word reliquiae, which means “remains”. Relics are what remains of a saint or an important individual after his death. Parts of the individual’s body are referred to as primary relics while his clothes, the objects that belonged to him and so on are referred to as secondary relics.
Relics are enshrined in reliquaries to be stored, shown and venerated. Important reliquaries are placed on altars in chapels and churches; smaller reliquaries are used to decorate walls in homes, much like a painting, or simply accompany their owner, hidden in a pocket in his clothing.
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