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Cardinal Nichols and Cardinal Erdo hold the relic outside Westminster Cathedral (Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk)

The bone fragment is thought to be part of the elbow of St Thomas, who was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170

A man reaches for the box containing the mortal remains of Padre Pio (AP)

Perhaps an unwillingness to consider such devotions highlights a lack of humility

St Francis Xavier

As a new centre to study relics opens in Oxford, Fr Matthew Pittam takes a look at some more unusual examples

Jamestown, Virginia: crosses mark the burial places of four of the earliest settler leaders, including Captain Gabriel Archer (Photo: AP)

A reliquary found in Jamestown, Virginia, gives a Catholic foundation to a country so often thought of as Protestant

Archbishop Leo Cushley holding the relics during the service (Paul McSherry)

Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh carried the relics of St Margaret, the 11th-century Queen of Scots

The relics of Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin at the Cathedral Church of St Mary and St Boniface in Plymouth (Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk)

The relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux’s parents are being taken on a week-long tour of England

The relics of Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin at the Cathedral Church of St Mary and St Boniface in Plymouth (Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk)

Blessed Zélie is an inspirational figure who raised five children, became a master of her trade and never allowed commerce to harden her heart

Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin

Rejoice in this saintly couple

Ahead of the October synod, the relics of Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin are visiting English dioceses. Many hope that their holy marriage will inspire Catholic families

Pope Francis venerates what are believed to be the relics of St Peter (Photo: CNS)

After the Mass Pope Francis handed out copies of his first apostolic exhortation

Pope Francis prays in Clementine Chapel, the place closest to the tomb of Peter (Photo: CNS)

The relics will be venerated to mark the end of the Year of Faith