You Won't Believe the Papal Relics We Have! – EpicPew

You Won’t Believe the Papal Relics We Have!

What are relics?

Relics are any body part (sometimes the entire body), blood, possession, piece of clothing, or pieces of cloth touched to the remains of a saint and popes are those cool dudes who take their role as servant of the whole Church from St. Peter and Christ’s edict to him. There’s two “classes” of relics, specifying their level of closeness to the actual saint. EWTN explains:

These relics are divided into two classes. First class or real relics include the physical body parts, clothing and instruments connected with a martyr’s imprisonment, torture and execution. Second class or representative relics are those which the faithful have touched to the physical body parts or grave of the saint.

Some will even say there is a third class of relics, which are articles that have touched a second class relic.

There are approximately 100 tombs of past popes still in existence (less than half of the 264 popes that the Church has had) and most of those still hold some sort of remains of the popes, but I didn’t include them in this list because that would be long and repetitive. So here are 11 of the coolest relics of popes we still have around.


Vial of Pope St. John Paul II’s Blood

jp2 blood

The blood remains in a liquid state and is kept at the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. More can be found out about the shrine here.


Incorrupt Body of Pope St. John XXIII

johnxxiii incorrupt

He is entombed in St. Peter’s Cathedral


The Bones of Pope St. Celestine V

celestine v
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI visiting the remains of Pope St. Celestine V

The last pope before Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to abdicate willingly, his remains are entombed in the Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio in L’Aquila, Italy.


The Arm of Pope St. Boniface IV

Pope St. Boniface IV

It’s kept at the Basilica of St. Mary is Cosmedin in Rome


Heart of Pope St. Pius II

Pope Pius II

It is enshrined at the Ancona Cathedral in Italy.


Incorrupt Body of Pope Bl. Innocent XI

innocent xi incorrupt

He is interred at St. Peter’s Basilica


Incorrupt Body of Pope Bl. Pius IX

pius ix incorrupt

He is interred at the Papal Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls in Rome


Incorrupt Body of Pope St. Pius V

piusv incorrupt

His remains are kept at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome


Incorrupt Body of Pope St. Pius X

piusx incorrupt

He is kept in St. Peter’s Basilica


Blood-Stained Vests of Pope Bl. Paul VI

paulvi vest

From the assassination attempt on him in the Philippines in 1970

The Bones of St. Peter

peter's bone
From when they were on display and venerated at the Vatican on November 24, 2013

The bones of St. Peter are in the necropolis underneath St. Peter’s Basilica. You can take a Scavi Tour to see them or you can visit this site for a visual tour.