Availability of Relics for Veneration Month by Month

Available Relics for veneration by month according to their feastdays as they occur in the Julian Calendar. The dates mentioned here, however are the “normal” (Gregorian) calendar dates, with the actual (Julian calendar) feastday dates given in brackets.

Some feastdays are not fixed to a date. Where applicable will mention these at the outset of the month. The monthly relics are usually available for veneration during the entire month in which the feastday relating to them occurs, however certain relics are available all year round. These are: St John the Baptist and Forerunner ex ossibus, St Elisabeth, mother of St John the Baptist ex ossibus, St Zachariah, father of St John the Baptist ex ossibus, St Mary Magdalene ex ossibus, as well as A Hair from the head of the Virgin Theotokos, a Fragment of the True and Life-Giving Cross, and a tiny piece of Rock from the Holy Sepulchre. NB: ‘ex ossibus’ means it is a piece of the bone of the saint.

January

Movable Feastdays: First Sunday after the Nativity of Christ: 

  • St Joseph the Betrothed, foster father of Our Lord and Protector of the All Holy Theotokos, and St James Brother of the Lord, ex ossibus.
  • St James the Brother of the Lord, ex ossibus

Immovable Feastdays:

2nd (20 December)  St Ignatius the God Bearer, Bishop of Antioch, ex ossibus.

7th (25 December)  The Most Holy Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Relics relating to it: The Holy manager, the three Magi Sts Balthasar, Caspar and Melchior, ex ossibus.

8th (26 December) The Synaxis of the most Holy Mother of God. The relic of her hair is set in her icon.

9th (27 December)  St Stephen the Protomartyr, ex ossibus.

14th  (1 January) St Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church and author of the Divine Liturgy that bears his name, ex ossibus.

17th (4 January) Synaxis of the 70 Apostles: Sts Andrew the First Called, James, brother of the Lord, Jude, Luke, Matthew,Mark, Simon kinsman of the Lord,, Stephen the protomartyr,  Thomas the Confessor, all ex ossibus

19th (6th January)  Theophany of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, baptized by Saint John the Baptist, Forerunner, and Foremost of the Prophets, ex ossibus

20th (7th January) Synaxis of the Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John, ex ossibus

23rd (10 January) St Gregory of Nyssa, brother of St Basil the Great. revealer of Divine Mysteries, ex ossibus

30th (17th January) St Anthony the Great, Father of All Monks, ex ossibus.

31st (18th January) St Athanasius the Great, Defender of the Most Holy Trinity and Pillar of Orthodoxy, ex ossibus.

February

3rd (1st January) Feast of St Maximus the Confessor (ex ossibus), Opponent of the heresy of Monothelism

6th (24th January) Feast of St Xenia the Righteous of Rome (ex ossibus)

9th (27th January) Feast of the translation of St John Chrysostom, Author of the Divine Liturgy (ex ossibus)

12th (30th January) Feast of the Three Holy Hierarchs Saints Basil the Great (ex ossibus),St. Gregory the Theologian (no relic), St John Chrysostom (ex ossibus)

15th (2nd February) The meeting of Our Lord God and Saviour in the Temple: Joseph the Protector of the Lord (Belt), The All Holy Theotokos, a piece of the Protecting Veil, and a single hair, – and in case they met with the High Priest Zechariah in the temple, it is also expedient to venerate his relic (ex ossibus).

22th (9th February) Appollonia of Alexandria, martyr and patroness of dentistry (ex ossibus)

March

8th (23rd February)  St Polycarp, Church Father, ex ossibus

9th (24th February)  Finding of the Head of John the Baptist, ex osibus

19th  (6th March) Finding of the Holy Cross and Nails by the Empress Saint Helena, you may venerate a fragment of the True Cross (available for veneration in the icon of the Theotokos) and an ex ossibus relic of the Empress (her reliquary also contains a single thorn from The Crown of Thorns.)

30th  Saint Patrick, Enlightener of Ireland and Equal of the Apostles, ex ossibus,

April

Movable Feastday:

12th (30 March) The Meeting of the Mother of God and Saint Elizabeth (If March 30 should fall between Lazarus Saturday and Pascha, the Feast is transferred to Bright Friday) (Holy Veil and Hair of the Theotokos, and ex ossibus relics of Saintst  Elizabeth, Zachariah and John the Baptist)   

18th (5 April) St Mary of Egypt Sunday (always on 5th Sunday of Lent) (ex ossibus)

24th (11th April) Saint Lazarus Saturday (Saturday before Palm Sunday) (ex ossibus relics of Sts Lazarus, Martha and Mary)

25th (12th April) Palm Sunday – (Sunday before Easter Sunday) (Holy Reliquary – see below)

Immovable feastdays:

7th. (25th March)  The Annunciation (Holy Veil and a Hair of the Theotokos)                            

14th (1st April)    Saint Mary of Egypt (day of her repose) (ex ossibus relic)            

25th    Deposition of the Holy Veil and belt at the Blachernae Palace, Constantinope (Holy Veil)       

Passion reliquary

   THE HOLY PASSION WEEK RELIQUARY

During this years’ Holy Passion week, the Parish of Saint John of Shanghai will have the great spiritual blessing of being able to offer this important reliquary, for veneration by the faithful. The bronze nineteenth century reliquary contains the following sacred relics: 

The Holy Seamless Robe of Our Lord, which he wore on Palm Sunday and Good Friday

The Holy Column of the Flagellation at which the Lord was scourged

The Holy Reed/Sceptre Our Lord was forced to hold whilst mocked after His Scourging

A small portion of one of the Holy Thorns from the Crown of Thorns

The Holy Life Giving Wood of The True Cross

The Holy Titulus (from the board carrying the Inscription “Jesus of  Nazareth King of the Jews”}

A fragment of one of the Holy Nails used at the crucifixion of the Lord

A portion from the Holy Sponge, which was offered to the Lord to drink from

A fragment of the Holy Lance of Saint Longinus who pierced the side of the Lord

A portion of the Holy Shroud of Turin in which the body of the Lord was interred.

(These were previously under the guardianship of the late Bishop Franz Xaver Eberle, auxiliary Archbishop of Augsburg and Bishop of Zalliche  IN PARTIBUS IN FEDELIUM, born 1871, died 1954.)

May

coming soon — all the below is still in preparation….

June

3rd St Helena, Empress es ossibus
6th St Xenia of St Petersburg ex ossibus
7th St John the Forerunner and Baptist ex ossibus
14th St Justin the Philosopher ex ossibus
15th Sts Peter and Paul

July

2 July: St Jude, the brother of the Lord

7 July: St John the Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord

12 July: St Peter and St Paul

13 July: (Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles): St Andrew, St James the Just, St Luke, St Mark, St Matthew, St Simon, St Thomas

14 July: Sts Cosmas ans Damian the Unmercenaries

15 July: Robe of the Mother of God – Feastday of the placing of the Tunic of the Mother of God in Blanchernae

19 July: St Lucy

23 July: Holy Tunic of the Lord

31 July: St Marina of Antioch (encased together with St Catherine of Alexandria and St Barbara the Great Martyr)

August

August 4th: Equal of the Apostles Saint Mary Magdalene

August 7th: Dormition of St Anne Mother of the All Holy Theotokos (together with St Joachim}

August 14th: Procession of the Holy and Life Giving Cross

August 15th: Translation of the Relics of the Holy Protomartyr Saint Stephen the Deacon

August 26th. Saint Maximus the Confessor

August 28th: The Dormition of the All Holy Theotokos(a lock of Her hair,PS: and the Holy Veil)

September

5th.   Saint Irenaeus of Lyon
14th. Beheading of St John the Baptist
18th. Saints Zacharias and Anne, Parents of the All Holy Theotokos
21st. Nativity of the All Holy Theotokos
27th. Exaltation of the Holy and Life Giving Cross
27th. Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constatinople and Author of the Divine Liturgy
30th. Saint Sophia of Rome

October

4th.  Apodosis of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

6th  Conception of St John the Forerunner and Baptist, and the Commemoration of the vision and speechlessness of his father Zachariah.

18th St Mark the Apostle and Evangelist

19th Protection of the All Holy Theotokos

20th St Thomas the Apostle

22nd St James son of Alphaeus

30th Translation of the relics of St Lazarus of Bethany

31st St Luke the Apostle, of the Seventy, and Evangelist

November


5th   St James , Brother of the Lord

8th  St Demetrius of Thesalonika

14th Holy Unmercenary Brothers Saints Cosmas and Damian

16th Dedication of the Church of the Great Martyr St George in Lyddia

23rd The Commemoration of the torture of the Great Martyr George

26th Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople and author of the Divine Liturgy

29th Saint Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist

December

4th.  Entry of the Most Holy Theokos into the Temple (1st class relics of her parents, St Joachim and Anne will be available for veneration)

7th.  St Catherine/Ekaterina of Alexandria ( this relic is presently on loan to another church, but it will be available for veneration from December 18th}

9th.  Dedication of the Church of St George in Kiev (1st class relic of St George, and St Demetrius will be available for veneration)

13th. Saint Andrew the First Called, Patron Saint of Russia, Greece, Georgia and Scotland (a1st class relic will be available for veneration)

17th. St Barbara the Great Martyr (1st class relic will be available for veneration from December 18th) St John of Damascus, Defender of Icons and New Theologian (relic will be available on the feast day in the evening).

19th. St Nicholas of Myra (1st class relic will be available for veneration)

20th. St Ambrose of Milan (1st class relic, with his friend  St John Chrysostom will be available for veneration)

22nd. Conception by St Anne of the All Holy Theotokos (1st class relics of both parents of the Theotokos will be available for veneration)

25th. 1st class relics of the Holy Manger and of the Three Magi, St Balthasar of Arabia, St Melchior of Persia and St Gaspar of India will be available for veneration at least until Orthodox Christmas in the JULIAN calendar in January.

26th. St Lucy of Syracuse (1st class relic will be available, with St Xenia of Rome, for veneration)