A List of Authentic and Claimed Holy Relics

A relic is an object or personal possession that carries religious significance. In many instances, the relic is the supposed body part of a highly regarded figure. Over the years, holy relics have surfaced throughout the world with claims of that a single item is housed in more than one place at the same time. In this article, you will encounter a handful of important relics , some real and others simply false claims.

St Peter

For decades, people believed the brain of St Peter was located above an altar in Geneva until it was revealed that it was actually a pumice stone. Across about 12 churches in Europe, the nail clippings of St Peter are said to reside.


At one time, it was thought a miracle that the body of Welsh saint Teilo was found in three different locations.

St George

King Henry VII was given the left leg of St. George as a present.


At one point in time, 14 churches scattered about Italy claimed to possess Christ’s foreskin and have it on display. Pope Innocent III refused to rule on which artifact was a genuine relic, stating that only one person knew the truth. During the 19th century, three holy navels of Christ were put on display in churches throughout Rome, Lucques, and Chalones-sur-Marne.

Grand Lama of Tibet

When the grand lama of Tibet had a bowel movement, followers scrambled to claim it for their own, as his excrement was considered so holy that they placed samples around their necks. His urine was looked at as a powerful prophylactic that fought against disease. His courtiers were known to add it into their food preparations.


In Buddhist circles, the relics of the Buddha and selected sages are venerated. After the death of the Buddha, his remains were separated into eight portions, which were enshrined in stupas located in places where Buddhism existed. All of this was done against the Buddha’s instructions that relics were not to be gathered or venerated. One of the most well known connections to the Buddha is a temple in Sri Lanka that has been dedicated to one of the Buddha’s teeth.

St Francis Xavier

The humerus of St Francis Xavier, who is known as one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus, (also referred to as the Jesuits) is located at St Joseph’s church in Macao.

Virgin Mary

More than 60 churches have claimed to store the breast milk of the Virgin Mary.