Aleteia

Relic of Pope St. Clement I recovered from waste bin

RELIC OF ST CLEMENT
Courtesy of Enviro Waste
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Enviro Waste is taking suggestions for where it should go.

Enviro Waste employees were surprised to find a fragment of bone from a saint while emptying a waste bin. The first-class relic was contained within a small red and gold wax-sealed reliquary labeled “EX OSS S. CLEMENTIS P.M.,” identifying it as the bone (EX OSS) of Pope Saint Clement I.

Pope Saint Clement was the 4th pope of the Catholic Church, who held the office from 88 to 99. He is considered the first Apostolic Father of the Church and it is said that he was consecrated by St. Peter. According to tradition, Clement was imprisoned and martyred by the Roman Emperor Trajan.

The unusual find perplexed the workers, who recovered the artifact with all due reverence. James Rubin, owner of Enviro Waste, commented, “You can imagine our amazement when we realised our clearance teams had found bone belonging to a Pope. It’s not something you expect to see, even in our line of work.”

It is unknown how this nearly 2,000-year-old relic wound up in the trash. Georges Kazan, a researcher at the University of Turku in Finland, hypothesized, “It could have been stolen, it could belong to someone and been accidentally thrown out. If it’s authentic, it’s not the kind of thing you throw away. It looks like a nice piece, with quite a decent sized bit of bone.”

Enviro Waste is committed to finding the best home for the relic and is taking all suggestions for where to send it on their website:

Rubin explained, “We know this is an important piece of history and are keen to find the most appropriate place for its final resting place, which is why we’re asking for help from members of the public.”

In Catholicism many relics are displayed openly in churches for veneration, while others are placed inside of altars.

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