The Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul has recently catalogued its collection of about eighty authenticated relics, as well as numerous others which are not yet authenticated. Authenticated relics are now being displayed in a rotation on the reredos of the two side altars, on niches that were specially designed for this purpose during the Basilica's recent renovation. A directory of relics, with information pages about each saint, is available at each side altar. A memorial plaque honoring the late John George Jerome Holland III is now on display in the vestibule. A short biography of Mr. Holland, with a photo of him, is included on his memorial display.
The Basilica’s Altar Guild has assumed stewardship of the rotation of relics on the side altars. Displayed relics are now identified with cards that indicate the name of the saint. On or near a saint’s feast day, the relic of the saint in our collection may be featured prominently. Parishioners and visitors are encouraged to take time to appreciate these relics that we are privileged to house in our sanctuary, as well as the information about the saints found in the directory, as an opportunity to venerate the mortal remains of saints who now enjoy the blessing of heaven.
Special thanks to Therese Ohotnicky, Basilica parishioner, who organized the Basilica's relics collection, compiled the directory, and produced the memorial display honoring Mr. Holland, as part of her American Heritage Girls Stars and Stripes Award.
JOHN GEORGE JEROME HOLLAND III, KHS
John Holland began collecting relics at age 13, living in Miami Gardens, Florida. Deeply devoted to the Church, saints, and priests, as a young teenager John Holland consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary and sought to become a Redemptorist priest. He entered Seminary but had to leave to help his family. His whole life he was active in the Church, especially with helping the priests, and his life work was collecting relics to be venerated in churches. Many of the relics were obtained from a motherhouse in Rome, the Augustinian Monasterium S. Luciae in Silice. John Holland also received many relics from Poland, including from the private collection in the home of Pope St. John Paul II. John Holland married Elaine Holland in 2003, and they moved to Chattanooga, TN, where he passed away in 2016. John Holland’s life goal was to become a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher, an honor that was granted just before his death. In 2016 he was posthumously inducted. John Holland graciously donated his collection of over 175 relics to the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.
We at the basilica are deeply, sincerely grateful for John Holland's life work of the collection of saints’ relics and for his generous donation.
View the Downloads below for more information about the Basilica's collection of relics.