Weekly Report


isidore-2514952Saint Isidore Catholic Sales Guild

Member C

A Catholic Consortium for Ethics in Internet Sales

The Saint Isidore Catholic Sales Guild was convened in 2005 to provide a positive identity for individual sellers who deal in Catholic artifacts.

We believe that through education we can have an uplifting influence on the landscape of Catholic artifact sales on the internet.

We also believe that it is possible to encourage change within some of the major sales venues, like eBay, by working within their system and by utilizing the power of the press to shed light on the sales of goods that portray the Catholic faith in a damaging manner.

The weekly report will include:

Sales of First Class Relics with instructions for reporting them as items prohibited for sale on eBay

An eBay Report Card for the previous week rating how well the did on removing these items.

Highlighted Areas of Concern with suggested action.

Disturbing and Irreverent Sales that show contempt for the Catholic Faith and the teachings of the Church and also reflect poorly on Catholic sales as a whole.

Anecdotal information on the process of reporting illicit sales and educating sellers of Catholic artifacts.

First Class Relic Sales  for Holy Week

There is no end to the trade in First Class relics. It is, frankly, very profitable. During Holy Week there are an endless supply of relics of the Passion of Our Lord. Some come with papers as having belonged to various Bishops. How did the sellers acquire them? We don’t know, but we hope that our Bishops will be more cautious with their belongings.

Some sellers seem to be ignorant of the rules. Others openly flaunt them. While still others deliberately lie, claiming that what is obviously a piece of bone is actually hair or cloth. Sellers with documentation or designation tags within the theca will obscure them to evade detection.

We will provide a weekly report of relics that are clearly First Class non-hair relics and encourage you to copy the numbers to the right in groups of ten and report them.  Links to the auctions are listed below.

To receive weekly emails with reportable numbers, please sign up here

How to Report

Copy the numbers to the right in groups of ten

Click on the  Prohibited Items – Human Remains Link and paste the numbers into the box that pops up.

Click to continue and then be sure to click on the envelope symbol to email it to eBay. If you want a copy sent to your email address, be sure to check the appropriate box.

Read the last report here

July 18, 2007

This week’s list is a short one. The relic peddlers are focused on selling relics of the Passion of Our Lord, and frankly, most of us are busy with preparations for Holy Week. Nonetheless, please take time to report these.

Item Numbers of eBay Auctions for First Class Relics in groups of ten. Copy each group and paste at the  Prohibited Items – Human Remains Link  into the box that pops up.

200128305144, 200128305194, 200128305128, 110147939912, 250142833091, 150143312771, 160139188359, 160139188402, 270144096601, 270144449487

320138039721, 180139895680

See below for a description of the items these numbers represent.

Remember – There is power in numbers. Ask other buyers and sellers to report these sales.

With enough pressure, maybe eBay will remove the category entirely one day.

Description of First Class Relics for Sale on eBay as of March 16, 2007

All of these listings were reported through proper channels


ê= Listing removed by eBay

N = Listing not removed, relic sold

D= Listing not removed, no sale

M = Active Item Not Yet Removed

M   200128305144  St. Alphonsus Rodriguez and St. Alphonsus Liguori with document clearly marked Ex Ossibus.

M   200128305194 St. Peter of Verona, Martyr and St. Pius V, Pope. with document clearly marked Ex Oss.

M   200128305128 St. Clare of Assisi with document clearly marked Ex Oss.

110147939912    Pope Clement with document marked Ex Ossibus

M   250142833091   St. Thomas Aquinas which the seller says is Ex Ossibus.

150143312771  Huge Bone of Saint Barbara

M   160139188359   and 160139188402

St. Therese of Lisieux. This seller is using the old trick of covering up the specific term in the document with the theca, but cluing the buyers with the tip “this really is a first class item.”  Yes. We know.

M    270144096601 Pope Pius X

Ex Carne

M    270144449487    Saint Paul – Ex Praecordis – From the Stomach or Intestine.

M   320138039721  St. John  Berchman – Ex Ossibus

M     180139895680  Bl John Baptiste Scalabrini – Ex Corpore

Meet the Relic Peddlers









First Class Relics


Never OK to Sell

Never OK to Buy

eBay Report Card – March 21, 2007

Our members reported

Sixty Three First Class Relics

One was a huge bone

Thirteen were removed.

63 Listings

13 Removed

6 No Sale

eBay Grade


A profitable week for

the relic peddlers

Full report here

eBay Report Card March 6, 2007

We found twenty first class relics listed on eBay and reported them through proper channels.

Twenty were reported.

Sixteen were removed.

Of the four that remained, we chalk it up to seller trickery – fuzzy photos, obscured document notation (covered by Theca)

eBay Grade


Read the details below


A day after we completed our preliminary test of how well eBay’s reporting system works, we saw this – a rather large piece of Saint Faustina’s bone.

While it is a blatant violation of eBay’s policy, we don’t know if they would have removed it. It was so awful that we sent it to Spirit Daily and they featured it on the front page. The auction was taken down.
A Disturbing Trend

March 16, 2007 – The sale of Altar stones with relics encased within.  Starting at just $9.99 you can own a marble Altar stone complete with unnamed relics. This once graced the Altar of Sacrifice, but with modernizations and Church closings, they are now up for grabs.

Where did these people get them all? Someone must have given them permission to take or buy them.

This is exactly why everyone should write to their Bishops to urge caution in the sale of Church goods. Here are more 140097317783, 220092375459

Marble Altar Stone with Encased Relics

Take Action: Write to your Bishop

There can be no doubt that any Bishop in the United States or elsewhere  in the world would be extremely dismayed to see altar stones peddled in such a cavalier manner.

In these days of trial for the Church, there are legitimate reasons for the liquidation of Church goods and buildings.

Please, take a moment to write to your Bishop. Respectfully urge him to ensure the inclusion of a proviso within the contract of sale of any Church goods which stipulates that the liquidator will undertake due diligence in the re-sale of these sacred objects to ensure that they are not put to profane use.

We know of a beautiful old marble altar, once used to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, that now serves as a decorative sideboard in a casino – now a convenient spot for clients to rest their cocktails.

Feel free to send a link of this site to your Bishop and to the USCCB

Do You Have Relics in Your House?

Many of our members purchase Catholic antiquities from old Catholic estates. Some of these estates contain the personal belongings of Priests and Nuns. It’s always a bit of a shock to come across a First Class Relic or a Chalice stuffed into a shoebox in the back of a closet. Once a member even discovered a pyx full of hosts.

Just as these good souls passed away, leaving behind sacred objects, so will we also pass away.  It is important to have a plan in place for the disposition of your sacred objects.

First, keep all sacred objects in an easily accessed location, properly stored and labeled.

Second, include these objects in your will. If you do not have a will, or haven’t yet included these items, at least leave a signed and dated note with them indicating your wishes.

If you have relics in your possession, give them to a Church. Make certain that it is not a parish where they will be tossed into a dusty drawer. Find one with a reliquary cabinet.

Don’t wait.

Do it today.

Reporting the Sale of

First Class Relics of

St. Therese


One of the relics we found was offered for sale by an Italian eBay member

He had quite a few first class relics for sale that day.  This one read:

The listing went on to say:

“This auction is for a reliquary containing a relic ex ossibus and ex capillis S.THERESIAE  With seal wax and intact thread. As per Ebay new rules, this item is allowed as it contains no human remains but is an object of devotion.

Note that I am not an expert I only bought a lot of relics reliquary that belonged at an ancient nun died in 1978 in a Monastery near Ivrea ! So do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further photo or explanation”

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, we wrote to him to say:

“Your listings state that these relics contain no human remains, but the term Ex Ossibus means that it is the bones of the Saint – hence, human remains. You are selling a First Class Relic.”

He wrote back: “Yes this is true, I have to write that I’m selling the reliquary and the relic is a gift and is not for sale. As for Ebay rules is forbidden to sell human remains. Thanks for your question. ”

OK. So he knew just what he was selling. We scrolled to the bottom of the page and used the “Report” link.

Much to our surprise — and gratitude – eBay removed the listing almost immediately.

Of course, he wrote again to say he thought we reported him and to ask why.

I guess he just doesn’t get it.

Truly Tasteless
A tiny skull which the seller claims is a skull “relic” from a convent in Peru to be attached to a rosary. This one is listed as a Bizarre Shrunken Head ca. 1760 Occult Peru Catholic Relic Belonging to a Mother Superior from a Convent in Peru.  Frankly, the term occult used with regard to a Mother Superior is just insulting to the Faith and irresponsible sensationalism. Rock with Image of the Virgin Mary starting at $5,000
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Christine Hirschfeld

I never intended to run a Catholic antiquities and book business. Not in a million years. As a cradle Catholic, I grew up in a house that was filled with Catholic images and sacramentals not to mention an abundance of excellent books provided by family members who worked in publishing houses famous for their Catholic catalogues. The beautiful images and concepts presented in those books certainly had their effect in enhancing my identity as a Catholic. As the years passed, even in the midst of very un-Catholic settings, I became a repository for my friends’ Catholic “found objects.” Eventually, I had a family of my own. We’re a small family. There are just three of us. And two of us were born with the “junk collecting gene.” Garage sales attracted us like a magnet.
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