A Purificator is a white linen cloth which is used to wipe the chalice clean after the ablutions which follow Communion. This purificator was used by Pope St. Pius X in 1910.
On the document of authenticity, shown in the photo, the note reads that this purificator was used by Pope Pius X. The note is signed on May 3, 1910.
Pius X was obviously interested in the spiritual well-being of Catholics. Known as the Eucharistic Pope, he not only encouraged daily reception of the Eucharist, but also sought to allow children to receive it at the age of reason (seven years of age) rather than the customary twelve to fourteen years. In 1914, he also revised the missal. In total, his initiatives were so far-reaching he was hailed as a pioneer.
A deeply conservative man who was so transparently good and humble, he was highly regarded for his holiness during his own lifetime. Many miracles were credited to him even while still alive. He died at the beginning of World War I and was devastated at its outbreak. Rather than bless the Austrian troops who sought his blessing, he simply stated, I will bless peace. He was seventy-nine years of age and was buried initially in the Vatican grottoes. In the 1950’s his body was transferred, along with Blessed Innocent XI’s and (eventually) Blessed John XXIII’s to three altars in St. Peter’s Basilica where their relics are venerated in glass sarcophagi.
The Church celebrates his memorial feast day on August 21st.
The word, relic, comes from the Latin reliquiae, meaning remains. Relics are the actual remains or an object associated with a saint or martyr. These remains or objects are esteemed and venerated in many religious traditions because of their association with the person.
Relics are in classes. 1st class relics are the actual remains of the person being venerated. 2nd class relics are objects, for example, clothing, that have touched the person being venerated. The reliquary is the container or shrine in which sacred relics are kept.