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Sacred Chicago

With a past steeped in medieval counterfeits and grave robbing, relics have been saddled with a bad rap almost as long as saints have been canonized. But the tradition itself predates Christianity; recorded veneration of remains ranges from Oedipus to Buddha. Today, the Roman Catholic Church reminds the faithful that these miniscule fragments—from bone chips to locks of hair to scraps of shroud—should serve as objects of reverence, not worship. Here’s where to see a few of these artifacts locally.