Photo credits: catholicrelics.co.uk
At one level, the practice of touching the casing surrounding the relics can be seen as an exercise of piety (and I mean that in a good sense) on the part of the faithful. This last photograph suggests another way of thinking of it. For very young children, like this little girl, it also provides a style of participation in the essentially inner act of veneration, a style of participation that makes the veneration accessible to them at their level of development, when otherwise it might not be accessible at all. Each of us will have a style of veneration that suits us; it is something in which we have a great freedom within an intense unity of purpose and devotion.