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A little bit of a random question here - I was at a christening this Sunday just gone and on the wall was an image of half a leg with a passage underneath it (not sure what it said) and I don't have a clue what the whole thing meant.

I've tried Googling about it but got nothing remotely close.

Is it something multiple churches have or could it of been specific to that one church?

-- Added Location --

It's a Roman Catholic Church. The location is St Johns Church in Bridgnorth, United Kingdom - Website

  • @bruisedreed Added – SaturnsEye Sep 9 '14 at 8:50
  • They have a website. But I can't find such an image. I expect the passage underneath it explained what it was about. – Andrew Leach Sep 9 '14 at 9:00
  • @AndrewLeach Yes, it did mention something but I can't remember. annoyingly I took a picture in the church but it just cuts off where the leg is – SaturnsEye Sep 9 '14 at 9:06
  • @SaturnsEye That must be annoying. Can you go there again to take the picture? It's difficult to answer if we don't have a pic. – Mawia Sep 9 '14 at 10:46
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    Seems to me like it would have been easier to present this question to someone at the Church. You said you were there for a Christening, would it be safe to assume that you are in some way in contact with the family of the child whom was being christened? If they do not know, perhaps they could ask the priest, or one of the deacons, or even read the passage for you? – ShemSeger Sep 9 '14 at 16:33
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It is very likely what you were seeing was a picture of a relic.

From Wikipedia:

"A relic usually consists of the physical remains of a saint or the personal effects of the saint or venerated person preserved for purposes of veneration as a tangible memorial."

If you think seeing a picture of a limb is odd, then you would be really taken back by some churches that actually have a physical leg, or right forearm, or even the skull of a saint on display in a reliquary (a fancy glass display box). The passage beneath the picture likely included the name of the person being venerated.

Reliquary and skull of Saint Ivo of Kermartin (St. Yves or St. Ives), (1253–1303) in Tréguier, Brittany, France:

Reliquary and skull of Saint Ivo of Kermartin (St. Yves or St. Ives), (1253–1303) in Tréguier, Brittany, France

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  • Hmm interesting, this could quite possibly be the case! now I'm more intrigued to know who's leg it us! :) – SaturnsEye Sep 9 '14 at 15:39
  • Considering that it was St Johns Church, I would suspect that is was the leg of Saint John. – ShemSeger Sep 9 '14 at 15:44
  • But there are so many Saint John's! haha – SaturnsEye Sep 9 '14 at 15:53
  • The church is St. John the Evangelist, but I don't know that there would be a whole leg of the saint there. Not even sure if one is available. – Matt Gutting Sep 9 '14 at 16:10
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    In this case it is St John the Evangelist, or John the beloved. The website you provided gives a history of the Church and names him specifically. That would give light to why it is only a picture of the relic, as there was a very popular Catholic tale in ancient times that St. John the Evangelist was assumed bodily into heaven, ergo there is no leg to place within a Reliquary. Even if one existed, a first class relic of John the Beloved would most likely be sealed somewhere within the Vatican, or some other site of great significance to the Catholic Church. – ShemSeger Sep 9 '14 at 16:16

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