The relics housed in the chapel currently number over 5,000 and are housed in over 800 relic cases (reliquaries) of various sizes. Furthermore, there are 525 authentic certificates which give the date, name and seal of a Bishop or postulator of the saints’ causes, attesting to the authenticity of these relics.
Some of the documents are over two hundred years old. Among the oldest are those dated: August 12, 1716 (bones of St. Frances of Rome No. 236); October 6,1735 (No. 442); August 12, 1736 (No. 425); April 24, 1744 (St. Philip Neri No. 294); January 17, 1753 (No. 426); April 7, 1762 (No. 357); February 3, 1777 (No. 351); January 3,1786 (St. Stephen, 1st Martyr No. 300); October 25, 1796 (No. 229). (Note: A certificate number that is given without a specific saint listed refers to a reliquary that contains many relics.)
Among the collection are relics of the apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, widows and saintly penitents, as well as particles of the True Cross. The location of the larger, accessible relics can be positively identified, but it is more difficult to pinpoint the location of many of the relics because of the inaccessibility of the reliquaries.
The altars and shrines wherein these reliquaries are arranged are beautifully constructed cases wrought in walnut. Under the tabernacle altar is a precious case, brought from Rome in 1880, containing the entire skeletal remains of martyr St. Demetrius. To the right and left of the altar are cases containing skulls of martyrs St. Macharius and St. Stephana. In other compartments beneath the statues of the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Mother are skulls of the martyred companions of St. Ursula. Above these same statues are twin cases with a relic for each day of the year, according to the Church Liturgical Calendar in use at that time. In the center, behind the tabernacle, is a gold case with relics of the saints whose names appear in the First Eucharistic Prayer of the Mass.
In the right transept above the side altar is a beautiful copy of the miraculous picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the original of which is preserved in the Church of St. Alphonsus in Rome. At some time after 1928 this picture had been removed from the transept but was restored to its original site in the transept after the church restoration. On the back of the picture there is a certificate, No. 709, complete with red wax seals and the signature of Nicolaus Mauron, C.SS.R., Superior General and Major Rector, which states: “We affirm and testify that this image of the B.V. Mary faithfully represents and is from the old miraculous archetype, under the title of De Perpetuo Succursu (Our Lady of Perpetual Help), formerly in the church of St. Matthew in the city of Merulana, now venerated in the church of St. Alphonsus Liguori.” It is dated 30th October 1880. At the bottom of the certificate there is an added note: “Blessed by Pope Leo XIII.”
In the left transept is a beautiful reliquary representing a miniature altarpiece. In this single case there are over seven hundred relics. The large cross in the center contains a particle of the True Cross of Christ, and directly over this cross is another group of relics of the popes who have been canonized. In the nave are two reclining statues with relics of the saints: St. Mauritius, to the right, and St. George, to the left. Both of these saints are martyrs. There is a shelf above the figure of St. George on which rests a beautiful case built in the form of an altar that has been constructed of relics and contains the names of the saints. Next to it is the skull of the martyr St. Theodore, and directly across the nave of the chapel, above the reclining statue of St. Mauritius, stands a large cross under a baldachino, that contains another particle of the True Cross.
Wall cabinets also house hundreds of relic cases, and some of the small reliquaries contain as many as a dozen or more relics. In the middle section of the case on the right wall of the chapel is found a medallion of the Blessed Virgin, an excellent specimen of fine Italian enamel painting.
One noteworthy reliquary, not usually on display in the chapel, resembles a monstrance and has a particle of the True Cross in its center. Around this is a circle with relics of St. John the Baptist, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Lawrence, St. Dionysius, St. Blase, St. Stephen the first martyr, and a shred of the Sacred Winding Sheet. Arranged in the outer rim are relics of St. Anthony of Padua, St. Nicholas, St. Agnes, St. Barbara, St. Sebastian, St. Catherine, St. Cecilia, and St. Lambert. Silver medallions representing these same saints are affixed to the base of the reliquary. Beautiful filigree work and engraving enhance the craftsmanship, and an inscription says that it was made in the city of Aachen in the year 1880 by August Witte. This reliquary has been used since the time of Father Mollinger to bless the people following the novena service in honor of St. Anthony of Padua.