Since the early of the Church remains of a saint or holy person were called relics (from the latin Reliquiae, meaning remains).
The Veneration of relics practiced by Christians and non - Christians alike. It is no way restricted to the Catholic religion but, is, to some extent, a primitive instinct with origins that predate Christianity. It is known that relics of Buddha were distributed soon after his death. The relics of Confucius have been venerated by the people of Asia since the year 195 B.C., and the relics of Mohammed, who died in A.D. 632, are similarly revered. In the Old Testament the relics of the prophet Elisha are mentioned (2 Kings 13:20-21), and the New Testament notes the relics of the Apostle Paul and the wonders the Lord worked through them (Acts 19:11-12)