If you were to imagine a relic – an ancient artifact – that could hold a great piece of humankind’s history, where would you find it? Answers may include ancient ruins, caverns, castles, and perhaps even attics that were rarely visited. However, have you ever imagined finding one in rubbish? Turns out, you might – and “might,” being the operative term. It appears a waste disposal firm has found a small leather case with what appears to be a fragment of a bone; and not just any other bone, but the bone of St. Clement, patron saint of mariners, himself. 

It appears the relic ended up with Enviro Waste firm after a central London run. Due to the St. Clementnature of the firm as a domestic and commercial collection firm, they have no way of accurately determining just where in London did the relic originate. The relic came to the attention of the firm after employees found it while segregating recyclables from those that need to be composted.

The leather box originally had a red wax seal with a tie made from crimson cords. Within it is a glass dome with a bone scrap inside, with paper indicating it as “Oss. S Clementis,” or when translated, “bone of St. Clement.”

Now Enviro Waste wants to find an appropriate home for the relic, as true enough a bin might not be the best place for a relic.


Finding The Bone A Home

In an effort to expand the means through which they can find the proper home for the supposed relic, Enviro Waste firm has actually created a form on its blog. The form, when read, asks help from the public as to the supposed next move of the firm with regards to the relic.

James Rubin, chief executive and owner of the firm, said the move was made as the relic needs an appropriate “home” given it being an “important piece” of mankind’s history. He added the discovery of the relic came as such a surprise to their clearance teams, as the discovery hasn’t been something to expect for anyone in the industry. Rubin did admit they have had their own share of odd, wonderful, and weird discoveries – but the relic takes it on a whole other level.

The blog, originally dedicated to have posts on topics that revolved around a plastic bottle return scheme and careful ways of handling hazardous substances, now has the form up until someone comes up with a pretty good suggestion.


Who Is St. Clement?

To the uninitiated, St. Clement is a pope from the early days of Christianity that was declared martyr almost 2,000 years ago. Those who are unfamiliar with him are expected, given documents pertaining to St. Clement himself are either vague, contradictory, or nonexistent.

It’s been said that St. Clement was one of the early Romans who got converted into Christianity, and St. Paul himself declared him a bishop. St. Clement eventually became a bishop of Rome, making him the third pope after St. Peter and St. Linus. Much of the spiritual guidance towards the Corinthians were courtesy of St. Clement, which was great assistance to St. Paul given the Corinthians were giving him trouble at the time.

A common fact about his life however is that he’s been martyred at around the year 100, St. Clememt's Relic Found in Waste's Binwhich was around the time of his centenary. It was Trajan, the Roman emperor at the time, who had ordered St. Clement to be tied to an anchor and be thrown off the Crimea, effectively drowning him in the seas beside the region. This was also the reason why St. Clement was declared the patron saint of mariners.

Structures dedicated to St. Clement include an abbey in Abruzzo, Italy and the San Clemente church in Rome. The former was said to have a marble chest that claims to have most of the saint’s remains, and the latter is said to be built over the house of St. Clement himself.

The relic’s discovery and potential scrutiny towards its legitimacy should be expected, however, as one of the reasons why the Reformation started was because of a so-called “cult of relics” and a booming “trade” in fakes during medieval times. It’s when discoveries are proven to be genuine, however, that make them cared for and passed on from one caretaker to the next.


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