By Suzanne Le Mignot

CHICAGO (CBS) — They date back to the times of Mary and Joseph — fascinating pieces of history in Chicago.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports why Holy Family Church is the home to these important religious relics.

In the center of the reliquary, church officials say, is a relic of Jesus’ manger; below that, a fragment of the veil of the Virgin Mary and then a thread from the cloak of Jesus’ earthly father, St. Joseph.

“The relics help to connect us to the life of a holy person, or the objects from their life remind us of their virtues and the story they were part of, in the history of the church,” Pastor Jerry Boland says.

In honor of holy family church’s 155th anniversary, the reliquary has been given to the church as a gift. Their first parish home was at the shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii in Chicago. Holy Family, built in 1857, not only survived the Great Chicago Fire but a blaze in 2003.

“We’re very proud of our history, we’ve been a very prominent participant of the civic life of Chicago,” Boland says. “It’s gonna be a great way to mark this moment, or this milestone in our history.”

Pilgrims brought the manger relic to Rome, in the 5th century. The relics of the Holy Family were authenticated by the Vatican in 1972.

The relics will be on display for all to see at Holy Family Parish Sunday morning at the 9:45 Mass when the church anniversary is celebrated.