The suit Billy Graham wore on his final crusade in 2005

Billy Graham suit

The suit Billy Graham wore on his last crusade in 2005. Photo: Menachem Wecker

While reporting a Religion News Service article about a Billy Graham exhibit at Washington’s Museum of the Bible, I noticed wrinkles on the sleeve of the suit, which Billy Graham wore on his last crusade in 2005 and which the Billy Graham Library lent.

Graham was not Catholic, but many of the artifacts in the exhibit had the aura of relics. I wondered, eyeing the wrinkles, if the suit had been purposely left unlaundered to retain some of the late Graham’s presence. A curator I approached expressed surprise at the state of the suit and said it was supposed to have been dry-cleaned. It was suggested the wrinkles would be ironed out. But when I returned a week later, the wrinkles were still there.

Perhaps the suit has since been pressed, but as long as it remains rumpled, I like the idea that it suggests a used object — even if it’s been cleaned since Graham last touched it.

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