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  Exhibition dates: October 19, 2018 – January 13, 2019 CLINTON, MASS. - The Museum of Russian Icons will be presenting Opulence Rediscovered: the Romanov Liturgical Silver, the first exhibition in more than 50 years of a lost masterpiece, October 19, 2018 – January 13, 2019. This extraordinary set of Russian Orthodox liturgical implements was made in 1877 as part of the imperial dowry of Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna Romanova (1853-1920), the only surviving daughter of Russian Emperor Alexander II,...

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The Church has definitively declared that the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven. The tradition in the West is that she was assumed prior to her death, and the tradition of the East is that she was assumed after her death (known as the Feast of the Dormition of Mary). At no time in history has the Church, or even critics of the Church, claimed to have the body of the Virgin Mary....

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In the early part of the eighth century, a controversy arose in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire over the use of icons, both in public worship and in private devotion. This was a major break with Church teachings and liturgy, as sacred art had been used since the first Christian missionaries came to this area. Nevertheless, a school of theologians now claimed that the Old Testament gave a clear prohibition against images depicting God (Exodus 20:4/Deuteronomy 5:8), and...

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From the earliest days of the Church, Christians incorporated sacred art in their celebration of the sacraments, liturgical rites, and private prayer. This was a departure from the traditions of Judaism and many pagan cultures that forbid figurative representations of any deity, even in abstract forms. Scripture and historical books speak of the majesty of the great temple in Jerusalem, but made no mention of crafted images of God or the prophets within its walls. However, the very first principle...

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The process of canonization in the earliest centuries of the church was performed by the local bishop (or the pope, if it was in the city of Rome) and by the popular acclamation of the local church. After an investigation was done, testimony was given by those who knew the candidate for sainthood, the faithful would give popular acclaim to the request, and the bishop would then enroll the name of the holy man or woman in the official liturgies...

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The miracles which derive from the holy relics witness to the fact that their pious veneration by the people is pleasing to God (Saint Justin Popovich) Of all the many ways of showing veneration of the relics of saints and martyrs, one of the most profound is that the Church has maintained a custom of placing them in the altar where the Mass is celebrated. Both the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) and the Code of Canon Law...

18th century theca containing piece of the Shroud of Turin (Ex Sindone DNJC) 19th century theca containing First Class relics of several saints 19th century theca containing relics of XII apostoles. Theca sealed on reverse with Spanish red wax seal with the imprint of the Coat of Arms of the Issuing Authority Relic's Certificate of Authenticity FIRST CLASS RELICS Ex capillis - hair Ex carne - flesh Ex cineribus - ashes Ex corpore (corpus) - body Ex dentium - of the tooth Ex ligneo pulvere, mixto...

A postulator is the person designated to guide the case of beatification or canonization through the juridical process required in the Catholic Church. The postulator may be a cleric, religious, or lay person, who has an understanding of the theological, historical, medical, and canonical demands that make up the process of canonization required by the Holy See and the Congregation for the Cause of Saints. The postulator must also be a person of the highest integrity so as to avoid...

Canonization is the act by which the Catholic Church declares that a person who has died is now added to the list of saints in the glory of heaven. The process takes its name from the Greek word for list (canon), and includes a comprehensive investigation of the faith, heroic virtues, and approval of any miracles worked through the person’s intercession. Once canonized the saint may be publically invoked for intercession and included in the prayers of the Church (including...

One of the principal ways the Church teaches the faithful is through its sacred liturgy. How the Church prays communicates what we believe. The prayers, gestures, vestments, and art work that make up the solemn rites of the Church make visible before our eyes the timeless truths of the Church. Devotion to the saints, and the veneration of their relics, play an important role in the life and liturgy of the Church.  First, the Church’s liturgy teaches that the relics...

Among all the holy men and women of the Church, martyrs have a special place of honor. The word martyr translates as “witness”. This is a man, woman, or child who gave the ultimate witness to Our Lord and to the faith of the Church, by freely laying down their lives. Their death was a public testimony to their faith and fidelity. They are teachers of the gospel to both believers and non-believers, without using any words.  Their death was a...

Both the Old and New Testaments show that the people of God gave great respect to the mortal remains and possessions of holy men and women.  When acts of veneration where given to these holy relics, it expressed respect for the deceased person who lived a holy life. More importantly, any honor given to the relics also expressed respect for God, who had revealed His power through this holy person and their participation in God’s work.  Throughout the scriptures whenever devotion to...

Christians worship God alone. However, Christians do show honor to the Virgin Mary and the saints. When Christians recite the Apostles Creed (and the Nicene Creed) they profess a belief in the “communion of the saints”. This is the Church’s understanding of the relationship between the members of the Church on Earth and the members of the Church in heaven. “Communion” refers to the bond formed by all who share life with Christ in baptism. By sharing life with Christ,...

The central belief of Christianity is that God became man and dwelt among us on Earth. During His life, public ministry, death, and resurrection, the apostles and those who recognized Jesus as the Messiah, gave the upmost respect to those objects and places connected to the Lord. The early Church made great efforts to remember the places where Jesus preached, worked miracles, and suffered His passion. For this reason, pilgrims can visit these sites in the Holy Land today with...

Caring for antique icons is a simple and straightforward process. Following the basic guidelines will assure that your icon is always kept in optimum condition and properly preserved. Place or hang icons away from heaters, radiators, bright or heat lamps or direct sunlight. Do not place icons in your kitchen or bathroom. It is recommended but not necessary to keep icon in custom wooden case with glass front called kiot which better protects it from dust, light and humidity changes....

Like the icon of Christ, that of the Mother of God (Theokotos) is considered authentic, an object of worship, because it is a revealed truth. Tradition identifies the first portretist of the Virgin and Child as the evangelist Saint Luke, even though he did not meet Mary until after Christ's death when she was already elderly. "Painting your image most worthy of honor, Saint Luke, author of the Gospel of Christ, inspired by the voice of God, depicted the Creator...

SS. Crucis D.N.J.C. [of The Most Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ] According to several Church historians of the 4th and 5th centuries, the True Cross was discovered in 325 AD when Emperor Constantine the Great ordered the removal of a pagan temple built by Hadrian over the site of Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre. Beneath the structure, in an old cistern, three crosses, the titulus with the inscription "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews," and three nails,...

The word relics comes from the Latin reliquiae (the counterpart of the Greek leipsana) which already before the propagation of Christianity was used to describe an object, notably part of the body or clothes, remaining as a memorial of a departed saint. In the minds of the early Christians, the bodies of the saints were transformed into “temples of the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:19) In the Middle Ages, relic veneration became obligatory and every church in Christendom was required to have a holy relic....

Russian Orthodox religious items and pre-revolution status symbols proving to be worthwhile investments. Cover story article in Antique Trader magazine. Tested Mettle: Russian Antique Silver