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Documented reliquary housing Passion relics of the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross

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Documented reliquary housing Passion relics of the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross

Large silver glass-fronted reliquary housing substantial Passion Relics of the True Cross and of the Holy Crown of Thorns. The relics are affixed in a cruciform shape to a gold theread backgroundsurrounded by gold and silver threaded ornamentation and titled in 19th century ductus a De Spinea Coronae  D.N.J.C.  / De Ligno SS Crucis D.N.J.C. (From the Crown of Thorns of Our Lord Jesus Christ / From the Most Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ),  Accompanied by a matching ca. 1835 authentics document issued by Cardinal Carlo Oppizzoni († 1855), Archbishop of Bologna (1804-1855). Acccoding to the deocument, the background of the reliquary made from the gold of a melted solidus - a gold coin from the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine the Great. 


The document written in Latin translates as follows:

CARDINAL Carlo OPPIZZONI, of the Titular diocese of the Church San Bernardo alle Terme, priest of the Holy Roman Church, Archbishop of Bologna by the grace of God and the Apostolic See:

We make good faith, presenting Our Letter to those about to inspect it—both one at a time and in groups—and we swear to the Lord to the effect that, once certain Sacred Relics were exhibited to us, we recognized them to be extracted from authentic Locations and supported with authentic Documents and protected by authentic Seals.

We reverently placed a large and notable Particles of Wood from the Holiest Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which was just recently confirmed with due process, along with a piece of the Crown of Thorns of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in a large silver theca of oval shape, gilded within, on the front part protected by glass straight across, and set perfectly in the middle of a silver cross which is elaborately made.

This cross, moreover, is affixed into the background of the same material made of a gold coin of Constantine, Martyr Emperor, honored as Treasure twice a year for a plenary indulgence. We tied the back of the theca with silken cord of red color and secured with a small Seal of Ours impressed in red Spanish wax as proof of its identity—as a gift for the Greater Glory of God and for the veneration of the aforementioned Holy Relic, and we bestowed it free of charge with the outcomes of keeping the aforementioned Holy Relic and of giving it to others, and of setting it up for the public veneration of the Faithful in whatever Church, Oratory or Chapel.

 [Those Faithful] for the faith of whom we, presenting the underwritten in Our hand, confirmed by Our Seal (the work of the undersigned Deputy), have ordered these things to be instituted and made ready.

Given out in Bologna from Our palace of the Archbishop, on the 27th Day of the month of January of the Year 1835.


According to three of the canonical Gospels a woven Crown of Thorns was placed on the head of Jesus during the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. It was one of the instruments of the Passion, employed by Jesus' captors both to cause him pain and to mock his claim of authority. It is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew (27:29), Mark(15:17), and John (19:2, 5) and is often alluded to by the early Church Fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and others. In 1238, Baldwin II, the Latin Emperor of Constantinople, anxious to obtain support for his tottering empire, offered the crown of thorns to Louis IX, King of France. The relic stayed there until the French Revolution, when, after finding a home for a while in the Bibliothèque Nationale, the Concordat of 1801 restored it to the Church, and it was deposited in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. The relic can only be seen on the first Friday of every month, when it is brought out for a special veneration mass, as well as each Friday during Lent​.​

Additional Info

  • ID#: 5-RSMBR-25
  • Size: 82 x 71 mm
  • Age and School: ca. 1835
  • Materials: silver
  • Price: Price upon request
  • Silver
  • Orthodox Cross
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