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Large reliquary theca with relics of the Holy Great-Martyress Saint Irene of Macedonia

Large oval glass-fronted brass theca housing very large (30 mm!) ex ossibus (of the bone) first-class relic of the Holy Great-Martyress Irene of Macedonia.The relic is affixed to a background of red silk surrounded by paperole ornamentation and titled on cedula cartouche as S. Irenes V. M. (Saint Irene, Virgin & Martyr). On the back, the theca is secured with a partially preserved red wax seal with a coat of arms of a Catholic bishop.

The Holy Great-Martyress Irene of Macedonia lived during the I Century and was daughter of the pagan Licinius, governor of the city of Migdonia (in Macedonia, or Thrace). As a youth, she had a tutor by the name of Apelian, who was a Christian, and during the time of study he told the her about Christ the Saviour and taught her the Christian teaching and the Christian virtues. When she refused marriage and accepted Baptism from the hands of the Disciple Timothy, a disciple of the holy Apostle Paul, her father demanded of her the worship to the pagan gods. When however Saint Irene firmly and decisively refused, the enraged Licinius then gave orders to tie up his daughter and throw her beneathe the hooves of frenzied horses, but the horses remained motionless. Seeing such a miracle, Licinius with his wife and many of the people, in number about 3000 men, believed in Christ and refrained from the pagan gods. Saint Irene began to preach the teaching of Christ among the pagans and she converted them to the path of salvation. After this Saint Irene settled in other cities of Thrace preaching about Christ and working miracles, healing the sick and undergoing suffering for Christ.  In the city of Ephesus the Lord revealed to her, that the time of her end was approaching. Then Saint Irene in the company of her teacher the elder Apelian and other Christians went out from the city to an hilly cave and, having signed herself with the sign of the cross, she went into it, having directed her companions to close the entrance to the cave with a large stone. Four days after this, when Christians visited the cave, they did not find the body of the saint in it. Thus reposed the holy Great-Martyress Irene.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 65-RSABR-75
  • Size: 80 x 65 mm
  • Age: ca. 18-19th century
  • Price: $3,700
  • Orthodox Cross

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