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Reliquary theca with relics of Saint Mary Frances of the Five Wounds T.O.S.F.

Oval  glass-fronted brass theca housing several large relics of Saint Mary Frances of the Five Wounds, first class capelli (of the hair) and panno infuso del sangue (of cloth soaked with blood), second class ex camicia (of the undergarments), ex fazzoletto (of the handkerchief). and ex manica (of the sleeve).The relics are affixed to a red background and titled in Italian on handwritten cedulae labels affixed radially to the inside rim of the theca.  On the back, the theca is secured with red wax seal with a partially visible coat of arms of a Catholic official, presumed to be of Monsignor Sisto Riario Sforza (†1877), the Archbishop of Naples. The theca was made sometime between the date of beatification in 1843 and canonization in 1867 and refers to the Saint as "The Blessed".

Saint Mary Frances of the Five Wounds, T.O.S.F. (Italian: Maria Francesca delle Cinque Piaghe, (†1791), was an Italian member of the Third Order of St. Francis, who is honored as a saint in the Catholic Church. She is said to have received the wounds of the stigmata and suffered patiently many physical afflictions and spiritual trials. She would wear gloves to cover the marks on her hands, while she did her work. She is also said to have had visions of Saint Raphael the Archangel, who healed her of several afflictions. She was beatified by Pope Gregory XVI in 1843 and soon canonized by Pope Pius IX on in 1867. She is a holy patron of Quartieri Spagnoli of Naples (co-patron); Gallo World Family Foundation; expectant mothers; and women seeking to have children and Her feast day is celebrated on 6 October. In 2001, her remains were transferred from the Church of Santa Lucia to the house where she had spent the last half of her life. It is now the Shrine of St. Mary Frances of the Five Wounds. It is still a common practice for expectant mothers to go there to be blessed with her relic. Many votive offerings from mothers who credit her with their successful deliveries are displayed in the sanctuary.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 74-RSABR-75
  • Size: 50 x 45 mm
  • Age: ca. 1850s, Italy
  • Price: $975
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