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Large crystal theca with relics of the True Cross of Jesus Christ in original case

Fancy 18th-century double-crystal silver-set reliquary theca housing very large historically important particle relics of the True Cross of Jesus ChristThe relics are displayed in cruciform shape under faceted rock crystal glass framed by silver filigree ornamentation. They are identified on a  paper cedula  as D. N. J. C.  ([from the Most Holy Cross of] Our Lord Jesus Christ). The theca is protected by a seal of red wax with a perfectly preserved imprint of a coat of arms of Bishop Nicola Angelo Maria Landini, O.E.S.A. (†1782), Titular Bishop of Parthyrion and Vicar General of the Vatican Curia. The reliquary comes in its original drop-shaped tooled leather case. 

The True Cross is the name for physical remnants which, by the Church tradition, are believed to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, traveled to the Holy Land in 326–28, where she discovered the hiding place of three crosses that were believed to be used at the crucifixion of Jesus and of two thieves, St. Dismas and Gestas, executed with him, and a miracle revealed which of the three was the True Cross. Fragments of the Cross were broken up, and the pieces were widely distributed; in 348, in one of his Catecheses, Cyril of Jerusalem remarked that the "whole earth is full of the relics of the Cross of Christ." Most of the very small relics of the True Cross in Europe came from Constantinople after the city was captured and sacked in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade. They were carved up by the present bishops and divided with other very precious relics among the knights; who, after their return to the homeland, donated them to churches and monasteries.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 142-RSCR-1
  • Size: 92 x 65 mm
  • Age: ca. 18th century, Vatican
  • Materials: silver, crystal in leather-bound case
  • Price: SOLD!
  • Silver
  • Orthodox Cross

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