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Reliquary theca with relics of Saint Elpidius Hermit of Cappadocia

Small oval glass-fronted reliquary theca housing first-calss ex ossibus (from the bone ) relic of Saint Elpidius the CappadocianThe relic is affixed to a red silk background, surrounded by silver cord ornamentation and identified in manuscript cedula label as Ex Oss[ibus] / S. Elpidii Ep (Of the bone of Saint Elpidius, Bishop). On the back, under protective cap, the theca is secured with a seal of red Spanish wax with a barely visible coat of arms of a Roman Catholic Bishop.

Saint Elpidius, Hermit of Cappadocia. (†ca. 4th century) was an abbot in Asia Minor who lived in a cave in Cappadocia for 25 years. Disciples, such as Eustace (Eustachio) and Ennesius (Ennesio), gathered around him. The village of Cluana, in the Marches of Ancona, acquired Elpidius' relics in the 7th century in exchange for the donation of a piece of land. The relics of Elpidius and his companions Eustace and Ennesius were consigned to the local inhabitants, and the town later acquired the new name of Sant' Elpidio a Mare. The relics of Elpidius are considered to have saved the town from a Lombard siege; tradition states that the saint appeared in the sky asking the inhabitants to defend the village. The feast of Saint Elpidius is commemorated on September 2.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 26-RSMR-5
  • Size: 26 x 23 mm
  • Age: ca. 19th century
  • Origin: Italy
  • Price: $375
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