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Documented theca with relics of St. Emygdius, Martyr, Miracleworker invoked against earthquakes

Early 19th century oval glass-fronted silver reliquary theca housing first-class ex ossibus  (of the bone) relic of Saint Emygdius, Martyr. The relic is affixed to a blue silk background and identified on a manuscript cedulae as S. Emidy E. M. (Saint Emygdius, Bishop and Martyr). On the back, the theca is secured with perfectly preserved seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Fr. Giovanni Francesco Capelletti (†1831), Bishop of Ascoli Piceno (1806-1831). It is accompanied by original matching authentics document issued by Fr. Capelletti in 1817. 

Saint Emygdius (†c. 309 AD) was a Christian bishop martyred during the persecution of Diocletian and known for performing many miracles. Emygdius cured a paralytic and a blind man. The people of Rome believed him to be the son of Apollo and carried him off by force to the Temple of Aesculapius on the island in the Tiber, where he cured many of the sick. Emygdius declared himself a Christian, however, and tore down the pagan altars and smashed into pieces a statue of Aesculapius. He also converted many to Christianity; this enraged the prefect of the city. On his way to Ascoli, Emydgius made more conversions, and performed a miracle where he made water gush out of a mountain after striking a cliff. Polymius, the local governor, attempted to convince Emygdius to worship Jupiter and the goddess Angaria, the patroness of Ascoli. Polymius also offered him the hand of his daughter Polisia. Instead Emygdius baptized her as a Christian in the waters of the Tronto, along with many others. Enraged, Polymius decapitated him on the spot now occupied by the Sant'Emidio Red Temple, as well as his followers Eupolus (Euplus), Germanus, and Valentius (Valentinus). Emygdius stood up, carried his own head to a spot on a mountain where he had constructed an oratory.  He is a Patron Saint of Ascoli Piceno; Guardiagrele; Naples (co-patron); and invoked against earthquakes. His feast day is commemorated on August 5.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 152-RSCR-2
  • Size: 24 x 22 mm
  • Age: ca. 1817
  • Origin: Vatican
  • Materials: silver
  • Price: $1,700
  • Silver
  • Orthodox Cross
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