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Documented reliquary with xlarge relic of Saint Crescentius of Rome, Martyr

Reliquary in the form of a tall obelisk of painted wood with front and side glass windows, standing on a rectangular base and topped with a gilt wood finial in the form of a cross and crossed palm branches, traditionally denoting a holy martyr. Inside, the reliquary contains the historically significant relic of ex ossibus (from the bone) from magna parte cruris (a significant part of the leg) of the early Christian martyr Saint Crescentius of Rome, positioned vertically and identified on a manuscript cedula label and decorated with silk flowers. On the back, the reliquary is secured with a silk ribbon held by two red Spanish wax with an impression of a seal of Monsignor Alessandro Zondadari (†1744), Archbishop of Siena (1715-1744).The reliquary is accompanied by the original certification document issued and hand-signed by Fr. Zondadari in 1719. 

The document describes the relic in Latin as follows:

"To all and each reading these letters we, the undersigned, make a pledge and attest that seeing as they were exhibited to us in person ... and having been recognized in the New Curia with their own and authentic documents assented to in the archives of the same Curia, clearly a large part of the leg of Saint Crescentius Martyr, today we, for the greater glory of God and the veneration of his saints, have placed into ... a wooden reliquary, black in color, in the shape of a small pyramid; protected  by glass panels and a gilded coronet and inside decorated with little flowers; a reliquary which on its own [back side] is tied with a white silk ribbon securing the joint of the wood with a double impression of the same seal in Spanish wax."

Saint Crescentius of Rome († c. 303) was born in a noble Roman family, forced to flee from the capital to Perugia, during the Great Persecution of the Christians of Emperor Diocletian (ruled 284 to 305). After the death of his father, the boy returned to Rome, where he was captured and, not willing to renounce Christ,  beheaded at the age of 11 on Salt Road outside the city walls. The body of the martyr was buried in the catacombs of Priscilla, on the Salt Road and, soon, the place of his burial became a place of pilgrimage and worship. The relics of St. Crescentius were moved to Siena (Tuscany) around 1058. The feast days of the saint are celebrated on the day of martyrdom - September 14 and on the day of the transfer of the relics to the city of Siena - on October 12.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 183-RSCR-135
  • Size: 19 1/4 in (49 cm) high
  • Age: ca. 1719
  • Origin: Siena, Italy
  • Materials: Wood, glass
  • Price: SOLD!
  • Orthodox Cross

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