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Documented arm reliquary with important relics of Saint Abundius, Miracleworker, Bishop & Martyr

Reliquary in the form of a realistically rendered arm with blessing fingers made of silvered and gilt papier-mache containing, in the mid-part cavity, a removable oval glass-fronted silvered brass theca with two historically significant first class relics of the early Christian martyr Saint Abundius of Rome, identified on a manuscript cedula label as of the dens  (tooth) and digiti iunctura (part of a finger).  On the back, the theca is secured by an impression in red Spanish wax of a seal of fr. Giuseppe Mancini (†1855), Archbishop of Siena (1824-1855).The reliquary is accompanied by the original certification document issed and hand-signed in 1829 by fr. Giuseppe Mancini.

The document describes the relic in Italian as follows:

Giuseppe Mancini
by the grace of God, and of the Holy Apostolic See
Archbishop of Siena  Domestic Prelate of his Holiness and assistant to the papal throne

We publicly acknowledge with our present letters for the greater glory of God and veneration of his saints, having recognized the following sacred relics, namely: a tooth and a bone of a finger of Saint Abundius priest, monk, and Martyr ... We placed ... extracted from authentic places, in a glass-fronted silvered brass case of oval oblong shape and housed in a silver-plated papier-mache reliquary in [the shape of] an arm. 

The holy martyr Saint Abundius of Rome († 304), a Christian miracleworker, presbyter and monk was executed at the end of the period of greatest persecution of Christians under Emperor Diocletian (ruled from 284 to 305). For the refusal to worship the pagan god Hercules, priest Avundii was arrested along with his faithful and faithful assistant, Deacon Abundatius, and thrown into the Mamertine prison in Rome (known for the apostles Peter and Paul having spent their last days of the earth where), tortured and sentenced to death.On the way to execution Abundius and Abundatius met Senator Marcianus, whose son John had just died. Abundius asked Marcianus to bring the boy's body and prayed over him until he came back to life. Father and son immediately accepted Christianity and were also sentenced to martyrdom. The holy martyrs of Abundius, Abundatius, Marcianus and child John were beheaded on the 14th mile of the Flaminia road, north of Rome.

The holy relics were found after the acceptance of Christianity in the Roman empire around year of 1001, and were kept in the basilica of Saint Adalbert of Prague (now called San Bartolomeo) on the island of Tiberina in Rome, from where the relics were transferred to the church of the Holy Healers Cosmas and Damian as well in Rome. Later, the relics of Marcian and John were transferred to the city of Civita Castellana, where they were honored as the main saint patrons of the city. In 1583, the relics of the holy martyrs Abundius and Abundatius were transferred to the newly built church Santissimo Nome di Gesù all'Argentina in Rome, the main church of the Jesuit Order, where they were placed under the main altar and later in a separate chapel dedicated to them. Unfortunately, the chapel of the holy martyrs of Abundius and Abundatius was destroyed during the repair work of 1840, and the church itself was confiscated by the Italian government in 1870 during the persecution of the Catholic Church. The day of remembrance and veneration of the holy martyrs Abundius and Abundatius is celebrated on September 16 on the day of their martyrdom. 

Additional Info

  • ID#: 184-RSCR-2
  • Size: 17 3/4 in (45 cm) high
  • Age: ca. 1829
  • Origin: Siena, Italy
  • Materials: Silvered and gilt papier-mache reliquary, silvered brass theca
  • Price: Price upon request
  • Orthodox Cross
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