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Reliquary theca with relics of Jesus Christ - the True Cross and the Holy Bread

Substantial 18th century oval glass-fronted reliquary theca housing two Holy Relics of the Christ's life and Passion. Behind glass, the relics are covered in paper and identified in 18th century ductus as De ligno Crucis et / de pane quando satianis (from the True Cross and Bread that Satisfied ). 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. Enrique Laso de la Vega (†1729), Titular Bishop of Thaumacus (1728-1729).

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. The Empress Helena, mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, travelled 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#: 188-RSCR-7
  • Size: 65 x 54 mm
  • Age: ca. first third of the 18th century
  • Origin: Italy
  • Price: $3,500
  • Orthodox Cross
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