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Documented reliquary with first-class relic of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra

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Documented reliquary with first-class relic of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra

Large oval glass-fronted silver reliquary housing significant first-class ex ossibus (of the bone) relic of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. The substantial relic is affixed to a gold background decorated with elaborate gilt paperolle and identified on a paper cedula label as "Ex Ossibus / S. Nicolai Ep. Mir." (from the bone of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra). On the back, the theca is secured with a perfectly preserved seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Fr. Francesco Frosini, (†1733) the Archbishop of Pisa (1702-1733). The relic is accompanied by the original matching authentics document issued and signed in 1734. This item is suitable for both private and public veneration by any Christian denomination. 


Translation of the document from Latin:

  • FRANCESCO FROSINI (†1733)
  • Patritius of Pistoia, Knight of the Holy Roman Empire,
  • by the grace of God and the Apostolic See Archbishop of Pisa (1702-1733), the Islands of Corsica,
  • both Primate of Sardinia and Papal Legate among them, as well as bishop assistant at the Pontifical Throne.

To all and each about to inspect these our letter before them, we make a pledge and we attest publicly to the effect that the under-written Sacred Relics were shown to us, namely a piece of the bones of Nicolas, Bishop of Myra

This, taken from authentic places, we have recognized to have been fortified with a seal and with the letters  and Reverend D Giuseppe M[aria] Martelli (†1741), Archbishop of Florence (1722-1741) and these we have placed reverently, locating them in a small little oval box made of brass, closed with glass, which we have tied with a silken thread, red in color; and which we have stamped with our small seal pressed in red Spanish wax above the thread itself for the sake of identification. And we have given this for the greater glory of God and the veneration of his named saints. And we have given it to the Reverend P. F. Giuseppe Martelli of the Order of Carmelites with the ability to keep it, to give it away to others, and to exhibit it publicly in whatever church or oratory or chapel for the veneration of the faithful ones of Christ, as long as the things that need preserving are preserved.

in good faith of which things, we have ordered this testimonial letter to be made through our under-written Chancery, and we have ordered it to be confirmed with our seal, and we have signed below in our own hand.

Dated/given at Pisa from the palace of the archbishop at Saint Mary the Great on this day, 20 November, in the year 1734 

 Saint Nicholas († ca. 345) was buried in a church in Myra (modern day Turkey) and his tomb by the Middle Ages already became a popular place of Christian pilgrimage. In May of 1087, under the pretext of preserving them from the Muslim Turks who occupied Myra, relics of the Saint were stolen by Italian merchants from the place of his burial and transported to Italy where they are still kept in a crypt of a specially built Basilica of St. Nicholas in Bari. According to legend, when Italian merchants opened the sarcophagus, a spicy smell of myrrh spread from the relics of Saint. Merchants from Bari managed to take only some of the relics of the Saint, leaving many smaller fragments in the grave. These fragments were collected by Venetian sailors during the First Crusade (1096-1099) and taken to Venice, where they were kept in church of St. Nicholas. Modern scientific research in Bari and Venice proved that fragments in two cities belonged to the same skeleton. Small part of the relics is still kept in Turkey in Church of St. Nicholas.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 198-RSCR-16
  • Size: 70 x 55 mm
  • Age: ca. 1734
  • Origin: Pisa, Italy
  • Materials: brass
  • Price: (RESERVED)
  • Orthodox Cross
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