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Arm reliquary with important relics of Saint Onuphrius, Hermit & Great Desert Father, Patron of Judges & Lawyers

18th-century Baroque reliquary in the form of a blessing hand of gilded wood with a front glass window housing significant historically important first-class (of the bone) relics of Saint Onuphrius the Great. The relic is held up vertically inside the reliquary and identified in Latin on a manuscript cedula label as [EXOSS. S.] ONOFRII (From the Bone of St. Onuphrius). The reliquary is secured at the junction of the glass window within the main part of the reliquary with a seal of red Spanish wax with a partially worn out coat of arms of the Roman Catholic bishop. The reliquary has significant surface damage from woodworking insects, especially in the upper part and on a wooden base and a partial loss of gilding. The holy relic is in good original condition with no traces of damage or opening of the sealed part of the reliquary.

Saint Onuphrius, who lived as a hermit in the desert of Upper Egypt in the 4th or 5th centuries, venerated in both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic Churches. Onophrius was one of the Desert Fathers who made a great impression on Eastern spirituality around the time that Christianity was emerging as the dominant faith of the Roman Empire. He had studied jurisprudence and philosophy before becoming a monk near Thebes and then a hermit. During his 60 years in the desert, Onuphrius' only visitor was an angel who delivered a Host every Sunday. He is considered a Holy Patron of jurists and his feast day is commemorated on June 12.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 18-RSMBR-55
  • Size: 19 x 6 in (48 x 12 cm)
  • Age: ca. 18th century
  • Origin: Italy
  • Price: SOLD!
  • Orthodox Cross

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