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Vatican documented reliquary theca with relics of the True Cross

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Vatican documented reliquary theca with relics of the True Cross

Oval glass-fronted silver reliquary theca housing precious Relics from the Wood of the True Cross of Jesus Christ. The relic is affixed in a cruciform shape to a red silk background decorated with gilt silver wire ornamentation. On the back, under a protective cap, the theca is secured with a perfectly preserved seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Monsignor Costantino Patrizi Naro (†1876), Dean of the College of Cardinals and the Vicar General of the Roman Curia. The relic is accompanied by an original matching authentics document issued and signed by Monsignor Patrizi Naro in 1869.

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. Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, traveled 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.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 202-RSCR
  • Size: 39 x 35 mm
  • Age: ca. 1869
  • Origin: Vatican
  • Materials: Silver
  • Price: Price upon request
  • Silver
  • Orthodox Cross
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