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Reliquary theca with important relics of St. Barbara, the Great Martyr

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Reliquary theca with important relics of St. Barbara, the Great Martyr

Ornate crystal-fronted bronze reliquary housing a substantial first-class relic of Saint Barbara, the Great Martyr. The relic is affixed to a background of red silk and titled on a manuscript cedula label as S. Barbarae V. M. (Saint Barbara Virgin and Martyr). The reliquary appears to be a part of a larger calendar reliquary and has a feast day of the saint inscribed on the lower part. On the back, the reliquary is secured by a seal of red Spanish wax with an imprint of Roman Catholic Cardinal. "4th of December" date etched on the lower part of the reliquary indicates the east date of Saint Barbara as commemorated by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. 

Saint Barbara, known in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the Great Martyr Barbara, was an early Christian saint and martyr living in the Greek city Nicomedia, present-day Turkey or in Heliopolis of Phoenicia, present-day Baalbek, Lebanon. Saint Barbara is often portrayed with miniature chains and a tower. As one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, Barbara continues to be a popular saint in modern times, perhaps best known as the patron saint of armorers, artillerymen, military engineers, miners and others who work with explosives because of her old legend's association with lightning, and also of mathematicians. Many of her the thirteen miracles turn on the security she offered that her devotees would not die without making confession and receiving extreme unction.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 36-RSMBR-65
  • Size: 79 x 38 mm
  • Age: ca. 18th century
  • Origin: Italy
  • Materials: bronze, crystal
  • Price: $5,750
  • Orthodox Cross
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