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Reliquary theca with relics of the Veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Oval silver glass-fronted reliquary theca housing precious relics of the Veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Precious relic is affixed to a gilt paper ray burst surrounded by gilt silver wire ornamentation. The relic is identified on a fancy manuscript paper cedula label as Ex Velo Bmae Virg. Mariae. (of the Veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary). On the back, the theca is secured with a preserved seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Father Florido Pierleoni C.O. (†1829), Bishop of Acquapendente (p. 1802-1829).

According to tradition, the Veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary was worn by the Virgin as she stood at the foot of the Cross. It had been transferred in the early years of Christianity from Jerusalem to Constantinople when it was presented by the Byzantine Empress Irene to the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne. In 876 his descendant Charles the Bald gave the relic to the cathedral at Chartres. The Veil is kept in a golden reliquary beside the high altar and has formed the focus of many traditions throughout the centuries. It was believed to have protected the faithful down through the centuries from many dangers and evils, including famine and war, outbreaks of the plague, and the worst ravishes of the French Revolution. The veil itself is more than six meters long and made of silk. Scientific studies have shown that it is of Syrian design, of fine quality, and can be traced to the first century. Every year on 15th August, the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, the Veil is processed through the town of Chartres.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 38-RSMB-4
  • Size: 36 x 31 mm
  • Age: ca. first quarter of the 19th century
  • Origin: Acquapendente, Italy
  • Materials: silver, glass, paper
  • Price: SOLD!
  • Silver
  • Orthodox Cross

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