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Reliquary Cabinet with Relics of 4 Martyrs: St. Celestine, St. Amandus of Novidunum, St. Firmus of Verona, & St. Defendente the Thebian

Ca. 1800’s pentagon-shaped reliquary cabinet in Baroque style decorated with gilding and containing behind the front glass panel substantial first-class ex ossibus (of the bone) relics of four Christian Martyrs: St. Celestine, St. Amandus of Novidunum, St. Firmus of Verona, & St. Defendente the Theban. The relics are affixed to a red silk background decorated with gilt silver wire ornamentation and silk flowers. They are identified in fancy manuscript cedulae labels and, again, on smaller labels affixed directly to the relics. On the back, the reliquary is secured by a braided red silk ribbon secured by a seal of red Spanish wax with an imprint of a coat of arms of a religious order. 

St. Celestine suffered martyrdom by being pierced through his heel with an iron rod. His feast day is celebrated on May 25th.

St. Amandus of Novidunum was martyr-bishop of Novidunum mentioned in the Roman Martyrology together with Martyrs Amand, Lucius (Lucius), Alexander, and Avdald. In a document dated 983, it is stated that their relics were kept in the monastery of Saints Peter and Paul in the city of Cohn (South France), where Amand and his retinue underwent martyrdom during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. His feast is celebrated on June 6th.

St. Fermin (also Firmin) is a saint and martyr who lived in the third century. According to the tradition, there was a senator from Pamplona (Spain) called Firmus who was converted to Christianity by Honestus and persuaded Saturninus to come to Pamplona to baptize him. His son, St. Firminus (Fermin), was entrusted to Honestus for his Christian education and at age 31 went to Toulouse to be consecrated by Saturninus's successor, Honoratus. St. Fermin then went to preach in northern Gaul, where he became associated with the city of Amiens. He was persecuted and ultimately martyred. His feast is celebrated on September 25th.

St. Defendente (~†286) is one of the Christian martyrs of the Theban Legion, beheaded under the Roman emperor Maximian (250-310) because they did not want to leave the Christian faith. Since the 14th century, he was highly venerated in Northern Italy, invoked against the danger of wolves and fires. Until 1476 his relics, according to the 1578 Martyrologium Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae of Pietro Galesino, were kept in the church of Santa Croce in Casale Monferrato, which suggested that his martyrdom may have taken place in that region. His feast day is celebrated on January 2nd.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 52-RSMB-12
  • Size: 10 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in (27 x 25 cm)
  • Age: ca. 1800
  • Origin: Italy
  • Materials: Painted and gilt wood, glass, paper.
  • Price: Price upon request
  • Orthodox Cross
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