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Rare Reliquary Theca with 3 Relics of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Hair, Milk, & Girdle (To Assist Pregnancy)

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Rare Reliquary Theca with 3 Relics of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Hair, Milk, & Girdle (To Assist Pregnancy)

Extremely rare large 18th-century ornate brass reliquary theca housing important relics of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The relics are arranged on a background of red silk and surrounded by gilt paperolle ornamentation. They are identified on bi-color manuscript paper cedulae labels as B. Mariae Vir. (the Blessed Virgin Mary), De Lacte (from the Milk), De Cingulo (of the Girdle) and De Capillis (of the Hair). The back of the theca is secured by a seal of red Spanish wax with an imprint of a coat of arms of Fr. Pietro Maria Franzesi (†1799), Bishop of Montepulciano (1757-1799).

Christians venerated ​the Holy Milk of the Blessed Virgin Mary ​from the first century on. They held as sacred a white powder that was scraped from the walls of the shelter in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Later that white powder from the stable of the Nativity was thought to be Mary’s dried milk. Three “drops of this milk” eventually made it into a medallion that emperor Charlemagne (†814) used to carry into battle. The Vatican claims that the breast milk of Mary was first contained in “Milk Grotto in Bethlehem”. The milk made the rock white, and the powder from the rock was collected and venerated as ​it was believed to have healing powers.

The Holy Girdle of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Christian relic in the form of a "girdle" or knotted textile cord used as a belt, that according to a medieval legend was dropped by the Virgin Mary from the sky to Saint Thomas the Apostle at or around the time of the Assumption of Mary to Heaven. The supposed original girdle is a relic belonging to Prato Cathedral in Tuscany in Italy and its veneration has been regarded as especially helpful for pregnant women.

The Hair of Our Lady is the rarest and the most desirable of all holy relics and the only first-class relic we have of the Most Holy Mother of God. Since the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed into Heaven with body and soul, no physical relics of Her exist. The sole exception is that of Her hair, which had been preserved and venerated since antiquity in the Holy House of Nazareth. The Holy relic was initially kept by the Patriarchs of Jerusalem until the fifth century when it was ordered by the Byzantine Empress Pulcheria for the Holy relics of the Virgin's Veil and Hair to be translated to Constantinople. 

Additional Info

  • ID#: 210-RSCR-195
  • Size: 110 x 90 mm
  • Age: ca. second half of the 18th century
  • Origin: Montepulciano, Italy
  • Materials: brass, glass, silk, paper
  • Price: Price upon request
  • Orthodox Cross
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