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Spectacular reliquary with an important relic of the True Cross of Jesus Christ

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Spectacular reliquary with an important relic of the True Cross of Jesus Christ

Spectacular Baroque faceted crystal-fronted silver cruciform reliquary decorated by stones of colored glass and housing significant relic from the Wood of the True Cross of Jesus Christ. The substantial relic consisting of three separate large pieces is identified on a bicolor manuscript cedulae labels reading clockwise DNJC  (Our Lord Jesus Christ). On the back, the reliquary is secured with a perfectly preserved seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Fr. Placido Zurla, O.S.B. Cam., († 1834), Cardinal Vicar of Rome and Cardinal-Priest of the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem in Rome. 

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#: 217-RSCR-28
  • Size: 7 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches (190 x 135 mm)
  • Age: ca. first third of the 19th century
  • Origin: Vatican
  • Materials: silver. crystal, glass, silk
  • Price: Price upon request
  • Silver
  • Orthodox Cross
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