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Spectacular Silver Reliquary Monstrance with a Large Relic of St. Theodore of Amasea (Tyron), the Great Martyr

Extremely rare  mid-19th-century ornate silver reliquary monstrance housing large and important relics Saint Theodore of Amasea. The relics are arranged on the background of red silk and surrounded by gilt paper ornamentation and identified on two typeset paper cedulae labels as S. Theodorae A.M. (Saint Theodore of Amasea, Martyr). On the back, the monstrance is secured by a seal of red Spanish wax with an imprint of a coat of arms of Monsignor Jean-Marie Mioland, the Archbishop of Toulouse (1849-1859). On the base, the reliquary is stamped with a sterling silver hallmark of France and a maker's mark of Jean Baptiste Carnier (ca. 1850).

Saint Theodore of Amasea (also known as Theodore Tyron meaning a "recently enlisted soldier or recruit") is venerated as a warrior saint and Great Martyr in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Theodore is reported as having destroyed a dragon near Euchaita in a legend not younger than the late 9th century. St Theodore became especially important in the Eastern Orthodox Church, where his cult spread widely and many churches were dedicated to him. The first church dedicated to him in Constantinople was built in 452, and eventually, he had 15 churches in that city. He was famous in Syria, Palestine, and Asia Minor. In Italy, he was shown in a mosaic in the apse of the church of SS. Cosmas & Damian in Rome (dated about 530), and by the next century, he had his own church there at the foot of the Palatine, circular in shape. People brought their sick children to his temple, as to an asclepeion, or healing-temple. He became the first patron of Venice. The chapel of the Doge was dedicated to him until, in the 9th century, Venice wished to free itself from the influence of Byzantium, and he was succeeded by St Mark. The Chartres Cathedral in France has a stained glass window with a series of 38 panels celebrating St Theodore, which date from the 13th century. In the Eastern church, St Theodore of Amasea is celebrated on 8 February or on 17 February or on the 1st Saturday in Lent. In the western church, his date was 9 November, but after the Second Vatican Council and since 1969, he is no longer liturgically celebrated except in certain local calendars. Relics of the saint were widely distributed. In the 12th century, his body was said to have been transferred to Brindisi (Italy), and he is there honored as patron; his head is said to be enshrined at Gaeta (Italy).

Additional Info

  • ID#: 17-RSSR-18
  • Size: 15 inches (38 cm)
  • Age: ca. 1850
  • Origin: Toulise, France
  • Materials: silver, glass, silk
  • Price: Price upon request
  • Silver
  • Orthodox Cross

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