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1766 Documented reliquary theca with relics of the True Cross of Jesus Christ

Oval glass-fronted silevered metal reliquary theca housing a sizable relic from the Wood of the True Cross of Jesus Christ. The relic consists of three splinters arranged in a cruciform shape, affixed on the background of silk surrounded by gilt paperolle and silver wire ornamentation. It is identified in Latin on a fancy manuscript cedula label as Ex Lingo // S.S. Crucis (from the Wood of the Most Holy Cross). On the back, the reliquary is secured by a perfectly preserved seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Fr. Mario Antonio Maffei (†1777) Bishop of Foligno (1754- 1777). The relic is accompanied by the original matching authentics document issued and signed by Bishop Maffeiin 1766. This item is suitable for both private and public veneration by all Christian denominations. 

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#: 226-RSCR-11
  • Size: 29 x 27 mm
  • Age: ca. 1766
  • Origin: Foligno, Italy
  • Materials: Silvered metal, glass, silk, wax
  • Price: Price upon request
  • Orthodox Cross

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