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Fancy silver reliquary theca with relics of the House of Loreto & 3 Catholic Saints: St Teresa of Ávila, St Francis of Assisi, & St Charles Borromeo.

Large fancy oval glass-fronted silver reliquary theca decorated with intricate filigree flowers housing relics of the House of Loreto and three Catholic Saints: Saint Teresa of Ávila, Saint Francis of Assisi, and Saint Charles Borromeo. The relics and affixed to a red silk ground decorated by silver wire ornamentation and identified in Latin on typeset cedulae labels. On the back, under a protective cap, the theca is secured by a seal of red Spanish wax with a clear intact imprint of a coat of arms of Cardinal Pietro Respighi (†1913), Vicar General of Rome (1900-1913), and a hand-written date 1907. The reliquary comes in the original silk-lined case of issue. 

The House of Loreto - the house where our Blessed Mother was conceived and born, grew up, and where the Archangel Gabriel appeared and announced to her that she would become the Mother of God. The tradition states that the angels transported the home from Nazareth to Dalmatia (modern-day Croatia) in 1291 and the Blessed Virgin Mary actually appeared there and many miracles were reported. The house was again transported to the hilltop town of Loreto, Italy in December of 1294. Another version of the story tells of a wealthy family in the Holy Land, the Angeli Family, who paid to have the house dismantled and then reassembled in Italy. The name Angeli is translated as “angel” in both Latin and Italian. 

Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus († 1582), was a prominent Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, author during the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. She was canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV, and in 1970 was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI. She is a Holy Patron of bodily ills; headaches; chess; loss of parents; people in need of grace; people in religious orders; people ridiculed for their piety; sick people; and sickness.

Saint Francis of Assisi (†1226), was an Italian Roman Catholic friar and preacher who founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women's Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis, and the Custody of the Holy Land. According to Christian tradition, in 1224 he received the stigmata during the apparition of a Seraphic angel in religious ecstasy, which would make him the first person in Christian tradition to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Pope Gregory IX canonized Francis on 16 July 1228. Along with Catherine of Siena, he was designated patron saint of Italy. He later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and it became customary for churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on or near his feast day of 4 October.

Saint Charles Borromeo (Italian: Caroli Borromeo, Latin: †1584) was a cardinal who was archbishop of Milan from 1564 to 1584. Among the great reformers of the troubled 16th century, Borromeo, with St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Philip Neri, and others, led the movement to combat the inroads of the Protestant Reformation. He was a leading figure during the Counter-Reformation and was responsible for significant reforms in the Catholic Church, including the founding of seminaries for the education of priests. He is a holy patron of apple orchards; bishops; catechists; catechumens; cardinals; seminarians; spiritual directors; spiritual leaders; Lombardy, Italy; and Monterey California; and sought to assist in intestinal disorders; against ulcers; colic; and stomach diseases.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 07-RSINR-8
  • Size: 100 x 80 mm (4 x 3 inches)
  • Age: ca. 1907
  • Origin: Vatican
  • Materials: Silver, glass, silk
  • Price: $3,750
  • Silver

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