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18c fancy reliquary theca with relics of St. Francis of Assisi

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18c fancy reliquary theca with relics of St. Francis of Assisi

18th-century oval glass-fronted silver reliquary theca, decorated around the perimeter with silver filigree, housing a relic of Saint Francis of Assisi. The precious relic is affixed to a red silk ground decorated with gilt paperolle and silver wire ornamentation and identified in Latin on a manuscript cedula label as S. Fran. Ass.  On the back, the theca is secured with a seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Fr. Silvestro Merani († 1764), Titular Archbishop of Porphyrion (1742 -1764), and Sacristan of the Roman Curia. 

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.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 18-1-RSINR-1
  • Size: 63 x 47 mm (2 1/2 x 2 niches)
  • Age: ca. 18th century
  • Origin: Italy
  • Materials: Silver, glass, silk
  • Price: $1,350
  • Silver

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