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Vatican Reliquary theca with relics of 2 Martyr Saints: Saint Irene of Rome & Saint Valeria of Milan

Round white-metal glass-fronted reliquary theca housing first-class ex ossibus  (of the bone) relics of Saint Irene of Rome and Saint Valeria of Milan. The relics are affixed to a red silk ground and identified in Latin on a typeset cedulae labels as S. Irenis V. Mart / S. Valeriae V. M. (Saint Irene, Virgin & Martyr / Saint Valeria, Virgin & Martyr).  On the back, under a protective cap, the theca is secured with a seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Monsignor Ugo Poletti (†1997), Vicar General of Rome (1973–1991) and a 1990 date of issue. 

Saint Irene of Rome (†288 AD) was a Christian woman in the Roman Empire during the reign of Diocletian, who, according to Christian tradition, attended to Saint Sebastian after he was wounded by Mauretanian archers. Irene was the wife of Saint Castulus who, according to tradition, was in the service of the Roman emperor. She was later widowed when Castulus was martyred for practicing Christianity and converting others to the religion. After the death of her husband, Irene continued to be active in the Christian community in Rome. According to hagiography, when Saint Sebastian was shot with arrows for practicing Christianity, Irene tended his wounds. Her Feast Day is celebrated on April 3.

Saint Valeria of Milan (d. 1st or 2nd century), according to Christian tradition, was the wife of Vitalis of Milan and the mother of Sts. Gervasius and Protasius. According to the tradition, on 3 June, Valeria was discovered by Roman soldiers searching for Christians. She vowed to be one of the faithful. Following terrible tortures, Valeria was beheaded in the Coliseum in the company of several other martyrs. Her remains were gathered by other Christians and were deposited in the Catacombs of Saint Sebastian. Her feast day is celebrated on April 28.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 539-RSGSR
  • Size: 32 mm across
  • Age: ca. 1990
  • Origin: Vatican
  • Materials: Metal, glass, silk, Spanish wax
  • Price: $875
  • Orthodox Cross

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