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Vatican Reliquary theca with relics of 2 Martyr Popes: Saint Urban I and Saint Fabian

Round white-metal glass-fronted reliquary theca housing first-class ex ossibus  (of the bone) relics of two Martyr Popes: Saint Urban I and Saint Fabian. The relics are affixed to a red silk ground and identified in Latin on a typeset cedulae labels as S. Urbani, M.  / S. Fabiani M. (Saint Urban Martyr / Saint Fabian 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), Cardinal Vicar General of Rome (1973–1991). 

Saint Pope Urban I (†230) was the bishop of Rome from 222 to 23 May 230 venerated as a saint of the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. He was born in Rome and succeeded Callixtus I, who had been martyred. The legendary Acts of St. Cecilia and the Liber Pontificalis both contain information on Urban. Tradition credits Urban with the miracle of toppling an idol through prayer. This event is believed to have led to Urban being beaten and tortured before being sentenced to death by beheading. His feast day is celebrated on 25 May.

Saint Pope Fabian († 250) was the bishop of Rome from 10 January 236 to his death on 20 January 250, succeeding Anterus. A dove is said to have descended on his head to mark him as the Holy Spirit's unexpected choice to become the next pope. Most of his papacy was characterized by amicable relations with the imperial government, and the schism between the Roman congregations of Pontian and Hippolytus was ended. He divided Rome into diaconates and appointed secretaries to collect the records of the martyrs. He sent out seven "apostles to the Gauls" as missionaries. He died a martyr at the beginning of the Decian persecution and is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. His feast day is celebrated on 20 January by Catholic Church & Orthodox Church.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 544-RSGSR
  • Size: 32 mm across
  • Age: ca. 1990s
  • Origin: Vatican
  • Materials: Metal, glass, silk, Spanish wax
  • Price: $675
  • Orthodox Cross
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