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1957 Documented reliquary with relic of St. Pelagia of Antioch (the Penitent), patron of hermits

Round white-metal glass-fronted reliquary theca housing the first-class ex ossibus  (of the bone) relic of Saint Pelagia of Antioch. The relic is affixed to a red silk ground decorated by silver wire ornamentation and identified in Latin on a typeset cedula label as S. Pelagiae Vid..  (Saint Pelagia of Antioch, Widow) 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 Bishop Matteo Guido Sperandeo (†1987) Bishop of Calvi e Teano, Italy (1954–1984). The relic is accompanied by the original matching authentics document issued by Fr. Sperandeo in 1957. 

St. Pelagia of Antioch (Greek: Πελαγία), distinguished as Pelagia the Penitent and Pelagia the Harlot, was a Christian saint and hermit in the 4th or 5th century. Pelagia died as a result of extreme asceticism, which had emaciated her to the point she could no longer be recognized. According to Orthodox tradition, she was buried in her cell. Upon the discovery that the renowned monk had been a woman, the holy fathers tried to keep it a secret, but the gossip spread and her relics drew pilgrims from as far off as Jericho and the Jordan valley. Her feast day was celebrated on 8 October, originally in common with Saints Pelagia the Virgin and Pelagia of Tarsus.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 503-RSGSR
  • Size: 35 mm across
  • Age: ca. 1957
  • Origin: Campania, southern Italy
  • Materials: Metal, glass, silk, wax
  • Price: $835
  • Orthodox Cross
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