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Documented reliquary theca with relics of St. Anthony the Great, Apostles Peter & Paul

Oval glass-fronted silver reliquary theca dating to the 18th-century housing first-class ex ossibus (of the bone) relics of three important saints: Saint Anthony the Great and the Apostles Peter & Paul. The relics are affixed to a blue silk background decorated with elaborate gilt paperolle and silver wire ornamentation and identified in Latin on manuscript cedulae labels as S. Antonii Abb. / S. Petri Apos. / S. Pauli Apos. (St. Anthony Abbot, St. Peter the Apostle, St. Paul the Apostle ). On the back,  the theca is secured with a perfectly preserved seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Monsignor Luigi Macchi (†1907), Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Via Lata (1889–1907). The relic is accompanied by a recertification document issued by Monsignor Macchi in 1900 and secured by his seal. The reliquary comes in it the original metal case that also contains the document.

Saint Anthony the Great (†356), was a Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a saint. He is distinguished from other saints named Anthony such as Anthony of Padua, by various epithets: Saint Anthony, Anthony of Egypt, Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, Anthony the Hermit, and Anthony of Thebes. For his importance among the Desert Fathers and to all later Christian monasticism, he is also known as the Father of All Monks. The biography of Anthony's life by Athanasius of Alexandria helped to spread the concept of Christian monasticism, particularly in Western Europe via its Latin translations. Anthony was among the first known to go into the wilderness (about AD 270), which contributed to his renown. Accounts of Anthony enduring supernatural temptation during his sojourn in the Eastern Desert of Egypt inspired the depiction of his temptations in visual art and literature. Anthony is appealed to against infectious diseases, particularly skin diseases. In the past, many such afflictions, including ergotism, erysipelas, and shingles, were referred to as Saint Anthony's fire. His feast day is celebrated on 17 January among the Orthodox and Catholic churches and on Tobi 22 in the Coptic calendar.

Saint Peter († between AD 64 and 68), was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Church. He is also venerated as the "Apostle of the Apostles" and the first pope of the Roman Catholic Church, ordained by Jesus in the "Rock of My Church" dialogue in Matthew 16:18. Christian churches all venerate Peter as a major saint and associate him with founding the Church of Antioch and later the Church in Rome.

Saint Paul († AD 67), was an Apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world and is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age founding several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. The Roman Martyrology assigns 29 June as the feast day of both Apostles, Peter and Paul.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 240-RSCR-4
  • Size: 43 x 38 mm ( 1 1/3 x 1 3/4 inches)
  • Age: theca ca. 18th century, re-certification & document ca. 1900
  • Origin: Rome, Italy
  • Materials: silver, glass, silk, paper, Spanish wax
  • Price: $2,375
  • Silver
  • Orthodox Cross
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