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1803 Vatican documented reliquary theca with relics of St. James the Less, the Apostle

Oval silvered brass glass-fronted pendant reliquary theca housing the first-class ex ossibus (of the bone) relics of Saint James the Less, the Apostle. The relic is affixed to the background of green silk ground surrounded by silver wire ornamentation and identified in Latin on a bi-color manuscript cedula label as S. Jacobi Min. (St. James the Less [Apostle]). On the back, under a protective cap, the theca is secured with a seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint with a coat of arms of Cardinal Giulio Maria Cardinal della Somaglia (†1830), Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria sopra Minerva and Vicar General of the Vatican under Pope Pius VII. The relic is accompanied by the original matching authentics document issued by Monsignor della Somaglia in 1803.

Saint James, son of Alphaeus was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, appearing under this name in all three of the Synoptic Gospels' lists of the apostles. He is often identified with James the Less and is commonly known by that name in church tradition. He is also labeled "the minor", "the little", "the lesser", or "the younger", according to translation. He appears only four times in the New Testament, each time in a list of the twelve apostles. His feast day is celebrated on May 3 (Roman Catholic Church) and 9 October (Eastern Orthodox Church). He is a Holy Patron of apothecaries; druggists; dying people; Frascati, Italy; fullers; milliners; Monterotondo, Italy; pharmacists; and Uruguay.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 59-RSMBR-35
  • Size: 26 x 24 mm
  • Age: ca. 1803
  • Origin: Vatican
  • Materials: silvered brass, silver, glass, silk, paper, Spanish wax
  • Price: $2,275
  • Orthodox Cross
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