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1821 Documented reliquary theca with relics of St. Brigid of Kildare, Patron Saint of Ireland

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1821 Documented reliquary theca with relics of St. Brigid of Kildare, Patron Saint of Ireland

Oval glass-fronted brass reliquary theca housing the first-class Ex Ossibus (of the bone) relic of Saint Brigid of Ireland. The relic is affixed to a silk ground surrounded by gilt paperolle and silver wire ornamentation and identified in Latin on a manuscript cedula label as S. Birgittae V. (Saint Brigid, Virgin).  On the back, under the protective cap, the theca is secured with a seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Monsignor Carlo Francesco Maria Caselli O.S.M. (†), Bishop of Parma (1804–1828). The relic is accompanied by the original matching authentics document issued and sealed by the order of Cardinal Caselli in 1810.

Saint Brigid of Kildare or Saint Brigid of Ireland (†525) is the patroness saint of Ireland, and one of its three national saints along with Patrick and Columba. According to medieval Irish hagiographies, she was an abbess who founded the important abbey of Kildare as well as several other convents of nuns. Brigid was the daughter of a chieftain and a slave woman, and was raised in a druid's household before becoming a consecrated virgin. She is patroness of poetry, learning, healing, protection, blacksmithing, livestock, and dairy production. In her honor, a perpetual fire was kept burning at Kildare for centuries. Her feastday is celebrated on February 1.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 36-281-RSCR-225
  • Size: 32 x 27 mm
  • Age: ca. 1821
  • Origin: Parma, Italy
  • Materials: brass, glass, silk, paper, Spanish wax
  • Price: $3,750
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