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1914 French silver reliquary monstrance with relics of the True Cross of Jesus Christ

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1914 French silver reliquary monstrance with relics of the True Cross of Jesus Christ

Large French cruciform reliquary monstrance made of laquered wood with a solid silver center cavity's framing housing a theca with particles from the wood from the True Cross of Jesus ChristThe relics are displayed inside of a double-crystal theca placed in the center of the reliquary and identified in Latin on a manuscript cedula label as Verae Crvsis (The True Cross). On its back, the cross is secured by an undisturbed seal of red Spanish wax with an imprint of a coat of arms of an unidentified Roman Catholic Cardinal. On the back, the base of the monstrance has a hidden compartment that reveals the original matching authentics documents issued by Cardinal Basilio Pompili (†1931), the Vicar General of Rome (1913–1931).

The True Cross is a significant Christian relic that is believed to contain physical remnants of the cross on which Jesus was crucified, according to Church tradition. In 326-28, Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, traveled to the Holy Land and discovered what was believed to be the hiding place of three crosses used in the crucifixion of Jesus and two thieves, St. Dismas and Gestas. A miracle then revealed which of the three was the True Cross.

Over time, fragments of the True Cross were broken up and distributed widely. In fact, Cyril of Jerusalem noted in 348 that the "whole earth is full of the relics of the Cross of Christ." Many of the small relics of the True Cross found in Europe were obtained from Constantinople after the city was sacked during the Fourth Crusade in 1204. These relics were divided by the present bishops and distributed among knights who then donated them to various churches and monasteries. Today, these fragments remain important symbols of faith for many Christians.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 2-RSGA-15
  • Size: 21 inches (54 cm) high
  • Age: ca. 1914
  • Origin: France / Vatican
  • Materials: Wood, silver, glass, silk, Spanish wax
  • Price: Price upon request
  • Silver
  • Orthodox Cross
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