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Reliquary theca with a relic of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals

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Reliquary theca with a relic of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals

Oval glass-fronted silvered brass pendant reliquary theca housing a precious first-class ex cineribus corpus (of the bodily ashes) relic of Saint Francis of Assisi.  The relic is affixed to a ground of red-colored silk, surrounded by silver wire paper ornamentation, and identified in Latin on a typeset cedula label as Ex Ciner. Cor. // S. Franc. Assis. (of the bodily ashes of Saint Francis of Assisi). 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 an unidentified Roman Catholic Order under a Papal coat of arms.

Saint Francis of Assisi (†1226), was an Italian Roman Catholic friar and preacher who founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women's Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis, and the Custody of the Holy Land. According to Christian tradition, in 1224 he received the stigmata during the apparition of a Seraphic angel in religious ecstasy, which would make him the first person in Christian tradition to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Pope Gregory IX canonized Francis on 16 July 1228. Along with Catherine of Siena, he was designated patron saint of Italy. He later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and it became customary for churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on or near his feast day of 4 October.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 53-RSCR124-7
  • Size: 26 x 24 mm
  • Age: ca. 19th century
  • Origin: Rome (?), Italy
  • Materials: brass, glass, silk, silver, paper, Spanish wax
  • Price: $995
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