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Theca with documented first-class ex ossibus relics of Saint Nicholas of Myra and Saint Theresa of Ávila

Oval glass-fronted silver theca housing first-class ex ossibus relics of Saint Nicholas of Myra and Saint Theresa of Ávila affixed onto a background of gold silk and surrounded by paperolle ornamentation. The relics are labeled on a paper cedulae in 18th-century ductus as Ex Oss. S. Nicholai Ep. Mi. / Ex Oss. Theresia Virginis (of the bone of Saint Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra / of the bone of Saint Theresa, Virgin). The theca is secured by a seal of red Spanish wax with a coat of arms of fr. Giovanni Luca Solari (†1810), Bishop of Brugnato and comes with the original matching document signed by him in the capacity of Vicar General to the Archbishop of Genua and dated 1791. 

Saint Nicholas († ca. 345) was buried in a church in Myra (modern day Turkey) and his tomb by the Middle Ages already became a popular place of Christian pilgrimage. In May of 1087, under the pretext of preserving them from the Muslim Turks who occupied Myra, relics of the Saint were stolen by Italian merchants from the place of his burial and transported to Italy where they are still kept in a crypt of a specially built Basilica of St. Nicholas in Bari. According to legend, when Italian merchants opened the sarcophagus, spicy smell of myrrh spread from the relics of Saint. Merchants from Bari managed to take only some of the relics of the Saint, leaving many smaller fragments in the grave. These fragments were collected by Venetian sailors during the First Crusade (1096-1099) and taken to Venice, where they were kept in the church of St. Nicholas. Modern scientific research in Bari and Venice proved that fragments in two cities belonged to the same skeleton. A small part of the relics is still kept in Turkey in the Church of St. Nicholas. 

Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus († 1582), was a prominent Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, author during the Counter-Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. She was canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV, and in 1970 was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI. She is a Holy Patron of bodily ills; headaches; chess; loss of parents; people in need of grace; people in religious orders; people ridiculed for their piety; sick people; and sickness.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 34-DDCR-5 *
  • Size: 40 x 35 mm
  • Age: ca. 1791
  • Price: SOLD!
  • Orthodox Cross

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