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Important reliquary with large relics of the True Cross of Jesus Christ

Opulent 18th-century Baroque reliquary monstrance of giltwood decorated with Arma Christi (Instruments of Passion) and housing very large and important relics from the wood from the True Cross of Jesus ChristThe relics are displayed in a  glass-fronted cruciform cavity located in the center of the monstrance and identified on a paper cedula label as  De Ligno S. Crucis DNJC  (of the wood from the Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ). On the back, the cavity is secured by four seals of red wax with a perfectly preserved imprint of a coat of arms of Antonio Paganini, Vicar General to Giuseppe Saporiti (+1767), Archbishop of Genoa (1746-1767). Fit for public veneration.

The True Cross is the name for physical remnants which, by the Church tradition, are believed to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, traveled to the Holy Land in 326–28, where she discovered the hiding place of three crosses that were believed to be used at the crucifixion of Jesus and of two thieves, St. Dismas and Gestas, executed with him, and a miracle revealed which of the three was the True Cross. Fragments of the Cross were broken up, and the pieces were widely distributed; in 348, in one of his Catecheses, Cyril of Jerusalem remarked that the "whole earth is full of the relics of the Cross of Christ." Most of the very small relics of the True Cross in Europe came from Constantinople after the city was captured and sacked in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade. They were carved up by the present bishops and divided with other very precious relics among the knights; who, after their return to the homeland, donated them to churches and monasteries.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 189-RSCR-18
  • Size: Reliquary is 37 cm (14 1/2 in) high
  • Age: ca. Mid-18th century
  • Origin: Italy
  • Materials: Gilt wood
  • Price: SOLD!
  • Orthodox Cross
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