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1919 documented reliquary with relics of the True Cross of Jesus Christ

An oval crystal-fronted silver pendant reliquary theca housing precious relics of the Wood from the True Cross of Jesus Christ. The sizable relics are displayed in a cruciform shape on the ground of red silk surrounded by gilt paperolle and silver wire ornamentation and identified in Latin on a typeset cedula label as De Ligno Crucis D.N.J.C. (Of the Wood from the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ).  On the back, under a protective cap, the reliquary is secured with a seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint with a coat of arms of Monsignor St. Guido Maria Conforti (†1931), Bishop of Parma (1907-1931), who himself was canonized as a Saint in 2011 by Pope John Paul II on account of his life of heroic virtue. The relic is accompanied by the original matching authentics document issued by Monsignor Conforti in 1919.

The True Cross is the name for physical remnants that, 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 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#: 282-RSCR-7
  • Size: 33 x 28 mm
  • Age: ca. 1919
  • Origin: Parma, Italy
  • Materials: Silver, crystal, silk, paper, Spanish wax
  • Price: (RESERVED)
  • Silver
  • Orthodox Cross
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