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1776 Documented reliquary with relics of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Fancy-shaped glass-fronted bronze pendant reliquary theca housing ex Pallio (of a coat) relic of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The relic is affixed to a red silk ground surrounded by silver wire and gilt paperolle ornamentation and identified in Latin on a manuscript cedula label as Ex Pallio S. Jos.  (of a coat of Saint Joseph).  On the back, the theca is secured with a seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Father Francesco Pettorelli Lalatta (†1788), Bishop of Parma (1760-1788). The reliquary is accompanied by the original matching authentics document issued by Bishop Lalatta in 1776.

The earliest records of a formal devotional following for Saint Joseph date to the year 800 and reference to him as nutritor Domini (educator/guardian of the Lord). Together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus, Joseph is one of the three members of the Holy Family. Of all the saints in Christendom, the only ones of whom we possess no ex ossibus (from the bone) relics are the Blessed Virgin Mary and her husband Saint Joseph. This lack of bodily relics is attributed to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven body and soul, which is one of the great Marian Dogmas of the Church. The same reasoning is applied to lack of bodily relics of Saint Joseph, Virgin-Father of Christ and Chaste Spouse of Mary. Saint Joseph is the patron saint of a number of cities, regions and countries, among them the Americas, Canada, China, Croatia, Mexico, Korea, Austria, Belgium, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as of families, fathers, expectant mothers (pregnant women), travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers, and working people in general.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 284-RSCR-6
  • Size: 63 x 38 mm
  • Age: ca. 1776
  • Origin: Parma, Italy
  • Materials: bronze, glass, silk, paper, Spanish wax
  • Price: $3,375
  • Orthodox Cross
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