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1735 Vatican documented reliquary with relics of St. Susanna of Rome, Martyr

Large oval glass-fronted brass reliquary theca housing the first-class ex ossibus (of a bone) relic of St. Susanna of Rome, Martyr. A substantial relic is affixed to the center of the theca surrounded by gilt paperolle ornamentation and identified in Latin on manuscript cedula label as S. Susannae Mart. (Saint Susanna, Martyr).  On the back, the theca is secured with a seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Monsignor Tommaso Cervioni O.E.S.A. (†1742), Titular Bishop of Phorphyrion and the Sacristan of the Apostolic Palaces. The relic is accompanied by the original matching authentics document issued and sealed by the order of Monsignor Cervioniin 1735.

Saint Susanna of Rome (†295) was a Christian martyr of the Diocletianic Persecution. She was the daughter of Saint Gabinus of Rome and niece of Pope Caiuson. For her refusal to marry a pagan relative of the Emperor Diocletian, she was arrested as a Christian. At the command of Diocletian, she was beheaded in her father's house, which was later turned by the Christians into a church. The church became known as Sancta Susanna ad duas domos. In addition to her main shrine in Rome, a church exists in Santiago de Compostela dedicated to her; it was first built in the early twelfth century after her relics were translated from Braga to Compostela. Susanna is venerated as the co-patron of the city. Her feast day is on 11 August in the Roman Martyrology, but since 1969 her veneration has been limited to the Church of Santa Susanna in Rome.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 256-RSCR-5
  • Size: 57 x 48 mm
  • Age: ca. 1735
  • Origin: Vatican
  • Materials: Brass, glass, paper, Spanish wax
  • Price: $2,850
  • Orthodox Cross
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