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1846 Documented reliquary theca with relics of the Tunic of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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1846 Documented reliquary theca with relics of the Tunic of the Blessed Virgin Mary

An opulent Baroque silver reliquary decorated by intricate flowers and an image of the Holy Spirit as a dove containing an oval silver glass-fronted theca housing a Precious Rrelic of the Tunic of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The relic is affixed to the background of red silk surrounded by silver wire ornamentation and titled in Latin on a manuscript cedula label as B.V.M. (the Blessed Virgin Mary).  On the back, the theca is secured with a seal of red Spanish wax bearing an imprint of a coat of arms of Monsignor Placido Maria Tadini O.C.D. (†), Archbishop of Genova (1832-1847). The reliquary is accompanied by the original matching authentics document issued by Cardinal Tadini in 1846 where the relic is described in Latin as Ex Tunica B. Mariae Virginis (from the Tunic of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

According to tradition, La Sainte Chemise, often translated into English as the Holy Tunic, was the undergarment that the Virgin Mary was believed to have been wearing while she gave birth to the baby Jesus. The ecclesiastics emphasized that she had worn it next to her bare skin and it aroused fascinating attention. It was said to have been given to Emperor Charlemagne by the Empress Irene of Byzantium, who wanted to win favor with him, and presented to Chartres by his grandson Charles the Bald in 876. During the French Revolution, the Holy Chemise was taken away and torn to pieces, but a part of it was recovered afterward and is kept in the ​Chartres ​cathedral.  

Additional Info

  • ID#: 296-RSCR-7
  • Size: 90 x 60 mm (3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches)
  • Age: ca. 1846
  • Origin: Genoa, Italy
  • Materials: silver, glass, islk, paper, Spanish wax
  • Price: Price upon request
  • Silver
  • Orthodox Cross
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