Religious and Church art on
Fine Religious antique, coming from Europe
Religious and churchart Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Policy prohibits the sale of human remains and requires a disclosure of what the Relics are: These Relics are a piece of hair of the Saint and/or a piece of cloth worn by the Saint, both of which are allowed by Policy. They are sacred and devotional Relics of the Church. If you have any further specific questions regarding these Holy Relics, please email me.
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True Cross reliquary
This is a old reliquary with relic from True Cross. Diameter is 1.2 inch. Relic, waxseal and thread correct in place. Shipping with Fedex Economy is 25$.
Of all the relics sought by Catholic faithful, none was the cause of more suffering, death and destruction than the “True Cross,” the tree upon which Christ was hung. As most who read this board likely know, crucifixion was the Roman Empire’s preferred method of dealing with offenders who were not Roman citizens. It was a horrible punishment that inflicted unimaginable suffering as it slowly brought the life of the victim to an agonizing end. I imagine the True Cross was desired by Christians because it was so closely associated with the Savior’s final moments and atoning sacrifice. Also, it had been stained by his sweat, blood and lymph. As it is known today, the True Cross is a part of the cross used to execute Christ on Golgotha. It is encased in gold and studded with precious stones – a far cry from the simplicity of the Gospel preached by Jesus and the Apostles, and much closer to the golden calf crafted by Aaron and the fickle Hebrew people while Moses was in the presence of God receiving the Decalogue. To trace the story of the True Cross through the pages of Roman Catholic tradition and hagiography, we must first travel to ancient Britain in the latter half of the third century AD. A Roman army under Constantius Chlorus was holding the land for the Empire. Now in that time, the Roman political situation was quite unsettled. It came to pass that Constantius was made a “Caesar.” With that appointment, he was compelled to cast off his legal concubine, a British barmaid called Helena, in order to take the Emperor’s step-daughter to wife. Constantius had a son by Helena, Flavius Valerius Costantinus, born in Britain around 272AD. Constantine, who received little in the way of education, took up soldiering early in life. He proved his valor in wars against Egypt and Persia. When Constantius died, his troops made his son Caesar and but a year and a half later, Emperor. A dutiful son, Emperor Constantine commanded that the Empire honor Helena as was due the mother of the sovereign. It was about at this time that Helena, now 63 years old, converted to the Christian faith. Constantine, together with his ally Licinius, eager to consolidate Christian support in all provinces, issued the Edict of Milan, extending religious toleration to all religions and ordering the restoration of Christian property seized during the persecutions. This historic declaration , in effect, conceded the defeat of paganism. After years of striving, Constantine defeated and eventually killed Licinius and became sole emperor. He then declared himself a Christian and invited his subjects to join him in embracing the new faith. Many historians question the sincerity of his “conversion,” calling it a consummate stroke of political wisdom. Certainly, he seldom conformed to the ceremonial requirements of his new faith following his conversion. His letters to Christian bishops make it clear that he really was not concerned over the theological differences which so agitated Christendom. Throughout his reign, he treated bishops
as political aides. He summoned them, presided over their councils and agreed to enforce whatever opinions their majority might formulate. When he moved the seat of his authority to Constantinople, he supported many Christian projects, including financing his mother’s Christian philanthropies. Constantine sent his mother to the Holy Land, where she was to search out the cross upon which Christ had been crucified some 300 years earlier. A former barbarian who had spent most of her life following Rome’s legions, Helena knew how to get what she wanted. She convened a group of Rabbin from various places throughout Palestine and demanded they tell her where the cross was hidden, under threat of torture. These men either could not or would not tell and she ordered them burned alive. At that, they delivered up a man whom they promised could take her to where the “True Cross” lay hidden. This man, named Judas, also refused to cooperate, so the lady who became known as “Saint Helena” sentenced him to death by starvation. After only six days without food, Judas took her to the place where he said the cross which had borne the dying Jesus was hidden – on the site of a pagan temple dedicated to Venus. Now, don’t you have to wonder, just a little bit, why the Jewish religious leaders, who were so concerned that the followers of Jesus might try to sneak His body our of the tomb in the dark of night that they demanded a full guard of Roman soldiers watch over it would have not have been more thorough in their treatment of the tree upon which Messiah died? After all, if we are to believe the legend, these Jews removed the True Cross, apparently along with at least two others and hid them away from the cultish followers of Jesus. Sheesh! If they didn’t want the Christians to have the cross as a relic, why hide it? Why not simply burn it up and scatter the ashes? But even if they indeed did bury the cross, why would they continue to tell folks, during the following 300 years, where it was hidden? These questions are worth considering. Catholic mythology tells us that the searchers offered a prayer, which was immediately followed by a movement of the earth. A perfume filled the air and miraculously converted Judas. Helena had the temple destroyed and set Judas to digging. When he had dug down about 20 feet or so, he discovered three crosses, which he placed before the Emperor’s mother. Okay. Now Helena had the “True Cross” but how to tell which of the three was THE one? Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem, came up with a suggestion: why not test the three relics to see which had miraculous powers? They used a sick woman in their testing. She was made to lie on each of the three crosses in turn; the one that healed her would be the True Cross. It was not until she lay on the third cross that she was miraculously healed. This, then, had to be the cross upon which Jesus had been sacrificed. A letter of Paulinus to Severus, incorporated into the Breviary of Paris, declares that Helena herself came up with the idea for discovering which was the True Cross. She had the body of a dead man exhumed and brought to her. She then touched his body with each of the crosses and, wonder of wonders, when the wood of the third cross made contact, the man was restored to life. In another tradition – Rome has so many traditions – Ambrose claims that the “titulus” was still on the real cross, which would, I imagine, obviate the necessity for any validating tests. If one thinks a bit upon this tale, it becomes apparent that, in common with so many other stories concerning ancient “saints” and things, that despite the intervening
centuries, there often seemed to be someone who would know just where to look for the desired object. In the case of the True Cross, Judas knew that it was buried, along with two other crosses, some 20 feet below the temple of Venus which likely had been constructed before he was born. Also, one considers the soldiers of Rome to have been practical men, certainly unlikely to go to the trouble and expense of making crosses for one-time use, after which they were discarded. After all, they used a lot of crosses in their work to defend the Empire. When Rome’s legions put down the slave rebellion led by Spartacus, in the year 71 BC, they lined the Appian Way from Capua to Rome with 6,000 crosses bearing former members of the rebel army. Emperor Augustus boasted he had captured 30,000 runaway slaves and that he had crucified every one of them who was not claimed (W.S. Davis, “Influence of Wealth in Imperial Rome,” New York, (1913) p. 211). When Varus, governor of Syria, took his troops to Palestine (6 AD) to put down one of the innumerable Jewish rebellions, he crucified 2000 rebels. In putting down the Jewish rebellion which resulted in the destruction of the Temple, so many Jews were crucified that Josephus was prompted to write that “the multitude of these was so great that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses were wanting for the bodies.” (Josephus, ix, 3) Josephus informs us that 1,197,000 Jews died in the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD, but Tacitus says it was no more than 600,000 (Tacitus, v. 13). With all the crosses used during the Roman dealings with Palestine and the three hundred year interval between the crucifixion of our Lord and Helena’s serendipitous discovery, does it not seem likely that what she was given was just any old cross, made “holy” more by her eagerness to lay hands on the True Cross than by any blessings attributable to the Lord’s passion? Certainly, the methods she employed to locate the cross would have brought no joy to our Lord. After raising churches at the site and in Bethlehem and on the Mount of Olives, Helena returned to Constantinople, apparently taking part of the True Cross to her son and leaving the rest in Jerusalem, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Helena died in Rome in either 326 or 328AD. According to Orthodox tradition, Constantine put off receiving baptism until the last days of his life, in accordance with the custom of that time. When he sensed the approach of death, we are told he received this great mystery with reverence and peacefully died during prayer on the 21st of May, 337 AD. Relics of the True Cross on which Christ was crucified were quickly and widely distributed after its legendary discovery in the fourth century by Saint Helena, mother of Constantine, the first Christian Roman emperor. Throughout the medieval period, such relics were housed in precious containers and venerated by the faithful
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