The Most Revered Catholic Reliquaries in the World
For many centuries, faithful people have tried to find any objects related to the earthly life of Jesus Christ. It is not surprising, as many of them, according to the Christian tradition, have healing properties, hence the appearance of numerous online shops offering an abundant choice of religious artifacts for sale. Some of these holy items are of particular importance. Today, we will talk about two of the most worshipped Catholic reliquaries associated with the Son of God.
Most Venerated Catholic Reliquaries: The Holy Cross
The Holy Cross, or the Saint Cross, is the cross on which, according to Christian beliefs, Jesus Christ was crucified. It is one of the foremost miraculous relics. The legend says that Queen Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine I, found the cross in 326 AD. She ordered to destroy the temple built on the site of the Messiah’s crucifixion and to excavate three crosses – the one on which Savior was crucified, and two others on which the robbers were hanged. The legend holds that to determine on which of the crosses Jesus was nailed, all three of them were brought to a terminally ill woman who recovered as soon as she touched the Saint Cross.
Throughout the history of its existence, the Holy Cross was divided into numerous particles of different sizes, which are now preserved in plenty of temples and monasteries around the world. Besides, this deeply revered Catholic reliquary can be found at one of the most credible relics stores – The Russian Store. A study conducted in the 19th century showed that the total weight of all documented fragments of the Saint Cross is only about 2 kilograms.
The Veil of Veronica
The Veil of Veronica (pictured) is a miraculous image of Jesus Christ, which, according to the legend, appeared on the piece of cloth that Saint Veronica gave to Messiah when He carried His cross to Calvary. The history of this highly venerated piece of Catholic reliquaries is quite ambiguous since the first mention of it was found only in the medieval period. In the Middle Ages, many copies of the veil were created, until in 1600, Pope Clement VIII issued a ban on its replication.
As the tradition says, the original Veil of Veronica is kept in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It represents a thin piece of cloth, on which the image of Messiah’s face is slightly visible. The Vatican calls the Veil of Veronica the most valuable of Catholic reliquaries kept in Italy. In 1628, Pope Urban VIII issued a ban on the public display of the holy item. Since then, this wonderworking object has been put on display only once a year – on Passion Sunday. Its demonstration is limited, and the veil is shown from the high loggia of the pillar of St. Veronica.