Sunday, April 7, 2013


Reliquaries were designed as receptacles for tiny bundles of sacred items such as handfuls of dust, pebbles from Biblical sites in the Holy Land, tiny fragments of the hair, clothing, and even bone of those deemed to be saints and martyrs by the Christian church. Wrapped in cloth and carefully labeled, these paltry, nondescript objects were transformed into things of eye-catching beauty and great prestige by the containers crafted to house them—reliquaries. 

The skull of Saint Agnes of Rome, Saint Agnes in Agony Church, Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy - LINK

The incorruptible husk of St John Vianney. It is believed that occasionally, the bodies of certain saints have been preserved by God from decay.  St. John Vianney died in 1859, and the confessor’s body was exhumed and found incorrupt in 1904.  His body remains on display in a glass casket above the main altar in the Basilica of Ars. - LINK

Reliquary displaying the bones of Blessed Mary Merkat at the chapel of the Cathedral of Nysa - LINK

Reliquary of St. Gaudenzio, a gift of Cardinal Mario Marefoschi. The body of St. Gaudenzio was extracted from the Cemetery of St. Callisto in Rome in 1755.Photo credit: L. Anzalone - LINK
Relic of Saint Andrzej Bobola - LINK

Bone venerated  in the Holy Church of Costorio, Italy - LINK

Believing this to be the skull of Mary Magdalene, French Catholics have encased it in gold at the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene, Saint-Maximin la Saint-Baume, France - LINK

Close-up of above - LINK

Guilded wood reliquary arms on display in the parish church of San Pedro de Ayerbe, Spain - LINK

Full skeletal relic dressed in regal costume - LINK

Reliquary for Thomas, 1835 in the cathedral in Hereford - LINK

No comments:

Post a Comment