Reverend Religious Relics Pieces of the True Cross

About pieces of the true cross, a sacred and reverend religious relic in Church history.



Pieces of the cross on which Christ was crucified abound; churches everywhere claim to have at least a splinter or two. Although such Protestant reformers as John Calvin ridiculed the authenticity of these bits of wood, Catholic defenders say that were all the pieces added together, they would still not exceed the total volume of what Christ carried up Calvary. Supposedly discovered first by St. Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I, the most famous relics of the cross reside on the altar of Rome's Santa Croce in Gerusalemme Basilica-along with a Crucifixion nail, two thorns from the crown, and the finger with which St. Thomas touched Jesus' side. In addition, the oldest (570 A.D.) treasure in the Basilica of St. Peter, the jeweled silver-gilt Cross of (Eastern Roman) Emperor Justin II, contains a relic of the True Cross in its center. A much less ornate processional cross is the 2 1/2-ft. Cross of Cong at Ireland's Clonmacnois monastery. Fashioned in 1123 of oak and overlaid with copper and brass, the Cross of Cong is one of hundreds of reliquaries for bits of the True Cross.

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