Relics are historical testimonies, objects of worship or proofs of faith. The canonical law demands that every altar needs to have a relic of a saint or a martyr. It is a way of remembering the masses celebrated by the first Christians, who asked for the intercession of the saints on their graves.
Jesus’ relics are the most valued and worshipped ones. The Titulus Crucis of Rome, fragments of the Cross (lignum crucis), the Holy Grail of Valencia, the Shroud of Turin and the Holy Sudarium of Oviedo are the most relevant relics of the Passion of Jesus.
The possible inscription of the Cross of Christ is kept in the Roman Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, which was built by Saint Helena. It is a rectangular piece of wood in which there are inscriptions in Hebrew, Greek and Latin. This relic has been studied by the researcher Michael Hasemann.
There are two relics of the Cross of Christ in Spain, specifically in Liébana (Cantabria) and Caravaca (Murcia). The Holy Grail is in the Cathedral of Valencia. It is a goblet made of eastern carnelian agate which dates from the first century before Christ. A base was added to the cup in the Middle Ages. A group of researchers of the Spanish Centre of Sindonology have elaborated a multidisciplinary study of the grail.
Fragment of the Title of the Cross of Rome.
Reconstruction of the original text of Titulus Christi by J. Marini.
Reliquary of the Titulus Crucis. Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem in Rome (Italy).
Joan de Joanes. The last supper (1562). Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.
Holy Grail. Cathedral of Valencia.
The Lignum Crucis of Liébana is the biggest relic of the Cross which has been admitted by the Church.
Cross of Caravaca (Murcia)
Saint Helena supervises the excavations in order to find the True Cross. Jan Van Eyck. Miniature of ‘Hours of Notre Dame’ (toward 1424) Turin (Italy).