Today, we take a look at 10 expensive Relics associated with Jesus Christ including pieces of the real cross and the spear of destiny.
10. The Shroud of Turin
Believed by some to be the burial cloth that Jesus was wrapped in when he was buried, the Shroud of Turin also bears an image that is rumored to be Jesus himself and as with many items on this list has been dubbed priceless.
The artifact is currently kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Northern Italy and while the image was personally approved by Pope Pope Pius XII in 1958, the Catholic Church has never voiced its opinions on the Shroud.
While subject to intense debate on the origins of the shroud, several popular publications have voiced arguments in favor of the relic is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus.
The image can be seen much more clearly in a black and white negative photo and specific details on the shroud are not easily observed with the naked eye.
There have been a series of tests run against the shroud including three radiocarbon dating tests in 1988 and several restorations.
It is kept in a temperature controlled environment under bulletproof glass in an air-tight case and is kept on an aluminum support.
9. The Crown of Thorns
Thought to have been worn by Jesus during events leading up to the crucifixion, the woven crown of thorns was used to cause him both pain and to mock him.
Several relics claiming to be the crown still exist to this day and are known to be located at holy places across Europe.
One such piece is the circlet of rushes of the crown of thorns which is currently located at Notre Dame Cathedral.
The relic is often displayed on the first Friday of each month and every Friday during the holy period of lent and was once owned by Louis IX.
Other pieces of this relic are located in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and at least four in the United Kingdom.
As security for a heavy loan of 13,134 gold pieces, the Notre Dame relic was originally in the hands of the Venetians.
8. The Holy Grail
Possibly one of the most well known and talked about relics from the life of Jesus was the Holy Grail, which he is said to have drunk from at the last supper.
The grail, which is also described as a bowl, dish or a stone in several publications, is thought to contain powers that provide both happiness and eternal youth.
In 2014 two Spanish researchers claimed to have found the grail and said it was located in a Spanish Church in the city of Lyon.
The grail has been hunted for many years by explorers and historians alike and was heavily featured in the film, Indiana Jones and the last crusade, where it was shown as a simple carved wooden cup.
The grail also features heavily in the legend of King Arthur and also one of its more famous films, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
7. The Spear of Destiny
Also known as the holy lance or the holy spear, this artifact was said to be a spear that was used to pierce the side of Jesus as he hung on the cross.
Since biblical times there have been four major relics that have claimed to be part of the spear of destiny and they are spread throughout Europe.
One such claim lies in Vienna where gold wrapped lance that was thought to have been made sometime in the seventh century and thought to contain one of the nails from the holy cross.
Two more claims are located in Armenia and Poland however these have been claimed to be either fake or non-existent.
One of the best-preserved relics sits beneath the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica, however, the Roman Catholic Church does not comment on its authenticity.
This spear is thought to have been split into two parts with the second larger piece lost sometime around 615 A.D.
The spear has featured in several modern-day publications including Constantine, with Keanu Reeves, and the second season of time-traveling superhero series Legends of Tomorrow.
6. The Veil of Veronica
Known simply as the Veronica, this Christian relic is thought to have been used by Saint Veronica to wipe the blood and sweat from the face of Jesus during the crucifixion.
During this moment its thought the face of Jesus appeared on the veil and has stayed there ever since.
The veil has been rumored to quench thirst, cure blindness, and even raise the dead and it’s thought that it was once offered to Roman Emperor Tiberius.
The veil was thought to have been displayed in Rome during the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Century, however, there are conflicting reports to this.
Some scholars claim that the veil was destroyed during the Sack of Rome in 1527, however, others claim it was stolen and some even claim the Veil still exists today in the Vatican.
Several relics claiming to be the original veil are in existence and they are located in Rome, Vienna, and Spain.
5. The Holy Nails
Like many of the other relics in this list, the holy nails have caused quite a large discussion among Christians.
One such nail we have already mentioned that was embedded in the Holy Lance that is located in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.
Another nail, or part of a nail, is said to be located in the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Cathedral of Monza although it is unclear when the nail became part of the crown.
Other nails or parts of them are thought to exist in churches or Cathedrals in Siena, Catiana, and Bamberg.
Another long debated topic is whether Jesus was crucified with three or four nails, and there is even a story from Socrates that two were cast into the Adriatic Sea.
4. The Holy Coat of Jesus
The holy coat, also known as the Holy Robe, Holy Tunic, Honorable Robe, and the Seamless coat of Jesus, is said to have been worn by him shortly before his death.
There is debate as to whether this relic still exists in the present day and there are several known places where it is thought to be kept.
It’s claimed that the robe was purchased from a soldier in Jerusalem and now lies beneath a cathedral in Georgia however other conflicting reports place the robe in the winter palace in Russia.
One passage from the Bible suggests the robe was initially going to be split up among the soldiers however once the coat was discovered to be seamless, they decided against it.
3. Relic of the Holy Blood
Located in the Basilica of the Holy Blood, this relic is a piece of cloth that is said to contain the blood of Christ that is more well known as the Relic of the Precious Blood.
Its said that Joseph of Arimathea preserved the Precious Blood after he had washed the body of Christ and legend says that the artifact was taken to Bruges during the Second Crusade.
The Basilica where the artifact is held consists of a lower and upper chapel with the relic being held in the latter part.
2. The Scala Sancta
Thought to be the steps that Jesus climbed during his trial, these large marble steps are located in the extraterritorial property of the Holy See in Rome, Italy.
There are 28 steps in total that are encased in a protective wooden framework and legend has it that St. Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, brought the Holy Stairs from Jerusalem to Rome circa AD 326.
The stairs can only be ascended on the knees and the stairs also have two other modern day staircases on either side for traditional use.
The stairs are decorated with magnificent frescos that underwent significant restoration in 2007 and it’s understood the steps were even visited by Charles Dickens in 1845.
1. Pieces of the “True Cross”
The term True Cross-links to the actual cross used in the Crucifixion of Jesus and there are known to be several pieces with a legitimate claim to the title scattered across Europe.
One such fragment is kept safe in the city of Rome while others lie in the countries of Israel, Spain, and Belgium.
Most of these small pieces of the True Cross are thought to have come from Constantinople after the city was captured and sacked by the Fourth Crusade in 1204.
The pieces are thought to have traveled widely throughout Europe with records of their Journey’s going back to 359 A.D
This photo shows a relic of the True Cross being carried in procession through the Piazza San Marco, Venice in the 15th Century.
Several other true cross fragments are thought to exist along with the ones previously mentioned and these are located in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris and in both Switzerland and Serbia.
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