Relic of the Manger
Italy is full of relics. It’s said that there are enough splinters of the true cross to build a battleship. The Catholic Church was criticized for these relics during the Reformation of the 1500s but there are still a lot of them in churches up and down Italy today. Whether or not they are the objects they are supposed to represent, they are all ancient objects that have been venerated as such for centuries and so are important historical artefacts.
If you look carefully at the photo you will notice some pieces of wood in the gold casket. These planks, preserved in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, are considered to be pieces of the manger that Jesus was laid in after his birth.
This is the last entry in the Luca’s Italy Advent Calendar. Tomorrow is Christmas Day. May I take this opportunity to give you all my best wishes for the season whether you celebrate or not.