A writer in the Twentieth Century (1892, article ROME) says: “Some of the most astounding relics are officially shown in Rome, and publicly adored by the highest dignitaries of the Christian Church, with all the magnificence of ecclesiastical pomp and ritual.” The following are mentioned:
A BOTTLE OF THE VIRGIN'S MILK.
THE CRADLE AND SWADDLING CLOTHES of the infant Jesus.
THE CROSS OF THE PENITENT THIEF.
THE CROWN OF THORNS.
THEFINGEROF THOMAS, with which he touched the wound in the side of Jesus.
HAIR OF THE VIRGIN MARY.
THE HANDKERCHIEF OF ST. VERON'ICA, on which the face of Jesus was miraculously pictured.
HAY OF THE MANGER in which the infant Jesus was laid.
HEADS OF PETER, PAUL, AND MATTHEW.
THE INSCRIPTION set over the cross by the order of Pilate.
NAILS used at the crucifixion.
PIECE OF THE CHEMISE of the Virgin Mary.
THE SILVER MONEY given to Judas by the Jewish priests, which he flung into the Temple, and was expended in buying the potters' field as a cemetery for strangers.
THE TABLE on which the soldiers cast lots for the coat of Jesus.
Brady mentions many others, some of which are actually impossibilities, as, for example, a rib of the Verbum caro factum, a vial of the sweat of St. Michael when he contended with Satan, some of the rays of the star which guided the wise men. (See Clavis Calendara, p. 240.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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