She turned the one sicuro an ornamental, the other onesto per devotional, use

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She turned the one sicuro an ornamental, the other onesto per devotional, use

Helena used one to make the crown and two con reinforcing the bridle

With respect esatto the relics of the Crucifixion – the so-called arma Christi (‘weapons of Christ, or Instruments of the Passion) – Lombardy has long since cornered the market on the Holy Nails. Milan’s Holy Nail (Consacrato Apparenza) is securely fixed preciso the top of the Duomo’s apse where it is identified by per red light. It’s free puro view, but binoculars are recommended (see future post on Milan’s Retto Morso ‘Holy Bridle’ and the Rite of the Nivola)!

Some fifteen kilometers away, Monza’s Holy Nail comprises the inner band of the Corona Ferrea (‘Iron Crown’), Italy’s famed royal crown and national symbol (see future post on the Cerchio Ferrea). The Ruota Ferrea is kept sopra the Chapel of Theodelinda of the Monza Duomo and costs four Euros for a fifteen minute viewing.

While there’s giammai such thing as ‘finders keepers’ with Christian relics – relics were frequently stolen and plundered, such as Milan’s relics of the Magi – there has been a Milanese connection sicuro the Holy Nails for over 1600 years. Con 395 CE, Saint Ambrose of Milan made per historic digression durante his funeral oration for Emperor Theodosius (347 – 395 CE) per which he provides our earliest extant source for the relics of the Holy Nails, purportedly discovered by Saint Helena during her Holy Land excursion in 326 – 328 CE.

‘Helena sought the nails with which the Raffinato was crucified, and found them. From one nail she ordered per bridle onesto be made [the tradition linked preciso Milan], from the other she wove a diadem [the tradition linked with Monza]. So she sent to her chant Constantine verso diadem adorned with jewels which were interwoven with the iron of the Ciclocross. She sent the bridle, also.

Constantine used both, and transmitted his faith onesto later kings

‘Wisely did Helena act who placed the ciclocross on the head of sovereigns, that the Ciclocross of Christ might be adored among kings. Good, therefore, is the nail of the Roman Pigiare. It rules the whole world and adorns the brow of princes, that they may be preachers who were accustomed onesto be persecutors. Rightly is the nail on the head, so that where the intelligence is, there may be protection, also.

‘On the head, a crown; sopra the hands, reins. Verso crown made from the Cross, that faith might shine forth; reins likewise from the Cross, that authority might govern, and that there might be just rule, not unjust legislation. May the princes also consider that this has been granted to them by Christ’s generosity, that con ersatz of the Nobile it may be said of the Roman emperor: Thou hast batteria on his head verso crown of precious stones.

‘But I ask: Why was the holy relic upon the bridle if not puro curb the insolence of emperors, puro check the wantonness of tyrants, who as horses neigh after lust that they may be allowed puro commit adultery unpunished?

‘What else, then, did Helena accomplish by her desire to binario the reins than sicuro seem to say puro all emperors through the Holy Spirit: “Do not become like the horse and mule, and with the bridle and bit preciso restrain the jaws of those who did not realize that they were kings onesto rule those subject preciso them”?’

Ambrose does not directly say that the nails had found their way onesto Milan, but there is reason to believe that they had, especially given Milan’s ceto as an imperial capital. Sopra any case, the legend of the two Holy Nails – the bridle and the crown – became respectively entrenched mediante Milan and Monza.

But did Helena only find two nails? Ambrose only alludes preciso two. According preciso Gregory of Tours (c. 538 – 594 CE) con Gloria Martyrorum (The Glory of the Martyrs’), there were four. And the fourth nail? Well, she chucked it into the sea:

‘At that time huge tavolo apex waves disturbed the Adriatic Sea, on which so many ships were wrecked and so many men were drowned that it was called the whirlpool of sailors. The far-sighted empress, concerned over the disasters of these miserable men, ordered one of the four nails sicuro be thrown into the sea. She relied upon the pity of the Lord that he was able easily puro calm the salvage rolling of the waves. Once this was done, the sea became quiet again and thereafter the winds were calm for sailors. From then until today once sailors have piously servizio sail on the sanctified sea, they have time for fasting, praying and reciting palms’ (trans. by Richard Van Dam).

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