Well before the Marian apparition at Fatima in 1917, the faithful prayed to be saved from the fires of hell. The Fatima prayers invoke Jesus, whereas this wonderful 19C Catholic medal calls on Sancta Maria (in Latin) for her assistance in escaping this fate.
Tall and glowing with traces with verdigris, this religious treasure features a seated Madonna with a rather mature-looking Jesus on her lap. I don't know who the two male figures are but since they both have halos, they must be blessed in some way. One holds what appears to be a cup; the other a crown. The details are simplistic yet beautiful, especially under magnification, with clear facial expressions, sumptuous folds in the garments, and fancy ornamentation in the top arch.
On the verso is a gorgeous rendering of the reliquary of the "Columna Flagellationis D.N.J. Christi." Here too it's worth viewing under magnification. The reliquary contains a reputed piece of the column where Christ was scourged. Originally venerated in the ancient Church of the Apostles in Jerusalem, a woman named Egeria noted in her diary (381-384) that the synagogue held "the column at which the Lord was scourged."
In the 11th century the column was brought to Constantinople (now Istanbul) and was relocated again in 1223, when it was brought to Rome by Cardinal Giovanni Colonna. This reliquary is now housed among the treasures of the unassuming Church of Santa Prassede (St. Praxed). Despite its exceptional examples of Byzantine mosaics, the Church of St. Praxed is often overlooked by visitors in favor of the nearby Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore. The column is placed inside a shrine reliquary in bronze, executed in 1898 and designed by Duilio Cambellotti.
Simply designed and beautifully executed, this antique medal contains powerful imagery and symbolism worthy of contemplation. Whether you attach it to a larger rosary, wear it with other devotionals or add it to your collection, it's a wonderful addition to your devotional life. Comes boxed and ready for gift-giving.
Weight – 2 grams
Dimensions – 1-1/4 x 3/4 inches
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