is an authentic relic and original! It is a tiny splinter from the True Cross, of Jesus Christ, imbedded in the Papal Seal of Pope Leo XIII.Pope Leo XIII (March 2, 1810 --July 20, 1903, born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci , was the 256th Pope of the RomanCatholic Church, reigning from 1878 to 1903, succeeding Pope Pius IX, Reigning until the age of 93, he was the oldest pope, and had the third longest papal reign, behind only his predecessor and John Paul II. He is known as the "Pope of the Working Man". The True Cross is the name for physical remnants traditionally believed to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. The seal is 1 5/" by 1 3/4". Inside frame is 3 3/4" by 4 3/4" - Outside frame measures 5 1/2" by 6 3/4". Frame is in good condition with a few chips (nothing serious) some dust and specks from ageing. According to the writing on the back, it is from the Vatican form one gentleman to another who died in 1902.
The wax seal (good condition) has a lamb (I believe) on it with a halo, carrying a flag with a cross and t is writing all around the edges in Latin. I see the words: BENEDICTIS and VONT MAX.? The other words are clear, but my magnifiers aren't strong enough to read. "According to a number of early writers, the Empress Helena, (c.255- c.330 AD), mother of Constantine the first Christian Emperor of Rome ... read more