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Relics: Nail and Plaque

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Relics: Nail and Plaque
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Photo Comments

Here is a detail of two of the precious relics venerated in The chapel of the Relics of the Passion, also called the "Sanctuary of the Cross" by pope John Paul II.

On the left is the Reliquary of the Nail.  It is believed that St. Helen brought this relic to Rome from Jerusalem

On the right is the Reliquary of the Titulus.  This is said to contain the wooden plaque (titulus) that Pilate had placed on the cross that said "Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews" in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin (John 19:19–21; Matt 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38).  It was discovered hidden in one of the walls of the old church during the rebuilding in 1492.  It is thought that it was brought from Jerusalem to Rome between 570 and 614.

The inscription was studied in 2003 by Maria–Luisa Rigato, and she seems to conclude that an original context from Jerusalem is possible.  A study of the languages and shape of the letters on the titulus are consistent with the Gospel accounts!