The reliquary

In Santa Maria Maggiore, above the altar in the confessio, is a reliquary which holds five pieces of wood. They are said to be from the Santa Culla, the Holy Manger that Christ was laid in at Bethlehem. Pope Theodore (642-649) is said to have brought them to Rome shortly after the fall of Jerusalem in 638. The reliquary is made of gold and silver, with a figure of the Holy Child on top. The container has several crystal windows through which the relics can be seen.

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