The wooden relics were set into the Welsh Cross which will be carried in procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey on 6 May.
Two fragments of the “True Cross”, believed to be the one used in the crucifixion of Jesus, are the Pope’s gift to Charles III, head of the Anglican Church, for his coronation, reports the online news paper Vocea Europei
The relics – one centimeter piece and the other five millimeters – were set behind a pink crystal crucifix gemstone, in recycled silver, supplied by the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, South Wales. They will take part in the ceremony of the coronation on 6 May: the Cross of Wales will in fact be carried in procession to Westminster Abbey. On the back are engraved the words of St. David’s last sermon: “Be joyful. Have faith. Do the little things.”
The Holy See has given the two fragments of the relic of the True Cross to England as an ecumenical sign. They were kept in the hall of the Lipsanoteca of the Vatican Museums.
The British press underlines the importance of this gesture which will certainly go down in the history of the royal family. After the coronation the Cross with the relics embedded will be officially donated to the Church of Wales at a service and its future use will be shared between the Anglican and Catholic Churches.
Welcoming the gift on behalf of the Church in Wales , Archbishop Andrew said: “We are honored that Your Majesty has chosen to mark our centenary with a cross that is both beautiful and symbolic.”
Speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church of Wales , the archbishop of Cardiff, mgr. Mark O’Toole, said: “With a sense of profound joy we embrace this Cross, kindly donated by King Charles, and containing a relic of the True Cross, generously donated by the Holy See.”
The United Kingdom Ambassador to the Holy See, Chris Trott, also expressed his gratitude: “We are deeply moved and grateful to Pope Francis for this extraordinary gift. It reflects the strength of the relationship between the Vatican and Great Britain which has developed over course of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, who has met five Popes!”.
The fragments of the cross on which it is believed Jesus was crucified, found by Saint Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine, are scattered all over the world: from the church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome to Notre Dame in Paris, or in Santo Toribio in Spain.