Pictorial Lives of the Saints – Most Holy Crown of Thorns of Our Lord Jesus Christ

[Pictorial Lives of the Saints: The Most Holy Crown of Thorns of Our Lord Jesus Christ]The Most Holy Crown of Thorns, consecrated by the head and the blood of our Divine Saviour, has always been looked upon as one of the most precious of relics. Having been carried to Constantinople, it was there carefully kept, during the reign of the French Emperors, up to the beginning of the thirteenth century. At that time the Emperor, Baldwin II, was sorely pressed by the Saracens and Greeks, and considering Constantinople as no longer secure, he sent the precious relic to his cousin, Saint Louis, who accepted it with delight. Saint Louis, in requital, afterward voluntarily paid off a large sum which the emperor had borrowed from the Venetians. In 1239, the sacred treasure was carried in a sealed case, with great devotion, by holy men, to France. Saint Louis, accompanied by many prelates and his entire court, met it five leagues beyond Sens. The pious king, with his brother, Robert of Artois, both barefooted, carried it into that city to the cathedral of Saint Stephen, accompanied by a numerous procession. Two years after, it was taken to Paris, where it was received with great solemnity, and placed in the Holy Chapel which Saint Louis built for its reception. Every year, on the 11th of August, the transfer of this relic from Venice to Paris, is celebrated in the Holy Chapel.