Friday, February 03, 2017

The Treasury of Monza Cathedral

Closing out our series of Nicola’s photographs from the cathedral of Monza, here are some of the beautiful items kept in the treasury. (See part 1, the Chapel of St Theodelinda; part 2, the Cathedral of St John the Baptist.)

The original covers of a Gospel book given to St Theodelinda, Queen of the Lombards, by Pope St Gregory the Great at the very beginning of the 7th century.
The Sapphire Cup, said to have been used by Theodelinda at her 2nd marriage to Agilulf, Duke of Turin, who thus became the King of the Lombards, subsequently donated by her to the cathedral.   The sapphire itself was carved as a cup in the first century, and is the oldest object preserved in the treasury; the base and stem are of the fifteenth century.
A reliquary containing a tooth of John the Baptist, patron Saint of the city and cathedral, made in the 9th century and donated by King Berengarius.
 The Cross of Agilulf, a work of the early 7th century.
The crown of St Theodelinda
The Cross of Adaloald, Theodelinda’s son, also a gift of St Gregory
The Cross of Berengarius, a work of the 9th century, formerly used in the coronation rituals of the Kings of Italy. The gem hanging from the bottom is an amythest with an image of the goddess Diana, made in the 3rd century.
A letter of St Charles Borromeo to the Chapter of Monza Cathedral. Monza is within the archdiocese of Milan, but in the Middle Ages had followed a use of the Roman Rite known as the “rito patriarchino,” mostly differing in its chant. St Charles had wished them to pass over the Ambrosian Rite after Trent, a proposal which met with strong resistance; in this letter, he therefore grants them permission to use the Roman Rite, but not to continue the “rito patriarchino.” Sigh...
A chalice donated by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the first Duke of Milan.
A Lombard sculpture of the 5th or 6th century of a mother hen with seven chicks, said to have been found in St Theodelinda’s tomb.

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