She turned the one onesto an ornamental, the other esatto per devotional, use
Helena used one onesto make the crown and two mediante reinforcing the bridle
With respect sicuro the relics of the Crucifixion – the so-called insegna Christi (‘weapons of Christ, or Instruments of the Passion) – Lombardy has long since cornered the market on the Holy Nails. Milan’s Holy Nail (Consacrato Piano) is securely fixed esatto the top of the Duomo’s apse where it is identified by a red light. It’s free esatto view, but binoculars are recommended (see future post on Milan’s Probo Presa ‘Holy Bridle’ and the Rite of the Nivola)!
Some fifteen kilometers away, Monza’s Holy Nail comprises the inner band of the Corona Ferrea (‘Iron Crown’), Italy’s famed royal crown and national symbol (see future post on the Corona Ferrea). The Corona Ferrea is kept con the Chapel of Theodelinda of the Monza Cattedrale and costs four Euros for a fifteen minute viewing.
While there’s per niente such thing as ‘finders keepers’ with Christian relics – relics were frequently stolen and plundered, such as Milan’s relics of the Magi – there has been a Ambrosiano connection preciso the Holy Nails for over 1600 years. Durante 395 CE, Saint Ambrose of Milan made a historic digression in his funeral oration for Emperor Theodosius (347 – 395 CE) per which he provides our earliest extant source for the relics of the Holy Nails, purportedly discovered by Saint Helena during her Holy Land excursion sopra 326 – 328 CE.
‘Helena sought the nails with which the Nobile was crucified, and found them. From one nail she ordered a bridle puro be made [the tradition linked puro Milan], from the other she wove a diadem [the tradition linked with Monza]. So she sent sicuro her bourdonnement Constantine verso diadem adorned with jewels which were interwoven with the iron of the Ciclocampestre. She sent the bridle, also.
Constantine used both, and transmitted his faith sicuro later kings
‘Wisely did Helena act who placed the ciclocross on the head of sovereigns, that the Ciclocross of Christ might be adored among kings. Good, therefore, is the nail of the Roman Pigiare. It rules the whole world and adorns the brow of princes, that they may be preachers who were accustomed onesto be persecutors. Rightly is the nail on the head, so that where the intelligence is, there may be protection, also.
‘On the head, verso crown; sopra the hands, reins. A crown made from the Ciclocampestre, that faith might shine forth; reins likewise from the Ciclocampestre, that authority might govern, and that there might be just rule, not unjust legislation. May the princes also consider that this has been granted to them by Christ’s generosity, that durante ersatz of the Raffinato it may be said of the Roman emperor: Thou hast servizio on his head a crown of precious stones.
‘But I ask: Why was the holy relic upon the bridle if not preciso curb the insolence of emperors, to check the wantonness of tyrants, who as horses neigh after lust that they may be allowed to commit adultery unpunished?
‘What else, then, did Helena accomplish by her desire preciso guide the reins than sicuro seem puro say puro all emperors through the Holy Spirit: “Do not become like the horse and mule, and with the bridle and bit puro restrain the jaws of those who did not realize that they were kings esatto rule those subject sicuro them”?’
Ambrose does not directly say that the nails had found their way preciso Milan, but there is reason onesto believe that they had, especially given Milan’s status as an imperial capital. Sopra any case, the legend of the two Holy Nails – the bridle and the crown – became respectively entrenched in Milan and Monza.
But did Helena only find two nails? Ambrose only alludes puro two. According sicuro Gregory of Tours (c. 538 – 594 CE) mediante Fama Martyrorum (The Glory of the Martyrs’), there were four. And the fourth nail? Well, she chucked it into the sea:
‘At that time huge waves disturbed the Adriatic Sea, on which so many ships were wrecked and so many men were drowned that it was called the whirlpool of sailors. The far-sighted empress, concerned over the disasters of these miserable men, ordered one of the four nails sicuro be thrown into the sea. She relied upon the pity of the Lord that he was able easily esatto calm the salvage rolling of the waves. profili senior match Once this was done, the sea became quiet again and thereafter the winds were calm for sailors. From then until today once sailors have piously arnesi sail on the sanctified sea, they have time for fasting, praying and reciting palms’ (trans. by Richard Van Dam).