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Saint of the Day: Sts Timothy and Titus
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A Veneration of the Crown of Thorns at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral

MARC-ANTOINE MOUTERDE - published on 06/08/16

The relic is presented to the faithful on the first Friday of the month at 3 p.m., the time of Jesus death, the hour of mercy

Every first Friday of the month, the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, guardians of the relic at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, present the Holy Crown of Thorns to be venerated by faithful from around the world.

Marc-Antoine Mouterde

The Crown was brought back to France by Saint Louis, who received it from Baldwin II of Courtenay, the Latin Emperor of Constantinople. The relic arrived in Paris on August 12, 1239.


St. Louis himself, dressed in a simple tunic, carried the holy relic into Notre Dame Cathedral for the first time. It was kept for 500 years in the Sainte Chapelle built by the king, because he wanted a reliquary worthy of housing the Holy Crown.

Marc-Antoine Mouterde

During the French Revolution, the Crown was taken out of its stained glass reliquary to be stored first in the Abbey of Saint-Denis and then in the National Library. It was eventually entrusted, with some other relics, to the archbishop of Paris in 1804.

Marc-Antoine Mouterde

The relics were placed in the cathedral treasury on August 10, 1806. Since 1896, the Holy Crown has been kept in a crystal and gold tube covered with openwork depicting a branch of ziziphus or Spina Christi – the shrub which was used for the crowning with thorns.

Marc-Antoine Mouterde

See also: Photos of The Exposition of the Holy Tunic of Argenteuil, in April of 2016.

Translated from the French.

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