Pope gives King Charles III fragments believed to be from Jesus' crucifixion cross for coronation
The coronation service for King Charles III will take place next month at Westminster Abbey and will feature a special gift from Pope Francis — fragments of wood believed to be from the cross Jesus was crucified on over 2,000 years ago.
Two splinters, believed to be from the "true cross" of Christ, were gifted to the monarch by Pope Francis. The pieces of wood form a small cross directly at the center of the processional cross, according to a statement from the Church of Wales.
The processional cross "will incorporate a relic of the True Cross." The Church of Wales called the Pope's generosity was called a "significant ecumenical gesture."
Known as the Cross of Wales, the precession cross was formed from recycled silver bullion, Welsh slate and timber.
It will feature Welsh words from the last sermon of St. David on the back: "Byddwch lawen. Cadwch y ffydd. Gwnewch y Pethau Bychain." The words are translated as: "Be joyful. Keep the faith. Do the little things." The cross was gifted to the king by the Church of Wales.
The cross' designer, master silversmith Micahel Llloyd, said the project "started with a love of the material, its malleability, its potential for expression."
"The commission has allowed me to delve into the previous 1,000 years of faith and history," Lloyd continued. "Now, with more than 267,000 hammer blows, the cross has emerged from the inanimate sheets of silver, and I am delighted it will be used as part of the Coronation Service on 6th May."
The cross was first commissioned in 2020 by the king, who was still the Prince of Wales at the time. Charles was appointed king following Queen Elizabeth II's death last September.
The Archbishop of Wales gave the cross his blessing.
"Its design speaks to our Christian faith, our heritage, our resources and our commitment to sustainability," Archbishop of Wales Andrew John said at the blessing service in Llandudno, Wales. "We are delighted too that its first use will be to guide their majesties into Westminster Abbey at the Coronation Service."
The Church of Wales is an Anglican church, but even the archbishop overseeing the Roman Catholic Church in Wales sent his blessings.
"With a sense of deep joy we embrace this Cross, kindly given by King Charles, and containing a relic of the True Cross, generously gifted by the Holy See," Archbishop of Cardiff and Bishop of Menevia Mark O'Toole said.
"It is not only a sign of the deep Christian roots of our nation but will, I am sure, encourage us all to model our lives on the love given by our Saviour, Jesus Christ. We look forward to honoring it, not only in the various celebrations that are planned, but also in the dignified setting in which it will find a permanent home."
King Charles' coronation will take place at Westminster Abbey on May 6.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic