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Pope Francis gives a relic of the True Cross to King Charles III for his coronation

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Pope Francis has given a relic of the True Cross – two small pieces of wood – to King Charles III as a gift for his coronation on May 6 at Westminster Abbey, London. They will be included in the newly erected Cross of Wales which will be carried into the Abbey at the head of the procession for the coronation, which is a religious ceremony.

Ms. Erwin Lengyel, secretary to the Vatican ambassador in London, tweeted: “In an important ecumenical sense, the Cross of Wales will incorporate a relic of the True Cross, Pope Francis’ personal gift to His Majesty the King to mark the coronation.”

A Vatican source, who did not wish to be named because he was not authorized to speak, said, “The Holy See gifted two relics [that] preserved as a universal sign, in a Lipsanoteca room of the Vatican Museums.”

The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper, said the relic was “a personal gift from the Pope” and was handed over last week at the Chapel Royal of St James in London by representatives of the Vatican. It reported that “the King requested that the pieces be included in a new processional cross he had commissioned for the church in Wales to celebrate his centenary before becoming a monarchy.”

The Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff, Mark O’Toole, said in a statement, “With a sense of deep joy, we embrace this cross, kindly given by King Charles, and a relic of the true cross, gifted by the Holy See Has been given.”

“Both the pieces are in the shape of a cross, one measuring 1 cm and the other 5 mm. The Daily Telegraph revealed that he is now enshrined in a large silver cross behind a rose crystal gem. It said that a cross crafted from recycled silver bullion from the Royal Mint, along with wood and slate from Wales, would be used to lead the procession to Westminster Abbey, a decision marked by the King’s “deep and long association with Wales”. Told to reflect walking affection”.

The Anglican Church in Wales describes the cross as having been inscribed on the back with the words, in Welsh, from the last sermon of St David, the sixth-century bishop and patron saint of Wales: “Be happy. Have faith do the little things

The Daily Telegraph reported that after the coronation ceremony, at the wishes of Prince Charles, the cross “will be shared between the Anglican and Catholic churches in Wales.”

Mark O’Toole, the Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff, said in a statement, “With a feeling of deep joy, we embrace this cross, kindly given by King Charles, and a relic of the true cross, which has been consecrated by the Holy See.” given as a gift.” Church in Wales website.

The BBC said in a commentary, “The coronation will be an Anglican service, but the prominent inclusion of a gift from the head of the Roman Catholic Church shows how other denominations and faiths will be represented.”

Archbishop O’Toole said, “The cross is not only a sign of the deep Christian roots of our nation, but, I am sure, will encourage us all to model our lives on the love offered by our Savior, Jesus Christ. “

The news was first broadcast by British media including the BBC on 19 April, and was confirmed in a tweet by Christopher Trott, the Holy See’s British ambassador, before Vatican sources confirmed the extraordinary ecumenical gesture.

“We are deeply moved and grateful to Pope Francis for this extraordinary gift. Reflecting the strength of the relationship that has developed during the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, who has met 5 Popes,” Ambassador Trott said in a tweet. .

As the BBC reports, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who is conducting the service at Westminster Abbey, highlighted the fact that coronation is a religious ceremony, comparing it to the ordination of a priest. He explained that amidst all the “grandeur and grandeur” there is a moment of “peace and simplicity” when the king is anointed with holy oil. But, according to the BBC, it will remain a private moment, and is not expected to be seen on television by the general public.

For the consecration, the king would wear a simple white shirt rather than the “robe of dignity”, the archbishop said, “in the full knowledge that the task is difficult and that he needs assistance.”

The BBC said in a commentary, “The coronation will be an Anglican service, but the prominent inclusion of a gift from the head of the Roman Catholic Church shows how other denominations and faiths will be represented.”

It is expected that as King, Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla will also visit Pope Francis at the Vatican in the near future.

Pope Francis knows King Charles; They met him when, as Prince of Wales, Charles arrived in Rome for the canonization of Cardinal John Henry Newman on October 13, 2019. Prince Charles wrote an article on L’Osservatore Romano to mark the occasion, the first canonisation. of a British man in 40 years.

Speaking about Cardinal Newman, a former Anglican who decided to join the Catholic Church, Prince Charles wrote: “As an Anglican, he directed that Church back to its Catholic roots, and as a Catholic In 1866 he was prepared to learn from the Anglican tradition, such as in his promotion of the role of lay people. He gave renewed confidence to the Catholic Church as it reestablished itself in a country from which it had once been overthrown. Was.

He concluded, “As we mark the life of this great Briton, this great churchman and, as we might now say, this great saint who bridged the divide between traditions, it is certainly It is right that we give thanks for that friendship, despite which the separation has not only endured, but has also become stronger.

“In the image of divine harmony that Newman so vividly expresses, we can see how, ultimately, when we pursue with sincerity and courage the various paths to which our conscience calls us, all our May divisions lead to a greater understanding and all our ways find a common home.

From the beginning of his papacy, the Pope of Argentina showed his closeness to the British Royal Family. On 15 March, two days after his election, he personally congratulated all the cardinals, and he ended his conversation with the English cardinal, Cormac Murphy O’Connor, by saying, “Give my hearty greetings to the Queen! ” A year later, on 3 April 2014, Pope Francis welcomed the Queen and Prince Philip in a private audience at the Vatican.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla meet with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on April 27, 2009. As king, Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla are also expected to visit Pope Francis at the Vatican in the near future.