Small fragments of wood believed to have come from the cross on which Jesus was crucified will be on display during King Charles’ coronation in early May.
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Pope Francis gifted two shards from what is called the “True Cross” to the monarch in celebration of his coronation, months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the second-longest serving sovereign in world history.
The fragments have been affixed to the Cross of Wales, a silver cross to be carried into Westminster Abbey as part of the processional May 6, the Church of Wales disclosed this week. Its decision incorporates Welsh slate, reclaimed wood, and silver from the royal mint in Llantrisant.
The back of the cross bears the following inscription: “Byddwch lawen. Cadwch y ffydd. Gwnewch y Pethau Bychain.” In English, it means, “Be joyful. Keep the faith. Do the little things.”
“Its design speaks to our Christian faith, our heritage, our resources, and our commitment to sustainability,” Andrew John, the archbishop of Wales, said this week during a ceremony to bless the cross. “We are delighted, too, that its first use will be to guide their majesties into Westminster Abbey at the coronation service.”
Mark O’Toole, the archbishop of Cardiff and bishop of Menevia, added, “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 Savior, 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.”
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