With so much rich history in Rome, it's nearly impossible to see everything. However, if one wanders between some of the better known landmarks, it's possible to find some truly amazing spots. The Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem is one of those spots. (And despite its misleading name, the Basilica is actually located in Rome.)
The relics kept in the Basilica include: two thorns from the crown that Christ wore during the Passion, one of the nails, part of the Cross, and the 'INRI' sign.
"The nail is so large. Really, it's quite moving.”
"I'm impressed. I find it amazing that I can see something that goes back 2000 years.”
"Seeing this makes you reflect and strengthen your faith. It makes everything so real.”
According to tradition, both relics, and the land the basilica was built on, were brought from the Holy Land by St. Helena. She was the mother of Constantine, the emperor who ended the persecution of Christians in Rome.
"Some things cannot be explained with words, and when you come to a place like this, where you really see things that are part of your faith, and are part of your life, it helps you a lot and it moves you.”
A reproduction of the Shroud of Turin is also preserved in the basilica. The actual Shroud will be shown later this year in Turin.
"Above all, the face is the most impressive. I look straight into the face of Jesus. It makes a strong impression.”
"It helps you understand how much the Lord suffered at the end of His Passion.”
There are even more relics inside the basilica. One can also see part of the Cross that tradition says the Good Thief was crucified on alongside Jesus. The finger that St. Thomas put into Christ's wounds as he doubted His Resurrection is also believed to be there.
Although these relics are ancient, the Church does not require belief in them. They are memorabilia that may not necessarily be authentic, but instead help represent the core of the Christian faith.