Fake True Cross Relic

June 14, 2007 - This morning we received our daily dispatch from our Italian correspondent and expert in relics, Guido. One could almost hear him laughing as he wrote the Email. While he goes into much detail about every facit of this hoax, we will boil it down to the main points. If anyone out there desires more information, I will send you a copy of Guido's Email. Be warned, however, it is in Italian.

This fraud was recently sold on eBay and was quite an elaborate hoax. It purported to be a relic of the "True" Cross but, in reality, was little more than a very expensive match box.

Look at the relic itself. The True Cross is 2000 years old and spent over 300 years buried in an ancient quarry just outside the gates of Jerusalem before being unearthed by St. Helen in the 4th century. The wood is now very dark and quite fragile due to age and partial decomposition. The wood in this "relic" is as fresh as a new match and no effort has been made to hide the fact that this is exactly what it is.

Now let us examine the back of the theca and the wax seal. The poor culprit who designed this elaborate hoax apparently did not have access to anything even resembling a true ecclesiastical seal. Instead he happened to find a pin from the Third Order of Carmelites and pushed this into the still soft sealing wax. This type of pin was worn my members of this lay order in the 1940s and 1950s. To see an updated version of this coat of arms please visit this website. The revised, but still recognizable, coat of arms is at the very top left of the page.

Now, the Third Order Carmelites are a LAY order. They would have no more authority to issue relics than your local church janitor would.

If this information isn't enough to convince you of a scam, please let us know. We have MUCH more where this came from.

June 23, 2007, Update - Well, some gullible individual fell for the fake and bought it for about half the asking price. We will leave this alert on the website for some time just in case the poor guy visits this website. Maybe he will have the guts to take this guy to court.

Enlarged image of the "True Cross".

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