Pope Francis has gifted a relic of the True Cross to His Majesty King Charles III. It will be incorporated into the newly-made Cross of Wales which will lead the Coronation procession at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, 6 May.
The Cross of Wales is a processional cross presented by King Charles III as a centenary gift to the Church in Wales.
The relics, set into the silver cross, are two small wooden splinters from the cross on which Christ was crucified.
Archbishop Mark O’Toole, the Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff and Bishop of Menevia, said:
“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.
“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 in the love given by our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
“We look forward to honouring it, not only in the various celebrations that are planned, but also in the dignified setting in which it will find a permanent home.”
Marked with words from the final sermon of St David, the Cross of Wales was blessed by the Anglican Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, at Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno.
St David’s words are inscribed in Welsh, saying:
“Byddwch lawen. Cadwch y ffydd. Gwnewch y Pethau Bychain,” which means in English: “Be joyful. Keep the faith. Do the little things.”
Archbishop Andrew John said:
“We are honoured that His Majesty has chosen to mark our centenary with a cross that is both beautiful and symbolic. Its design speaks to our Christian faith, our heritage, our resources and our commitment to sustainability.
“We are delighted too that its first use will be to guide Their Majesties into Westminster Abbey at the Coronation Service.”
The cross will be officially received by the Church in Wales at a service to follow the Coronation and its use, going forward, will be shared between the Anglican and Catholic Churches in Wales.
Designed and made by master silversmith Michael Lloyd, who worked with the Royal Collection, the Cross of Wales is made from recycled silver bullion, a shaft of Welsh windfall timber and Welsh slate.
The Cross of Wales incorporates a relic of the True Cross. The Goldsmiths’ Company.