With two clicks the images will enlarge and reveal the details.
These birds stand guard over something very rare and special to many Christians:
-- a fragment of the True Cross! [although some say, "as legend has it . . . .]
The icon shows Emperor Constantine and his mother, St. Helena.
Queen Helena went to the Holy Land in about 326, searched for, and [some say] found, the three crosses that had stood on Calvary.
Mother and son then had the Church of the Holy Sepulchre built on the site.
To commemorate this, Jerusalem Catholics today (May 6-7) celebrated the day of The Finding of the Holy Cross.
My trusty calendar says that "On the day of the feast, Mass is celebrated, followed by a solemn procession through the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, led by the Custos holding a relic of the Holy Cross.
I assume the Franciscans have their own relic of the cross; however, what I show you in this post is the one belonging to the Greek Orthodox.
Getting back to our walk through the Treasure Room, which is only rarely open to pilgrims . . . in the photo above you see the glass-covered wooden cases along the walls of the tiny room.
They contains relics of early Christian saints, such as this hand.
And this forearm.
The lid of the reliquary is open to reveal a fragment of someone's skull.
During my brief visit to the Treasure Room I saw women crossing themselves and bending to kiss the glass over each of the relics.
Next time you are in the Holy Sepulchre look for this door into the little Treasure Room.
It is a very strange and special experience [I say, speaking as a Jew].
In fact, let's see if Julie will take this post for Taphophile Tragics.
It is also a one-room tour for Our World Tuesday.
See also my post.St. Thérèse's relics on pilgrimage in Israel.