Two shards from the “True Cross” were gifted to King Charles by Pope Francis in celebration of his coronation on May 6. Those pieces were then incorporated into the Cross of Wales, a silver cross that will be carried into Westminster Abbey next month as part of the procession, per Reuters.
The Church of Wales said the processional cross “will incorporate a relic of the True Cross” and called it a “significant ecumenical gesture.”
The Cross of Wales is made from recycled silver bullion, Welsh slate, and timber. It was presented by the monarch to the Church in Wales, which is part of the Anglican church. A quote from the last sermon of Saint David is featured on the back in Welsh. It says, “Byddwch lawen. Cadwch y ffydd. Gwnewch y Pethau Bychain.” This translates to, “Be joyful. Keep the faith. Do the little things.”
The cross was blessed by the Archbishop of Wales on Wednesday.
“Its design speaks to our Christian faith, our heritage, our resources and our commitment to sustainability,” Archbishop of Wales Andrew John said during the ceremony. “We are delighted too that its first use will be to guide their majesties into Westminster Abbey at the Coronation Service.”
Mark O’Toole, 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 on the love given by our Savior, Jesus Christ,” he continued. “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.”
Micahel Llloyd designed the cross, which he said “started with a love of the material, its malleability, its potential for expression.”
The outlet noted that the cross would be shared between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in Wales after the coronation ceremonies.