Jičín / Reliquary of saint secundina
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To the right of the altar dedicated to St Francis Xavier and kept in a glass case you will find a rare, early-Baroque reliquary containing the relics of the holy virgin and martyr St Secundina of Rome, which according to legend have miraculous powers.

WE RECOMMEND:

  • THE CHURCH OF ST. IGNATIUS
  • RELIQUARY OF ST. SECUNDINA
  • ALTAR DEDICATED TO ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
  • THE CHURCH OF ST. JAMES
  • VALDŠTEJN (WALLENSTEIN) SQUARE
  • VALDŠTEJN (WALLENSTEIN) CHATEAU
  • THE ARCADED COURTYARD
  • VALDICE GATE
  • CHATEAU PARK AND TOWN FORTIFICATIONS
  • SYNAGOGUE
  • JEWISH SCHOOL
  • JEWISH STREET

St Secundina, known to the Czechs as Druhoslava, is not one of the more famous and traditionally revered Christian saints, but is one of the so-called Catacomb Saints. This name is used to describe the bodily remains of presumed Christian martyrs whose skeletons or body parts were removed from the catacombs of Rome in their thousands and taken all across Catholic Europe and overseas where they were revered by believers.

The relics of St Secundina were raised at the beginning of the 17th century from the St Calixta Catacombs in Rome by the famous Lithuanian Jesuit Mikołaj Łęczycki, latinised Nicolaus Lancicius (1574-1653), who then presented them as a gift to the Jesuit seminary in Jičīn. The holy relics arrived in Jičín on 14th January 1651. However, due to a lack of funds required to build a worthy reliquary , the remains were kept in the Jesuit seminary's chapel for the next 7 years. Not until 14th July 1658 was there an extravagant, religious celebration during which the saint's relics were transferred from the All Saint's Church under Zebín Hill to the Church of Saint Ignáce in Jičín. During this triumphant procession the local countess, Marie Eva of Tiefenbach ( née Šternberková ), chose St Secundina as her personal protectress and at the same time declared her to be the patron saint of Jičín and the entire Kumburk estate. Written sources from the time show that St Secundina was also seen as the patron saint of the Jesuit Seminary and of the Church of St Ignáce. The relics were believed responsible for numerous miraculous healings and the saint was called upon by women in childbirth, among others.

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We have very little historical record of the virgin and martyr St Secundina. There is a possibility that her name is real. The legend by which she is known, in which she was killed by Christian persecutors at the walls of Ancient Rome, is more than likely no older than the Baroque period and we can assume that it was penned by the Jesuits of Jičín. Anthropological research has shown that most of the remains belong to a child of 7-13 years of age. Among the items attributed to the saint a palm of martyrdom, a burning heart and a sword.