Picture Credit: CEN/Mariendom Linz
A time capsule stored in a 427-foot church spire has been opened with the diocese claiming that it contains a piece of the wooden cross Jesus Christ was crucified on.
The time capsule is also reported to have contained other Catholic rarities such as a bone fragment of Saint Cyprian, relics belonging to St Paul, St Lawrence and St Francis of Assisi, as well as a piece of wax made from the ashes of Christian martyrs and consecrated by the pope himself.
It was opened by Bishop Manfred Scheuer who heads the diocese of Linz, capital of the Austrian state of Upper Austria.
According to a press release from the local diocese, the time capsule contained a fragment from the True Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.
The capsule was opened to mark the renovation of the New Cathedral in Linz, the largest church in Austria.
When the church tower was completed in 1901, a copper cross with a ball was attached to the spire.
As was customary for many centuries, items were deposited inside as a time capsule to be opened at a later date and to protect the building itself.
Even though “everything is broken down to the question of authenticity” nowadays, according to Wimmer, at the time these items served more as a kind of “spiritual memory”.
Bishop Scheuer also retrieved newspapers from 1901 and several postcards and parchment contracts.
The renovation of the New Cathedral will cost between 13 and 14 million EUR and is raised by both private individuals, commercial sponsors, parishes and local and national authorities.
It is expected that the church tower will be fully renovated by 2021.