This agnus dei wax disk contains the first-class relics of three saints and the name of the pope written in gold inside the oval frame.
An Agnus Dei is a round or oval wax disk impressed with a lamb on one side and figures of saints or the pope on the other side.
They were created by melting the wax of the previous year’s Easter candles from the churches in Rome. Chrism oil was then added to the cauldron of melting wax. The pope blessed the disks that were then given to people to be used as sacramentals.
Although the origin is not certain, it is thought this practice began around the 5th century.
Daily Prayer For Those Who Carry An Agnus Dei
Jesus, my Savior, true Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, by Thy infinite mercy, I beseech Thee to pardon my iniquities. By Thy sacred Passion I beseech Thee preserve me this day from sin and shield me from all evil. To Thy honor and glory I carry about with me this blessed Agnus Dei as a protection to my soul and body, and as an incentive to practice the virtues which Thou has inculcated, especially meekness, humility, purity and charity.
In memory of that sacrifice of love which Thou didst offer for me and all mankind on Calvary, I consecrate my whole being to thee. Thou didst die on the cross for love of me; let me die to self for love of Thee! Keep me in Thy love and Thy grace to the end of my life, that I may bless Thee forever with the saints in heaven. Amen
Here is a link to the Alteia article about Agnus Dei disks from April 2018. They used this wax disk from this Collection!
Agnus Dei Wax Disk From the 1950 Jubilee Year: Pius XII
This Agnus Dei is from 1950. Father Kunst purchased it primarily because of the case it is in. It is a silver stand that says, Rome, Easter, 1950 Holy Year. Paques. The container is what makes it a particularly desirable artifact for the Collection.
The Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) wax disks were cylinders or small disks of wax that were made by melting the previous year’s Easter candles of Rome’s churches. This took place at the beginning of Lent each year. The wax was melted in a large cauldron to which chrism oil was then added.
From that wax, small disks were created with a picture of the Lamb of God on them.
Sometimes a saint was put on the other side of the disk. The pope’s name and sometimes his coat of arms were included as well as the year.
The pope blessed the wax disks and they were given as sacramentals to pilgrims to Rome. Pilgrims experienced a connection to the paschal candle, to the chrism oil and to the pope himself.