West Side Church Displays Piece of ‘Crown of Thorns'

A West Side church displayed an incredible artifact this week, as parishioners gathered to see what Catholics believe is a piece of the “Crown of Thorns” that Jesus Christ wore at his crucifixion.

Given to Saint Louis of France, the full “Crown of Thorns” was saved from a recent fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, but Chicago’s St. John Cantius Church has shown its piece of that crown every year during Holy Week.

“I think we were elated to see that the ‘Crown of Thorns’ was saved,” Father Joshua Caswell said. “We were overjoyed to see that the most precious relics of Notre Dame were saved, especially when we have such a special connection.”

Thousands of parishioners make their way to the church every year to see the relics, which include the thorn, a wax seal, and a piece of wood believed to be from the cross that Jesus was crucified on.

Many visitors say that the items help strengthen their faith and give them a stronger feeling of connection with the story of Jesus’ crucifixion.

“We come down here because the relics are on display, and particularly in the light of Notre Dame,” parishioner Jeremy Dee said. “It’s so powerful, and it was such a personal moment to be that close to something that was truly a part of history.”  

The relics will only be on display through 5 p.m. Friday evening.  

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