One of Stonyhurst College’s most precious artefacts is to be loaned to the British Museum in London.
A thorn from the crown of thorns forced onto Christ’s head at the crucifixion has been in Stonyhurst’s possession for more than 200 years and will be displayed in an exhibition inspired by saints, relics and devotion.
The thorn has a remarkable history; having been seized from Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade and later sold to Louis IX of France, it was then given to Mary Queen of Scots, who took it with her to Holyrood in Edinburgh.
Following her execution in 1587, it was then given to the Jesuits for safe keeping snf they brought it to Stonyhurst.
Stonyhurst sixth former Catriona Graffius has been invited to take part in the production of a British Museum podcast guide for the exhibition. She was interviewed and recorded to give a pupil’s perspective on her school’s precious possession.
“I was asked to describe the thorn, which has Mary Queen of Scots’ pearls twined around it,” said Catriona.
“The thorn is placed in a chapel at Stonyhurst every year in Holy Week.”
The podcast is narrated by Neil McGregor, the Director of the British Museum, and presenter of Radio 4’s “A History of the World in 100 Objects”. The exhibition, entitled “Treasures of Heaven”, will open in June.