Jefferson Davis and the Crown of Thorns

 

It has long been an article of faith of many admirers of Jefferson Davis that, while he was in Union captivity after the Civil War, he received a crown of thorns from Pope Pius IX woven by the hands of Pio Nono himself.  The Museum of the Confederacy in New Orleans has it on display.  It is a romantic story and appealing on an emotional level.  It is also false.  The Pope did send the imprisoned Davis his photograph with the text  from Matthew 11:28  ‘Venite ad me omnes qui laboratis, et ego reficiam vos, dicit Dominus.’  (Come to me all all ye who labor and are heavy burdened and I will give you rest, sayeth the Lord.)

The crown of thorns was woven by Varinia Davis, the wife of Jefferson Davis.  Over time the story grew up, perhaps through honest mistake, that associated the crown with the Pope.  A good article on the subject is here.

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Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 6:27 am  Comments Off  
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