According to the New Testament, a woven crown of thorns was placed on the head of Jesus during the events leading up to his crucifixion. It was one of the instruments of the Passion, employed by Jesus' captors both to cause him pain and to mock his claim of authority. It is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew ("And when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee and mocked him, saying Hail, King of the Jews!" 27:29), Mark (15:17) and John (19:2, 5), and is often alluded to by the early Church Fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen and others.

Relic of the crown of thorns, received by French King Louis IX from emperor Baldwin II. It was preserved at Notre-Dame de Paris until 15 April 2019, when it was rescued from a fire at the cathedral.

Since at least around the year 400, a relic believed by many to be the crown of thorns has been venerated. At the time of the Crusades, the Latin Emperor Baldwin II of Constantinople yielded the relic to French King Louis IX. Kept in the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris until 15 April 2019, when a fire touched the cathedral, the relic has since been kept in the Louvre Museum.

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