The Agnus Dei, a devotional object containing a medallion of white wax, is decorated with a variety of religious subjects. This subject, which has a direct relationship with the Roman Catholic liturgy, is considered a sacramental object. The wax used in the Agnus Dei comes from Easter candle from Catholic basilicas or from candles offered to the Pope for Candlemas. The candles are blessed by the Pope, who dips them in water mixed with balm and holy oil. The decorated wax medallion is then set in a metal pyx or a reliquary decorated with precious stones or "paperoles".
This type of wax object was popular in Quebec in the 19th century. Nuns specialized in making flower bouquets, Agnus Deis, wax dolls that were kept under glass or used in Christmas crèches, and small wax funerary monuments, including decorations made with hair from the deceased individuals.
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