Traditionally, Philip II’s massive relic collection preserved in the palace-monastery of the Escorial has been interpreted as a testimony to the Spanish king’s devotion to the cult of saints, and a proof of his support for the principles of the Tridentine Church. This essay explores some of Philip II’s more political and symbolic uses of relics, and studies their role in the construction of a monarchical, spiritual, and national identity in sixteenth-century Spain.
Lazure, Guy. (2007). Possessing the Sacred: Monarchy and Identity in Philip II's Relic Collection at the Escorial. Renaissance Quarterly, 60 (1), 58-93.