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Lot 177

Jack Kerouac's Set of Religious Relics

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Jack Kerouac's Set of Religious Relics


Description:

Jack Kerouac's Set of Religious Relics

Three pieces held together with a large safety pin.
1. An 1.5" x 2" Image of St. Therese enclosed in a plastic case, on verso is the note "Touched Relic of St. Therese"

2. A 1" medal, bearing the imprint of "St. Anthony patron of lost articles/pray for us"

3. A small plastic cased image of a heart bearing the imprint of Cease! The heart of Jesus is with me! / Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come!" and on the verso,
"Apostleship of Prayer in league with the Sacred Heart/ copyright 1936". The pouch contains a small decorative metal piece which would likely be the reference to the "touched relic"


It is impossible to overstate the influence of Catholicism and religion in Jack's life and his writing. This important piece is therefore extremely significant in its relevance to Kerouac's life.

Provenance: The piece will be accompanied by an estate certification signed by John Shen-Sampas, executor of the Kerouac Estate. John Shen-Sampas is the son of John Sampas, who was the brother-in-law of Jack Kerouac, and the brother of Stella Kerouac, Jack's wife

Kerouac was raised as a Catholic by devout parents who had come to New England from French-Canada and settled into the Pre-Vatican II Catholicism that saturated Lowell’s tight-knit French Canadian community. Gabrielle Kerouac—Jack’s mother—matched Leo’s (father) civic pride with a fervent religious faith which intensified after the death of Jack’s older brother Gerard. Jack would later eulogize his brother as an unheralded saint in the novel "Visions of Gerard". To New England’s mostly impoverished French Canadians, the Catholic Church served as de facto government, educator, extended family, and cultural arbitrator. Perhaps as a result of this spiritual immersion, and the death of his brother, both Gabrielle, and Jack saw signs of God and angels everywhere.

According to Kerouac, On the Road "was really a story about two Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God and we found him. I found him in the sky, in Market Street San Francisco (those 2 visions), and Dean (Neal) had God sweating out of his forehead all the way." At the core of “On the Road,” and at the heart of all his work, is the Catholic and Beat insistence upon an underlying spirituality that inhabits all creation. 

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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