The Roman Veronica and the Holy Face of Lucca: parallelism and tangents in the formation of their respective traditions

Variant title
Římský Veraikon a Svatá Tvář z Luccy podobnost a protínání jejich tradic
Source document: Convivium. 2017, vol. 4, iss. Supplementum, pp. [274]-285
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
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There are various points of contact between the cult of the Holy Face of Lucca (the statue documented from the end of the eleventh century) and that of the Veronica. Before the publication of a critical edition of the Leobinian legend, Michele C. Ferrari formulated various hypotheses regarding its formation in two distinct editions from the twelfth century, with the later addition of the Miracles. In the legend's appendix, the narration includes Nicodemus in the making of the Holy Face, supposedly by sculpting Christ's visage on the basis of an image left by His body on its shroud. On the strength of various clues, particularly a list of the altars in St Martin's Cathedral, which distinguishes between the altar ante vultum and that ante crucem veterem, Chiara Frugoni has hypothesized that in Lucca there was a painted image similar to the Veronica. Attempting to reconstruct the spread of apocryphal traditions regarding the civic value attributed to the two cults, this paper presents an interpretation of these clues and analyzes the documented traces of Luccan citizens' pilgrimages to Rome.
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