The procession of the Holy Cross

Every year, on the night of 13th September, in Lucca a procession of the Holy Cross from the church of San Frediano and Saint Martin’s cathedral takes place. In 1216 the Constitutum Lucani Comunis (libro I cap. X) already established that all the men between the ages of fourteen and seventy had to take part to the procession. The definition of the current route probably dates back to the XVII Century, when the tradition of the miraculous transfer from one church to the other was established. According to the Historia del Volto Santo by Franciotti (1627) the statue, placed in the former cathedral of San Frediano, was found the following day in Saint Martin’s church, indicating thus that it would be the future cathedral. The work by Franciotti documents the stage in which the processional route was under definition, to be finally established a few years later, as proved in The first picture of the crucifix written by Tofanelli in 1644. The procession, claimed Tofanelli, «è stata poi vicino alli nostri tempi riformata» (“has been modified in the near past”) explaining that the procession took place on 13th September, after the solemn vespers, moving between the churches of San Frediano and Saint Martin.