The image of the Holy Face is kept in the Cathedral of
St. Martino, in the small temple built by Matteo Civitali, at
the end of the 15th century.
The image is the expression and the meeting point of the culture
of the City and of the Church; it represents an ancient civilization
that synthesizes Faith and Culture, History and the Word of God.
The Holy Face has always been the symbol of Lucca and with the
impression of it on its coins it has represented the town all
over the world.
Since the 7th century the reliquies of St. Regolo and St. Ponziano
exerted great attraction on the pilgrims; the same happened with
the image of the Holy Face.
The frescos painted by Amico Aspertini (16th century) in the
Basilica of St. Frediano tell us the story of the wooden statue.
It seems that having disappeared for some time, it was rediscovered
in Jerusalem by the bishop Gualfredo.
An angel had appeared him in dream telling where the statue was.
He found and shipped it on a vessel without crew; the vessel reached
the harbour of Luni when the bishop of Lucca Giovanni managed
to remove the statue and placed it in the Basilica of St. Frediano
from when it was brought to the Cathedral of St. Martino.
The miraculous event is evoked on the 13th September when every
year the authorities, civilian and religious, to express their
devotion, parade along the main streets of Lucca, lit by thousands