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  Logic Path: Home Page >> The Secrets >> Santa Reparata e la 'TRUFFA'

Santa Reparata e la 'TRUFFA'

Florence is the home of miracles and fraud.There's something for everyone in the memories of the town.Let's start with the miracles.Do you remember the column in piazza S. Giovanni,next to the Baptistry?Well, that column records an extraordinary event connected with Saint Zanobi.The Florentine bishop had just died,causing great sorrow amongst the Florentines.He had been buried in the church of San Lorenzo,which was outside the walls at the time.But his successor,Andrea,had the tomb transferred to the cathedral of Santa Reparata. The transfer of the body was made after 429-although it might have been much later-with a big ceremony.Six bishops carried the coffin,followed by delegates of the religious Orders,whilst the crowd pressed to get near the coffin.The people wanted to kiss or at least touch the edges of the vestments that covered the venerated body There were so many worshippers that in proximity of Santa Reparate the procession was pushed off its path.The coffin hit an elm that stood there,and that had been dried up foer years.As soon as the coffin touched it-as the cronicles report-the tree turned green again and leaves started to grow,despite the cold weather.The crowd shouted out that it was a miracleAfter a while the tree came to a sad end.Worshippers kept on tearing branches off it,so in the end it was cut down to make relics.It is said that a crucifix in the church of san Giovannino dei Cavalieri was carved out of the sacred wood.In place of the elm a granite column was erected.It's not the one we see now,because the original one was swept away by the flood of the Arno of 1333 and substituted with another the same year. Still on the subject of miracles,another miracle happened on the 30th of December 1230 in the quarter of Santa Croce,inside the poor chapel of the convent of the nuns of Sant'Ambrogio.While celebrating mass a poor priest called Uguccione didn't dry the chalice well and the day after he found clotted blood in it.The news spread immediatly all over Florence and processions of worshippers started in front of the crystal ampulla in which the blood was preserved.The episode took place 33 years before the more famous miracle of Bolsena. But where faith lies, so does deception.The Florentines realized this when they asked and obtained a relic of Santa Reparata from Naples.On the occasion of King Luigi's and Queen Giovanna's wedding,the Repubblic's extraordinary legates asked the sovraign for an arm of the saint whose body was venerated in the monastry of Teano.The King,so as not to make an enemy of the Florentines,gave his consent,but on condition hat the abbess of the monastry would hand the relic over in secret,so as not to cause an uprising of the local worshippers. A messenger started off straight away to give Florence the happy news.Then,on the 22nd of June 1352,the sacred relic was taken to the Duomo,surrounded by the crowd.Everything kept on being alright till someone decided to decorate the relic with gold and silver and precious stones.Then came the amusing part.The masters to whom the work had been assigned realized that the arm was made of wood and plaster.Still not satisfied,they sawed it hoping to find something inside that would make them change their minds.Of course not.There wasn't a single bit of the martyr of Cesarea.It had been a real swindle.. Later,with great obstinacy,the Florentines managed to get hold of a few relics of the saint.But the hoax of fake arm never stopped stinging.


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