The Legend of the Holy Face of Lucca

This is a reproduction of the manuscript treasured in the most important library of the world, the Vatican Library. The codex is part of the series “Codices e Vaticanis Selecti, Serie Maior”, number 88 in the Vatican Library.

The manuscript illustrates the Legend of the Volto Santo (Holy Face), a wooden crucifix sculpted by Nicodemus with angelic assistance. The legend has it that the statue was carried by a boat without helmsman guided by the heavens. The boat landed on the coast of Luni and the crucifix was donated to the people of Luccain exchange for an ampoule containing the blood of Christ.

The codex was donated to the Bishop of Lucca, Benvenuto Italo Castellani, on September 9th, 2016, during the annual candlelit procession in honour of the Holy Face, the Luminara of Santa Croce. . The codex is nowaday displayed in theMuseum of the Holy Face in Lucca. On June 13th, 2017, it was also donated to the Uffizi Library in Florence, and it will be displayed with chance of consultation.

The coat of arms of Pope John Paul II shows on the back of the volume, as the codex was restored during his divine commission. The original manuscript is treasured in the Vatican Library (Pal.Lat.1988).

Limited edition of 997 notarised volumes, 113 of which distributed in Italy..


96 parchment pages, 28 miniatures, and initials decorated in antique gold. Format: 340 mm x 230 mm (13,3 in x 9 in). Handmade binding in cow leather, naturally tanned on wood and fire stamped; the binding was very carefully made to reproduce the tactile experience of the original copy. Commentary in Spanish, with account of the legend in Italian.

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