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The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is the most important feast of the city of Lucca which is celebrated with the night procession by candlelight.

According to legend, the miraculous cross, kept in the basilica of San Frediano, disappeared to be found in the gardens of the church of San Martino. The event was repeated several times until it convinced the people of Lucca to transfer the cross definitively to the church of San Martino.

The origins of the feast are also very ancient; the first mention of the date of 14 September as the legal deadline is 1118. Around this date, the anniversary became the main one in the city.

Sunday 13th September, in San Martino's Cathedral
6:00 pm - Celebration of the first vespers (max 250 seats) presided over by Archbishop. Music service of the Chapel of the Cathedral “S. Cecilia ".
9.00 pm - Performance of the mottettone "In tempore difficultatis". The musical chapel Santa Cecilia of the Lucca cathedral performs the mottettone. At the eardrums: Federica Martinelli. On the organ: Giulia Biagetti. Director: Luca Bacci.
Live broadcast on NoiTv.

Saturday 14th September
Since the morning the Holy Face will be dressed with the precious dress and the cahapel will be opened to people for the prayers.

Reservations required for liturgical celebrations through the Diocesi website (

The event is included in the September Lucchese 2020 calendar.

Due to the covid19 virus containment measures, the traditional procession "Luminara" will not take place this year.

13/14 september 2020
Start / End Time
18:00 / 20:00
church san Martino Lucca
admission free

Comune di Lucca
Via Santa Giustina, 6 - Lucca
tel. 0583 4422