ADDRESS: Chiesa di San Martino, Lucca
The Holy Face is a walnut crucifix, a statue located inside the Cathedral of San Martino.
The crucifix has been a destination of pilgrimage since medieval times. Pilgrims from all over the world have come to Lucca to admire the statue, which, according to the legend of Leobino, was carved by Nicodemus after the resurrection and ascension of Christ. (A fresco by Aspertini depicting the legend is located in the Chapel of St. Augustine in the Basilica of San Frediano.)
Its image became a symbol of the city of Lucca, so that it was also placed on the seals of the money-changers and on coins.
Each year, on 13 September, the procession of the Holy Face (Luminara di Santa Croce) takes place, departing from St. Frediano at 8.00pm and arriving at the Cathedral of San Martino, where Blessing is given to all participants and the traditional Mottettone is performed (a kind of choral and instrumental composition, prepared every year by musicians from Lucca).