Images of Our Lord, by Joan Carroll Cruz,
published by TAN Books and Publishers
(1993) Used with permission.
miraculous crucifix called the Volto Santo or "Holy Face" is one of
Luccas greatest treasures. It is displayed in the famous Cathedral of St.
Martin. The face is a perfect replica of that impressed on Veronicas
veil. That is why it is called the Crucifix of the Holy Face,
or simply, the "Holy Face." Ancient tradition attributes the making
of this remarkable crucifix to Nicodemus (Jesus confidant). Whether Nicodemus
asked God for a supernatural light to help him model the sacred features of the
One his soul loved, or whether an angel helped in its completion is not known.
The crucifix after being
buried for seven centuries miraculously came to the Italian shores in an unmanned
boat. It was then drawn in a cart by two untamed bulls to Lucca. The Lucchese
(the people of Lucca) at the time of the republic elected the Crucifix as their
King. The imprint of the Holy Face was on their coins and seals. It has historically
been an object of pilgrimage that vast numbers of people including Pontiffs have
visited. When St. Catherine of Siena visited the Holy Face to bend her knee
and adore, the Crucifix (Our Lord) spoke to her.
Learn more about these events here and here.