by Luigi Casentini and Iacopo Lazzareschi Cervelli
pages 76, format 25×28,5, photographic colour, italian-ebglish book, 2014
To observe the austere yet benevolent gaze of the Volto Santo (or “Holy Countenance”) in the shadows of the Cathedral of St. Martin in Lucca is to reflect upon a history that stretches across millennia and to hear the echoes of long-ago events that shaped the faith and touched the souls of one of the oldest Christian communities in Europe.
This volume brings the story of the Volto Santo before a wide public, underscoring its value as a symbol of faith and as the embodiment of a deep connection that has bound Lucca and the Holy Countenance for more than a millennium.
Together with the photographs that illustrate this very special account, including those of the adornment and decoration of the statue for the solemn ceremony of the Exaltation of the Sacred Cross (and carried out by the Archbishop of Lucca Mons. Italo Castellani with the assistance of Mons. Giampiero Bachini and the sextons), the text takes us on a journey of discovery through art, history, legend, and spirituality. The result is a complete and complex portrait of this iconic symbol of the City of Lucca.