Alessandra Gardin

Florence tourist guide


Miracle stories

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Today I tell you a story about two eucharistical miracles. In the district of Santa Croce, in Florence there is a very old church called Saint Ambrose. The name is probably referred to the passage of Ambrose, bishop of Milan (later St. Ambrose) in the far IV century. The church was espanded between the XII and XIV century, to satisfy the incresing number of pilgrims and the widespread devotion to the saint. In december 1230 a miraculous event happened: an old priest named Uguccione, left some drops of consacreted wine in a chalice and the day after he found them "as real blood coagulated and incarnate". The liquid collected in an ampulla was brought to the bishop of Florence, but they took time before they recognized it as an eucharistical miracle. Brought the relic back to the church, it was at first put on the main altar. But later on, in 1481, the Chapel of Miracle was built and a marble tabernacle was commissioned to Mino da Fiesole. Between May 1484 and August 1486 the painter Cosimo Rosselli was in charge of the fresco decoration of the Chapel, for which he received 100 florins.Every year the relic was brought in procession and it was supposed to have saved the city during the Plague in 1348. In 1980 the 750 anniversary of the Prodigy was celebrated. The relic of the miracle (a few drops of blood, one square centimetre wide) is preserved in a precious ostensory, inside the beautiful, already mentioned marble tabernacle.
The second eucharistical miracle was during the Holy Friday in 1595. There was fire in a chapel of the church, created by the drop of a candle. There was a great mess in order to save a chalice with consacrated hosts, but it fell on the ground and six hosts dropped on a carpet and burst into flames.Unexpectedly they were found all together and undamaged. The Archbishop of Florence, after verifying the incorruptibility of the precious hosts, decided to put them in a reliquary. Every year, during the Quarantore (literally 40 hours, the period of time Jesus was in the Sepulcrum) which is from Holy Friday to Holy Saturday, both the two relics are shown in a ostensory to be venerated. Follow your official tourist guide of Florence in an artistic and devotional tour.