Holy Week, the most important season of the liturgical year, begins in St Peter’s under the gaze of the Crucifix from the Church of San Marcello. It is in the background at the center of the altar. It is the Miraculous Crucifix, which escaped the fire of 1519 unharmed and was borne in procession to halt the plague. Dating back to the late fourteenth century, this wooden image has gone through the city of Rome many times. The last time was twenty-five years ago when St John Paul II wanted it present during the Day of Forgiveness during the Jubilee Year in 2000. During this crisis, Pope Francis had decided to pay a visit to the Church in order to pray before the crucifix. Then, he wanted it to be present before an empty St Peter’s Square for the Statio Orbis, the prayer over which he presided to implore and end to the pandemic.


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