(p.255) APPENDIX 1
(p.255) APPENDIX 1
Processions and Ceremonies of the Scuole Grandi
Listed below are the days of the Venetian church calendar celebrated by the scuole with processions or other religious ceremonies. In parentheses following the name of each feast are its Italian designation, the date celebrated, and any alternate Venetian designations. In square brackets following that are indications of which of the scuole grandi included the feast on their calendars (note that no complete calendar for San Teodoro survives). No attempt is made here to list the scuole piccole that also celebrated these occasions. Excluded from this listing are ordinary religious recurrences celebrated in the churches owned by the scuole of San Giovanni Evangelista and San Rocco, and those andate of the doge performed without the participation of the scuole. Occasions for which no description is provided were performed by the individual scuole either in their own church or in the church dedicated to the saint of that day. It is important to be aware that these feasts entered and left the calendars of the scuole at various times, and were not all celebrated throughout their histories. In some cases, in fact, a feast appears only once in the documents, and may have been celebrated for only a brief period, perhaps even only once.1
Saint Sebastian (San Sebastiano; 20 January) [SSR] A procession by the Scuola di San Rocco to the church of San Sebastiano, for reasons not specified in the documents.
Purification of the Virgin (Candlemas, 2 February; Madonna dele Candele) [SSGE, SSMC, SSMM, SSR] At each of the scuole it was the practice to distribute candles to fadighenti, patrician patrons, and distinguished members of Venetian society. Sundays in Lent (Domeniche di quaresima) and Palm Sunday (Domenica delle olive) [all] The scuole and clergy of Venice were invited by the patriarch to visit the cathedral of San Pietro di Castello on each of the Sundays of Lent to partake (p.256) of indulgences connected with important relics preserved there. Each of the scuole processed separately, using a route of its own choosing.
Maundy Thursday/Good Friday (GiovedÌ Santo, known also as Zuoba Santo; VenerdÌ Santo) [all] Processions of each of the scuole on the evening between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Originally, these separate processions included both the cathedral of San Pietro di Castello and the Basilica di San Marco, but from the seventeenth century they went only to the basilica to venerate a miraculous relic of the Blood of Christ.
Easter Monday, to San Zaccaria [all] The official andata of the doge to the great indulgence at San Zaccaria to commemorate an agreement under which the City obtained land from the Benedictine nuns to expand Piazza San Marco. The scuole went to San Zaccaria individually to benefit from the indulgence.
Annunciation of the Virgin (25 March) [all] The annual festa of the Scuola di Santa Maria delia Carità. All the other scuole visited the host for its celebrations.
Saint Isidore (Sant'Isidoro, 16 April, known also as San Sidro) [all] This procession commemorated the defeat on this date in 1354 of the conspiracy headed by doge Marin Falier, who had attempted to wrest power from the Senate and Council. The celebrations consisted primarily of a procession around the Piazza San Marco and through the basilica, with a stop at the altar of St. Isidore.
Saint Leo (San Lio; 19 April) [SSGE] A celebration (beginning in 1474) by San Giovanni Evangelista in commemoration of a miracle associated with their precious relic of the Cross. During a ceremony in the parish of San Lio in the early fifteenth century, the miraculous relic refused, according to the legend, to be carried by an unrighteous man. The scuola went in procession to the bridge and church of San Lio. After 1614, the scuola commemorated the event on 10 August along with its procession to San Lorenzo.
Saint Mark (San Marco; 25 April) [all] In the morning, the scuole joined the official procession in Piazza San Marco to honor the patron saint of the city. This was also the annual festa of the Scuola di San Marco. In the afternoon, all the other scuole visited the host for its celebrations.
Invention of the Holy Cross (Santissma Croce; 3 May) [all] In honor of the precious relic of the Holy Cross owned by the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista (donated by Philippe de Mézières in 1369), all the other scuole attended celebrations there.
Last Day of May [SSR] Celebrated by the Scuola of San Rocco at the high altar of their church to commemorate the date in 1478 on which the Council of Ten approved the creation of the scuola.
Corpus Christi [all] Originally a purely religious occasion, this became one of the great civic processions (p.257) of the year, in which scuole and city demonstrated their splendor and riches in a procession around the Piazza San Marco.
Domenica degli Angeli (the Sunday after Corpus Christi) [all] Similar to the processions for the Sundays in Lent, to the cathedral of San Pietro di Castello; added in 1544.
Saint Anthony of Padua (Sant' Antonio di Padova; 13 June) [SSMM, SSR] With the rise of the cult of St. Anthony, this festival, with a procession to Piazza San Marco, was added to the calendars of several scuole in the seven‐teenth and eighteenth centuries.
Saints Vitus and Modestus (Santi Vito e Modesto, 15 June; also known as San Vido) [all] Like San Sidro, this feast also celebrated the defeat of a conspiracy: in 1310 the rich merchant Baiamonte Tiepolo and his followers attempted to overthrow the government, but doge Pietro Gradenigo, on the feast of Sts. Vitus and Modestus, quelled the uprising. The procession started at the Piazza San Marco and moved to the parish church of San Vido, crossing the Grand Canal on a bridge of boats, before returning home.
Ascension Sunday (La Sensa) [all; only until the fourteenth century] In the early years of the scuole, this day was celebrated with a procession, but as it developed into the major annual trade fare of the city it was removed as a required celebration.
Saint John the Baptist (24 June) [SSGE] Celebrated by the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista in its church apparently because of this saint shared his name with the scuola's patron.
Invention of Saint Mark (25 June; also known as San Marco de Zugno or San Marco de l'aqua ruosa) [all] This celebrates the rediscovery, in 1094, of the body of St. Mark during the dedication of the newly rebuilt basilica. The body of the Evangelist, which had been hidden to prevent its theft (the Venetians themselves had stolen the body from Alexandria), was believed lost in the fire that destroyed the earlier wooden church. After three days of fasting and prayer, a stone fell from a hollow pillar that had been saved from the old church, revealing the body of the saint. This incident is depicted in a twelfth‐century mosaic in the south transept of the basilica. The procedures were almost identical to those for San Sidro, with the omission of the pause at the altar of Saint Isidore.
Saints John and Paul (Santi Giovanni e Paolo, 26 June, also known as San Zanipolo) [all] Instituted by command of the Senate in 1656 in honor of the Venetian victory of the Dardanelles, in the War of Crete, on this date. The doge and his retinue, along with the scuole, went in procession to Piazza San Marco and to the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo.
Holy Trinity (Santissima Trinitá, 13 July) [SSGE, SSMC, SSR] Standard liturgical celebration in the church.
Santa Marina (17 July) [all] This celebration was instituted in the early sixteenth century to commemorate the retaking of the city of Padua from the forces of the league of Cambrai on (p.258) this day in 1509. The procession began, as usual, at San Marco, and then proceeded to the church of Santa Marina, not far from the Rialto Bridge, where the participants attended the pardon, or indulgence, granted to that church.
Saint Mary Magdalen (La Maddalena, 22 July) [SSR] The reasons for this procession to the church of Santa Maria Maddalena are not provided in the extant documents of the scuola.
Saint Christine (Santa Cristina, 24 July) [SSMM] This was one of the traditional celebrations of the abbey of Santa Maria della Misericordia.
Saint James (San Giacomo, 25 July) [SSGE, SSMC, SSR] The documents do not explain why these scuole celebrated this occasion.
Saint Pantaleone (San Pantalon, 26 July) [SSR] The Scuola di San Rocco joined the priests of the parish church on this day to commemorate the day on which they signed an agreement for the scuola to purchase the land from the church on which they built their scuola.
Redeemer (Redentore, third Sunday of July) [all] This celebration was ordained in 1576 to honor a vow made by the city for release from a great plague. The participants crossed the Canale della Giudecca on a bridge of boats to the church of the Redentore, built as part of the vow, and, after a mass celebrated by the patriarch, returned by the same route to the piazza.
Saint Martha (Santa Marta, 29 July) [SSM] This procession is listed only in a tariffa of 1687, and no explanation is provided.
Saint Lawrence (San Lorenzo, 10 August) [SSGE] The scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista commemorated (with a procession to the church of San Lorenzo) a miracle performed by their relic of the True Cross in 1369, while the brothers were crossing the bridge opposite the church dedicated to that saint. Dropped accidentally into the canal, the relic evaded all attempts to recapture it until the guardian grande himself leapt into the water and brought it back to safety.
Assumption of the Virgin (15 August) [all] The annual festa of the Scuola della Misericordia until the late fifteenth century (moved to the Conception, 8 December, to avoid conflicts with the festa of San Rocco). All the other scuole visited the host for its celebrations.
Saint Roch (San Rocco, 16 August) [all] The annual festa of the Scuola di San Rocco. All the other scuole visited the host for its celebrations.
Nativity of the Virgin (8 September) [all] Most of the scuole celebrated this feast in their church, without a procession, though there were times, especially in the sixteenth century, when the scuole grandi visited the Scuola di Santa Maria dei Mercanti, at the Madonna del Orto on its feast day. San Rocco, on the other hand, went in procession to the church of San Giobbe, carrying, on its return, a costumed figure of the Virgin.
Exaltation of the Holy Cross (14 September) [SSGE] In honor of its miraculous relic of the Holy Cross the scuola offered a sung mass in either the scuola or the church.
(p.259) Saint Michael Archangel (29 September; San Michele) [SSMC] The reasons for this celebration are not provided in the documents.
Last Day of September [SSR] Celebrated by San Rocco with a mass in their church to commemorate the date in 1480 when two scuole piccole dedicated to the saint joined forces and moved to the vicinity of I Frari.
Holy Rosary (Santissimo Rosario) [SSMC] This procession is first listed in a tariffa of 1784, and is probably the visit to the Scuola di Santa Maria del Rosario (at Santi Giovanni e Paolo), which had been declared a scuola grande in 1765.
Saint Francis of Assisi (San Francesco, 4 October) [SSR] Celebrated by the Scuola di San Rocco along with the Friars of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari as part of the agreement by which the Franciscans assisted the scuola in liturgical matters. The brothers brought their cross to the sacristy of the church and then joined the friars in their procession around the church before the mass at the high altar.
Saint Justina (Santa Giustina, 7 October) [all] Like the celebrations for Santa Marina, this was also instituted to commemorate a victory, in this case the famous 1571 defeat of the Turks at Lepanto by the combined Christian fleets. The doge and his retinue went to the church of Santa Giustina by boat, and upon their return placed themselves in the choir of San Marco where they reviewed the scuole and other participants, who passed through the basilica after their usual procession around the piazza.
Archangel Raphael (Angelo Raffaele, 24 October) [SSR] The reasons for this procession to the churches of the Angelo Raffaele and Santa Maria Maggiore are not provided in the documents.
All Samts (Ogmsanti, 1 November) [SSGE, SSM, SSMC, SSMM] Standard liturgical celebration in the church. San Rocco also went in procession to the church of the Ognisanti.
Day of the Dead (Giorno dei Morti; 2 November) [all] Each of the scuole went individually in procession around the city, visiting churches housing tombs of their brothers. The ceremonies concluded with a commemorative funeral mass at the church.
Sunday in Octave of the Day of the Dead [SSM, SSMM] These scuole repeated the commemorative mass of the Day of the Dead in the church
Saint Leonard (San Leonardo, 6 November; also known as San Lunardo) [SSMC] The annual festa of the original host church of this scuola.
Saint Theodore (San Teodoro, 10 November; also known as San Todaro) [all] The annual festa of the Scuola di San Teodoro. All the other scuole visited the host for its celebrations.
Saint Martin (San Martino; 11 November) [SSGE] The Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista owned a relic of the leg of Saint Martin, which it carried in procession to the church dedicated to that saint.
Santa Maria della Salute (21 November) [all] This was another procession, like the Redeemer, instituted as part of a vow (p.260) for the lifting of a plague, this time in 1630. Again, a bridge of boats was employed, but here to cross the Grand Canal to the votive church of the Madonna della Salute.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria (Santa Catterina; 25 November) [SSGE] Celebrated by the officers of the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista at the altar of St. Catherine in the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo following instructions in the will of a wealthy brother.
Saint Andrew (San Andrea, 30 November) [SSR] On this day in 1480 the scuola was elevated to the rank of scuola grande. In commemoration of this important event, the scuola had requested and been granted an indulgence (pardon) in their church, which commenced with the display of the body of St. Roch on the vigil of the feast, and climaxed with a procession by the brothers to the church of Sant' Andrea.
Conception of the Virgin (8 December) [all] The annual festa of the Scuola di Santa Maria della Misericordia after the late fifteenth century. All the other scuole visited the host for its celebrations.
Saint Thomas (San Tommaso, 21 December; also known as San Tomà) [SSR] The Scuola di San Rocco went in procession to the church of its parish on this day.
Saint John the Evangelist (San Giovanni Evangelista, 27 December; also known as San Zuane Evangelista) [all] The annual festa of the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista. All the other scuole visited the host for its celebrations.