Historical Questions

  1. The start and spread of the cult of the Veronica (Innocent III and the 13th century popes)
  2. Popes’ letters about the Veronica and grants of indulgences (especially under Urban IV’s pontificates: the copy of Laon) in 13th century up to Boniface VIII’s Jubilee
  3. The possible role of the Ospedale di Santo Spirito in Sassia in the spread of the cult of the Veronica
  4. The Veronica and the Popes in the 14th and 15th centuries
  5. Ostensions to those in power in the Middle Ages. Politics and piety.
  6. Pilgrimages to see the Veronica (and the link with the Jubilee)
  7. Popes and other Christological relics at the time of the spread of the cult (13th century)

The first topic requiring attention is that of the start of the cult of the Veronica during Innocent III’s pontificate and its historical development in the 13th century, up to the first Jubilee under Boniface VIII, with particular attention to the question of indulgences. Space will be given to the possible role played by the Ospedale di Santo Spirito in Sassia, the destination of the procession with the relic (including detailed study of the spread of the rule linked to the Ospedale itself). Another neglected area is that of the Veronica in the 14th and 15th centuries, including relations between the papacy and the city. Attention needs to be directed towards the phenomenon of ‘private’ ostensions of the Veronica to the rich and powerful, such as that of Charles IV in Rome in 1368-9, so as to understand them in their historical context, and, more generally, to the theme of pilgrimages, whose goal was to see the holy face. A useful side issue would be the investigation of the relationship between popes and other Christological relics at the time of the spread of the Veronica cult (13th century).