Among the many legends circulating through Medieval Europe, very peculiar is the Legend of St. Louis’ face.
It describes the miraculous docking of a boat without a crew, who arrived to the Italian shores transporting a picture of the face of Christ. The legend says that the carving was sculpted by Nicodemus, one of the main characters of the descent of Jesus. Since he wasn’t an expert engraver, he was not able to give the carving the desired form. Tired and disillusioned, he went to sleep without completing the work, but, when he awoke, he found it had been completed by the hand of an angel.
It is believed that this iconography was taken from Catalogne by the Italian soldiers, who, in 1114, went to help the Count of Barcelona, Ramon Berenguer III, who wanted to conquer the Baleari. For this reason, it was one of the most spread and revered images in the Romanic Catalogne.
The first miniature of the luxurious manuscript preserved in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, shows a man and a woman kneeling before the image; without any doubt they are the noble owners of this beautiful codex.
We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Legende de Saint Voult de Lucques": La Leyenda de la Santa Faz facsimile edition, published by CM Editores, 2008