Friday, May 12, 2006

Day 30 - 12th May 1483

"On the 12th, which is the day of the martyrs Nereus, Achilles, and Pancratius, we went by water to the church of St. Zacharias, and attended Mass there. After Mass we sent a message to the Abbess of the monastery which joins the church, asking to have the relics shown us. These nuns are rich and noble, and are very, lax in their rule, which is that of St. Bene't. They opened for us a tomb in which lay the bodies of the three martyrs whose feast day it was, to wit, Saints Nereus, Achilles, and Pancratius. In another tomb, made of silver, we saw the entire body of St. Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, with his mouth open, and by his side the body of St. Gregory Nazianzen, and the body of St. Theodore the confessor, and the body of St. Sabina, virgin and martyr. I was astonished at the wealth of this church in relics, and was told that the daughter of some Emperor was once Abbess thereof, and that he, out of love for his daughter, brought these bodies thither. So after we had seen and kissed the relics we returned to our own place."

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