Dressing of Saint Jacopo

 

  • The celebrations start with the suggestive ceremony of the” Saint’s dressing”, an ancient tradition that commemorates Giacomo’s martyrdom.
  • Giacomo was called ”the major”, he was Giovanni Evangelista’s brother and the first apostle who died a martyr’s death.
  • Nine days before the Solemnity of liturgical calendar ,on 25 July,the high priest of the Cathedral,after the service,comes out of San Zeno to bless the red  cape that firefighters  put above San Jacopo’s sculpture which is located  on the right-side of the roof of  the Cathedral.
  • In Pistoia this token gesture is tied to Giacomo’s martyrdom and to the ancient clerical ceremonial directed to all the martyrs.
  • This thing has become also a singular popular tradition .
  • The Saint  in fact  was wearing a red greatcoat made of wool  to avoid paying his debts until it was too hot and he could  take it off.
  • The dressing is precede and accompanied by a rich historical procession   along the streets close to the CathedralSquare with musicians ,flag wavers and extras.
  • Before covering the saint’s back with the cape they read the Giostra’s notice that dates back to 1464