“It was an amazing sight to see the entire city rush about with such enthusiasm and fervour over the course of those days, no longer afraid of infection”. (Bascapè,Vita di San Carlo (Life of St. Charles), book IV, chapter IV, pg. 345-347.)
St. Charles was the first who wished to descend from the top of the Duomo's vault and walk in procession with the Relic of the Holy Nail in order to reawaken the devotion of the faithful in 1576, the year that the plague came to Milan. The annual festival of the Invention (or rather rediscovery) of the real cross by St. Elena was scheduled by the Archbishop Cardinal Carlo Borromeo for May 3rd, and then postponed until September 14th in 1817, the date on which the Rite of the Nivola still takes place to this day.
This year, on occasion of the exhibition of the Relic of the Holy Nail within the Cathedral, “Il Chiodo di Cristo” (a book which provides an interesting insight, full of exclusive content regarding the history of the Holy Nail, worship of the relic, and the fascinating rite of the Nivola) will be available for purchase in all of the Duomo di Milano's bookshops.
Previews of the two contributions by Mons. Gianantonio Borgonovo, Archpriest of the Duomo di Milano and President of the Veneranda Fabbrica, and Mons. Marco Navoni, Head of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana and Canonico of the Duomo and of Sant'Ambrogio, can be downloaded in PDF format from duomomilano.it. They are found within the publication compiled by Armando Torno and available in the "MinimaMoralia" book series, published by Book Time – Scuola della Cattedrale.
“Il Chiodo di Cristo
Storia di una reliquia del Duomo di Milano” (The Nail of Christ, History of a Relic of the Duomo di Milano)
Introduction by Armando Torno
Afterward “Processione con il Santo Chiodo (Procession with the Holy Nail)” by Carlo Bascapè
MinimaMoralia, Book Time – Scuola della Cattedrale, Milan 2016
Available at all of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano's bookshops
This year the Triduo of the Holy Nail will adhere to the following calendar:
SATURDAY 10 SEPTEMBER
- 3:00 pm Vespers led by S. Em.za the Cardinal Archbishop, Rite of the Nivola and exhibition of the Holy Nail
- 5:30 pm Eucharistic vigil
SUNDAY 11 SEPTEMBER
Eucharistic services, 7:10 am - 8:00 am - 10:00 am - 12:30 pm - 5:30 pm
The 9:30 am and 11:00 am services are suspended
- 9:25 am Morning prayer
- 10:00 am Chapter Eucharist broadcast live on Retequattro
- 4:00 pm Vespers and procession with the Holy Nail
MONDAY 12 SEPTEMBER
Eucharistic services, 7:10 am - 8:00 am - 11:00 am - 12:45 pm - 5:30 pm
1:10 pm (in Santa Maria Annunciata)
The 8:30 am service is suspended.
- 5:30 pm Chapter Eucharist, Vespers, and returning the Holy Nail to its place