According to charming popular tales, the statue carried in procession in Sorrento, in the evening of Holy Friday, would have been made by a noble knight who would have achieved a right of asylum in the Church of San Catello. Surely among the oldest in Europe and all over the world, the Black Procession occurring on Holy Friday in Sorrento is rich in charm and suggestions for its aspect and its meanings. And, as any tradition whose origins are lost in the mists of time, it is made even more attractive by the existence of some legends fruit of popular tales handed down for centuries from generation to generation from father to son. Right among these legends one in particular concerns the wonderful wooden statue of Dead Christ which gathers the immense veneration of all Sorrento people and arouses the emotion of those able to admire it. Of this real work of art which portrays dead Jesus lying on a shroud with an expression of painful relaxation, not only the author, but also the exact date of making is ignored. Actually, according to an old legend, it would have been made by a noble knight, unfairly charged with lese-majesty, taken shelter in the Church of San Catello to ask for right of asylum. According to the fabulous reconstruction, the noble – helped by his brothers – would have sculptured the statue as a homage for a vow taken in order that his innocence was recognized. The fact would have happened miraculously with the finishing of the statue itself. Actually, there are two well-founded reasons fostering uncertainty on the reliability of this legend. Probably, in fact, the people - in the course of the years – has drawn the idea to articulate this reconstruction from a really happened fact (always in Sorrento) to the famous artist Nicola Vaccaro. This one –actually taken shelter in the Church of San Catello – in 1648, to thank the brothers who had offered him a generous and exquisite hospitality, enriched the holy building with wonderful stucco statues. By mixing this real story with the vague news about the author of the wooden statue, instead, a tale, which, still today, is able to keep its unquestionable charm unchanged, would have arisen. Anyway, according to scholars, the sculpture portraying the Dead Christ is much older than the time when Vaccaro lived. In admiring its making, moreover, it is possible to assert that its author certainly had the chance to draw inspiration – or anyway take into consideration – from the Christ of Michelangelo’s Pieta'.
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