Four Crowned Martyrs

sculpture by Nanni di Banco

made out of marble

currently at Orsanmichele in Florence, Tuscany, Italy, Europe


August 17

on Thursday

It happened that a certain unbeliever, to spite the Christians, but mostly out of folly, went about Florence disfiguring the images of Our Lady, and amongst others, that which is on the pilaster of Orto San Michele, outside. He scratched the eyes of the Child, and of San Nofri (Onophrius), and threw mud in the face of Our Lady.(1) On this account, the boys began to throw stones at him, and they were joined by grown men, who in their fury stoned him to death with great stones, and then dragged his body about with much vituperation.

(1) This statue of the Virgin is by Mina da Fiesole, who made it for the Doctors and Apothecaries' Guild, whose arms were the Virgin and Child in an archway. After this act of desecration it was removed to the interior of the church for a time, and then placed outside again, when it obtained the reputation of working so many miracles that great crowds used to gather in front of it, till it was taken back into the interior of the church in the time of Cosimo I. Now, in the year 1926, it has one more been placed outside, in a niche on the south side. Formerly it used to stand in the niche now occupied by the copy of Donatello's San Giorgio, and therefor next to the group of Four Saints, one of whom is Saint Onophrius. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.





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