A poor woman in Camaldoli,(1) who had several grown-up daughters, was praying to the crucifix in their house, when they saw it break into sweat, and speaking of it in the neighbourhood, people began to go and pray to it. When the Carmelite friars heard of it, they went and fetched it reverently and placed it in a tabernacle of the Cappella della Croce,(2) and it was worshiped there.
(1) A portion of the city near the gate of San Frediano, which received its name from an old monastery of the Camaldolensi. It is the abode of the roughest and poorest of the people, and the name was extended to a district near San Lorenzo (the Camaldoli of San Frediano, and the Camaldoli of San Lorenzo), the appellation now signifying "rough people." (Trans.)
(2) This is doubtless the crucifix known as La Providenza, and concerning which a certain G. F. B. published the Notizie (Florence, 1852).
At this time there was much talk of the worship of an image of Our Lady at Bibbona, or rather in a tabernacle about a bowshot from Bibbona. It is, namely, a Virgin seated and holding the dead Christ in her arms, after He has been taken down from the Cross; which is called by some a Pieta. This worship began on the 5th April, when it was transfigured: that is, it changed from blue to red, and from red to black and divers colours. And this is said to have happened many times between then and now, and a number of sick persons have been cured, and a number of miracles have been performed, and quarrels reconciled; so that all the world is running there. Nothing else is talked of at this moment; I have spoken to many who tell me that they themselves have seen it transfigured, so that one must perforce believe it.
A league was made with the Sienese for twenty-five years, and our fortresses were restored to us. At this time there died at Faenza a Brother of the Order of the Servi di Maria,(1) who had performed many miracles; the bells having rung of their own accord when anyone died, and sick persons being healed. People went to him from all the country round. I spoke to a trustworthy man, who said that he had witnessed these facts. Miracles were constantly happening; sometimes down by the river and sometimes up in the mountains; and sometimes he was seen speaking with a woman, who was the Virgin. I mention this to show that people were in the mood to expect great things from God.
(1) From the Historie di Faenza by Giulio Cesare Tonduzzi, and the Annali dell' Ordine de' Serviti by Arcangelo Giani, we find that this was the Beato Jacopo Filippo Bertoni, who died on the 25th May, 1483. These writers also testify to the prodigies referred to by Landucci, which so moved the Faentini that they wished honours to be conferred upon Misserino Bertoni dalla Cella di Monte Chiaro, father of the defunct, by a public decree.
In this July a worship of an image of the Virgin Mary(1) at Prato began; people rushing there from all the country round. It worked miracles like that of Bibbona, so that building was begun and great expense incurred.
(1) This is the Madonna called della Carceri, which is worshipped at Prato, where there was soon built a very elegant temple after the design of Giuliano da San Gallo. Ferdinando Baldanzi wrote a fine description of it, which can be read in the Calendario Pratense of 1847. A church was also built at Bibbona in the Volterrano, in honour of the other image mentioned on the 12th June, 1482. Savonarola alludes to the prodigies worked by these two images in the second of his Poesie tratte dall' autografo, in which he says:
"O anima cecata Tu senti mille segni A Prato e a Bibbona"