Florence – Florence Cathedral Museum (Flowering Cross from the Column of St. Zenobius)

Saint Zenobius was the first bishop of Florence and there is a story passed down the generations that when his body was being moved from the Basilica di San Lorenzo di Firenze to the Cathedral that it touched a dead elm which then burst into flower. A gardening miracle can’t be a bad thing, although the Saint today is better known from being children back to life after they’ve died. There’s a pillar now at the spot where this miracle is said to have taken place, which is often today marked with flowers at its base.

It’s not known when the first pillar was placed there, but it’s known that it was lost during the flood of 1333, but was replaced in the following year. The pillar collapsed in 1501 and was then repaired, still standing today. The details on various web-sites of the pillar suggest that the fourteenth century version is still in situ.

However, this pillar at the Cathedral museum is dated as being from the fourteenth century. So, it’s either the one that was installed in 1334 and there was a new one added in 1501, or this is somehow something else. However, the cross does look like the one which is currently standing and it’s a wonderful tradition. I like to think that this is the fourteenth century cross which fell in 1501, now located just a stone’s throw from the current one. Quite a long stone’s throw, but just about doable.