Exposition of the Holy Vases – Mantua
30 March. Traditional ritual of the Holy Week, on Good Friday.
The Exposition of The Holy Vases, that according to tradition contain Jesus’ blood, collected by a soldier named Longino, takes place in Mantua on Good Friday (this year on March 30, 2018).
The ritual starts on Good Friday afternoon, when the Bishop, followed by the Prefect and worshippers, climb down into the underground crypt of Saint Andrew’s Cathedral and opens the strongbox where the two relics are kept.
Once he gets the Vases, the Bishop says a prayer and then brings the Holy Vases out of the crypt and into the Cathedral, where they are placed at the bottom of the Cruxified Christ, in the left side of the apse.
For the entire afternoon and evening, visitors can admire the Holy Vases, which are then paraded and brought back to the strongbox in the cathedral’s crypt.