The beautiful and dramatic wooden Christ preserved in the church of San Domenico of Chioggia arrived here in a miraculous way: the most popular legend tells how Nicodemus, the secret disciple of Jesus, having gazed at Christ upon cross, decided to carve a wooden representation of the image he had fixed in his mind.
But as he began carving the features of Christ's suffering face, a great weakness came over him, he invoked help from heaven and fell asleep. When he awoke, the divine likeness was perfect, wonderfully portrayed by the intervention of angels.
This version is also confirmed in a copper plate engraving at the foot of the crucifix: it tells how the statue was taken from the Holy Land to Iesi in Marche, by the Confraternity of the Holy Sepulchre. Here it came to life in front of St. Peter The Martyr, a Dominican saint, with whom he actually spoke.
The saint insisted that the statue be taken to Venice, but when sailing across the sea a storm wrecked the boat.
And so the Crucifix landed at the port of Chioggia, a few dozen metres from the place where the church was later built, and was found by Dominican Fathers.
Another legend comes directly from a manuscript by canon Antonio Boscolo.
It tells how the Christ, at some undefined time in the past, was found in near the foot of the Bridge of San Domenico.
The image was solemnly carried to the cathedral, where the people of the town thought they would safeguard it forever; but during the night the crucifix miraculously moved back to the place where it had been found.
Click here to access the relevant page on the Region of Veneto website