La bolla di Papa Bonifacio IX del 1397
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8 November Nov 2017 1501 10 days ago

A Document from the Duomo's Origins: The Seal of Boniface IX

The Document of the Month, October 2017

On Sunday 15th October 2017 more than one thousand people came to see the exhibit organized by the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano Archives on the occasion of this autumn's FAI Day.

The documents on display gave to the visitors a taste of the vastness of the documentation’s patrimony preserved by the Veneranda Fabbrica, made newly accessible thanks to the invaluable collaboration with FAI and its incredibly well-prepared and passionate volunteers.

The seal of Pope Boniface IX dated 1397, greatly admired by visitors, together with other loose and registered documents, illustrates the history of the Duomo's origins, a history that is deeply felt, especially in a month such as this in which the Veneranda Fabbrica celebrates the 630th anniversary of the approval of its first regulation.

It is a beautiful document, preserved in excellent condition and characterized by an intitulatio (or the name of the pope) richly embellished with floral decorations. 
Guaranteeing its authenticity, in addition to other elements, is the lead seal, displaying on one side the images of saints Pietro and Paolo and on the other side the name of the Pope.
The string with which the seal is attached to the parchment is made of yellow and red silk, which indicates that the document constitutes a concession of clemency or indulgence. In fact, the Pope directly addresses worshippers residing in the area under jurisdiction of the duke, urging them to offer alms and personal assistance “in proportion to their individual means”. The residents of Milan did not disappoint the expectations of the Fabbrica's deputies and responded with great generosity, of which the volumes in archive's registries preserve an eternal record.