Ritorna il Patriarca - 6 gennaio - Cividale del Friuli
Saturday 6 January 2024

The Return of the Patriarch

Cividale del Friuli

Marquard von Randeck, Patriarch of Aquileia, entered Cividale del Friuli in 1366. It was an event of great prestige for the town. The entire community marked the event with sumptuous honours. Tradition has it that Marquard, the spiritual and temporal head of the patriarchate of Aquileia, took possession of Cividale and its territory and introduced the Mass of the Great Sword, a ceremony borrowed from the Germanic world that combined liturgical forms of the ancient Church of Aquileia-Cividale (12th century) with political and civil rituals of imperial origin. Since that distant 1366, the rite has been repeated every year on the Feast of the Epiphany. Since 1984, at the end of the liturgical celebration, hundreds of figures re-enact the solemn entry of Patriarch Marquard into Cividale.

Ritorna il Patriarca - 6 gennaio - Cividale del Friuli
Saturday 6 January 2024


10.30 a.m. Solemn Mass, or “Mass of the Great Sword” in the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta (Cathedral)

11.45 a.m. Historical re-enactment in costume of Patriarch von Randeck’s entry into Cividale del Friuli in 1366

The historical procession
The Community of Cividale prepares to welcome the Patriarch by parading from the historic Porta di Ponte, continuing along the Ponte del Diavolo, Corso Paolino d’Aquileia, Piazza Duomo, piazza Foro Giulio Cesare, via Silvio Pellico, Piazza Diaz and Piazza Dante.
Marquard von Randeck enters Cividale through Porta San Pietro accompanied by the Major Ministeriales on horseback, continuing along Via Silvio Pellico, Piazza Foro Giulio Cesare, Largo Boiani and Piazza Duomo.

The ceremonial
The Patriarch’s court arrives in Piazza Duomo. The long-awaited ceremonial begins:
– the town ‘waita’, a special historical defence corps, secures the square, the gatekeepers of the four historical gates are called to the town centre
– Marquard von Randeck presides over the square from the bishop’s seat
– the free nobles and landowners of Cividale pay homage to the Patriarch with precious gifts
– the farming people hand over the hemp rope as a sign of loyalty
– the Prince of the Homeland decrees the reinvestment of certain fiefs
– the master of arms pronounces a courtly discourse
– the Major Ministeriales on horseback lead Patriarch Marquard von Randeck to the investiture of the temporal power of his Church
– Marquard von Randeck receives the longsword as a sign of temporal power
– the entire Community solemnly swears allegiance to the Patriarch

From 2 p.m. in Piazza Duomo
Medieval entertainment in honour of the investiture

Medieval archery demonstrations and trial shooting for children by the Gruppo Storico Forojuliense.
Exhibition of birds of prey by Acrobati del Sole.
Ancient rhyming with Messer Lurinetto.
Medieval music with Barbecocul and Cencia Timp.
Medieval swordplay duels by the Guarneri d’Urslingen Company.
Fire-eaters and jesters with Gallistriones.
Rolling of Medieval Drums from Cividale del Friuli.
Closing procession with the historical groups of Cividale.