Church of St James

Church of St James

Located at the most panoramic point of Clauzetto, the Church of San Giacomo, built between the 13th and 14th centuries, can be reached by climbing 98 steps: from here the famous “balcony over Friuli” opens up. There was a time when the fame of this place reached far and wide and drew pilgrims to adore the relic of the Precious Blood, during the Perdòn.

The relic had a reputation for curing ills of body and spirit: spirituals were cured, who always came from outside. For the inhabitants, until the First World War, the Perdòn was above all a great event, awaited throughout the year. Clauzetto became the centre of the world.

The Perdòn began to be celebrated in the mid-eighteenth century, when the Patriarch of Venice authenticated the relic with the Blood of Jesus. In 1773 Pope Clement XIV granted a plenary indulgence to pilgrims who went to the sanctuary on that day.

In the nineteenth century there are many documents concerning the relic and the feast: one reads of crowds arriving from far and wide for the occasion, attracted by the fame of the liberation of the possessed. The Church, too, began to send inspectors to Clauzetto to investigate what was happening and to curb the spread of unorthodox rites, swindles and exorcisms. It is in nineteenth-century texts that the story of the arrival of the relic by an emigrant returning from Venice appears. In turn, the sacred object must have arrived in the Serenissima from Constantinople.

Despite numerous political attempts to put an end to the Perdón, its celebration continued until the Great War, when it began to fade, partly because in May 1944 during the celebration of the Mass for the Perdón, Nazi-Fascist troops surrounded the church and deported the men present. Some were taken to Germany but most to Poland. Not all of them returned.
Today, the Perdón Grande is held on Ascension Day.

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