Sigeric the Serious: Via Francigena, Sce Moderanne (Berceto), Circa 990 AD

Submansio XXXIII – Sce Moderanne

Situated along the Via Francigena, Berceto marks a stage particularly rich in mystery. In 1971, after performing excavations, a tomb was found in the romanesque Cathedral of Berceto (anciently Cathedral San Moderanne),  under the presbytery. The tomb was completely devoid of indications but was most likely from the 11th century and its simplicity suggests a monk’s burial. Moreover, a special artifact was found inside the tomb: a glass goblet. The Holy Grail? The cup from which Jesus drank during the Last Supper? Another detail worth noting, is the bas-relief at the main entrance depicting the scene of the Crucifixion, with a child collecting the drops of Jesus blood in a vessel.

In the year 718, it is said that the bishop of Rennes, San Moderanno, on his way to Rome, and along the way acquired the relics of San Remigio. Near Berceto, he stopped to rest and hung the bag with the remains on the branch of a tree. He forgot the bag and went back for it, only to notice that the branch had grown out so much that it made it impossible to recover the remains. Only after Moderanno promised to keep the relics on the site, did the tree bend down so a monastery could be build on the miraculous soil. The cathedral was completely rebuilt in the 12th century.


Church of Berceto, courtesy


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