4. The Sacristies

The Sacristies were created in the 1800s by enclosing a cloister-facing portico, an adjustment which is noticeable if you look out beyond the windows. These rooms feature a series of wardrobes and wood-panelled walls of exquisite manufacturing made here, in the region of Lazio. These date from the early 20th century and are characterised by plain moulding, straight lines and a purposeful simplicity, free of any unnecessary decoration.

Despite being included in the tour, the Sacristies of the Anagni Cathedral and their entire content are, to this day, part of the liturgical functions of the Cathedral and still fulfil the purpose which they were designed for.

The display cabinets at the centre of the first Sacristy contain the reliquary busts of Saint Peter the Bishop and of Saint Magno. Both dated 1542, these are the work of highly skilled silversmiths, expertly crafted from silver lamina and set on a wooden base which contains the saints’ sacred relics.

To this day, the busts are solemnly carried along the streets of the old city as part of the procession on August 18th, the evening before the patron saint is celebrated. The busts are carried on the processional float, which is stored within the Cathedral’s right nave.

Legend has it that, in order to preserve the two busts correctly, sometime in the 18th century it was decided that the originals should be replaced by a wooden statue. The people of Anagni found the statue so offensive that, in the course of the procession, they covered it with coconuts. After the incident, the original busts once again became the undisputed protagonists of the procession and the wooden statue was placed in the convent of the Cistercian Sisters.