Pazzi

Pazzi s coat of arms

The Pazzi family is a noble Tuscan family. They gave up their titles so that members could be elected to public office. Their main trade, during the 15th century was banking.
Andrea de’ Pazzi is also the patron of the chapter house for the Franciscan community at Florence’s Santa Croce church, often known as the Pazzi Chapel.

The family name was likely derived from Pazzo (“the madman”), one of the first soldiers over the walls in the Siege of Jerusalem during the First Crusade, who brought away with him and returned to Florence a stone from the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.

A member of the Pazzi family was accorded the privilege of striking a light from this stone on Holy Saturday when all fires in the city were extinguished, from which the altar light of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore would be annually rekindled, and from it all the domestic fires of Florence. The following day, Easter Day, a dove-shaped rocket would slide on a wire from above the high altar to an oxcart loaded with fireworks in the piazza. From the fireworks’ explosion (the scoppio del carro or cart of the holy fire), sparks would be carried to the hearths of the city.

Pazzi

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