Legend has it that thanks to a meeting between the Pope and the
Emperor on Ascension Day in 1177, and to the Serenissima Republic’s
diplomatic efforts to bring peace, the Pope bestowed many privileges
on the city (the use of the sword, the candle, the seal, ensign,
curial seat, silver trumpets, and the concession of an indulgence
to Saint Mark on Ascension Day).
This included the act of “marrying the
sea”, as a sign of Venice’s domination at sea and official
recognition of the Republic’s predominance.