Having been found ‘vehemently suspected of heresy’ by the Holy Office in 1633, at the time of his death (1642) Galileo's remains were laid to rest in the tiny vestry of a lateral chapel of the Santa Croce Basilica, Florence. Throughout his life, Vincenzo Viviani, Galileo's last disciple, struggled to have his master's name rehabilitated and his banned works reprinted, as well as a proper funeral monument erected. He did not live to see all this come true, but his efforts triggered a mechanism that eventually led to the fulfilment of his wishes. A key element of his project was the transformation of the facade of his palace into a private (but publicly rendered) tribute to Galileo, with two long inscriptions celebrating Galileo's achievements and calling Florence's attention to the need to pay a proper tribute to him. Shortly afterwards, he revised the text and circulated it in print. This article presents the first critical edition and annotated translation of Viviani's original manuscript, long thought to be lost, and describes its role in Viviani's lifelong struggle for Galileo's intellectual legacy, as well as its impact on future historiography.