Friday, November 28, 2014

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew Pray and Work Together for Unity in Istanbul

“ May the Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!” (Num 6:25-26).

photo by Paul Badde

"That they all may be one: even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be  in us, so that the world may believe that thou has sent me."  (John 17:21)

Let us join our prayers with those of Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis as the season of Advent begins. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

By Thy Holy and Immaculate Conception O Mary Deliver Us from Evil

Mary's message of motherly care to encourage and sustain us in these dark days.

 Please make use of the following prayer approved by the ecclesiastical authority of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.  I ask that you find out more about this devotion at the website

Text of this prayer is in the PUBLIC DOMAIN

Prayer to Our Lady of America, Patroness of our Land

Written at the behest of Our Lady, October 5, 1956 by Sister Mary Ephrem (Mildred Neuzil)

Oh Immaculate Mother, Queen of our country, open our hearts, our homes, and our land to the coming of Jesus, your Divine Son. With Him, reign over us, O heavenly Lady, so pure and so bright with the radiance of God's light shining in and about you. Be our leader against the powers of evil set upon wresting the world of souls, redeemed at such a great cost by the sufferings of your Son and of yourself, in union with Him, from that same Savior, Who loves us with infinite charity.

We gather about you, O chaste and holy Mother, Virgin Immaculate, Patroness of our beloved Land, determined to fight under your banner of holy purity against the wickedness that would make all the world an abyss of evil, without God and without your loving maternal care.

We consecrate our hearts, our homes, our Land to your Most Pure Heart, O great Queen, that the kingdom of your Son, our Redeemer and our God, may be firmly established in us.

We ask no special sign of you, sweet Mother, for we believe in your great love for us, and we place in you our entire confidence. We promise to honor you by faith, love, and the purity of our lives according to your desire.

Reign over us, then, O Virgin Immaculate, with your Son Jesus Christ. May His Divine Heart and your most chaste Heart be ever enthroned and glorified among us. Use us, your children of America, as your instruments of peace among men and nations. Work your miracles of grace in us, so that we may be a glory to the Blessed Trinity, Who created, redeemed, and sanctifies us.

May your valiant spouse, St. Joseph, with the holy Angels and Saints, assist you and us in "renewing the face of the earth." Then when our work is over, come, Holy Immaculate Mother, and as our Victorious Queen, lead us to the eternal kingdom, where your Son reigns forever as King.
(200 days)
Nihil Obstat: Daniel Pilarczyk, S.T.D.
Imprimatur: +Paul F. Leibold, V.G.
Cincinnati, Jan. 25, 1963

Friday, October 31, 2014

Servants of the Most Holy Blood in Service of the Holy Face in Manoppello

photo by Paul Badde

Juliusz Maszloch writes from Poland about a noble project being carried out in Manoppello for pilgrims and locals alike out by a group of Polish religious sisters.   

June 2014 marked exactly four years since the beginning of the
religious mission of the Servants of the Most Holy Blood close by the Shrine of
the Holy Face of Jesus in Manoppello. Sisters from this religious community
not only serve in the Sanctuary by working with different groups (of
various languages), through music service during the Mass, leading
Eucharistic adoration, praying every day in front of the Holy Face but also
their house has become a place to stay for many pilgrims, who knock at
their door to contemplate the Face of Jesus and to renew their spiritual
life. Moreover people living nearby gather in their house to pray together, to
stay for a night of adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, to take part in the
Bible meetings and have spiritual talks.
The sisters’ house has become more and more cramped and should be immediately
enlarged to give an opportunity to carry out all these tasks. That’s why
a project of enlarging the house was prepared. This project includes
renovation of the old part and building an assembly hall for different
purposes – to celebrate the Holy Mass, have conferences, adoration or
sometimes to serve as a dormitory with mattresses for ´´courageous´´ people.
Apart from that there will be a new kitchen and bedrooms for guests. Near
the main building there will be also two small detached houses (for
families or individual guests who would like to experience here some kind
of a hermitage).
Last year there were floods and days of heavy rain in Italy. Sisters
realized that they need a renovation of the roof, a good draining system
and financial sources to protect slopes from erosion and subsiding of the
From 2011 Sisters have been trying intensively to get permission for the
enlargement plan. There were some difficulties but thanks to a great amount of prayer,
the intercession of St. Joseph and our Angel of Light on 16th May 2014 – the
day before the celebration of the annual feast of the Holy Face of Jesus in Manoppello – the permission was
given. After requesting again for the estimated budget for realization of
the project it appeared that Sisters need help to fulfill this plan. Maybe
among your friends or people of good will that you know there are open
hearts that would like to make a donation to participate in the building.
If somebody would like to take part – together with Servants of the Most
Holy Blood - in building this place located on the way to ´´Tabor
Mountain´´ - the Shrine of the Holy Face of Jesus - and needs any
additional information – they can contact Sisters by an email
( or by a phone call (+39 085 85 98 74).

photo by Paul Badde

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Stika Visit the Holy Face of Manoppello

Bishop Stika, Sr. Petra-Maria Steiner, Cardinal Rigali

On October 4, 2014, feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali visited the Basilica Shrine of the Holy Face.  Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia, and previously Archbishop of St. Louis, Missouri, was accompanied by Richard Stika, Bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville. The prelates met with Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, rector of the shrine, who spoke with them about his recent mission to cities in the USA and  the Philippines.
Sr. Petra-Maria Steiner, a scholar of the Holy Face, provided  a description in English of the characteristics of the Holy Face, and of the visit of Benedict XVI to the Shrine of the Holy Face on September 1, 2006.

photo and news item by Antonio Bini

Monday, October 13, 2014

Catalan Artist Joan Mates Depicts Sudarium in 1429

Look closely as the loving hand of the saint places the obviously transparent sudarium on the face of Jesus as part of his burial. Thanks to Paul Badde for alerting me to this work of art which is part of the collection at the National Museum of Catalan Art (MNAC) in Barcelona. To see more detailed photos of this work of art and to learn other information about this monumental painting on a wood panel which measures approximately 5 Ft. high and 2.5 ft. wide visit

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Focus on the Life of Padre Domenico da Cese of the Holy Face

Reporting on the Conference held on September 17 Antonio Bini shares several photos and writes:

 "The church of the Madonna of the Seven Sorrows was packed with devotees from various parts of Italy.  One of the speakers, 85 year old Fr.Guglielmo Alimonti,  who was very close to Padre Pio and remains an adviser at the national level for the Prayer Groups of Padre Pio, said clearly that in Padre Domenico da Cese one could glimpse the same characteristics as those of Padre Pio."

"Solemn Mass for Padre Domenico at the Shrine of the Madonna of the Seven Sorrows .  The main celebrant, Fr. Carmine Ranieri the provincial of the Capuchins of Abruzzo, is seen at the altar."

"Fr. Luciano Antonelli, superior of the convent of the Holy Face of Manoppello at the time of Padre Domenico's death in 1978, speaks during the conference introducing the biography of Padre Domenico.  Fr. Luciano recalled the extraordinary intense homilies which Padre Domenico would give describing the Holy Face to the faithful."

"Paul Badde interviews Brother Vincenzo D'Elpidio, Padre Domenico's friend and a supporter of his cause for beatification,  in preparation for an EWTN program on the life of Padre Domenico."

"Interview with Giovanni Petracca, nephew of Padre Domenico, outside the home in Cese where Padre Domenico was born."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Capuchins of Abruzzo to Remember Padre Domenico da Cese and Launch Biography of His Life

On September 17, the 36th anniversary of the death in Turin of Padre Domenico da Cese, O.F.M., Cap., beloved rector of the Shrine in Manoppello during the 1970's and often simply known as Padre Domenico of the Holy Face, the Capuchins of Abruzzo will hold a conference on his life at the Shrine of the Madonna dei Sette Dolori (Madonna of the Seven Sorrows) in Pescara Colli.

The conference includes the launch of a biography on the life of Padre Domenico written by the vice-postulator of the cause for his beatification, Eugenio Di Giamberardino, who is also the author of "The Holy Face of Manoppello -- Tradition, History, Science and Devotion".

During the conference, which begins at 4pm, there will be a talk by Fr. Giamberardino to introduce the biography of Padre Domenico as well as talks by Fr. Carmine Ranieri, Provincial Minister of the Capuchins of Abruzzo, by Fr. Vincenzo di Marcoberardino, Fr. Guglielmo Alimonti, Brother Vincenzo D'Elpidio among other fellow Capuchins of Padre Domenico. The program will conclude with a concelebrated Mass presided by the Provincial Minister.

It is noteworthy that this program to commemorate the life of Padre Domenico is being held on the day on which concludes the Mission for the Holy Face to the USA and the Philippines which is being conducted by Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, the rector of the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello.

Bishop Luca Brandolini of the Diocese of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo composed and published the following prayer in 2006 for the beatification of Padre Domenico.

O God, glorify in the Church your servant Father Domenico da Cese, humble Capuchin priest, to whom you gave the privilege of sharing also visibly the passion of Christ and of being able to read into the hearts of souls in order to relieve their burdens and to reconcile them with you through the sacrament of pardon, as well as the capacity of recognizing in the poor and the suffering the very Holy Face of your beloved Son, whose devotion he promoted with such zeal, through his intercession obtain for me the humility of heart and the simplicity of the little ones to whom you have revealed the secrets of the Kingdom, and in my hour of trial give me the strength to overcome the seductions of evil in order to put Satan to flight, and to merit, at the end of my earthly pilgrimage, to be able to contemplate the Holy Face of Jesus in the glory of Paradise.

Though unworthy as I am of your divine favors, I ask that you might grant, through the intercession of your faithful servant Father Domenico, the grace that I humbly ask of you...