Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Nihil Obstat for the Cause of Beatification of Padre Domenico da Cese -- Apostle of the Holy Face

Recently I received the good news from Antonio Bini of the decision of the Vatican's  Congregation for the Cause of the Saints to grant the Nihil Obstat for the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God Padre Domenico da Cese, O.F.M., Cap. (1905-1978) the Apostle of the Holy Face of Manoppello.  Padre Domenico resided at the Shrine in Manoppello from 1965 to 1978.  He promoted the Holy Face in every way possible and lived an exemplary life as a religious.

Padre Domenico da Cese promoting the Holy Face of Manoppello at the Eucharistic Congress in Pescara in 1977

Here is a copy of the Nihil Obstat from the Congregation addressed to the Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto Bruno Forte. Thanks to Antonio Bini for this news and the copy of the Nihil Obstat.  The faithful devoted to Padre Domenico who have witnessed extraordinary events that would be useful to the process of beatification are asked to send the pertinent information to the Santuario del Volto Santo 65024 Manoppello - Italy

To learn more about Padre Domenico see the following posts

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Know that I am With You Always, Until the End of the World! the Gospel of Matthew 28:20

photo by Paul Badde
                                                 "Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I Say Rejoice!"
                                                 ( from the Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Philippians 4:4)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Plans for New Mission to the Philippines, Canada and the USA


                                Ambassador Mercedes Arrastia Tuason with Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, O.F.M., Cap.

Fr. Cucinelli  between the ambassador Mercedes Arrastia Tuason– at his right – and her secretary Ms. Josephine Bantug to his left.  Next to the ambassador is  Sr. Petra-Maria Steiner, who accompanied the guests to the renovated museum of the Holy Face.

by Antonio Bini

Following the success of the first mission launched in September 2014 , which was announced by a press release on the website of the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines:

 a new mission of the Shrine of the Holy Face is being organized for the Philippines.

The program for the mission, which is currently being finalized, also includes several stops prior to the arrival in the Asian country -- in Canada (Vancouver) and USA (Los Angeles).  In the Philippines, the mission will begin in the capital Manila.

The initiative is sponsored by a devotee of the Holy Face, Mrs. Daisy Neves, an American citizen of Filipino origin, living in the city of Bellevue, Washington. The rector of the Sanctuary p. Carmine Cucinelli, will be assisted by Fr. Bonifacio Lopez, Filipino priest in Rome, acting as translator, religious advisor and spokesman.  

Also part of the delegation will be the author and journalist Paul Badde, well known writer and scholar of the Holy Face in the international arena, author of the books "The Face of God" and "The True Icon" published in the USA by Ignatius Press of San Francisco.

Badde, who is currently working with the television network EWTN, recalls that "years ago John Paul II prophesied that the third millennium would be the millennium of Asia for the Catholic Church. In that vision, it is clear that now - in a crisis situation for the church universal - the pilgrims from the Philippines and other Asian countries are beginning to rediscover and recognize the True Human and merciful face of God in the ancient Holy Sudarium of Manoppello.”

The purpose of the mission is in line with the next special Jubilee proclaimed by Pope Francis.

In reality, the extraordinary result of the mission last year led the religious authorities and government of the Philippines to choose the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Nampicuan, in the province of New Ecija, which Fr.  Carmine Cucinelli had given an accurate reproduction of the Holy Face, as a reference center of the devotion of the Holy Face in the Philippines.   Fr.  Carmine still recalls with emotion the day of the visit and the solemn ceremony presided over by Bishop Roberto Mallari, of the Diocese of San Jose, along with two other bishops and religious, and the enthusiastic participation of a huge crowd of the faithful.

In recent months the church was elevated to become the Shrine of the Holy Face of Jesus, as a result of actions by government as well as ecclesiastical authorities:

The complex organizational network is made up of three groups of volunteers, one from each country, coordinated by Mrs Daisy Neves and composed predominantly of women devoted to the Holy Face, enthusiastic in helping in the work of spreading the devotion "for the greater glory of God." 

The groups are reaching out to parish priests, carrying out awareness-raising in the areas which will be visited. The effort began with a greeting from the Archbishop of the diocese of Chieti-Vasto, Mons. Bruno Forte, directed to the bishops of the dioceses involved in the program, with reference to the purpose of the Mission. The program will be defined in the coming weeks.

The overall activities of the mission were explained for Mrs. Mercedes Arrastia Tuason, Philippine ambassador to the Holy See, during a visit to the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello.  Mrs Tuason, who was accompanied by her secretary Ms Josephine Bantug and a small delegation, expressed satisfaction for the important initiative that follows the one already largely positive realized last year.

The rector of the Shrine thanked the Ambassador for her visit and for her interest in the new mission, and took the opportunity to express his deep gratitude to Mrs Daisy Neves and all those enthusiastically working in the Philippines, as well as in Canada and the United States towards the organization of this initiative which will involve thousands of people, especially in the Asian country.

Editor's note:  to see record of 2014 mission to the Philippines and the USA go to the following posts:

Monday, May 18, 2015

Antonio Bini Reporting on the Feast of the Holy Face of Manoppello May 2015

the procession from the Basilica of the Holy Face of Manoppello to the Church of San Nicola Sunday May 17 

all photos by Antonio Bini except as noted

Dear Ray,

Once again the annual feast of the Holy Face was celebrated on the third Sunday in May -- this year by a huge crowd -- much larger than those of recent years. The mass of people could follow only part of the route of the procession after having reached the entrance of the town which is known for its narrow winding streets. The organizing committee did its best to prepare for the procession and related events.  Participating in the procession was Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer who was greeted affectionately by Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, rector of the Basilica, and by Mayor Gennaro Matarazzo.

 It must be noted that the Jesuit, who is the main person responsible for the  important historical  research done on the Holy Face since the nineteen eighties, is still recovering from four strokes suffered last summer in Mexico during the summer courses which for some years he has taught at universities  in Mexico City and Puebla. Despite his precarious health conditions he still did not want to miss the feast of the Holy Face and concelebrated, together with Don Nicolino, the Mass that was subsequently held in the church of San Nicola after the arrival of the Holy Face.

 Paul Badde was there too, with his ever-present camera, having just completed his latest publishing effort -- the production of an inexpensive booklet in multiple languages ​​on the faces of the Shroud of Turin and the Holy Face of Manoppello, seizing upon the current interest linked to the  Exposition of the Shroud.  Also participating in the procession was Raffaella Zardoni, whose exhibition Il Volto Ritrovato (the Rediscovered Face) is on display these days in the province of Verona.  A number of German pilgrims were present. The head of the procession was left as usual to the company of pilgrims from Vacri (province of Chieti), followed by the company from Santa Giusta, nearby to Lanciano, in the wake of centuries-old traditions of devotion to the Holy Face.

Twenty children dressed as angels went before the members of religious orders and the Holy Face.

photo by Paul Badde

The band from Bracigliano (Salerno) alternated with the choir of the Basilica of the Holy Face, conducted by Nicholas Costantini, with breaks for the recitation of prayers. Before arrival in the town the Holy Face was greeted by the shooting off of cannons and fireworks.

Video of Holy Face procession entering town in May 2011 to the sound of fireworks

at the Church of San Nicola:  photo by Paul Badde

Many people, once they had been to the church of San Nicola, also visited the exhibit prepared by Sr. Blandina, located in nearby Piazza Marcinelle.

The overnight prayer vigil was led by the  Sisters of the Most Holy Blood until the morning procession for the return of the Holy Face to the Basilica.

Among the most interesting initiatives related to these May celebrations  I have to point out the first edition of the Cammino of the Holy Face, which began in Rome on May 6 starting at St. Peter's Basilica.  The Cammino is meant to recall the journey of the Veronica to Manoppello. The initiative, promoted by the young councilman Emanuele De Luca, and supported by the archbishop of the diocese of Chieti-Vasto, Bruno Forte, took place on foot over a period of 10 days, with various stages, following the ancient route of Tiburtina- Valeria, along pathways and roads. 15 travelers left Rome and were joined by others on the way, including some on horseback, arriving in Manoppello on the afternoon of  May 16. All bore the neckerchief of the Cammino. Upon arrival, the group was welcomed at the Basilica by Fr. Carmine who blessed the participants, noting how in the past it was foot travel which characterized  pilgrimages to the Holy Face.

Best wishes,


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Pope Francis' Prayer for the Holy Year of Mercy

from the website for the Holy Year of Mercy

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,
and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.
Show us your face and we will be saved.

Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;
the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;
made Peter weep after his betrayal,
and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.
Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman:
“If you knew the gift of God!”
You are the visible face of the invisible Father,
of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:
let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.
You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness
in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error:
let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.
Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing,
so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,
and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor,
proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,
and restore sight to the blind. 
We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy,
you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.

photos by Paul Badde

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Witness to Signs of a Living Faith

James Day,  a campus minister at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. has written an article for Catholic Exchange http://catholicexchange.com/icon-truth-faith-works-paul-badde which points to the faith and works of Paul Badde in making known in the world the Holy Face of Manoppello together with the Shroud of Turin and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Paul Badde greeting Pope Benedict on Sept. 1, 2006 in Manoppello, with Sr. Blandina Schlomer on his left, Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer,S.J., and Fr. Andreas Resch, C.S.S.R., on his right, Archbishop Bruno Forte behind Pope Benedict