Sunday, February 17, 2019

Articles Appear on the Holy Face of Manoppello in USA and Australia following Catholic News Service Team Visit to Manoppello


photo by Antonio Bini


A Catholic News Service article by Correspondent Junno Arocho Esteves together with Multimedia Journalist Robert Duncan and Senior Photographer Paul Haring was carried in diocesan Catholic newspapers and websites throughout the United States and also in Australia.


Fr. Carmine Cucinelli displaying the Holy Face to the CNS team with Paul Badde in the background
(photo by Antonio Bini)




 Here is a video report on the day, just prior to the feast of Omnis Terra, that the CNS team spent in Manopello.  The video report includes commentary by Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, Fr. Paolo Palombarini, Antonio Bini and Paul Badde.



Here is a sampling of the articles appearing in many of the major cities of the USA and also in Sydney, Australia.

http://catholicphilly.com/2019/01/news/world-news/seeking-christs-face-some-believe-hilltop-shrine-holds-true-relic/     Philadelphia


https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/could-the-veil-of-manoppello-be-the-face-of-jesus/  Sydney Australia

https://angelusnews.com/news/junno-arocho-esteves/seeking-christs-face-some-believe-hilltop-shrine-holds-true-relic  Los Angeles

http://www.hawaiicatholicherald.com/2019/02/06/seeking-christs-face/    Honolulu

photo by Paul Badde


https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2019/01/19/seeking-christs-face-some-believe-hilltop-shrine-holds-true-relic/

http://thecentralminnesotacatholic.org/seeking-christs-face-some-believe-hilltop-shrine-holds-true-relic/  St. Cloud, Minnesota

https://thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?ID=184162     Boston

https://nuestra-voz.org/rostro-de-cristo-santuario-italiano-verdadera-reliquia/ 
Diocese of Brooklyn, New York Spanish language newspaper

https://detroitcatholic.com/news/catholic-news-service/seeking-christs-face-some-believe-hilltop-shrine-holds-true-relic    Detroit

http://thecatholicspirit.com/news/nation-and-world/seeking-christs-face-some-believe-hilltop-shrine-holds-true-relic/    Minneapolis-St. Paul


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Omnis Terra 2019 in Manoppello


all photos by Paul Badde


Omnis terra in Manoppello

A Copernican turn in the fog of Abruzzo

by Paul Badde

"Omnis terra adoret te, Deus, et psallat tibi"

(Let all the world adore you, O God and sing psalms to you). 
Psalm 100


On the feast day of St. Agnes the Virgin, martyred for Christ in the third century in Rome,there appeared in the New York  magazine a glossy cover story about the “gay church”.  That was to be expected sooner rather than later.  What was wholly unexpected was that, a day before, Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller, the prefect of the Catholic Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2012 to 2017, arrived in Manoppello to come together with the archbishops Bruno Forte from Chieti-Vasto in Abruzzo and Salvatore Cordileone from San Francisco, California, to bless the city, the world and the Church with the face of Christ on his sudarium.




The Aaronic Blessing
 In Hebrew, kohanim birkat םיִנֲהֹּכ תַּכְרִּב, by which God is entreated that his face might shine upon us, is the oldest recorded blessing of the whole entire Bible.  But this blessing is not given to be received from the outstretched hands of the priests, but with the "true Icon "of the human face of God- from the hands of three bishops from Germany, Italy and America -

This was unheard of and has never been this way before. The American news outlet Catholic News Service CNS had beforehand pointed to the event and could not guess what was about to happen. 

Because for Benedict XVI on September 1, 2006, the first Pope after four hundred years to again  bend his knee and bow to the true facecloth of Christ, nevertheless, the circumstances and much resistance had allowed him little more time before the precious icon than would any Japanese tourist be allowed.  Neither the local bishop nor the guardian of the shrine could then dare to ask the Pontiff to bless the world with the true icon. So this Sunday it was no less than a theological turning point, as Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller with two chief shepherds from the Old and the New Worlds blessed the city of Manoppello, the world and the church with the face of Christ.

It was an unprecedented celebration hearkening back to the year 1208 when Pope Innocent III first made known in Rome the face of God to the Latin world of the West on the second Sunday after the feast of the apparition to the peoples (Epiphany), bearing in his hands the hitherto unknown Sanctissimo Sudarium in a solemn procession from St. Peter’s Basilica to the nearby Hospital Church of Sancto Spirito in Sassia.   (cf. https://holyfaceofmanoppello.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-return-of-veronica-to-rome.html also https://holyfaceofmanoppello.blogspot.com/2016/01/from-manoppello-to-rome-january-16-to.html and https://dzehnle.blogspot.com/2016/01/a-roman-pilgrimage-with-holy-face.html )

This Sunday bears the name "Omnis Terra " after the Latin Entrance Psalm for the day. This tradition began again in the same church three years ago by the archbishops Georg Gänswein from Germany (cf. homily of Archbishop Gänswein )and Edmond Farhat from Lebanon
(cf. Homily of Archbishop Farhat) together with pilgrims from Manoppello. It was in the "Year of Mercy ", which Pope Francis proclaimed. And it borders on a miracle that the spark already three years later jumped to California where the brave archbishop, whose diocese adjoins the Silicon Valley and includes the headquarters of YouTube and Facebook, the very same evening published the following statement on the internet:



:My visit to the Volto Santo of Manoppello was moving and profound.  It took a very cherished idea and made it personal and real.  I will always treasure the half-hour I had to pray privately before the holy image.  It is alive; even the expression changes from different angles and with different lighting.  It is like looking at a real human face, looking into the face of Jesus.  The eyes, especially, are very alive and penetrating.  My love for Jesus Christ has become much more personal now. I will also always be thankful for the opportunity to concelebrate the Mass with Cardinal Muller, along with the Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, the Most Reverend Bruno Forte, the next day – “Omnis terra” Sunday.  To participate with them in blessing the people with the Holy Face and then having the privilege to carry it in returning it to its place of safe keeping was a blessing I will never forget.I encourage everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ and love for him to cultivate a devotion to this holy image he has left us – a picture of the first instant of the Resurrection.". - Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, California,- Manoppello, on January 20, 2019 "


The American archbishop "Lionheart" from San Francisco and his Italian brother and Manoppello’s local bishop Bruno Forte, fellow celebrities at the side of the German cardinal, could not be more different. The savvy Monsignor Forte has already fourteen years prior laconically stated that in the enigmatic veil-icon "sorrow and light are close together, as  only love can be ". Since then - and especially after the visit of Pope Benedict XVI -numerous Cardinals have streamed here and are so enthusiastic in their homage to the image, as the evangelist Matthew told of the biblical wise men from the East in front of the child in Bethlehem.

Most recently it was the Cardinals Kurt Koch (cf. Visit of Cardinal Koch) from Switzerland , Robert Sarah (cf.Visit of Cardinal Sarah) from Africa and Antonio Tagle (cf. Homily of Cardinal Tagle) from Asia. Who knows the image, knows that the power of silence rests in it.   It has been scientifically proven for decades that it is not painted and contains no imaging color or blood traces. Nevertheless, there is a decades long conspiracy of professors and experts (who have for the most part never seen it) against the spiderwebs sheath made of mussel silk, since it was first identified in the seventies of the last century by the Capuchin Domenico da Cese as the hagion soudarion, which the evangelist John prominently mentioned next to other cloths in the empty tomb of Christ in his report on the resurrection of Christ from the dead.  

The dispute should be no surprise. Already in the first millennium the Soudarion led to the extremely violent wars and dislocations of the so-called "Iconoclastic controversies". In fact, the issue raised today is not about images but rather the question of God: “You -- who do you think I am?”.  




The spectacular response of Cardinal Muller, is even more of a breakthrough than the visit of Pope Benedict to Manoppello, in which one of the most prominent Church theologians at the end of the Gutenberg Age (dominated by Dr. Luther's maxim "Sola scriptura") in front of this great icon and mother of the images not made by human hands, but still, so to speak,  before the book of evidence has been closed, and without even speaking in his homily of the day's Gospel (the wedding of Cana), but said the following:

“When we are thus face to face with Jesus, person to person, and gaze upon his human face, then we see in Jesus' eyes the benevolent, discerning, judging and saving power of love, which is God in the unity and communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We see Jesus with our physical eyes and recognize his divine nature and power with the "the eyes of [our] hearts enlightened," (Ephesians 1:18) … 
The Apostle Paul calls the human nature of Christ, through which we recognize God's glory and from which we are fulfilled, the "likeness of God" – imago Dei (2 Corinthians 4:4). It is not an image of God conceived in a finite mind and made by man…
Christ is true God of true God. In the darkness of sin, which "blinded the minds of unbelievers" (2 Corinthians 4:4), God has let his light shine in the hearts of believers, "to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6). 
We recognize this when we look Jesus in the eye and offer ourselves to His gaze upon us without malice And this is the creed of the Church, which Paul delivered to the Corinthians as he himself received it: "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve". (1 Cor 15:3-5). 
The Gospel of John tells of the discovery of the empty tomb. When Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, she saw that the stone in front of the burial chamber had been taken away. And because she feared that the body had been taken away, she brought Peter and the other disciple there. Peter went first into the tomb and "he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself" (John 20:6f). Peter, then, is the first witness of the empty tomb.
 In the apparitions of the Risen One, it is Jesus who gives him and the other apostles proof that he lives with God and that he has returned to his Father. But he has not discarded his human nature, rather living with his glorified body forever as the Word made flesh in communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is the head of the body that is the Church. Through Him, as children of God, we have access to the Father and may expect the inheritance of eternal life. And the exalted Lord remains with us with his Gospels and encounters us in the sacraments of his grace.
When Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, the stone is rolled away from the outside of the burial cave. Jesus calls him out. When the deceased comes out, his feet and hands are still wrapped in bandages and his face is covered with a sudarium. But everything must be removed from him, because he cannot free himself from the bandages of death (John 11:44).
 Jesus, who says of himself, "I am the life (John 14:6), rises from the dead with the power of God Himself. The stone before the tomb was taken away before the women came to the tomb. Jesus does not need to be freed from the bonds of death, because he has overcome his and our death by his own divine power.
 St. Thomas Aquinas recognizes in his commentary on John a reference to the church in the relationship of the many bandages to the one sudarium "which had been on his head" (John 20:7), rolled up in a place by itself. In the Godhead united with his human nature, Christ is the head of the Church, for "the head of Christ is God" (1 Corinthians 11:3).
Especially in the Most Holy Eucharist he takes us into the mystery of his dedication to the Father. In Holy Communion we receive communion with Him in His flesh and blood as food and drink for eternal life.
 St. John Chrysostom and St. Augustine, in their comments on the Gospel of John, asked themselves why the evangelist, when discovering the empty tomb, described these trivialities, such as the linen bandages and the folded sudarium, in such detail. They were convinced, however, that the evangelist would not communicate anything in a manner so intricate if it were unimportant for our Faith.
If the historical, sacramental and ecclesial presence of the Son made man is decisive for our salvation, it is not unimportant that we also seek out His historical traces. They save us from the danger of a Gnostic and idealistic evaporation of God's human presence in this world. Without entering into scientific debates, the encounter with Christ in the imprint of His face on the Manoppello Sudarium seems to me to be of great importance for the piety of today's Christian. The uneven history of its rediscovery has come to a good end, arriving at the point of deep veneration and adoration of Jesus Christ, who as a man is the image of God, his Father and our Father in heaven.
 Much remains hidden from the wise and prudent, that God however does reveal to lesser minds in the humility of Faith. Gazing into the most holy face of Jesus, as it was traced into the sudarium on his head, should give us new strength that our life may hold true in the eyes of God. For we believe and know that we will one day see God through and in Christ, the image of God, "face to face" (1 Corinthians 13:12).”
Thus the words of Cardinal Muller's sermon. Even more telling, however, were the pictures taken at the end of the solemn pontifical Mass with his brothers in their common blessing gesture with the facecloth.. It was a Copernican revolution, and yes, it really was a breakthrough that in its meaning must be compared with the book "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium" of Nicolaus Copernicus of 1543. The analogy is neither reckless nor indiscriminate. A lot of the facts of Copernicus were wrong and almost all the details.  Nevertheless, we honor him for being one who has drawn a new picture that is essentially true: with the sun in the center!



And now the three bishops raised like hardly ever before in the liturgy of this new blessing with the human face God's return the visible Jesus Christ to the center of the world and the Church and made it clearer than ever that the Creator of the Heaven and the earth has not become a book at the end of days, but man, and with it also picture. It was an unprecedented translation of all theology into the new and universal imagery that has become the digital revolution of the world in its entirety

"Iconic Turn" as a new means of communication.





Now it was suddenly as if the time of the eclipse haunting the earth, the world and the church finally ends in the misty Abruzzo with the look into the merciful eyes of Christ by the three shepherds
There was no further dispute on the overwhelming, sometimes almost suffocating, problems and capital sins that the Church of our day poses, but with the holy facecloth Christ has steered a whole new look towards his face, as the head of the church and the face of love, "that moves the sun and the other stars” as Dante, the prince among poets, still formulated at the goal of the cosmic pilgrimage in his Divine Comedy. Ω



Monday, February 4, 2019

Enthronements of the Holy Face in Churches of the World





as shown in the official publication of the Shrine of the Holy Face:  Il Volto Santo di Manoppello, Vol. CIII, no. 2 November 2018, p. 30



 ► Ruvo di Puglia (Bari) Italy
Church of Purgatory - 1979

► Richmond Hill, Toronto, Canada
Our Lady Queen of the world - 1986

► Bari, Italy  Church of the Blessed Sacrament
parish priest Don Vincenzo Fiore - 1986

► Nampicuan, Philippines
Immaculate Conception Parish Church -
September 16th, 2014

► Rome, Italy
Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch al Statuario
November 4, 2014

► Delta, British Columbia, Canada
 Immaculate Conception Church
 September 4, 2015

► Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
St. Patrick Church
September 5, 2015

► Taguig, Philippines
Sagrada Familia Parish
September 14, 2015

► Katowice, Poland
Immaculate Conception Church -
December 18, 2015

► Bustos, Bulacan, Philippines
San Martin de Porres Mission Church Orphanage
September 12,  2015

► Baliuag, Bulacan,  Philippines
Bethlehem House of Bread Mission Chapel
September 12th 2015

► Buguias, Benquet, Philippines
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church

► Flintridge,  California,  USA
Saint Bede Church
April 13, 2016

► Las Vegas, Nevada,  USA
St Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church
September 10, 2016

► Catbalogan City, Philippines
Church of Saint Bartholomew Apostle - Diocese of Calbayog
October 30, 2016

► Baguio, Philippines
Cathedral of  Our Lady of the Atonement
 November 30th, 2016

► Samar, Philippines
Cathedral of St. Bartholomew Apostle
December 15, 2016

►  Meycauayan, Malolos, Philippines
St Francis of Assisi Church
November 13, 2016

► Baguio City, Philippines,
The Pink Sisters Convent , Brent Road
November 2016

► Bulacan, Luzon, Philippines
 Cathedral of Malolos
April 16th, 2017

► Lebanon, Father Nadim,Maronite
May 2017

► East Palo Alto, California, USA
St. Francis of Assisi Church
November 11, 2017

► Friend, Nebraska, USA
St. Joseph Church
February,  2018

► Beyrouth, or Blat Byblos, Lebanon
Church of Sant'Elia,
May 2017

► Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia,
Convent of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy
June 14, 2018

► Rome, Italy
St. Elizabeth and Zechariah Church
 October 14th, 2018

► Manila, Philippines -
Chapel of St. Joseph the Worker (BSP)
November 14, 2018


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Homily by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller for Omnis Terra Sunday 2019 at the Basilica of the Holy Face of Manoppello



Translation

N.B.: Scripture quotes as per RSV-Catholic (http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/biblesearch.asp)
Homily by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller
Manoppello, 20 January 2019


In Jesus' farewell speeches before his Passion, Jesus provides the Apostle Philip with an answer that brings us to the very center of our Faith. After Jesus had said: "If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him." (John 14:7), Philip wonders how one might be able to see God, "who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see" (1 Timothy 6:16). Jesus answers him: "He who has seen me has seen the Father."



When we are thus face to face with Jesus, person to person, and gaze upon his human face, then we see in Jesus' eyes the benevolent, discerning, judging and saving power of love, which is God in the unity and communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We see Jesus with our physical eyes and recognize his divine nature and power with the "the eyes of [our] hearts enlightened," (Ephesians 1:18). In the divine person of the Son of the Father, Christ's eternal divine nature and his adopted human nature are united. Only through Jesus do we come to the Father, because He alone bridges the infinite distance of the creature to the Creator. "There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5) He is the universal, divine plan of salvation made flesh, "who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus, in his human nature, is "the way" by which "the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) were brought into this world.
The Apostle Paul calls the human nature of Christ, through which we recognize God's glory and from which we are fulfilled, the "likeness of God" – imago Dei (2 Corinthians 4:4). It is not an image of God conceived in a finite mind and made by man.

photo by Paul Badde

Even before the incarnation of the Word, the Son in the Triune God is the image of the being of God the Father, in the Greek words of the New Testament: "the character of his Hypostasis" (Heb 1:1). Christ is true God of true God. In the darkness of sin, which "blinded the minds of unbelievers" (2 Corinthians 4:4), God has let his light shine in the hearts of believers, "to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6).
He, who through his word brought forth all creation, becomes a man like us, "tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15), which is what He came to deliver us from. "Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. (Hebrews 2:14f).

photo by Paul Badde

We recognize this when we look Jesus in the eye and offer ourselves to His look at us without malice. God surrounds us with his infinite mercy and in his love he goes so far as not only to die for us, but to die our death. He bore the debt of our sins until death on the cross and even took them to his grave. Death no longer has any power over Jesus and us, who form one body with Christ. And this is the creed of the Church, which Paul delivered to the Corinthians as he himself received it: "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve". (1 Cor 15:3-5).
The Gospel of John tells of the discovery of the empty tomb. When Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, she saw that the stone in front of the burial chamber had been taken away. And because she feared that the body had been taken away, she brought Peter and the other disciple there. Peter went first into the tomb and "he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself" (John 20:6f). Peter, then, is the first witness of the empty tomb. In the apparitions of the Risen One, it is Jesus who gives him and the other apostles proof that he lives with God and that he has returned to his Father. But he has not discarded his human nature, rather living with his glorified body forever as the Word made flesh in communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is the head of the body that is the Church. Through Him, as children of God, we have access to the Father and may expect the inheritance of eternal life. And the exalted Lord remains with us with his Gospels and encounters us in the sacraments of his grace. Especially in the Most Holy Eucharist he takes us into the mystery of his dedication to the Father. In Holy Communion we receive communion with Him in His flesh and blood as food and drink for eternal life.


St. John Chrysostom and St. Augustine, in their comments on the Gospel of John, asked themselves why the evangelist, when discovering the empty tomb, described these trivialities, such as the linen bandages and the folded sudarium, in such detail. They were convinced, however, that the evangelist would not communicate anything in a manner so intricate if it were unimportant for our Faith.
When Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, the stone is rolled away from the outside of the burial cave. Jesus calls him out. When the deceased comes out, his feet and hands are still wrapped in bandages and his face is covered with a sudarium. But everything must be removed from him, because he cannot free himself from the bandages of death (John 11:44).
Jesus, who says of himself, "I am the life (John 14:6), rises from the dead with the power of God Himself. The stone before the tomb was taken away before the women came to the tomb. Jesus does not need to be freed from the bonds of death, because he has overcome his and our death by his own divine power.
St. Thomas Aquinas recognizes in his commentary on John a reference to the church in the relationship of the many bandages to the one sudarium "which had been on his head" (John 20:7), rolled up in a place by itself. In the Godhead united with his human nature, Christ is the head of the Church, for "the head of Christ is God" (1 Corinthians 11:3).
In Jesus Christ the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior has appeared and shone in this world (Titus 3:3f). In his face he looks at us and wants us to respond with the love within our heart. By believing we do not adopt a theory to explain the world. The Gospels are not abstract ideas or values clothed in beautiful stories. God really became man and stays with us. Jesus is an historic person. His resurrection from the dead really did happen. He has not risen into Faith but is recognized in our faith as the living Christ, the Son at the right hand of the Father. For no one can say, "Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:3).
If the historical, sacramental and ecclesial presence of the Son made man is decisive for our salvation, it is not unimportant that we also seek out His historical traces. They save us from the danger of a Gnostic and idealistic evaporation of God's human presence in this world. Without entering into scientific debates, the encounter with Christ in the imprint of His face on the Manoppello Sudarium seems to me to be of great importance for the piety of today's Christian. The uneven history of its rediscovery has come to a good end, arriving at the point of deep veneration and adoration of Jesus Christ, who as a man is the image of God, his Father and our Father in heaven.

photo by Paul Badde

Much remains hidden from the wise and prudent, that God however does reveal to lesser minds in the humility of Faith. Gazing into the most holy face of Jesus, as it was traced into the sudarium on his head, should give us new strength that our life may hold true in the eyes of God. For we believe and know that we will one day see God through and in Christ, the image of God, "face to face" (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Friday, January 18, 2019

Live Streaming on YouTube This Sunday January 20 of the Feast of Omnis Terra from the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello


Photo by Paul Badde



Antonio Bini has just let me know that, on the initiative of the Shrine, there will be Live Streaming from the Shrine of the Holy Face on You Tube of the Feast of Omnis Terra this Sunday January 20.  The ceremony starts at 11am, Italian time, 6am on the East Coast of the USA and 3am on the West Coast. 



 Also, here is a video on the Holy Face shared with me by Paul Badde, which was just produced last week by Catholic News Service, the news service of the American Catholic bishops:  The video includes commentary by Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, Fr. Paolo Palombarini, Antonio Bini and Paul Badde.

https://youtu.be/4qCNO1JzV_M


Shrine of Holy Face of Manoppello January 3, 2019 (Photo by Brian Alves)

Sunday, January 6, 2019

In Two Weeks Omnis Terra Sunday to Be Celebrated at the Basilica of the Holy Face of Manoppello



Official announcement from the Basilica of the Holy Face of Manoppello with translation following



Basilica of the Holy Face – Manoppello
                                                        
                                              Omnis Terra

On the second Sunday after Epiphany, known as Omnis Terra Sunday
Pope Innocent III in 1208 led a procession at Rome with the Holy Face from St. Peter’s Basilica to the Church of Santo Spirito di Sassia.  We recall this procession with the following program:

Sunday January 20, 2019

11am:  Holy Mass presided by His Eminence Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller  , Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, together with Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, California, USA and with Most Reverend Bruno Forte, Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, Italy

At the conclusion of the Mass there follows inside the Basilica a Procession and blessing with the Monstrance of the Holy Face

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Sudarium of Jesus on the Outskirts of Rome





article adapted from longer article which appeared in the November 2018 edition of Il Volto Santo di Manoppello the official publication of the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello.  Additional text and photos are included in this posting.  Unless otherwise credited the photos are courtesy of Mrs. Daisy Neves.

At Rome, beyond the large modern freeway known as the Gran Raccordo Anulare which circles Rome, and just before the Prima Porta, in the Valle Muricana neighborhood, is the modern church and parish dedicated to Saints Elizabeth and Zechariah. The pastor Fr. Bonifacio Lopez, originally from the Philippines, is assisted by two priests. The parish territory is vast and numbers approximately 16,000 inhabitants. In May 2013 Pope Francis chose this parish as the first one to visit after his election. On that day he celebrated Holy Mass during which 40 children received their First Holy Communion. It was a huge celebration throughout the neighborhood!
Church of St. Elizabeth and Zechariah

Fr Bonifacio, or Fr. Ted to his friends, accompanied Capuchin Father Carmine Cucinelli, rector of the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello, in 2015 during the Holy Face Mission to Canada, the United States and the Philippines, acting as his interpreter. Impressed by the enthusiasm of the faithful for the veneration of this image, he expressed a desire: "If I become a pastor , I propose to enthrone the Holy Face in my parish church ". Last year, in September 2017, the moment arrived. He was named pastor and wanted to keep his promise.
His new parish church's adoration chapel and stained glass windows still needed to be completed. In the central window, above the entrance portal, within the shape of a cross, Fr. Ted instructed artists to place the image of the Holy Face at the cross of the two arms, so that the faithful could better understand the meaning of the cross, where Christ has, yes, died, but then is also Risen. He is alive! And we are filled with joy.






Fr. Bonifacio "Ted" Lopez

Thus at the end of September, the Holy Face was imprinted on the glass and positioned in the plain sight of all. But Fr. Bonifacio also wanted the Face of Jesus of Manoppello to be contemplated from close up. Which place would be the most suitable? Given that a new tabernacle was to be placed in the chapel for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, he thought of placing it there above the tabernacle. The faithful who go to the chapel to adore the Eucharistic Jesus, gazing upon
the Holy Face, could thus be helped to also contemplate the human features of Jesus and make this adoration even more fruitful.

The Holy Face in the Adoration Chapel 

The proposal had the favorable opinion of his associates
and the date was set
for the enthronement: Sunday October 14, 2018. A copy of the sacred Image, provided and blessed by Fr. Carmine the rector of the shrine of Manoppello, beautifully framed, was ready to be permanently displayed for public veneration.
Fr. Carmine at the altar with Fr. Bonficacio displaying the Holy Face

Father Carmine, rector of the shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello presided over the celebration, with the parish pastor Fr. Bonifacio, and a host of ministers both great and small. The parish choir led the singing.

Courtesy of Il Volto Santo di Manoppello

First of all, the new Tabernacle was blessed and during the Mass a baby girl received the sacrament of baptism.

In the homily Fr. Carmine traced the story of the arrival of the Holy Face in Manoppello, following an itinerary that began at the tomb of Jerusalem, continuing to present day Turkey, then to Rome and finally Manoppello. More and more in recent years the hypothesis has come to be accepted that the Holy Veil can be identified with the Sudarium from the tomb of Jesus, of which the Gospel of John speaks: "As soon as John saw the sudarium which had been placed on the face of Jesus rolled up in a separate place, he believed in the Resurrection of Jesus".


Fr. Carmine delivering the homily (Courtesy of Il Volto Santo di Manoppello)


In 1527 after the sack of Rome a pilgrim brought the precious Relic to Manoppello in order to safeguard it from the hands of the ravaging invaders of Rome, entrusting it to a local Doctor who jealously guarded it in his care. Later it fell into the hands of a soldier who kept it for ten years. When he ended up in prison, his wife, in order to free him, sold the Holy Veil to a noble pharmacist who kept it lovingly for 20 years and wished to spread devotion to the Holy Face. Thinking that this would be difficult for him he gave it to the Capuchin friars, who had recently constructed a friary in the hills above the town, so that they might make the holy Image known to everyone. The friars since that time have promoted the sacred image through their preaching and through reproductions in the early years first with drawings, then with prints and more recently with photography and through television. In 1999 a Jesuit priest, professor of art history at the Gregorian University, Henrich Pfeiffer, announced to the international press: "The Roman Veronica has been found in Manoppello". This news caused thousands of people to flock to Manoppello: among them the faithful, journalists, scholars, the curious, bishops, cardinals and, in 2006, even Pope Benedict XVI himself. Studies and research also began. the Holy Veil was compared with the Shroud of Turin and when photos of each were superimposed on each other they revealed the same person. 1500 years ago this cloth was called an "acheropita", that is "not made by human hands". A mystery appears to us, to which it is good to inquire, not with curiosity, but with faith, that is to go beyond the image, to the Person whom this image represents, Jesus. Finally, the celebrant invited us to make an effort, to impress the face of Jesus in our hearts so as to show it to others by our good example.

The Mass continued with solemnity, with singing and with the offering of the gifts. The framed image of the Holy Face was blessed and enthroned in the adjacent chapel. At the end there were also testimonies, given by the artists of the windows and of the Tabernacle and by Mrs. Daisy Neves, of Bellevue (USA) who sponsored the enthronement of the Holy Face coming to this parish.


This was the second image of the Holy Face to be enthroned recently in a Roman parish. On November 11, 2014 at the church of Sant'Ignazio allo Statuario the pastor Fr. Jess Marano enthroned the Holy Face, the first ceremony of its kind in Rome in many centuries.
Shrine of the Holy Face in the church of Sant'Ignazio allo Statuario in Rome