Friday, October 31, 2014

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

photo by Paul Badde

Juliusz Mazloch 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...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Second Part of the Mission by Fr. Carmine Cucinelli begins in the Philippines

photo and text by Antonio Bini

The Episcopal Conference of the Philippines, headed by Socrates B. Villegas,  announced the mission of the Shrine of the Holy Face in the Philippines with a statement made public on September 5 on its corporate website http: // / cbcpnews /? p = 40792 -

This comes as a recognition of sharing and support for the program of spreading the knowledge of the Holy Face in a country, the Philippines, which which has the highest number of Catholics in Asia. Out of a hundred million people, Catholics represent about 70% of the population.

It should be recalled that in the preparatory phase of the mission,  Archbishop Bruno Forte of the Archdiocese of Chieti- Vasto where the shrine is located, had contacted the bishops of each diocese included in the pastoral program.

The statement noted that "the faithful Filipinos will have the opportunity to venerate what we consider the imprint of the face of the Lord." In fact, it is a reproduction of the Holy Face and the original remained in the Shrine in Manoppello.

The press release states that "the sacred object it is a shroud, veil or handkerchief commonly used by the Jews to cover the face of their dead to burial," recalling "the visit of Benedict XVI to Manoppello, who decided to make the visit after he had  read the book by Paul Badde. "

The statement, which makes reference to the cover of the magazine Inside the Vatican which shows an  image of Manoppello, summarizes the main characteristics of the veil, on the basis of scientific and historical research:

a) The faces of the Shroud of Turin and the cloth of Manoppello coincide;

b) both images are "acheiropoietas" in the sense that they could not be made by human hands;

c) The Veil would be dated between the time of the Lord's crucifixion and resurrection.

d) The Shroud of Turin shows the image of a man with his eyes closed and fresh wounds, while the veil of Manoppello has a face with eyes open and closed wounds.

For these conclusions are also referred to the authorities of the Church, perhaps alluding to the views and testimonies of so many cardinals.

The statement of the Bishops' Conference was picked up by radio, television and newspapers, including the Manila Times.

The program began with a visit to the studios of Catholic Radio Veritas  and then continue, as foreseen, in the Sanctuary of San Antonio, Forbes Park in Makati.

Father Carmine reported "the warm welcome received, beginning with the arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. At the end of the solemn Mass in the sanctuary "- states  Fr. Carmine - "which was concelebrated by eight religious, followed by a long line of  groups of the faithful who have stayed for more than two hours before the reproduction of the Holy Face, with scenes of intense devotion, before the transfer to the city of Lipa", where he will meet today Ramon Cabrera Arguelles, Archbishop of the Diocese of Lipa. In the Cathedral of Lipa will be held a vigil throughout the night with songs and prayers.  It was also learned that in the Shrine which is being built in honor of the Virgin Mary, mother of the entire Asia, there are plans to include a  chapel of the Holy Face.

Carmine P. Ranieri, provincial minister of the Capuchin d'Abruzzo has expressed, on behalf of the Order, his satisfaction for the spiritual fruits that the mission has realized in the United States and the Philippines in the name of the Holy Face, prior to which there had been a challenging preparatory work carried out by the Shrine.

The itinerary of Fr. Carmine Cucinelli will end on September 17, although at this time the program is intensifying with further meetings, presentations and masses.

A news report on the mission of the Holy Face prepared by the newspaper Inquirer is present on Youtube  along with articles on the Mission on various sites  on the internet.

Manila Buletin

Radio Veritas – Filippine