Thursday, April 20, 2017

Holy Face of Manoppello on EWTN's Weekly Program Vaticano

Starting at 23:40 of the most recent episode of Vaticano, EWTN's weekly television program originating in Rome there is a most beautiful segment on the Holy Face of Manoppello as one of the "clues" which demonstrates the reality of the Resurrection of Jesus.

photos by Paul Badde

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Annual Outdoor Way of the Cross in Manoppello

text and photos by Antonio Bini

As has taken place for a number of years, the pastoral region of ​​Scafa, on one of the last Fridays of Lent, celebrated on March 31, with the participation of Archbishop Bruno Forte, the Lenten outdoor Way of the Cross according to the ancient tradition of the Roman church.

At 4pm the sizeable procession from various parishes comprising: Scafa, Manoppello, Serramonacesca, Lettomanoppello, Turrivalignani, Tocco da Casauria, Roccamorice, Caramanico Bolognano met at the foot of the ascent to the Sanctuary, called "Fonte Leone", moving towards the Shrine, with stops at the individual stations.

With devotion, the religious and lay faithful prayed and sang,  arriving at the Holy Face Basilica where Mass was celebrated, presided over by Archbishop Forte, assisted by several priests. Some priests were available for confession.

After the Mass the Archbishop, in reiterating his personal connection to the Sanctuary, recalled the tradition of the Way of the Cross which he began several years ago, wishing everyone a good journey together towards Easter.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Reporting by Antonio Bini on Omnis Terra Celebration of the Holy Face in Manoppello

A solemn celebration commemorated the procession instituted by Innocent III in 1208.  For the first time in the history of the Holy Face a Canon of St. Peter's, Mons. Americo Ciani, celebrated Mass in the Shrine of Manoppello.  At the beginning of the Mass Mons. Ciani was introduced by Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, OFM, Cap., the Rector of the Basilica, who thanked Mons. Ciani for being willing to come to Manoppello, explaining that the celebration was in continuity with that of the celebration in Rome last Omnis Terra Sunday.  cf.

Mons. Ciani, during his homily, recognized "the authenticity and uniqueness of this marvelous image in which the Lord has shown Himself through His Son."  He also remembered the dear departed Archbishop Edmund Farhat -- also a Canon of St. Peter's-- who passed away last December 17. (photo below of Archbishop Farhat at the left with Mons. Ciani) Read the masterful homily of Archbishop Farhat during the Holy Face celebration in Rome in January 2016

In the course of an interview which followed the celebration Mons. Ciani confirmed that the Veronica disappeared from Rome in 1527.

The celebration of the Sunday of Omnis Terra was attended by a multitude of the devoted in an intense way with profound participation, all of whom arrived at the Shrine where in the streets were seen large amounts of snow which had accumulated in the days leading up to the feast.

Another emotional moment was the prayer led by Mons. Ciani at the end of the Mass for the victims of the earthquakes of central Italy and of other parts of the world.  This prayer also recalls the historic events of 1703 which was the first procession of the Holy Face in Manoppello to invoke the Lord after the dramatic earthquake of that year which destroyed many towns in Abruzzo.  Particularly moved by the feast was Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, S.J., leading expert on the Holy Face, who arrived in Manoppello from Palermo, despite not being in good health,  The solemn celebration was enriched by the choir of the Basilica directed by Maestro Nicola Constantini.  Also present were the heralds of the Holy Face and a delegation of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.

Below are photos of three protagonists of the history of the Holy Face:  Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, Sr. Blandina, also expert regarding the Holy Face together with Fr. Pfeiffer, and Paul Badde.  The photos are useful to understand the situation of the piles of snow around the area of the church.  From the photos one can see the progress in the work for the "House of Pilgrims".  The work ought to be completed by the beginning of April

First News from Paul Badde of Renewed Omnis Terra Celebration of the Holy Face in Manoppello January 15 2017 Along with Homily by Mons. Americo Ciani and Prayer in Time of Earthquake

Mons. Americo Ciani, Canon of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, blessing the people with the Holy Face
 - photo by Paul Badde -

(Editor's Note:  The news of the January 15, 2017 Omnis Terra Celebration of the Holy Face in Manoppello is quite simply overwhelming.  The report below by Paul Badde is just the first taste of much more to come) 

It was as if the sky had opened a window over Manoppello for exactly that day. It had been snowing all the time before, then on Friday a rainbow appeared. On Saturday it was immaculately blue. On  Omnis Terra Sunday the clouds had come back. And on Sunday night Manoppello was covered with snow again.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist and the procession with incense, candles and beautiful music by the choir of Maestro Nicola Costantini was as noble  and worthy as if it had been performed in Saint Peter`s in Rome.

The homily of Don Americo was absolutely powerful and very clear with great parts he added by heart with great enthusiasm.

Before the procession and benediction a prayer by Padre Carmine for all the victims of the earthquakes was said, then  a beautiful new litany of the Holy Face by Sr. Petra Maria.

Present though, so much that you could feel it, was Archbishop Edmundo Farhat, who had reintroduced the feast last year January 17 before he went home to the house of his father a month ago in Rome, to be with Padre Domenico da Cese and choirs of angels and saints. 

So much more could be said.

But after all this new feast and procession - the first one established after the year 1712! -  was the most intimate one I've ever seen and attended in Manoppello, with the "naked HOLY Face" and a breathtaking benediction for the first time after it had left Rome in 1527 I assume. And it is going to create and generate breathtakingly new images every year in the ever changing clear and wintery light. Here are some first samples (photos below taken by Paul Badde show Mons. Ciani carrying the Holy Face and Mons. Ciani with Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, O.F.M., Cap., Rector of the Basilica of the Holy Face of Manoppello). 

They would have been absolutely different a day before and will be absolutely different next year and 2019 etc etc. But here is the beginning in the Year of Our Lady of Fatima 2017 and her miracle with the sun a hundred years ago.

photo by Antonio Bini

And please keep all in mind that the brave Mons. Ciani has displayed the famous reliquary of Pope Urban VIII in Saint Peter's a dozen of times or so. This Sunday he couldn't have been substituted more worthily by any Cardinal or Bishop of the Church.

 This time the old judge of the Roman Rota was here as an arch-witness - he who became known worldwide two years ago when he buried Willy Herteleer, a Flemish homeless persom from the streets of Rome in the Campo Santo Teutonico, the most noble cemetery next to Saint Peter's.

(English Translation of Prepared Homily of Mons. Americo Ciani)

Manoppello Feast of the Holy Face   January 15, 2017  Omnis Terra Sunday
Homily of Mons. Americo Ciani, Canon of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican


We are commemorating that most ancient procession which the great pontiff Innocent III desired in 1208 during which he had carried for the first time the Holy Sudarium of Christ from the Basilica of St. Peter to the Church of Santo Spirito in Sassia.  It was a foretaste of the Holy Years, the first of which was decreed by Pope Boniface VIII in 1300.  On that memorable occasion the numerous faithful would have been able to contemplate the Holy Face impressed on the mantilla of Saint Veronica.  The Holy Relic, preserved in the patriarchal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, disappeared in 1527 during the Sack of Rome. 

We have repeated the same solemn procession with the Holy Face, preserved here in Manoppello, from the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican to the Church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, in January 2016, where we celebrated the Holy Mass presided by Archbishop Monsignor Georg Gänswein and a second one presided by Archbishop Monsignor Edmund Farhat, who just a few days ago has left us to return to the House of the Father.

Here we are gathered to contemplate the Face of God, who became man in His Son Jesus.  This precious relic is “the human Face of God”, which since 1636 has been jealously cared for here at Manoppello and venerated by Pope Benedict XVI on September 1, 2006, a good 479 years later, when he knelt before that which had been the most precious treasure of the Popes.

From the first chapter of the Gospel of St. John, “No one has ever seen God, the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made Him known.

On the face of Christ shines the majesty of God, who in His turn God has shown Himself under the form of a man.

Let us fix then our gaze upon the Face of the Son of God made man. 

The image belongs to our everyday life.  We are immersed in the culture of images, in private and in public.

With how much care we display the photos of our loved ones!  Go into the rooms of young people, the walls of which are an exposition of images of leaders, from the world of fashion, of sport, of singers, etc.  Go silently into cemeteries, how many images to remember loved ones! The list would be too long, and it’s not necessary for us to go on about it.

The image speaks louder than the word, in fact the word passes but the image remains.  The Church in addition to the language of place, of gesture, of word, of song, has utilized the image, from the beginning she has created a treasury of images to communicate, to evangelize., it is the “Bible of the poor”. 

The word passes, the image remains and can be admired, contemplated by everyone and in all kinds of circumstances.  Word and image speak together in the Church.

We are gathered here to contemplate this Image, the Holy Face, which is the Face of God who died and is risen, Jesus Christ, Son of God, He who is Himself God.

The Holy Bible, especially in the Psalms, touches on the theme which today is for us so dear:  The Face of God”, the seeking of the Face of God, the desire to see the Face of God, and the invocation to see the Face of God.

From Psalm 27:  Confidence in God in times of danger: “My heart repeats your exhortation:  Seek my face!  Your face, O Lord, do I seek.  O Lord, do not hide your face from me.”

Psalm 31:16 “Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love”.

Psalm 88:15 “Why O Lord do you cast me off, why do you hide your face from me?”

Psalm 102:3 “Do not hide your face from me, in the day of my agony, turn your ear towards me.  When I call upon you, respond to me quickly Lord.”

Psalm 105:3-4 “ Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice, Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.”
Psalm 119:135 “Make your face shine on your servant, and teach me your statutes”.

The problem which today torments us, is precisely fear and terrorism!

My beloved this sublime truth consoles us:  The Lord is my light and my salvation, of whom should I be afraid?”

The psalm exhorts us to a solid hope: “Hope in the Lord, be strong, let your heart take courage, and hope in the Lord.”

All of us, whether small or great, need to cast out fear, to cast it far away from us, to succeed in controlling it and in conquering it.

The Face of God manifested itself in the Face of His Son Jesus Christ, born of Mary of Nazareth.  God made Himself one of us, went about doing good, gave Himself for us and for our sins, and to make us His people.

Let our desire to see Jesus be as strong as those pagans who asked the Apostle Philip: “We want to see Jesus” and as Zacchaeus, the tax collector, who “wanted to see Jesus”, and climbing up a tree, because he was short of stature, precisely so that he could see Jesus.  Jesus passed by, looked up and called him by name: “Zacchaeus, come down, today I wish to come to your house”.  And from that encounter came the miracle of the conversion of Zacchaeus.

Our constant prayer is the commitment: “I want to see your Face”.

History is not ensnared in a blind alley, closed off from hope.  Our society today is lost, suffers from nightmares, because it has lost “the Face of God”.  It does not perceive the ways of God in history.

God the Father has sent His Son Jesus among us.  He is the youthfulness and the freshness of history.  Jesus is the Son of God, of the God that is the joy of our youth.  For over 2000 years God has shown His face to the world by the Incarnation of His Son Jesus, from whom beauty and richness has poured out security, above all for those of us who need security:  the poor, the oppressed, the “least ones”, because He “ will judge with justice the poor and with equity the oppressed”.  So that humanity, turned toward the presence of Christ, will be able to breathe deeply.

To judge how things are going, today, one might think that Christ is pretty much just a dream.  Christ renews us and make us true.  We need purity and to be purified.  Jesus has come to accompany us, to put Himself at our disposition.  Jesus comes in us and we breathe liberty.
In Jesus we know where we come from, who we are and where we are going:  we who can accompany him, we who have listened to him, we have the power to become sons of God, we are a “new race”, created by God and by Him regenerated in Christ the Lord, Wisdom of the Most High, Word of God, is “the true light which enlightens every man”.  He is the Wisdom of God that became love and the love became light.

Here is the tragedy of yesterday and today: “He came into the world but the world did not recognize Him.  He came to his own but his own did not receive Him.”

And our struggle continues:  It is the mess in which we find ourselves still caught up in (“How long, O Lord? When will you return and finally liberate us?”)   Let us repeat with faith “Come Lord, do not delay”.  Today we cling to Jesus and tomorrow we run away from Him.

We need to enter more vividly into the mystery of Christ.

All of us, fragile and sinners, we can take a deep breath, a liberating breath, and even a cry of liberty and hope.  Slaves of sin, we can resist sin, we can defeat it, because Jesus has come and will always remain with us, He who “opens the eyes of the blind, sets prisoners free and delivers those living in darkness.”

Thus, holiness is possible, even for those who must rise from the depths, because Jesus has come “to do good and to heal all those who are under the power of the devil”.  Before, we were under the power of the devil, now no more; the chains on our feet have been broken and we can walk towards the heights.

Hope is rekindled in us, “God will return soon and will show his face to the world and shake the foundations with his all-powerful voice”.

Just as the Apostle John who entered the Tomb after the Resurrection, “saw and believed”, so it happens for each us today, we see and contemplate the Face of God and we firmly believe.

Holy Father, accept with benevolence our prayers and guide us to the seeking of Your Face, which you have revealed in fullness in Jesus, Your Son.

O Lord, make Your Face to shine on us so that we might enjoy your goodness in the peace we are protected by your powerful hand, freed from every sin by the strength of your outstretched arm, and saved from those who hate us unjustly.

Grant harmony and peace to us and to all the inhabitants of the earth, as you have granted to our fathers, when they invoked you devoutly in faith and in truth, you alone, O Lord, can grant us these good things.

Prayer in time of earthquake

O God the Creator, we believe that you are our Father and that you love us, you are the God of life: But we feel lost, helpless and tempted to give in to resignation and pessimism in the face of natural disasters, which remind us that we are not to have the power over things, which matter very little, because everything that we have built can collapse or fall apart
Reawaken in us hope, make us thoughtful and wise in front of the mystery of life and death.

O Holy Face of Jesus, turn your gracious and merciful eyes towards us and hear us! We remember our brothers and sisters in Central Italy and other parts of the world who have been affected by earthquake, instill in them your Spirit of light so that they can rely on your love. Give them strong hearts and strong arms so that they can rebuild the future with courage, energy and hope.   Arrange that our tears are not an expression of either bitterness or rebellion, but of trusting abandonment to your fatherly love and unite our departed brothers and sisters to the Easter of your Son, in the assurance that those who die in Christ will rise again in him.

Protect your children from harm and help us to make right choices, respectful of nature and the of the truth of all things. Amen.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Omnis Terra Celebration on January 15 at the Shrine of Manoppello to Recall Roman Pilgrimage



During the special Jubilee Year of Mercy - with a memorable pilgrimage to Rome - there was evoked the procession instituted by Pope Innocent III in 1208 of the Holy Face from San Peter's to Santo Spirito di Sassia on the second Sunday after Epiphany, called "Omnis Terra". We remember the event in our basilica with the following program:

Sunday January 15, 2017

 11am         Holy Mass presided by Mons. Americo Ciani, 
                   Canon of the Patriarchal Basilica of St. Peter's in the Vatican

                   Procession in the interior of the Basilica with 
                    the monstrance containing the Holy Face and benediction
3pm:           Showing of the EWTN documentary 
                    Omnis Terra 2016, including the homily  
                    of Archbishop Edmondo Farhat

·          The illustration taken from “Liber regulae Sancti Spiritus in Saxia” (1350 ca.),  shows  Pope Innocent III with the Veronica

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Life of Padre Domenico of the Holy Face Was Celebrated at Manoppello on the 38th Anniversary of his Death

Text and Photos by Antonio Bini

Padre Domenico's fellow Capuchin friars were the ones most amazed by the participation of so many devotees and by the interest which has always been so strongly felt for the Servant of God, on the occasion of the 38th anniversary of the death of  Padre Domenico, in an event organized just a few days prior to September 17. As decided at the meeting of last January - which was attended by the general postulator, Fr.  Carlo Calloni,  the vice-postulator Fr. Eugene of Giamberardino, Msgr. Massimo D'Angelo,  Episcopal Chancellor of the diocese of Chieti-Vasto, the then Father Provincial of the Capuchins Fr. Carmine Ranieri, the rector of the Shrine  Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, Brother Vincenzo d'Elpidio -every year the anniversary of the death of Servant of God will be celebrated in what was "his" Shrine of the Holy Face.

In the pilgrim's hall on the ground floor of the shrine - which was unable to contain all of the people who participated in the commemoration -there  was a screening of the documentary of the German section of the television network EWTN titled "Padre Domenico, the long journey from Cese to Turin", introduced by the rector of the Shrine Fr. Carmine Cucinelli.

After the presentation an emotional applause greeted the author of the documentary Paul Badde, present in the room. The documentary, lasting 24 minutes, can be seen on You Tube edition language.
 Fr.  Luciano Antonelli, who in 1978 was the superior of the Sanctuary, recalling how Padre Domenico had gone to Turin to learn about the Shroud's relationship with the Holy Face, said that "the presence of so many spiritual children and devotees - so many years after the death of Padre Domenico - is a sign of his holiness. "

The vice-postulator of the cause of beatification, Fr. Eugenio Di Giamberardino, recalling the existence of the association "Friends of Padre Domenico,"  announced that they are delivering to him testimonies that confirm the episodes of bi-location detailed in the documentary, following the special relationship between Padre Domenico and Padre Pio.  He then announced the publication of the most recent edition, in Portuguese, of his book on the life of Padre Domenico, published by the Brazilian company Ecclesiae, with the title "Padre Domenico de Cese. Apóstolo de Sagrada Face de Manoppello"

Invited by p. Carmine Cucinelli to speak, I thanked all those who have collaborated on the documentary providing photos, videos and testimonies. I also confirmed the growing interest abroad for the life of the Marsican Capuchin, for his prophetic vision about the nature of the Holy Face, his life accompanied by extraordinary events and parallel to that of Padre Pio. Recently we have been receiving interesting testimonies of his devotees in Austria and Germany, who came to see Padre Domenico in the nineteen sixties and seventies. Among them was found the presence of Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Holböck (1913-2002), a prominent Austrian theologian who frequented both Padre Pio and Father Dominic, and Ms Ida Loidl, who passed away recently, the author of books on religious themes and editor of the Catholic magazine Grüß Gott (Good morning), who had several meetings  with Padre Domenico.

At the end of my speech an elderly lady of Avezzano - Concetta Piccone - approached me to talk to me and give me an old photo of Padre Domenico, telling me that having been stored for years among other things, and that, being a little 'dirty and covered with dust, had proceeded to clean it. On the photo, slightly damaged in the lower left, there seemed evident the wounds on his hands (especially on the back of his right hand) that could indicate the stigmata once described by various people.

Brother Vincenzo d'Elpidio, who was a friend of Padre Domenico, warmly thanked those who came from various parts of Italy and from abroad.  Brother Vincenzo is the one who for years has maintained contact with many supporters of the Servant of God. A special thanks was addressed to all who came from Ruvo di Puglia and Andria, for the extraordinary devotion shown over the years to the Holy Face and the memory of Padre Domenico. For many years in the city of Puglia two different associations of the Holy Face have been working , formed according to the desire of Padre Domenico, after a young woman - Amalia Di Rella (1934-1998) - was cured of her illness after going on pilgrimage to Manoppello, and who afterwards decided  to become a nun. At the behest of Don Tonino Bello (1935-2003), at the time bishop of Molfetta, whose cause of beatification is underway, was set up the diocesan congregation of the "Disciples of the Holy Face", represented at today's commemoration of Padre Domenico by the presence of Sr. Maria Matera and Sr. Grazia Di Bari.

Finally, there must be pointed out the availability of a new prayer for the beatification of Padre Domenico, published in Italian, German, English and French, by Sr. Petra-Maria Steiner, published with an invitation to submit testimonials, photos and video on the life of the servant of God.  Testimonies in Italian may be sent to the vice- postulator at the Shrine of the Holy Face, while those expressed in other languages may be sent directly to the headquarters of the religious community "Communis Vita" - Ossveiler Weg 45, 71334 Waiblingen (Germany) that will subsequently be brought to the attention of the vice- postulator.

See the leaflet at

To numerous requests for information on the timing of the beatification process Fr. Carmine Cucinelli said that the time is long and unpredictable, and that there is needed the properly documented verification of miracles or extraordinary events attributable to the Marsican Capuchin. Other people have expressed the desire that Padre Domenico be buried in what was his church, closer to his Holy Face that he made known and loved by so many people, so much so that even in life many called him Padre Domenico of the Holy Face.

Quite a number of other people have also traveled to the Basilica for the solemn Mass presided by the Archbishop of the Diocese of Lanciano-Ortona, Emidio Cipollone.  Among them was the father provincial of the Capuchins of Abruzzo, Fr. Nicola Galasso, the vice-postulator, Fr. Eugenio Di Gianberardino, Fr. Carmine Cucinelli,  Fr. Paolo Palombarini and  Capuchins coming from other convents.
At the side of the church a giant poster of Padre Domenico holding an image of the Holy Face, which thrilled those present who were able to see this in his beloved shrine.

The Archbishop, recalling that he was born in the same region as Padre Domenico and that he has the same first name, Emidio, then praised the figure of the Servant of God as a confessor always ready to listen to the suffering of the people and therefore for his love for the Holy Face. And among the many from Cese, the municipality of Avezzano, was also present Mrs. Angelina Cipollone, the mother of the archbishop,  also devoted to Padre Domenico. The Mass was animated by the choir of the Sister Servants of the Most Holy Blood from Manoppello.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Exhibit on the Holy Face of Manoppello in Dublin Ireland Oct. 15 and 16

The exhibition "The Rediscovered face of Christ" - previously on display in New York, Rimini, Lugano etc. -  will be replicated in Dublin on 15 and 16 October, as part of the activities organized for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. During the two days in which the exhibit will be in Dublin Sr. Petra-Maria Steiner, directly from Manoppello, will speak.  Present for the opening of the exhibit will be Most Rev. Raymond W. Field,  auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Dublin.

In this Extraordinary Jubilee Year - Our Lady Help of Christians Parish Centre, Navan Road, Dublin 7 is pleased to invite you to THE REDISCOVERED FACE OF CHRIST.  The exhibition traces the many testimonies relating to the Face of Christ, handed down from early centuries of Christians.  Slide & Video presentations (60 minutes)  will take place on Saturday 15th October at 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm, 15:00pm, 16:15pm, 19:30pm and Sunday 16th October at 10:15, 11:45, 15:00, 19:30 (please attend 1 session only).  Pre-booking essential contact Parish Office phone: 01 8380265 or