Thursday, August 18, 2016

Videos on Holy Face of Manoppello and Padre Domenico da Cese Produced by Paul Badde Available on Youtube

photo by Paul Badde:  Feast of the Transfiguration 2016

Paul Badde has made several outstanding videos on the Holy Face of Manoppello, and Padre Domenico da Cese in the last two years for EWTN Germany.  These videos are available on Youtube also in English language versions:
The Human Face of God in the Holy Veil of Manoppello  and  The Long Road of Fr. Domenico from Cese to Turin

Without a doubt these videos deserve a wide audience, please watch them and share them all around.

Padre Domenico da Cese (1905-1978), Apostle of the Holy Face

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Archbishop Bruno Forte Speaks with Paul Badde about the Pilgrimage of Pope Benedict on September 1, 2006 and the Significance and History of the Holy Face of Manoppello

Archbishop Bruno Forte (photo by Paul Badde/CNA)
from Catholic News Agency website article   An Encounter With the Manoppello Image of the Face of Christ  

Ten years ago, Benedict XVI visited the Shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello, which houses an image of the face of Christ which some believe to be the Veil of Veronica.
“Seeking the Face of Jesus must be the longing of all of us Christians; indeed, we are 'the generation' which seeks his Face in our day, the Face of the 'God of Jacob',” Benedict said during his Sept. 1, 2006 pilgrimage to the shrine. “If we persevere in our quest for the Face of the Lord, at the end of our earthly pilgrimage, he, Jesus, will be our eternal joy, our reward and glory for ever.”
During that pilgrimage Benedict was the first Pope in more than 400 years to kneel in veneration before the Manoppello Image which is kept in the shrine, located about 12 miles southwest of Chieti in Italy's Abruzzo region.
After his visit to Manoppello, the talk of the human face of God in Christ became a kind of trademark of Benedict's pontificate.
In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the event, Paul Badde asked Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto about his memories of the day.

Pope Benedict XVI before the Holy Face of Manoppello.  At his side is Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, OFM, Cap., Rector of the Basilica Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello

Badde: Your Grace, ten years ago, Pope Benedict XVI visited the holy veil, which is called the “Volto Santo” in Manoppello and was long known as the “Veil of Veronica”, on your invitation as the first Pope in over 400 years to visit. You stood one meter away from the Holy Father on this historic encounter. What was going through your mind during those moments?

Archbishop Bruno Forte: In those moments, my eyes were going back and forth between the venerated image and the face of the Successor of Peter, who contemplated it intensely as if to be captured by the image and at the same time challenged to enter into that which this veil suggests – with that extraordinary mystical and inquiring intelligence that characterized the whole work of Joseph Ratzinger and Benedict XVI. It was like attending a dialogue in which silence was more eloquent than each word: a silence from the surplus, touching and being touched on the threshold of mystery from whose depths allows itself to be illuminated.

 Badde“The Pope was ‚begeistert’” (delighted)! as you said in German right after the Pope’s visit. Can you remember more today the immediate reaction of Benedict XVI on this “face-to- face” encounter?

Archbishop Forte:  Of course. The enthusiasm of the Pope seemed to me to be like what the Greek term “Enthousiasmós” means in the original sense of the word: “en theó ousía” – as an “act of being in God.”

Pope Benedict XVI in Manoppello September 1, 2006

BaddeYou said in 2006 that there is a “moral certitude” that the image of Manoppello is identical with which the Evangelist John mentioned as “soudarion” from Christ’s empty tomb in Jerusalem. What did you mean?

 Archbishop ForteJohn names it in verses 6 and 7 in the 20th chapter of his Gospel: “When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.” The burial cloths – in the original “tá othónia” – correspond in all likelihood with that unique witness that we have in the famous Shroud of Turin (or Santa Sindone in Italian). The “Soudárion,” on the other hand, allows me to say from my moral certainty that it corresponds with the veil from Manoppello. This certainty is supported by various data. First and foremost, the veil  was kept in Jerusalem as a precious remembrance of the Redeemer. Then it was taken to Camulia in Cappadocia where it was venerated for a long time. From there it was later taken under the threat of the so-called iconoclasts first to Constantinople and then in safety to Rome. Here it was displayed at the beginning of the 13th century for the public to view where it was treasured as an incomparable relic at St. Peter’s Basilica. When the new construction of the magnificent and current St. Peter’s began on April 18, 1506, the sacred Sudarium was still located in a vault from where the veil in all likelihood was brought to safety by Cardinal Giampietro Carafa, Archbishop of Chieti and later governor of the city (and future Pope Paul IV), in 1527 as German and Spanish soldiers ravaged Rome in the so-called “Sacco di Roma.” And which place was safer than a monastery on the other side of the Papal States’ borders – in his diocese of Chieti-Vasto? Manoppello was the first town behind the border, which is reached as soon as one comes out of Rome and therefore the holy veil arrived here at a Capuchin monastery after it was previously kept in sure hands in private homes. But when it was decided in 1640 to put the veil on display for public veneration, the threat that the Vatican’s  Chapter of Canons could demand to get the veil back was foiled and thwarted by a certain Fra’ Donato da Bomba with a chronicle in which he asserted that the holy veil had already reached Manoppello in 1506, when the new construction on St. Peter’s began. Therefore, it could not be possible to be the so-called Veil of Veronica as it was back then also called in Rome. It was thus a pious lie, but nevertheless a lie even if it was pronounced with good  intentions, which saved the whereabouts of this genuine divine proof of the passion and resurrection of Christ for the people of Abruzzi and for all of us…

Badde:  How do you then explain the opposition against the Volto Santo, even still today, especially in relation with the Shroud of Turin?

 Archbishop ForteThe Shroud of Turin has been well known and honored for a long time throughout the world; however, the holy face of Manoppello seems for some still to be something unheard of and new that is not supported in the same way from the perception and tradition out of the faith of the people of God. But it is not so in reality as I have just called to mind. Between these two incomparable witnesses, there is not only no contradiction, but also they have even been proved for a long time to concur and correspond perfectly to one another. The Trappist sister Blandina Paschalis Schlömer has compellingly pointed out a variety of concurring points that show the extreme compatibility between the face on the Sindone (or Shroud) and the face on the Sudarium. It indicates that there is a relationship between both cloths, which were established in the holy tomb in Jerusalem. In any case, the Shroud of Turin and the Manoppello Image show the inexplicable and mysterious way the same person once dead and once alive. It is Jesus Christ, the Lord.

Badde:  And how do you answer the voices that claim the portrait of Christ on the veil of Manoppelo is just simply “painted” and indeed from a human hand, probably during the time of the Renaissance?

Archbishop ForteThe Veil of Manoppello was tested under an electron microscope and even in extra enlargements, no traces of paint were found. The image was not painted; rather, it is a true image – and that makes it even more precious because it provides us with a kind of authentic image, which we have of the Redeemer of the world.

BaddeIn Germany – especially since Rudolf Bultmann - the supposition that Jesus was risen only “in Kerygma” meaning in the faith and in the speech and in the preaching of the apostles was frequent even among theologians. Christ could not possibly be raised from the dead. How do you as a theologian bring this modern line of thought within the Church together with the process of the rediscovery of the Holy Sudarium over the last 40 years in the Diocese of Chieti-Vasto?

Archbishop ForteThe theses of Bultmann’s existentialist interpretation have been academically obsolete for a while thanks to the return and development of research on the historical Jesus. In the gap of time between the death of Jesus on the cross and the new beginning of Easter, something essential must have happened in order to transform the frightened and fleeing disciples on Good Friday into the bold heralds of the resurrection of Christ on Easter. This “something” was not a fruit of hysterical imagination of the events as, for example, Ernest Renan declared; rather, it approaches them externally as an unexpected gift that transformed their sorrow into joy and their fear into audacious courage and their escape from Jerusalem into a new life and worldwide mission. To conclude, there is almost complete unanimity in serious research since then on the historical Jesus.

 Badde:  Since Pope Benedict’s visit 10 years ago, the Volto Santo draws more pilgrims from the whole world to Manoppello including countless bishops from every continent. What other implications did Pope Benedict’s “private visit” have on your diocese and on your faith?

 Archbishop Forte:  Certainly Pope Benedict’s visit, which was accompanied by more than 300 media representatives and about 70 television channels from the whole world, raised the awareness of the holy face of Manoppello to a truly planetary level and drew waves of pilgrims here. What delights me even more as a believer and shepherd is this: that the visits of the “Volto Santo” are kind of bound all together with personal confession and participation in the sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and that is not an aesthetic phenomena, but a thoroughly deep and transformative encounter with the risen Christ. And that is truly a wonderful gift to us all.

Pope Benedict XVI Delivering an Address in the Basilica Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello September 1, 2006

 Badde:  On this coming September 17th, you will receive 70 catholic and orthodox bishops before the Holy Face in Manoppello. In 2005 you invited Pope Benedict to the Holy Veli. How did these bold and audacious initiatives come about?

 Archbishop Forte:  Here I must specify that Pope Benedict’s decision to come to the Volto Santo was made by he himself and totally alone. He shared that with me even before his election to be the Successor of Peter and after the election in the course of an audience, in which I participated as member of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. This initiative was a great gift from him. I was very happy about that and it filled me with great thankfulness towards him.

Badde:  What will you tell Pope Francis about the concrete “Misericordiae Vultus” (Face of Mercy) in Manoppello, if the opportunity should ever arise?

 Archbishop Forte:  I have already spoken enthusiastically with his Holiness about the Holy Face of Manoppello and also sent him a beautiful reproduction. For that reason, I leave it all now in his hands and in the hands of God. It lies there now and will continue on in the right manner.

 Translated from German to English by R. Andrew Krema

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mother of the Holy Face Please Magnify Prayers for Francesca Bini, Paul Badde and Daisy Neves

We have learned just the other day of the diagnosis received by Francesca Bini, the wife of Antonio Bini, of a very serious illness.

Francesca Bini

  Intense prayers are requested from all the followers and readers of this blog for dear Francesca, as well as for the ongoing health challenges being suffered by Paul Badde and Daisy Neves.  May the Mother of the Holy Face magnify the prayers offered to her Son's Holy Face for Francesca, Paul and Daisy.

Francesca Bini, Paul Badde, Fr. Daren Zehnle, Antonio Bini

Daisy Neves and Raymond Frost

Thursday, July 21, 2016

First Photo in History of the Holy Face of Manoppello

Through the great generosity and kindness of Paul Badde I am sharing the first photo in history of the Holy Face of Manoppello and an image of the copper plate used to produce it.

Paul wrote:  "I took the photo from the copper plate used for the first printing of a first photo from circa 1900.   I found the copper plate in the museum of the Volto Santo 10 years ago, which has gone lost unfortunately in the meantime, here again attached and converted into a photo by Hildegard Schuhmann from Nuremberg, a longtime, precious  and always helpful friend of mine."

Here are a few recent photos by Paul Badde of the Holy Face and the Shrine of the Holy Face

Monday, June 13, 2016

Paul Badde on the Sensational Discovery by the Theologian Klaus Berger Regarding the Sudaria of Christ

by Paul Badde  Rome, June 3, 2016 (CNA Deutsch)

(editor's note:  this is a translation of an article by Paul Badde appearing at

Theologian Klaus Berger

The sudaria of Christ (today in Turin and Manoppello) had a key role in the Latin liturgy of the Roman rite of the Mass already 400 years before their first public display for veneration in Europe. Klaus Berger in Heidelberg has discovered and notified us about this sensational missing link in the history of the reception of the most important relics of Christendom which he found in a mysteriously incidental way during his research for an extensive commentary on the Apocalypse.

In the course of his research on the Apocalypse of St. John the New Testament scholar Klaus Berger of Heidelberg has made a sensational discovery. He found that in Amalarius (775-850) - head of the Carolingian liturgy, the Bishop of Metz, and Archbishop of Trier, who in 844 was made a cardinal by Pope Sergius II and is considered the forerunner of a united Latin liturgy of the Roman rite - the  altar linens prescribed for the liturgy from the beginning were considered to be in direct correspondence with the cloths mentioned in the Gospels in relation to the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ which in the Latin liturgical texts are called sindon or sudarium. Especially the deacon who wraps the chalice in a cloth as Jesus was wrapped in his cloth.  Literally:  Diaconus ... involvit cum sudarium calicem, quoniam Ioseph involvit in sindone munda. corporale... ipsum linteum quo totum corpus domini tegebatur in sepulchro. (The deacon wraps the chalice with the shroud. As Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the whole body of the Lord in a new burial cloth in the tomb).

And all this of course already in the Carolingian period, i.e., well over four centuries earlier than in Europe where the  Sanctissimus Sudarium (Most Holy Sudarium)  in 1208 was carried in public by Pope Innocent III for the first time from San Peter's in Rome, and well before the year 1355 when the Holy Shroud reappeared and was venerated for the first time in Lirey in the Champagne region! From this we can also understand why the altar linen, in analogy to the shroud, until 1969 had to be "pure linen," and why the so-called corporal must always be folded in a particular way by way of analogy with the Sudarium, of which John says that after Christ's resurrection was found by Peter and John in the empty tomb "not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a separate place." That corporal is the starched cloth which in the old rite, after the priest had come at the altar in contact with the bread and wine, could only be touched by him reverently with his thumb and forefinger.

Since the altar linens of the liturgy are called sindon and sudarium and theologically are in connection with the real presence of Jesus in his body and blood, it follows according to Klaus Berger this directed their "setting in life" [ "Sitz im Leben"] within the liturgy in regards to what is the scope of their purpose which is to point to the mystery of the Eucharist on the altar stone, where the inanimate matter of the bread and wine - as the tomb of Christ in the rock in Jerusalem, which had never been used - is always transformed into the "bread of life" and living blood of Christ.

The depiction of the face of Jesus on these cloths instead could be understood similarly to the so-called Mass of Pope Gregory: Gregory I (540-604) saw appearing to him a bloody Lord directly in connection with the transformation of the Eucharistic species. The shroud and the sudarium of Jesus would therefore be understood as the direct expression and personified the real presence of Jesus on the altar and would be directly related to the Eucharist as the center of the holy Mass. In this way they agree as biblically confirmed evidence of the resurrection of Christ with the mystery of the Eucharistic transformation. You could therefore say: Instead of the vision of Gregory, in Amalarius there is a real symbolic content of the altar cloths. In both cases it is an expression of the real presence of Christ. What is true for Pope Gregory the content of the vision, namely, the real bodily presence of Christ (particularly of the suffering Christ), according to Amalarius would be expressed sensibly ( "sinnenfällig") in the liturgical altar linens. On the burial cloths, showing the stigmata on the shroud and on the sudarium the face of Jesus, there appeared a lasting imprint of what happened for an instant in Gregory's vision.

In correspondence with this the cleanliness of these cloths would also point to the connection with the purity of the body and the heart of the concelebrants.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Premiere Showing in Manoppello of Documentary on Holy Face Pilgrimage Procession from St. Peter's to Santo Spirito in Sassia

Procession from St. Peter's to Santo Spirito in Sassia

                I received this welcome letter from Antonio Bini earlier today

Dear Ray

 I am sending you the poster for the premiere showing of the documentary which will start at 6:30pm on Saturday June 4, 2016 in the San Damiano room, adjacent to the Basilica of the Holy Face of Manoppello.

 The documentary, which lasts approximately 25 minutes, features the commemoration - which took place January 16, 2016 - of the Veronica procession, from St. Peter's Basilica to the Church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, initiated by Pope Innocent III in the year 1208. The documentary, produced by Paul Badde and directed by Marco Gandolfo, will soon be aired on the German language portion of the EWTN  Catholic network.  An upcoming version in English will air on EWTN in the USA.

It was Paul Badde himself who desired that those who carried the Holy Face, as well as the choir of the Basilica and many others from Manoppello who participated in the Roman procession could have the opportunity to see the documentary before it is aired.

For Paul Badde  the screening of the documentary is also an opportunity to thank the citizens of Manoppello who prayed for him during his difficult post-operation recovery which included a period of three months of hospitalization in a Munich hospital. As soon as his strength allowed him Badde returned to complete this important documentary that begins with historical notes on the ancient hospital of Santo Spirito in Sassia and then on the event established by Innocent III which, in fact, began the devotion of the Veronica in Rome. The film then reprises the procession as it proceeds from St. Peter's Square to the Basilica and then in the direction towards the nearby church of Santo Spirito in Sassia.

 The video is to be considered an authentic historical document as it includes an extensive summary of the homilies of the Prefect of the Papal Household, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, and Lebanese Archbishop Edmond Y. Farhat, who each make explicit references to the authenticity of the Holy Face. The documentary suceeds in capturing the mystical atmosphere of the precious church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, with footage (at times three cameras were in use) which gives a broad idea of ​​the crowd of devotees, whose emotion is stressed during the interview with Msgr. Jozef Bart, Polish rector of the Basilica of Santo Spirito in Sassia. I was there and I can testify to that. The flowers that you see at Santo Spirito in Sassia were donated by Daisy Neves.

Ellen Badde, Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, S.J., and Paul Badde at Santo Spirito in Sassia
Paul will not be present at the showing of the documentary in Manoppello because he still is in need of rest.

a warm greeting,