Wednesday, January 23, 2008

St. Peter's Basilica was the former residence in Rome of the Holy Face of Manoppello

Many people have wondered what happened to the Veil of Veronica which we all commemorate when we pray the Stations of the Cross, Station VI, Veronica wipes the face of Jesus. Most of us don't have any idea that there is a special place in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome where this Veil once resided and that this Veil still technically has the primary place among all the relics in St. Peter's. When the first stone of the new (current) St. Peter's Basilica in Rome was laid in 1506 this stone was the first stone also of the Veronica pillar, one of four great pillars to support the dome of St. Peter's. Today there is a massive marble statue of St. Veronica holding a representation of the Veil not far from the Baldocchino of Bernini. However the Veil is no longer there, but only a copy of this Veil. The Veil has now been revealed to the world to be in the small Italian town of Manoppello where it is known as the Holy Face of Manoppello. According to Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, S.J. "The Holy Face of Jesus must be the true relic which disappeared from St. Peter's in the second decade of the 1600's and re-appeared in the city of Manoppello in Abruzzo". (Il Volto Santo di Manoppello, Carsa Edizioni, (Pescara), 2000, p. 14)

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