Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, S.J. Teaches about Holy Face of Manoppello

In 2000 Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, S.J., Professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome edited a book entitled Il Volto Santo di Manoppello(The Holy Face of Manoppello), published by Carsa Edizioni in Pescara. On page 13 Father Pfeiffer writes,

"Is the Veil of Veronica found in Rome or in Manoppello? That's what many are asking after having known the Holy Face in the shrine near the little city in Abruzzo. By now its accepted almost everywhere that no trace of an image is found on that piece of cloth which is still venerated today in the basilica of St. Peter's in Rome. On the other hand there have already been attempts to remove the 6th station from the Way of the Cross in as much as modern theologians don't believe any more in the existence of a woman with the name of Veronica who would have given her veil to Christ in order to wipe his bloody face during the ascent to Calvary.

In Rome this saint was never depicted prior to the painting by Ugo da Carpi in 1525, a painting intended to be located in the place where the relic of the Holy Face was shown to the crowds of pilgrims, that relic which was simply called (the) Veronica. Here it was the relic and not the saint that was called Veronica, a name which means "true icon". Only around 100 years after Ugo da Carpi's painting was there created a second representation of Saint Veronica, the colossal statue sculpted by Mochi for the pillar where the so-called relic is kept, (the fabric) on which no one is able to recognize any more the features of Christ.

But in Manoppello there is found a very fine Veil with the most vivid and expressive image of Jesus in all the world. No one knows how to explain the process by which the image has been formed on the Veil. The research conducted in part by a German Trappistine Sister, Blandina Paschalis Schlomer, and in part by myself, has determined four things:
1. The face on the Veil (of Manoppello) is able to be perfectly superimposed on the face of the Shroud (of Turin), and this on a scale of one to one.

2. The Veil with its face is none other than the Roman Veronica believed to be lost.

3. The face on the Veil of Manoppello is, together with the Shroud, the most important model for the depictions of Christ in the Christian East and West.

4. The Veil with the face of Christ could not have already arrived in Manoppello by 1506, but rather a little more than 100 years later."

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