Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christ is Born!

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, how great a gift it is to be part of a communion which is open to everyone! It is the communion of the Most Holy Trinity, from whose heart Emmanuel, Jesus, “God with us”, came into the world. Like the shepherds of Bethlehem, let us contemplate, filled with wonder and gratitude, this mystery of love and light! Happy Christmas to all!"

Pope Benedict XVI Christmas 2009

Still, still, still
"Salzburger Volkslieder" Salzburg, 1819

Still, still, still,Weil's Kindlein schlafen will.
Die Englein tun schön jubilieren,
Bei dem Kripplein musizieren.
Still, still, still,Weil's Kindlein schlafen will.

Schlaf, schlaf, schlaf,Mein liebes Kindlein schlaf!
Maria tut dich niedersingen

Und ihr treues Herz darbringen.
Schlaf, schlaf, schlaf,Mein liebes Kindlein schlaf!

Groß, groß, großDie Lieb ist übergroß!
Gott hat den Himmelsthron verlassen
Und muss reisen auf der Straßen.
Groß, groß, großDie Lieb' ist übergroß.

Wir, wir, wir,Tun rufen all zu dir:
Tu uns des Himmels Reich aufschließen,
Wenn wir einmal sterben müssen.
Wir, wir, wir,Wir rufen all zu dir.

Still, still, still From Salzburg, 1819
Literal English translation -

Still, still, still,'
Cause baby wants to sleep.
The angels jubilate beautifully,
By the manger making music.
Still, still, still,'Cause baby wants to sleep.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,
My dear babe sleep!
Maria sings you a lullaby
And brings you her true heart.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,My dear babe sleep!

Great, great, great,
The love is more than great!
God has left his throne
And must go by road.
Great, great, great,The love is more than great.

We, we, we,
All do call out to you:
Open heaven's realm to us,
If we must die one day.
We, we, we,We all call out to you.

Manger Scene from St. Ignatius Church, San Francisco, photo by Hector Vasquez

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Radiant Beams from Thy Holy Face

Silent Night, Holy Night, Son of God, Love's Pure Light
Radiant Beams from Thy Holy Face
With the Dawn of Redeeming Grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy Birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy Birth

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Show Us Your Face O Lord and We Shall Be Saved

"How real Christ is, how terribly real, when He confronts us in one of our brothers in distress"

taken from Voice From the Desert, by Albert Peyriguere, (1883-1959) Sheed and Ward, New York, 1967

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Faithful Witness

"Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
Behold, he is coming amid the clouds , and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him. Yes. Amen.
'I am the Alpha and the Omega' says the Lord God, 'the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.'" Revelation 1:5-8

Second Reading from the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King

The apostle John saw and believed. May we too believe and persevere in our faith in Christ all our days.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lord of Heaven and Earth

"Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf."

Hebrews 9:24

Monday, November 2, 2009

Influential American Journalist in Rome States: I have been to Manoppello to See...the Holy Face!

The knowledgeable and influential American journalist Robert Moynihan, based in Rome, has written an article published on the Zenit website
regarding the Holy Shroud of Turin in which he also says that he has been to Manoppello to see the Holy Face. Under the heading "Veil of Veronica" he speaks in general terms of the transparency of the Holy Face and the fact that "some think" it is even more amazing than the Holy Shroud and that it is connected to the moment of Jesus' resurrection.

both photos courtesy of Paul Badde

Friday, October 2, 2009

Guardian Angels and the Holy Face

Pope Benedict XVI in Manoppello on Sept. 1, 2006
together with Fr. Pfeiffer, S.J., Paul Badde and Sr. Blandina - may their guardian angels ever surround them.

The Holy Face in Procession - May 2005

October 2, the feast of the Guardian Angels. How much the angels have done for the protection of the Holy Face! St. Michael himself stands guard in Manoppello. And surrounding the cloth of the Holy Face how beautiful are the angels on the silver frame representing the myriads who lovingly watch and pray. And the angels who send inspiration to today's apostles of the Holy Face, seemingly in impeccable German!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

As today is the feast of St. Therese I am happy to post this photo showing her devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus as it was known in the 19th century, taken from devoted blogger

I can't help but think that St. Therese's intercession has something to do with the fact that knowledge of the Holy Face of Manoppello is growing, even if slowly, around the world. It seems that this knowledge is meant to be part of her "little way". In her mind and spirit, this devotion is evidently connected to the Child Jesus. What did this mean to her? Considering that she is a Doctor of the Church something most profound, but also mysterious and needful of much meditation and contemplation. Considering that she is "love in the heart of the Church", it must take us to the intersections of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

St. Therese, Little Flower, patron of missionaries, apostle of the Holy Face, help us to lovingly, as you, reveal the Holy Face to the world.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Prayer Before the Holy Face

Pope Innocent III, according to the author Saverio Gaeta, composed in 1216 the first indulgenced prayer in the history of Christian piety. This prayer was meant to be prayed before the image of the Veronica. The prayer in the original latin:

Deus qui nobis, signatis lumine Vultus tui, memoriale tuum ad instantiam beatae Veronicae imaginem tuam sudario impressam relinquere volutisti, per passionem et crucem tuam tribue ut ita nunc in terris per speculum et in aenigmate venerari, honorare ipsum valeamus ut te tunc facie ad faciem venientem super nos iudicem secure videamus.

O God, who has willed for us as a memorial your image on the sudarium, at the request of the blessed Veronica, grant to us, illumined by the splendor of your face, present to us here on earth as if in a mirror, and in a mysterious way, that by your passion and cross, while venerating, honoring and adoring your face, we may one day be able to see you without fear face to face when you come before us as judge.

It was Pope Innocent III who approved the establishment of the Friars Minor as founded by St. Francis of Assisi.

Thanks to Paul Badde, as always, for allowing me the grace of using his photos of the Holy Face of Manoppello on this blog. Thanks also to my Latin teachers, Fr. Riddlemoser, S.S. (R.I.P.), and Fr. Kalkman, S.S. at St. Joseph of Cupertino High School.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Light from Light, True God from True God

"Taste and see the goodness of the Lord"

Psalm 31:16 "Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love"

Psalm 50 "Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth"

Friday, August 7, 2009

We Pray, God Generously Responds

Throughout the Psalms we pray that God might reveal his face. And God generously and continuously responds! In how many ways does God reveal his face? No doubt there are an infinite number of ways that God does so. Mother Teresa prayed that we might see God's face in the poor. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI prayed that we might see God's Eucharistic Face. Certainly one of the most unique revelations of God's face is that of the multi-faceted Faces (Countenances) on both sides of the cloth of marine byssus in Manoppello. The many faces of God in Jesus Christ present within the one cloth of Manoppello astonish all who generously find the time to travel there. Among the many psalms we pray that God might show us his face I am especially thinking of:

Psalm 31:16 Let thy face shine on thy servant, save me in thy steadfast love.

Psalm 34:5 Look to him and be radiant, so your faces may never blush with shame

Psalm 67:1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us

The people of the Old Testament fervently prayed to see God's face, may we continue to do the same, and believe that God will hear and respond!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Recent Articles Speak of New Research on Ties Between the Shroud of Turin, the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Holy Face of Manoppello

A metal icon of the Holy Face from 19th century Russia
through the courtesy of Andrew Whelan

A composite photograph of the Holy Face of Manoppello and the Face on the Shroud of Turin

the Veronica by a Flemish master

There are several quite interesting articles published in the April 2009 english language edition of 30 Days, an important Italian Catholic monthly. These articles, under the common heading "Clues to the Resurrection of Jesus" show the increasing attention scientists and researchers are giving to the close ties between these most notable relics of Turin, Manoppello and Oviedo.

Three of the articles are by Lorenzo Bianchi, a senior researcher of the Italian Institute for Technologies (CNR) while the fourth is by Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, Rector of the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello.

The first article,, is

"The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Veil of Manoppello: Two objects venerated for centuries as relics of the Passion of Jesus which show surprising correspondences with the Shroud of Turin"

The second article,, is

"The Sudarium of Oviedo, according to one tradition the 'Sudarium of the Lord' has been preserved in the ancient capital of Asturias since the 8th century. The scientific studies have recognized spots of blood compatible with those of the Shroud of Turin"

The third article,, is

"The Veil of Manoppello: The Roman 'Veronica', 'true icon' of Christ 'not made by human hands' has been in Abruzzo since the 17th century. An image showing the face of a real person"

The fourth article,, is

"The Visit of Benedict XVI to the Holy Countenance of Manoppello"

by Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, Rector of the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello also speaks of the religious history of the Veil from the time of its arrival in Manoppello up to the time of the historic visit of Pope Benedict to Manoppello on September 1, 2006 and the subsequent designation of the Shrine as a Minor Basilica on September 22, 2006.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Tale of Cloths in Three Places - Turin, Oviedo and Manoppello

The Face on the Shroud of Turin

The Holy Face of Manoppello


The Sudarium of Oviedo

Through the website of Antonio Teseo
I learned of a Vatican Radio broadcast on July 1 of this year regarding the correspondence between the Shroud of Turin, the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Holy Face of Manoppello. Originally transmitted in Italian, I provide the following translation of the Italian transcript available on the Vatican Radio website

"The Extraordinary Correspondence Between the Lord's Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin. Interview with the archaeologist Lorenzo Bianchi.

According to tradition, ever since the eighth century the Lord's Sudarium has been preserved in the ancient capital of Asturias in Spain. Scientific studies have shown stains of blood which are compatible with the Shroud of Turin. On the other hand, in Abruzzo in Italy, starting in the 17th century there has been displayed the Veil of Manoppello, true icon of Christ, which according to tradition is not made by human hands. We are dealing here with two objects venerated for centuries as relics of the Passion of the Lord which demonstrate a suprising correspondence with the Shroud of Turin. Luca Collodi has asked Dr. Lorenzo Bianchi, archaeologist and primary researcher for the CNR (the Italian National Research Institute), as well as author of several articles on this topic published in the April 2009 edition of the Italian journal "30 Days" if it is possible to speak of evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus.

Dr. Bianchi: The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Veil of Manoppello are linked in some particular ways to the Shroud. The Sudarium of Oviedo is witness to the Crucifixion and Passion of Jesus because it has a series of specific concordances with the Shroud of Turin: regarding the nature of the blood as well as the geometric shapes of the bloodstains.

Luca Collodi: So there is no scientific contradiction between Oviedo and Turin?

Dr. Bianchi: Absolutely not, Oviedo is probably that cloth which was placed on the face of Jesus at the moment when he was being taken down from the cross. There are the same types of geometric shapes of wounds on the cloth of Oviedo as there are on the Holy Shroud: that of the blood issuing from the face and also from the mouth. The Sudarium of Oviedo was used for the purpose (of containing the blood of Jesus)and therefore is not evidence relating to the Resurrection but rather to the death of Jesus.

Luca Collodi: The Veil of Manoppello that is in Abruzzo, which significantly has been visited by Benedict XVI, instead contains evidence which refers to the Resurrection?

Dr. Bianchi: The Veil of Manoppello is another truly surprising piece of evidence. What has been noted by studies in recent years is that this face appearing on the Veil of Manoppello has an amazing geometric and physical correspondence with the face on the Shroud. While it is still an object of study, there are those who think that the Veil of Manoppello may actually be that sudarium - I use the word sudarium this time to refer to the cloth found inside the tomb of which the Evangelist John makes specific mention - that perhaps was placed on top of the Shroud at the level of the face and therefore would have had a kind of impression of the face of Jesus through the Shroud at the moment of the Resurrection.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A View of the Veronica along with an Angelic Hand

Each year in Manoppello on the third Sunday of May there takes place a procession from the Capuchin Shrine of the Holy Face, about a kilometer outside the walls of the old commune of Manoppello, to the church of San Nicola, where tradition holds that in 1506 an angelic personage handed over the Holy Face to a citizen of Manoppello. It was in 1506 that Pope Julius II laid the cornerstone for the Veronica pillar which is also the cornerstone of the whole edifice of the present St. Peter's Basilica. Coincidentally it was also in 1506 that the same pontiff gave permission for the establishment of a feast of the Holy Shroud of Turin on May 4 each year, with its own proper Mass and Office.

Here is a photo of the Veronica now present in Manoppello as it arrives at the Church of San Nicola with a small tribute of a single rose petal perched near the cross above the Veronica. During the festive procession,and especially once the Veronica arrives inside the commune's walls, the people of the commune toss an abundance of rose petals to honor the Holy Face of Jesus.

Next year in 2010 this procession will take place on May 16 toward the end of the announced Exposition of the Holy Shroud in Turin which will be from April 10 to May 23. However it is not necessary to wait until that time to see the Holy Face. One may go there at any time the Shrine of the Holy Face is open, which is every day. And hopefully you will have the good fortune to meet a modern day angelic personage, Sr. Blandina,who will explain for you the most blessed Face which is the true image of the Lord. It is through her hands, one of which is actually seen helping to make visible the Face of Jesus in the second photo above, that the Holy Face has now passed from Manoppello to the world.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sad But Also Necessary Views of the Actual Condition of the Veronica of St. Peter's Basilica

I have thought about whether to post these photos for a long time. First, they are not very good quality. Second they reveal something not very pretty. Yet in posting them I wish to make an appeal to authorities at St. Peter's, as well as to experts on the Shroud that they might put aside personal preferences and their own uninformed opinions to take a fresh look at the Holy Face of Manoppello and let the truth be known.

The photos do not reveal anything new. Already in 1907 Monsignor Wilpert after examining the Veronica in St. Peter's stated that no image at all could be seen on the cloth. More recently, in March 2005, the German journalist Paul Badde was allowed to see the Veronica in St. Peter's from up close, and as he describes the relic in his book soon to be published in english, "one cannot recognize there any signs of an image or painting, nothing at all". How long must this truth be ignored?

Homage to the Holy Spirit

The above photo was taken by Georg Bickl of Germany. It shows a most amazing fresco from the city of Pinerolo in Piedmont not far from the city of Turin. The fresco, which is on the outside of a building at the intersection of Via Germano Sommeiller and Via Archibugeri di San Georgio close to the Church of the Sacred Heart depicts in a most singular way the connection between the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium (Veronica-Holy Face of Manoppello). It is a fact of history that the first exposition of the Shroud of Turin in Italy took place exactly in Pinerolo in the year 1478. In those years the House of Savoy kept the Shroud in their capital of Chambery in France but they always took the Shroud with them wherever they traveled, The Duchess Jolanda, who had taken over as head of the House upon the death of her husband Blessed Amedeo, spent a good part of 1478, the last year of her life, in Pinerolo and wished that it be exposed there. It was not until the late 1500's, after the Savoy had established their capital in Turin, that the Shroud would remain in Turin. In the region of Piedmont there are over 100 paintings depicting the Shroud of Turin, although this particular painting may be the only one in Piedmont, or anywhere else for that matter, which links the Shroud with the Sudarium.

O Mary, Mother, Teacher and Queen of All Apostles, enlighten the hearts of all peoples to seek the face of your son Jesus Christ. You know him better than anyone could ever hope to know him. In your mind and spirit you longed to see him in your womb before he was born. You comforted and consoled him and nurtured him throughout his life, even to his more awful suffering and death. Be with us O Mary on our journey to be with Jesus, to live for Jesus, to live in Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fervent Prayers For and With the Youth of Iran

I say that we all have a duty to remember and pray for the innocent men and women of Iran who have been killed in horrific ways, who are being killed at this moment and for those, especially the women, who are being threatened with death solely because they are for justice, truth, goodness and beauty.

Psalm 10

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor -- let them be caught in the schemes they have devised...

Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under their tongues are mischief and iniquity. They sit in ambush in the villages; in hiding places they murder the innocent.

Their eyes steathily watch for the helpless; they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert; they lurk that they may seize the poor; they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.

They stoop, they crouch, and the helpless fall by their might. They think in their heart, "God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it."

Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand, do not forget the oppressed. Why do the wicked renounce God, and say in their hearts, "You will not call us to account"?

But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into your hands; the helpless commit themselves to you; you have been the helper of the orphan.

Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers; seek out their wickedness until you find none. The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations shall perish from his land.

O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek; you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed, so that those from earth may strike terror no more."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Heaven's Window, Heaven's Mirror, Heaven's Image, Heaven's Throne

Psalm 33:13-22 "From Heaven the Lord looks down; he sees all mankind. From his fixed throne he beholds all who dwell on the earth, He who fashioned the heart of each, he who knows all their works. A king is not saved by a mighty army, nor is a warrior delivered by great strength. Useless is the horse for safety; great though its strength, it cannot provide escape. But see, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness. To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help and our shield, for in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name we trust. May your kindness, O Lord, be upon us who have put our hope in you."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Original Icon of the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Trinity

It seems that the Latin Church's tradition of the Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament, making use of a double sided monstrance with glass lunette, dates from no earlier than the arrival in Rome of the image of the Veronica (Holy Face of Manoppello). And according to Paul Badde it was because of the tremendous devotion given to the Veronica in Rome that the traditional Procession on the feast of Corpus Christi was initiated and spread throughout the Latin (Western) Catholic Church.

It also seems that this Holy Face of Manoppello is a reflection of the mystery of the Holy Trinity, Jesus united with His Father and the Holy Spirit in a spiralling of processions.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Not Painted by Human Hands

Fr. Carmine Cucinelli greeting Pope Benedict VI during his visit to Manoppello on Sept. 1, 2006

Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, Sr. Blandina Schloemer, and citizens of Manoppello standing before the Holy Face of Manoppello during one of the expositions of the Holy Face in the Church of San Nicola in Manoppello during the Feast of the Holy Face.

Natural Colors on the Holy Face, the Work of an Artist?

Father Heinrich Pfeiffer, S.J., Professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, interviewed by Father Carmine Cucinelli, O.F.M., Cap., Rector of the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello:

A discussion with Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer on the recent hypothesis put forth by the photographer Roberto Falcinelli, according to whom the precious veil is possibly a work of art made in the 16th century which many believed had been lost.

Fr. Cucinelli: There are many theories that affirm that the Holy Face is a painting. Recently Roberto Falcinelli, a photographer and expert on the Shroud, has affirmed that we are dealing with a painting of the 1500’s by the great German painter Albert Durer or even Raphael, what do you think of this?

Fr. Pfeiffer: I know the basis which allows Falcinelli to say this. But he is mistaken. He is neither the first nor will he be the last to say these things. Already the Jesuit Father Bulst, a famous expert on the Shroud from Germany, with whom I have worked, has affirmed a statement of this type. Actually I was the very one to have pointed out to him the reference to Vasari in his “Life of Raphael”. There it says that the German painter would have sent to the Urbanite (Raphael) a self-portrait, painted on both sides of a cloth so subtle that it was not possible to see that it was a painting. So in reply there are five things that should be highlighted: First we could say that we would be very proud if we possessed a heretofore unknown original of the great artist of Nuremberg. Second unfortunately it does not correspond to the characteristics of the face of the artist. Third he must have copied the Shroud of Turin. Fourth the phenomenon of the oscillation of colors is seen on the Holy Face. Fifth it is not possible to paint on fabric made of marine byssus.

Fr. Cucinelli: Can you explain these points in a detailed and understandable way? In particular why can’t it be a painting?

Fr. Pfeiffer: Again we say that the Holy Face can in no way be a painting. And for a number of reasons. First, even if one could paint with the greatest perfection on both sides of a cloth, there would never be the total transparency as in the Holy Face of Manoppello. The only painting of this type that I know of is a Byzantine work of art made around the year 1000 which shows St. Vitale equally on both sides of a silk fabric. This work is found in the treasury of the Cathedral in Trieste. Second. As Sr. Blandina Pascalis Schlomer has shown that the Holy Face is able to be perfectly superimposed over the Shroud of Turin, the presumed painter, let’s say Albert Durrer, would first have had to place his cloth over the Shroud and copy onto it exactly the characteristics of the negative. One must realize that the Shroud can only be seen from a distance of at least one and half meters. So one can’t ever copy all the details that correspond element by element. In fact until now no one has ever been able to make a perfect copy of the Shroud with purely artistic means. Our presumed painter would have had to turn the cloth over and paint the other side with the same perfection. One can clearly see that this procedure was not possible for any artist, still less for one in the first or second decade of the 1500’s. Third: If one begins to look at the Face and then moves to the right or left, at a certain point one sees that the lips are pink and then this blush disappears and the lips become brown. If one shines a light diagonally from behind only a light brown can be seen in various tones, the red disappears completely. If a light shines from the front, there comes forth a more intense brown and also the red of the wounds from the crown of thorns on the temple is seen. If all this artificial illumination is taken away the colors vanish and there comes forth on the figure a light grey. All these changes can best be observed with the light of the day during the open air solemn procession in May.

Fr. Cucinelli: How can the changing colors be explained? If they are colors, as they appear to the eye to be, of what kind are they?

Fr. Pfeiffer: Such oscillation of colors is only found in nature itself.

Fr. Cucinelli: Can you give some examples of natural coloration that changes?

Fr. Pfeiffer: Yes, in the fish in the Caribbean Sea or in the butterflies in tropical zones, that oscillate, according to the angle of view, between blue and grey. So one must understand that in reality, in nature colors don’t exist, but rather when an object is struck by the white light, it absorbs a part of the light and reflects the complementary light, for example, it absorbs the green and reflects the red. The phenomenon of oscillation is such that as the surface of the object has various angles which are able to be seen, these reflect one or another of the colors at a different time. Therefore the threads of the fabric of the Holy Face must change either on the surface of the threads or inside them in order to permit the same phenomenon. No artist with any technique, whether known or still to be discovered, can change a fabric in this way in order to permit this phenomenon. In other words, one must distinguish the fabric from the image. The very fine fabric is a human work, the image that can be seen on it, is not. This image behaves as a phenomenon that is found in nature. This insperable combination between human work (fabric) and natural phenomenon (image) we can only call by the word “miracle”, a miracle that will last as long as the fabric does not decompose. There is still another reason that excludes any kind of painting. A fabric so fine, which is identified as marine byssus by Chiara Vigo, the only known weaver of this material, can be found only in ancient times. But marine byssus can only be “tinted”, for example through a purple dye, but one can not “paint” anything on it. The salt remaining between the threads sooner of later will cause any color to fall from the threads.

Fr. Cucinelli: It is said that if the color comes from watercolor, then there would not be residue or pigment left between the threads. What if the colors were watercolor?

Fr. Pfeiffer: It doesn’t make any difference. By definition any painting technique consists of a material applied over a support, in this case a fabric. Whether such material might be between the threads or over the threads, it has yet to be found. I have not studied the fabric with a microscope but I have gone millimeter by millimeter with a lens that magnifies ten times and I have not found traces of such residue. If one might find something one could only speak of a strip of paint applied afterwards to highlight some pre-existing detail of the image.

Fr. Cucinelli: Falcinelli says that Vasari has perhaps confused the work of Raphael with a supposed self-portrait of Durrer and that this work of the Urbinate would be the Holy Face. Do we find ourselves on a totally mistaken trail?

Fr. Pfeiffer: The same difficulty remains whether it were to be the work of Durrer or the work of Raphael. The Holy Face of Manoppello corresponds much better to the thousands of paintings of Christ in both the West and the East then it does with the work of Raphael. However it is possible that there is a certain relationship between Raphael and the Roman Veronica. When Raphael, towards the end of his life, painted his Transfiguration of Christ, he certainly used the Veronica as a model for the characteristics of the face of Christ. There is a possibility, or we might say a suspicion, he even had the famous relic in his studio, by special permission of Pope Leo X. Perhaps to throw the curious off the track he made up the story that it was a self-portrait by the famous Durrer. However on this matter we can say nothing for certain. The only thing we can say is that the characteristics of the painting described by Vasari, whether in the life of Raphael, or in that of Giulio Romano, are not sufficient to identify this very fine painting with the Holy Face of Manoppello. The human mind, it seems to me, has today a great difficulty in admitting a miraculous event. So, contrary to any real possibility, one prefers to attribute the Shroud of Turin to the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, and now the Veil of Manoppello to that of Raphael, only because one does not want to confess that God has intervened in the creation of both images.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lady of All Nations, Advocate, Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send your Spirit over the earth. Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war. May the Lady of All Nations, the Blessed Virgin Mary, be our Advocate. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen, Our Life, our sweetness, and our hope, to thee do we cry poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in the vale of tears. Turn then most gracious Advocate thine eyes of mercy towards us, that after this our exile thou might show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, o loving, o most sweet Virgin Mary. - Advocate

O Lord Jesus Christ, our mediator with the Father, who has been pleased to appoint the most blessed Virgin Mary your Mother to be our Mother also and our mediatrix with you, mercifully grant that whoever comes to you seeking your favors may rejoice to receive all of them through her. Amen. - Mediatrix

Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word.
A sword will pierce your heart. - Co-Redemptrix

Dear Mother Mary, thank you for saving the life of Pope John Paul II and for protecting Pope Benedict XVI on his apostolic journey to your blessed homeland.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother of the Holy Face, Mediatrix of All Graces, Bless the Pilgrim for Peace Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI begins his historic visit to the people and places of the Holy Land to promote peace and unity among all peoples. This day in a number of dioceses around the world the feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces, is celebrated. May this special visit help Mary to watch over all humanity and cause the image and likeness of her Son's face to shine ever brighter in each one of us and especially in those places of sin, darkness, and violence.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Essential Videos of Holy Face of Manoppello Available on Internet

Gradually videos of the Holy Face are becoming available on the internet, unfortuantely none yet with commentary in English. However I highly recommend these two which are essential even for those who cannot understand the dialogue : which is an Italian production featuring Fr. Germano Di Pietro, former rector of the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello and which is a breathtakingly beautiful German produced video of Pope Benedict's astonishing meditation before the Holy Face during his visit to Manoppello on September 1, 2006. Is it too much to say that Pope Benedict's visit that day has broadened and deepened the interior life of each and every human being who is open to the possibility of God's love?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Exhibit of Holy Face of Manoppello in Santa Cruz, California

excerpted from an article by Cathy Kelly April 12, 2009 in the Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper

"At the Shrine of St. Joseph on West Cliff Drive (in Santa Cruz, California) the Rev. John Warburon has compiled an exhibit containing replicas of three miraculous images of Christianity -- the Shroud of Turin, the Holy Face of Manoppello and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Catholic church intends to keep the items on exhibit permanently, by appointment."...

"For Warburton, a visit to Italy last year after reading a magazine article about the Holy Face of Manoppello sealed his determination to bring information about the image home to Santa Cruz. The priest has been interested in such images since hearing about the Shroud of Turin many years ago, he said.

Warburton visited the Italian village where the image is kept, he said. Sometimes referred to as "Veronica's Veil," it is believed by some to be the face of the risen Christ, his wounds healed and his eyes open. It is on an ancient fabric known as sea byssus.

It is less renowned than the Shroud of Turin, believed to be the burial cloth Jesus was wrapped in, or the image of Jesus' mother known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, on a cactus-fiber tilma, or cloak, after she appeared to a Mexican peasant.

Science has been unable to explain how the images appeared, Warburton said.

The Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego in 1531 and scientists have said the cloak should have disintegrated centuries ago, he said.

The Shroud of Turin is the most studied article in history, he said, adding that of more than 2,000 scientists who studied it, an overwhelming majority ended up believing in Christ. It contains marks from the wounds Jesus is described to have gotten in the Bible, including some 120 scourge marks.

There is much evidence pointing to its authenticity, he said.

If one superimposes the Holy Face on the facial portion of the shroud, they match perfectly, Warburton said. Visitors to the exhibit can try that for themselves, using replicas of the images.

"For someone like me, the supernatural explanation is the only one that fits," he said. "But people can come and see for themselves. Make an appointment. Do the experiment.

"I hope they can be a help to people's devotion."

Articles and videos explaining the three items are available at the church as well, he said, and some groups have chosen to make it part of a one-day retreat the shrine offers.
For more information, call the Shrine of St. Joseph at 471-0442."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Prayer in an English Church on St. George's Day

Holy Spirit make my soul a living mirror which reflects the love of Jesus Christ.
Father write on my soul, more precious than the most richly byssus, the true and living image of Jesus Christ.
Mary, weaver of my soul, re-arrange those strands which have come undone, re-arrange them to your loving eye so that you may honor and glorify your Son. Amen.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Padre Domenico da Cese (1905-1978), Stigmatist Capuchin Who Gave the Holy Face Back to the World

Padre Domenico, friend and fellow Capuchin of St. Padre Pio, also bore the Stigmata, marks of the wounds of Christ. From 1965 to 1978 Padre Domenico was the Rector of the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello. During those years he devotedly dedicated himself to the spreading of the knowledge of the Holy Face, which he considered not sufficiently known. In 1977 Padre Domenico had the foresight to bring to the Eucharistic Congress of Pescara a large photograph of the Holy Face so that it might be brought to the attention of all at that important gathering. A journalist from Switzerland in attendance at the Congress was so moved, that he wrote the first article in German about the Holy Face. It was this article that caught the attention of Sr. Blandina Schloemer and caused her to begin her great mission to share the knowledge of the Holy Face with the world. But it was to Padre Domenico that we all owe our deepest gratitude for this most precious gift of the world's first sight in 400 years of the Holy Face. In these days the cause for the beatification of Padre Domenico will be opened in the Archdiocese of Chieti-Vasto. (The photograph and information on Padre Domenico's life is taken from an article by Antonio Bini which appeared in the magazine of the Shrine of the Holy Face)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fra Angelico and the Holy Face

Blessed Angelico: Face of Christ - fragment of a fresco - circa 1446-47.

The Italian scholar Francesco Colafemmina posted the above photographs demonstrating the complete and insuperable connection between a fresco of Blessed Fra Angelico and the Holy Face of Manoppello on his blog on April 14, 2009.

According to Colafemmina:

"There is no doubt: the fresco of Blessed Angelico presently being exhibited in Rome at the Capitoline Museum is a copy of the Veronica, or rather of the Holy Face of Manoppello".

Colafemmina also puts forth a possible scenario: "Blessed Angelico was present in Rome in 1445, called by Pope Eugene IV to paint some frescoes for a chapel of St. Peter's Basilica which was later destroyed during the building of the new edifice. It's highly probable that the artist from Vicchio was able to see during that period the Face of the Veronica kept in the Vatican, this image that was secretly transferred to Manoppello during the construction of the new St. Peter's, as has been amply demonstrated by my friend Paul Badde."

See also Colafemmina's video comparing the fresco of Blessed Angelico, the Holy Face of Manoppello and the Shroud of Turin:

The exhibit of the works of Fra Angelico (1395-1455)at the Capitoline Museum in Rome concludes the celebration of the 550th anniversary of the death of the artist beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sacred Image of the Divine Mercy

To prepare for the Feast of Divine Mercy, Sunday April 19 this year see:

Angelicos Testes, Sudarium et Vestes. Surrexit Christus Spes Mea

What Mary Magdalen saw: Testifying that Christ my hope has arisen: angels, shroud and sudarium.

and What Peter and John proclaim:
From Pope Benedict XVI's homily at the Easter Vigil 2009
There is a surprising parallel to the story of Moses’ song after Israel’s liberation from Egypt upon emerging from the Red Sea, namely in the Book of Revelation of Saint John. Before the beginning of the seven last plagues imposed upon the earth, the seer has a vision of something “like a sea of glass mingled with fire; and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb …” (Rev 15:2f.). This image describes the situation of the disciples of Jesus Christ in every age, the situation of the Church in the history of this world. Humanly speaking, it is self-contradictory. On the one hand, the community is located at the Exodus, in the midst of the Red Sea, in a sea which is paradoxically ice and fire at the same time. And must not the Church, so to speak, always walk on the sea, through the fire and the cold? Humanly speaking, she ought to sink. But while she is still walking in the midst of this Red Sea, she sings – she intones the song of praise of the just: the song of Moses and of the Lamb, in which the Old and New Covenants blend into harmony. While, strictly speaking, she ought to be sinking, the Church sings the song of thanksgiving of the saved. She is standing on history’s waters of death and yet she has already risen. Singing, she grasps at the Lord’s hand, which holds her above the waters. And she knows that she is thereby raised outside the force of gravity of death and evil – a force from which otherwise there would be no way of escape – raised and drawn into the new gravitational force of God, of truth and of love. At present she is still between the two gravitational fields. But once Christ is risen, the gravitational pull of love is stronger than that of hatred; the force of gravity of life is stronger than tha t of death. Perhaps this is actually the situation of the Church in every age? It always seems as if she ought to be sinking, and yet she is always already saved. Saint Paul illustrated this situation with the words: “We are as dying, and behold we live” (2 Cor 6:9). The Lord’s saving hand holds us up, and thus we can already sing the song of the saved, the new song of the risen ones: alleluia! Amen.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Let Us Look Upon the World With the Eyes of Jesus

"Let us pray that we will look upon the world with eyes of love, with the eyes of Jesus, recognizing our brothers and sisters who need our help, who are awaiting our word and our action"

Pope Benedict XVI from his Homily on Holy Thursday 2009