Saturday, March 6, 2010

Secondo Pia as Simon Peter, Part Six

by Paul Badde from Il Volto Santo the official publication of the Shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello. This article is part of Paul Badde's new book Das Grabtuch Von Turin oder Das Geheimnis der heiligen Bilder which is soon to be published in Germany. I am looking forward to seeing it also published in English. I have heard that Prof. Badde's book on the Holy Face of Manoppello Das Gottliche Gesicht will soon be published in an English translation.

"Only three days prior Peter had said 'I don't know this man'. Some hours later he was forced to look and listen from far away. When Jesus was on the cross, covered with blood, he emitted a great cry and died. Certainly Peter remained even more disturbed when, suddenly, he saw the same Christ on the Veil which he held in his hands. Only now he recognized him, that Man. He recognized him right away. 'In your Light, O Lord, we see light' it had been recited in Israel for centuries in the Book of the Psalms. Did this verse now perhaps spring to his mind?

Or did he recall in that moment the words that Jesus had prophetically announced 'the Son of man will be put to death but after three days he will rise'. We don't know. But one thing we do know. Alongside the frightening emptiness of the burial cloths, in the tomb there was written this message contained in images: 'I am alive'. Jesus was no longer dead. The only thing corresponding to this image is not another image, no other icon nor any other painting. The only reality equivalent to that which Peter saw was the living man.

Everything was clear. Why didn't he now call out to John? It wasn't necessary. There were only two meters of distance between the two, one inside and the other outside the tomb. John became aware that Peter had remained shaken at his discovery. Then he also entered, he writes in his gospel and he said of himself 'he saw and believed'.

But he was also 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' as he willingly points out of himself. He was the disciple who later would take Mary, the Mother of Jesus into his house (and also Mary Magdalen as was written in many of the ancient sources) and who drank from the springs of the Mother as the source for his extraordinarily Marian gospel. The love of Christ for him and his love for Christ made him the first to understand the significance of the true image. Could it be that John, and not Peter was the first to raise the veil from the earth and to hold it against the light? Perhaps. 'The risen one is not seen as a piece of wood or stone is seen' wrote Joseph Ratzinger in 1985. 'he alone who sees is the one to whom He has revealed Himself. And He reveals Himself only to those who can be sent. He doesn't reveal Himself to curiosity, but to love."

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