Saturday, July 17, 2010

We Thank You O Lord For the Vision of Your Mercy and for the Blessings of Your Bounty

Many thanks to Dorothea Link who took this photo of the Holy Face of Manoppello for allowing me to post it on my blog, and to Paul Badde for pointing it to me. It is the most wonderful I have seen and shows the great generosity of Jesus in His loving plan, the wonders he has performed now and in time to come, for each and every one. I can only think of the marvelous psalm of David's thanksgiving as I sit "at the ends of the earth" where the farthest east and west seem to meet.

Psalm 65
"To you we owe our hymn of praise, O God, in Zion; To you must vows be fulfilled, you who hear prayers. To you all flesh must come because of wicked deeds. We are overcome by our sins; it is you who pardon them. Happy is the man you choose, and bring to dwell in your courts. May we be filled with the good things of your house, the holy things of your temple!

With awe-inspiring deeds of justice you answer us, O God our savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the distant seas. You set the mountains in place by your power, you who are girt with might; You still the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves and the tumult of the peoples. And the dwellers at the earth's ends are in fear at your marvels; the farthest east and west you make resound with joy.

You have visited the land and watered it; greatly have you enriched it. God's watercourses are filled; you have prepared the grain. Thus have you prepared the land, drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods. Softening it with showers, blessing its yield. You have crowned the year with your bounty, and your paths overflow with a rich harvest; The untilled meadows overflow with it, and rejoicing clothes the hills. The fields are garmented with flocks and the valleys blanketed with grain. They shout and sing for joy."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Window of the Holy Face from Stiepel Cistercian Monastery in Germany

Thanks to Kerstin for allowing me to show this photograph of a stained glass window featuring the Holy Face of Manoppello in the Cistercian Monastery in Stiepel, Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Videos of Holy Face of Manoppello

I have always thought of this blog as a resource of english language sources for the Holy Face of Manoppello. However from time to time I have included other language sources. At this time I feel the need to include several videos produced in Italian which are quite helpful for their visualization of the pilgrimage experience to the Shrine of the Holy Face. The first is a video produced by a pilgrim last year which gives a kind of "you are there" footage of the shrine. It includes some popular music which can be muted if desired. The second is a program produced in May of this year by the Italian national television network RAI2 on the occasion of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Holy Shroud of Turin. It is a segment of the weekly program Sulla Via di Damasco (On the Road to Damascus) hosted by Monsignor Giovanni D'Ercole which has beautiful footage of the interior of the Shrine and of the Holy Face itself as well as of the Holy Shroud of Turin. Monsignor D'Ercole interviews Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, O.F.M., Cap, rector of the shrine of the Holy Face and also Saverio Gaeta, editor of the Italian national Catholic weekly magazine Famiglia Cristiana and author of several books on the Holy Face. I have set up a list of videos which are now included on the home page of this blog which includes these videos as well as those of Fr. Josef Laufer and also a video of the annual festival of the Holy Face from 2003.

YouTube - Volto Santo Manoppello

Sunday, July 11, 2010

He is the Head of the Body, the Church

Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

"In my justice I shall see your face, O Lord" psalm 16:15

"Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God" Colossians 1:15

Fr. Josef Laufer of Germany, in collaboration with Michael Sauer, has produced another beautiful video on the Holy Face of Manoppello, entitled The Original Gospel: the Holy Face and the Shroud of Turin. It is now available in English on Youtube. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

America: Lift up Your Head and See the Shining Face of God

To commemorate and celebrate:

July 4, 2010, the 234th anniversary of the founding of the United States of America with the publication of the Declaration of Independence Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

June 29, 2010 the 234th anniversary of the founding of Mission San Francisco de Asis, the first settlement of the city of San Francisco
"O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years
thine alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee.
And crown thy good with brotherhood
from sea to shining sea!"

"Today, therefore, my final prayer is this : that God will bless America, so that she may increasingly become—and truly be—and long remain—'One Nation, under God, indivisible. With liberty and justice for all'.

God bless America! God bless America!"

Pope John Paul II, Washington, D.C. October 7, 1979

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Conclusions of Prof. Jaworski Regarding Marine Byssus (Sea Silk) and the Veil of Manoppello

The Veil of Manoppello showing both the image and transparency

Prof. Jan S. Jaworski delivering the Paper

One of the more important papers, in my opinion, given at the Frascati Conference on the Scientific Approach to the images of Turin, Manoppello and Guadalupe held in May 2010 was the paper given by Prof. Jan S. Jaworski of the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Warsaw in Poland. Here are the final points stated by Prof. Jaworski in his paper entitled "Properties of byssal thread and the chemical nature of colors of the Veil of Manoppello".

The brown color of byssus threads originates from the pheomelanin pigments; its marker (BTCA) was detected by HPLC after degradation.

Degradation of byssus threads (chemically by some oxidants in proper media) results in changes of the brown color: bleaching to pale straw-color, to colorless and to reddish.

It looks highly probable that the image on the Veil of Manoppello (at least in most parts) was formed by modifications of pheomelanin, natural pigment of byssus.

Thus, there is an additional similarity with the image on the Shroud of Turin, which was "created" by oxidation dehydration processes of cellulose of the linen.

Byssus properties are responsible for some unique properties of the Veil of Manoppello, like the transparency after strong illumination.

Future detailed investigations on byssus properties (including color changes) are desirable and they are possible even if the examination of the original Veil of Manoppello will not be available.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

An Interview with Sr. Blandina Paschalis Schloemer

Sr. Blandina speaking to German pilgrims in November 2007 at the exhibit "Penuel" in the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello

this interview is from the official magazine of the Shrine of the Holy Face
Il Volto Santo di Manoppello December 2009 (my translation)

by Wlodzimierz Redzioch

When did you begin to become interested in the Veil of Manoppello?

In 1979 I was shown a magazine article on the image of the Holy Face of Manoppello, but I did not even want to look at it, because the only authentic and true image of Jesus for me was the Holy Shroud (I had read all the German language books about it). But the look on the Face of Manoppello moved me and finally, out of obedience to Jesus, I decided to study this image which had something to do with the Lord. I read this article which was accompanied by photographs. The article stated that the image of the Face of Manoppello had the same dimensions as the face on the Shroud. This seemed to me to be untrue and, out of stubbornness, I wanted to demonstrate the opposite. So I began to study the topic which entered rather easily into my new activity of painting icons. Strangely, everything which I discovered was in favor of the Veil. I continued to compare the two images and little by little I came to find that they had to have come from the same Person: they both showed the same symmetry, the Shroud as well as the Veil of Manoppello. Then I began to believe that the Veil of Manoppello represented the authentic and living Face of Jesus. In all these years I didn't do anything other than compare the two images by means of new photographs or fotocopies. In 1991 however I was able to make the first slides of natural size and, after placing one on top of the other there appeared a perfect match of the wounds and other particulars: to sum up, the images were derived from the very same source.

My difficulty and that of so many other people consists in the fact that in the image of the Shroud one cannot recognize the image of Manoppello. Instead, in the image of Manoppello, every once in a while, in the dark for example, it is possible to make out the face of the Shroud. I think that this difference depends on the fact that on the Shroud we have the image of Jesus who has died, instead on the Veil of Manoppello there is shown the living face of the risen Lord.

Isn't it a risky thing to say to a man of our times that there exists a true image of God?

Yes! But it is necessary to say it. Above all one must say that the Holy Face is the proof, or rather the document of the resurrection of Jesus (as the Shroud is the documentation of His passion and death on the cross). The Holy Face of Manoppello, for me, cannot be the Face of Jesus before His death, because, being without a doubt the face of a living person, it shows with precision the signs of the death he underwent.

Did you share your research with other experts?

I sought out contacts with the specialists: in 1984 I sent the results of my research to professor Werner Bulst and to Father Heinrich Pfeiffer, with whom I was in close contact for many years (for entire days we spoke of the Holy Face). Professor Andreas Resch, after having read Fr. Pfeiffer's first book on the Veil of Manoppello, invited him to speak at a congress on paranormalogy. Afterwards he published articles by Father Pfeiffer and also my work. To sum up a group was formed of persons who studied the Holy Face, made up also of persons who I did not know personally.

What is your role here at Manoppello?

I am a Trappistine nun, I have asked to be able to live as a hermit in Manoppello in order to continue my studies on the Holy Face. I decided to live here because Jesus present on the Veil seemed to me to be abandoned, that there was not a community who loved Him and adored Him. It's true that in Manoppello there was and there is a community of Capuchin friars and that many of the inhabitants feel connected to this Image and love it, but there is not a community dedicated to the continuous contemplation.

What does it mean for you to stay in Manoppello and contemplate the Holy Face?

I would like to clarify something: in the beginning it was not my intention to seek out the Holy Face and to remain in Manoppello. I think that Jesus has made use of my life and that of my person to realize a divine plan, something which was completely obscure for me and of which I was a very modest instrument. I think that God Himself had wanted to reveal His Son in a new way to us His poor children of the twenty first century, and had sought out and found men and women who, knowingly or unknowingly, would collaborate in this work. For my part I can only thank those who have helped me along this path with their higher spiritual vision and their support, and also those who have sustained me with their prayer.

Turning to your question: the Holy Face is something unique. The Eucharist can be celebrated in every part of the world - for this I did not have to leave my monastery in Germany: Jesus is present in the Eucharist everywhere. However in the Veil of Manoppello He does something more: He shows Himself.

The first commandment of the believer is to love God. Love contemplates and adores. And here I am able to do it. It's true, one can always contemplate and adore in the Spirit. But God incarnate has an individual and unique Face and this Face I can only contemplate at Manoppello.

I would like for there to be formed a circle of persons to adore the human Face of God, to experience here the presence of Jesus Christ and to sing His praise.

I am so happy that now there are very many pilgrims coming here from all over the world. Recently there was also one of the faithful from Russia who came here to Manoppello and who purchased three images of the Holy Face, made in glass: one of these images, I have heard, will be given to the patriarch of Moscow. For me this is one of so many signs.

Sister Blandina Paschalis Schloemer was born on March 6 1943 in Karisbad-Aich (Germany). She entered the Missionary Sisters of the Most Precious Blood in 1962. In February of 1965 she made her first study of the Shroud. She specialized in the painting of mosaics. In 1966 she studied pharmacy in the Universities of Wurzburg and Bonn and in 1973 transferred to the order of the Trappistines. In 1976 she began the study of icons also in France. At the beginning of the 1980's she came to know about the Holy Face of Manoppello. In 1984 she contacted professor Werner Bulst and Father Heinrich Pfeiffer, experts on the Holy Shroud. In this period she began her study of comparing the Shroud and the Face, obtaining in 1991 the first "superimposition" of the two images of Jesus: the image of the Shroud and the image of the veil of Manoppello. In 1998 at the conference on the "Face of Faces" held at Rome she exhibited the 27 panels which demonstrated the full convergence of the two images. These panels now form the Exhibit "Penuel" at the shrine of Manoppello.