Monday, June 10, 2013

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini Visited and Wrote About the Holy Face of Manoppello

by Antonio Bini
from Il Volto Santo di Manoppello
December 2012, p. 11

The religious community of the Shrine of the Holy Face remembered in prayer Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini (born 1927 in Turin, died 2012 in Gallarate) pilgrim to the Holy Face. The cardinal encountered the Holy Face September 8, 2003, and remained profoundly moved by it. He wrote in the visitors book a brief prophetic reflection: Il Volto che contempleremo in eterno! "The Face that we will contemplate in eternity!". The shaky handwriting revealed the initial stage of his illness.

But this phrase did not just remain there, confined to the visitors book, as merely a testimony of his visit and as a simple expression of a momentary emotion, of a temporary suggestion linked to his knowledge of the Holy Face. That encounter, which preceded by three years the first papal visit to Manoppello, remained imprinted in the mind and heart of the Cardinal, who in those years had retired to a life of prayer in Jerusalem. In fact, a year later, in bringing to fruition his book entitled "La trasformazione di Cristo e del cristiano alla luce del Tabor", (The transformation of Christ and of the Christian in the light of Tabor) published by Rizzoli,

he wanted to remember in the preface his visit to Manoppello, sharing with his readers his emotion, repeating that message left in the visitors book. Prior to the visit of Benedict XVI, Cardinal Martini was among the first cardinals, together with Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, to express himself without uncertainty regarding the Holy Face.

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