Friday, October 31, 2014

Servants of the Most Holy Blood in Service of the Holy Face in Manoppello

photo by Paul Badde

Juliusz Maszloch writes from Poland about a noble project being carried out in Manoppello for pilgrims and locals alike out by a group of Polish religious sisters.   

June 2014 marked exactly four years since the beginning of the
religious mission of the Servants of the Most Holy Blood close by the Shrine of
the Holy Face of Jesus in Manoppello. Sisters from this religious community
not only serve in the Sanctuary by working with different groups (of
various languages), through music service during the Mass, leading
Eucharistic adoration, praying every day in front of the Holy Face but also
their house has become a place to stay for many pilgrims, who knock at
their door to contemplate the Face of Jesus and to renew their spiritual
life. Moreover people living nearby gather in their house to pray together, to
stay for a night of adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, to take part in the
Bible meetings and have spiritual talks.
The sisters’ house has become more and more cramped and should be immediately
enlarged to give an opportunity to carry out all these tasks. That’s why
a project of enlarging the house was prepared. This project includes
renovation of the old part and building an assembly hall for different
purposes – to celebrate the Holy Mass, have conferences, adoration or
sometimes to serve as a dormitory with mattresses for ´´courageous´´ people.
Apart from that there will be a new kitchen and bedrooms for guests. Near
the main building there will be also two small detached houses (for
families or individual guests who would like to experience here some kind
of a hermitage).
Last year there were floods and days of heavy rain in Italy. Sisters
realized that they need a renovation of the roof, a good draining system
and financial sources to protect slopes from erosion and subsiding of the
From 2011 Sisters have been trying intensively to get permission for the
enlargement plan. There were some difficulties but thanks to a great amount of prayer,
the intercession of St. Joseph and our Angel of Light on 16th May 2014 – the
day before the celebration of the annual feast of the Holy Face of Jesus in Manoppello – the permission was
given. After requesting again for the estimated budget for realization of
the project it appeared that Sisters need help to fulfill this plan. Maybe
among your friends or people of good will that you know there are open
hearts that would like to make a donation to participate in the building.
If somebody would like to take part – together with Servants of the Most
Holy Blood - in building this place located on the way to ´´Tabor
Mountain´´ - the Shrine of the Holy Face of Jesus - and needs any
additional information – they can contact Sisters by an email
( or by a phone call (+39 085 85 98 74).

photo by Paul Badde

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Stika Visit the Holy Face of Manoppello

Bishop Stika, Sr. Petra-Maria Steiner, Cardinal Rigali

On October 4, 2014, feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali visited the Basilica Shrine of the Holy Face.  Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia, and previously Archbishop of St. Louis, Missouri, was accompanied by Richard Stika, Bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville. The prelates met with Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, rector of the shrine, who spoke with them about his recent mission to cities in the USA and  the Philippines.
Sr. Petra-Maria Steiner, a scholar of the Holy Face, provided  a description in English of the characteristics of the Holy Face, and of the visit of Benedict XVI to the Shrine of the Holy Face on September 1, 2006.

photo and news item by Antonio Bini

Monday, October 13, 2014

Catalan Artist Joan Mates Depicts Sudarium in 1429

Look closely as the loving hand of the saint places the obviously transparent sudarium on the face of Jesus as part of his burial. Thanks to Paul Badde for alerting me to this work of art which is part of the collection at the National Museum of Catalan Art (MNAC) in Barcelona. To see more detailed photos of this work of art and to learn other information about this monumental painting on a wood panel which measures approximately 5 Ft. high and 2.5 ft. wide visit