A solemn celebration commemorated the procession instituted by Innocent III in 1208. For the first time in the history of the Holy Face a Canon of St. Peter's, Mons. Americo Ciani, celebrated Mass in the Shrine of Manoppello. At the beginning of the Mass Mons. Ciani was introduced by Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, OFM, Cap., the Rector of the Basilica, who thanked Mons. Ciani for being willing to come to Manoppello, explaining that the celebration was in continuity with that of the celebration in Rome last Omnis Terra Sunday. cf. http://holyfaceofmanoppello.blogspot.com/2016/01/edward-pentin-of-national-catholic.html
Mons. Ciani, during his homily, recognized "the authenticity and uniqueness of this marvelous image in which the Lord has shown Himself through His Son." He also remembered the dear departed Archbishop Edmund Farhat -- also a Canon of St. Peter's-- who passed away last December 17. (photo below of Archbishop Farhat at the left with Mons. Ciani) Read the masterful homily of Archbishop Farhat during the Holy Face celebration in Rome in January 2016 http://holyfaceofmanoppello.blogspot.com/2016/01/archbishop-edmond-y-farhats-homily-at.html
In the course of an interview which followed the celebration Mons. Ciani confirmed that the Veronica disappeared from Rome in 1527.
The celebration of the Sunday of Omnis Terra was attended by a multitude of the devoted in an intense way with profound participation, all of whom arrived at the Shrine where in the streets were seen large amounts of snow which had accumulated in the days leading up to the feast.
Another emotional moment was the prayer led by Mons. Ciani at the end of the Mass for the victims of the earthquakes of central Italy and of other parts of the world. This prayer also recalls the historic events of 1703 which was the first procession of the Holy Face in Manoppello to invoke the Lord after the dramatic earthquake of that year which destroyed many towns in Abruzzo. Particularly moved by the feast was Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, S.J., leading expert on the Holy Face, who arrived in Manoppello from Palermo, despite not being in good health, The solemn celebration was enriched by the choir of the Basilica directed by Maestro Nicola Constantini. Also present were the heralds of the Holy Face and a delegation of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.
Below are photos of three protagonists of the history of the Holy Face: Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, Sr. Blandina, also expert regarding the Holy Face together with Fr. Pfeiffer, and Paul Badde. The photos are useful to understand the situation of the piles of snow around the area of the church. From the photos one can see the progress in the work for the "House of Pilgrims". The work ought to be completed by the beginning of April