Sunday, February 24, 2008

All you Holy Angels and Saints Pray for Us

Thanks to Paul Badde for this photograph showing the humility of the Holy Face framed by the stained glass windows of St. Michael and St. Francis with the clear light window in the middle.
Jesus said "I am the Light of the world".

Friday, February 22, 2008

Transparency of the Fabric of the Holy Face

In order to take a photo showing the transparency of the fabric I stooped down below the level of the Holy Face and put my camera up. You can see my finger bent and the outline of my camera, but otherwise all you see is transparent fabric and also the clear glass on the wall about 40 feet behind the Holy Face. The frame of the monstrance of the Holy Face has been lost in the reflection of sunlight coming from the window directly behind.

This space between the stairs for the Holy Face and the back wall of the Church is taken up with an area for prayer. If I am not mistaken there are three windows on this back wall. St. Michael on the left, clear glass in the middle, and St. Francis of Assisi on the right. Segments of these three windows can be seen in this photograph.

More of my photos of the Holy Face November 2007

My reflection can be seen in the monstrance along with the Holy Face. Yet the rest of the fabric in the monstrance is transparent.
My photos of the Holy Face photos are taken from the top of the stairs looking down toward the front door of the Church. The image of the Holy Face can also be seen from the direction of the front door, for example, at the steps leading to the sanctuary. I found that viewing the Holy Face from this distance was very emotional also.

My Photographs of the Holy Face

In November of last year I received the grace to make a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Holy Face in Manoppello. I consider it to have been one of the highlights of my life and wish that each and every human on the face of the earth would be able to go there to see the face of Jesus and to spend time in prayer to receive grace to be more fully alive. Here are some photographs of the Holy Face which I took while there.
These photos were taken from the top of the stairs behind the altar, you can see the altar below through the glass with the Sacramentary open for Mass. Unfortunately the light of my flash reflected on the glass, but you can still see the effects of the sunlight on the Holy Face and the floating effect that the image sometimes seems to have in relation to the fabric. One can also see the reflection of the stained glass windows on the back wall of the church which depict St. Michael Archangel conquering the devil, and St. Francis of Assisi receiving the stigmata. It is wonderful that one can stand less than two feet away from this holy image of Jesus and be totally free. Thank God for the Capuchin Friars and the good people of Manoppello.

Light and Motion

A unique and extremely fascinating aspect of the Holy Face of Manoppello is that it changes before one's eyes in constant motion depending on the light. No single photograph, nor even 1000 photographs can ever capture the entire experience of what is present to the eyes above the altar at Manoppello. Thus the characteristic of the image/fabric is delightful yet demanding, even humbling. I have chosen here to post my translation of a passage from each of the books on the Holy Face written by Paul Badde and Saverio Gaeta which introduce us to some understanding of what we are seeing.

From The Other Shroud by Saverio Gaeta, p. 20

"The noted biblical scholar Jean Galot has called attention to the stress that the Evangelist John placed in distinguishing between the burial cloths and the cloth which had covered Jesus' head. Of the latter, in fact, the evangelist did not speak at the moment of burial, but only after the resurrection, as if suddenly this fabric had acquired a new importance which before it did not have. Writes Fr. Galot, 'When he had stopped at the entrance to the tomb and had bent down to take a first look, John had simply seen the cloths lying there; for him it was a first surprise. When he entered the tomb after Peter he was struck by one detail: the cloth that had been placed on the head of Jesus was separate from the laid out cloths. The fact of underlining this distinction shows that the disciple attributed great importance to the position of the cloth that had covered the head''. (The quote from Fr. Galot is taken from the article "Vedere e credere" (seeing and believing) in Civilta' Cattolica II (2000), 244.)

From The Second Shroud by Paul Badde, p. 91

quoting Fr. Pfeiffer "It is possible that both relics remained at Edessa until the 5th century. Definitely it is right to affirm that both cloths were steeped in a solution of aloes and myrrh which would have rendered them photo sensitive. The Shroud is clearly a negative image; the face on the veil, that presumably was placed on top, is clearly a positive image. From the point of view of photographic technique, this latter image must have been found on the exterior. "
(Badde) "Does this mean that you would have us believe that God is a photographer?"
(Pfeiffer) "The Greek word photos means "light"; graphein means "to write". There is not a better way to describe the technique by which these two images were created: they were "written with light". Who else could have been able to do this?"

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Journalists guide the way to knowledge of the Holy Face

Without going to Manoppello to see the image there in person, there are two journalists to whom we must turn if we are to know the Holy Face of Manoppello: Saverio Gaeta and Paul Badde. Saverio Gaeta's book on the Holy Face is published in Italian and is entitled: The Other Shroud, the true story of the face of Jesus. Paul Badde's book is published in German and also in an Italian translation whose title is The Second Shroud. These experienced and widely respected journalists have had access to an incredible amount of research starting with that of Father Pfeiffer, S.J. and Sr. Blandina Schloemer. Added to Gaeta's and Badde's use of the research conducted by Pfeiffer and Schloemer is their work of synthesizing research done by biblical scholars, historians, and experts on the Shroud, in Rome and elsewhere. What is very important and should be underlined is that they have made use of the freedom to openly state with frankness what they have learned regarding this important matter with a persistent patience and mildness. These two journalists have laid out the road we must travel to come to a correct conclusion.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Photographs of the Holy Face of Manoppello by Paul Badde

Note how the different ranges of light shining on each of these photographs of the Holy Face effects one's perception of the image. During my visit to the Shrine of the Holy Face I was amazed at how radically the image can seem to change from moment to moment.
With the light shining through the eyes there is a corresponding intensity of the wounds on the face. More than anything the glowingness of the wounds on the face astonished me.
In this photograph one can begin to see the transparent nature of the image/cloth when light shines from directly in front or behind.

Photographs of Manoppello and the Holy Face

See the beauty of nature, God's creation, in the snow capped Gran Sasso with the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello below.
The Holy Face is brought in procession through the streets of Manoppello each May.
A particular view of the Holy Face which hearkens back to the copies made of the Veronica especially in regards to its framing.

Thanks to the author Paul Badde for his generosity in making these photographs available.