Friday, January 29, 2010

Secondo Pia as Simon Peter part two

the slab of stone where Christ was laid as it is today in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

continuing my translation of Paul Badde's article from Il Volto Santo di Manoppello, Dec. 2009.

In his recounting of those moments John speaks above all of cloths, in greek "othonia", that is, a plural form of the noun. So there was more than one cloth that he had seen lying in that place as is customary for the traditional jewish burial rites. It is clear that among these cloths there was found the large "Shroud". Certainly there was also the "Sudarium" which is preserved in Oviedo in Northern Spain. This had been spread over the face of the crucified one immediately after his death in order to collect the blood which gushed from his mouth after his last breath; and was certainly buried together with Jesus. This cloth however does not contain any image. On it is found only stains from blood and other bodily fluid. The same goes for another "Sudarium", preserved at Cahors in France, which held the chin of Jesus in place. This also was buried together with the body of Jesus, and in the same way, does not show any image. The "image" appearing on the Shroud of Turin, however, Peter could not already have been able to see in the tomb. It was not possible to unfold the cloth there. For the place was too narrow, the room too small to be able to spread it out. The Shroud, as is well known, measures four meters in length (more than twelve feet). But it is not however the marks of blood that make the Shroud mysteriously symbolic but the image of Christ itself.

John, after having twice mentioned the "cloths", speaks again in a specific way of the "Sudarium" that was wrapped around the head of Jesus, but that had not been found "placed" together with the other wrappings, but instead folded in a "special" place and the designation of place remains an enigma. This sudarium had been apparently placed by itself, separated from the other cloths. John lends particular attention to this singularity in a passage which is extremely brief. But if it was like this, then the sudarium must have been laid out on the ground. The possibility of another separate place alongside the slab of stone at the right side of the narrow corridor does not exist. Immediately behind the rocky bed there rises up solid rock. The slab was not a bed in which something could disappear in one of its folds. Another place, outside or alongside, does not correspond to the actual space of the tomb, whose simple structure points to the position of the small veil in only one way. The text by itself could not have any other meaning, in respect to the other cloths in that specific place, than "on the floor of the chamber" at the feet of Peter.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

That Light in the Darkroom and in the Sepulcher in Jerusalem

by Paul Badde

from the official publication of the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello

Il Volto Santo di Manoppello, Dec. 2009 edition (Anno XCV #2) my translation of part one

"My heart almost stopped" is how Secondo Pia described the moment on a night in May 1898 when he withdrew the 50 x 60 centimeters photographic plate with the image of the Holy Shroud from the developing dish and held for the first time the face illuminated by the red light of the darkroom. Suddenly that image of a dead man appeared before him with all his wounds and the majesty of a king, appearing clearly to the observer, only in the image of a negative. "I almost let the plate fall to the floor. I feared breaking it in the sudden emotion of seeing before me the face of Jesus, as for 1900 years no one had ever seen. Two weeks later, in Genoa a newspaper had already spoken of the sensational discovery.

The history of the Shroud however had not begun with this discovery, because many before then were aware of what this cloth might have hidden within it. Before 1898 just in Western Europe alone there existed at least four churches purposefully dedicated to the cloth: Lirey, Saint Hipolyte, Chambery and Turin. In addition at Rome there was also a church where a copy of the image of Turin was preserved, the Church of the Holy Shroud on the Via del Sudario, close to the Basilica of San Andrea. Yet the first photo of the Shroud offered an incredible impulse to research. In effect on that night between the 28th and the 29th of May 1898 at Turin an incredible circle was closed, one that had begun to take shape in Jerusalem. And for this reason the beginning of the history of the Shroud is to be assigned to an environment without light.

There still exists the place of the origin of the cloth, even if Caliph Al Hakim had it destroyed and burned in 1009. But following that it was completely rebuilt according to its ancient structure. In it is the burial chamber of Christ in Jerusalem where every morning is read the Gospel of John, eyewitness of the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

For all of Christianity this represents the decisive point of the Gospel. It is absolutely unthinkable that John could have written in this part of the Gospel about affairs of little importance. In any case I had never heard any other passage proclaimed so many times as the first 8 verses of chapter 20 which I found translated in so many languages, the majority of which I didn't know. But it was not even a problem because I quickly learned the text by memory in those two years during which, as much as possible, I went there every morning. This happened during the years of the most recent intifada, when in that place there was solitude and tranquility as in a total paradise. This chamber drew me like a magnet. I could still draw it blindfolded: the low entrance, to the right the stone slab, beyond on the left side the passage way so tight that it is possible to cover only on one's knees or bent over. The Sepulcher of Christ was a narrow passage way on the left that led into the chamber where the deceased, wrapped in the cloth, was placed within the recess excavated along the right side. I still can hear in my ears the soft crackling of the candles placed in that room from which sprang for the whole world the first spark of the faith which announced Easter. Just by drawing ourselves closer to this moment, with the light of the dawn, the Gospel of John and the cloths, we can still distinctly hear today the crackling sound of that spark.

thanks to the author Paul Badde and to the Rector of the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello, Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, O.F.M., Cap. for allowing and encouraging me to post this translation. In the days ahead I will be posting the rest of this article, along with other articles from the same edition of Il Volto Santo di Manoppello.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Holy Face of Jesus Bring Victory to the California Human Rights Amendment

This blog was founded in 2008 on the 35th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade which removed every legal protection from the child in the womb.

Under our California State Constitution we Californians have the right to enact amendments to the State Constitution and that it what we are proposing to do to secure the legal protection of the rights of the unborn, that is, legal standing for the unborn. Here is the text of the proposed amendment for which signatures are now being collected:

"The term 'person' applies to all living human organisms from the beginning of their biological development -- regardless of the means by which they were created, method of reproduction, age, race, sex, gender, physical well-being, function, or condition of physical or mental dependency and/or disability."

Psalm 119:133-152

Keep my steps steady according to your promise, and never let iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from human oppression, that I may keep your statutes. My eyes shed streams of tears because your law is not kept. You are righteous , O Lord, and your judgments are right. You have appointed your decrees in righteousness and in all faithfulness. My zeal consumes me because my foes forget your words. Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it. I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts. Your righeousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is the truth. Trouble and anguish have come upon me, but your commandments are my delight. Your decrees are righteous for ever; give me understanding that I may live. With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord. I cry to you; save me, that I may observe your decrees. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I put my hope in your words. My eyes are awake before each watch of the night, that I may meditate on your promise. In your steadfast love hear my voice; O Lord, in your justice preserve my life. Those who persecute me with evil purpose draw near; they are far from your law. Yet you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true. Long ago I learned from your decrees that you have established them forever.