Friday, December 10, 2010

American Hearts in Manoppello part two

Sr. Blandina kneeling in adoration, in all simplicity, before the Holy Face

Diane joyfully experiencing the Holy Face

David and Diane Fincher's Story of Their Pilgrimage to Manoppello continued

At first I thought, "the mouth looks funny". Then I applied my medical knowledge
to the image and realized that there is evidence of gross trauma and swelling
around the mouth. Those "wrinkles" are from the swelling around the mouth.
Oh, what he endured for us!

There is a wonderful exhibit comparing the early icons of Christ done by Sr. Blandina. Don't miss it. It is to the left of the main altar out in another building. Also, don't fail to go upstairs to see the Volto Santo items, including a painting of blessed Padre Domenico.

St. Padre Pio came to the sanctuary (by bilocation, as he was known to do) and asked the prayers of Padre Domenico, caretaker of VS at the time, on the last day of his life. Pio also is reported to have told one of his Capuchin brothers that the Holy Face/Volto Santo was the greatest miracle they possessed.

The image of Christ we were allowed to freely see (that the Emperor himself could only glimpse once a year, for a short time, on his knees, IF he had confessed his sins and received Holy Communion). (The byssus is see-through and cannot be painted on.)

We noted the marks of the crucifixion, now mostly healed. Some bruising, swelling (especially around the mouth and cheeks) and scars remains. The ears were not visible. This surprised me. But I should have known, that as a Torah observant Jew, He did not cut the edges of his beard, and so, of course his ears cannot be seen!
It's a perfect match to the Shroud of Turin (which captured his image in death), and is believed to be one of the linens from around his head at the time of the Resurrection. But this one captured his image after being made alive!

From Manoppello we went about an hour away to Lanciano, site of the Eucharistic miracle in about 700 A.D., and on to Loreto and a number of other holy sites. We have received wonderful graces in our lives throughout the entire trip.

Along the way, in the middle of no-where, we stopped at a little building with a bus stop sign and discovered it to be a wonderful little place of prayer. It's like nothing we know here in America! May our story inspire someone to do the same.

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