Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The True Icon by Paul Badde to be Published In March by Ignatius Press

After many years of study of the Shroud of Turin and the Holy Face of Manoppello Paul Badde has made a significant contribution to the understanding of both relics with a book already published in german which will now be available in english starting in March of 2012 from Ignatius Press of San Francisco. In my opinion it is no exaggeration to say that the english edition of this book, entitled the True Image, will mark the beginning of a new era and opportunity for scholars of the Shroud of Turin, as well as of the Holy Face of Manoppello.

See this announcement of the book by Ignatius press:

The True Icon - Paul Badde : Ignatius

Monday, November 28, 2011

The True Image -- Polar Star of the New Evangelization

Holy Face of Manoppello

Holy Face above the entrance to the Election Chapel, Frankfurt Cathedral

The True Image –
Polar star of the
new Evangelization

by Paul Badde

Facebook of heaven for the Word that became flesh.
A new Mount Tabor for a divided Christianity.
Reference point of return for the formerly Christian nations:

The human face of God

“Truth is a person“ – Nicolàs Gómez Dávila

At last month’s baptism of our latest granddaughter Josephine, we discovered a copy of the “true image” in Frankfurt Cathedral as I had never seen it before: Christ’s mild face, levitating in front of a transparent veil on which it lies as on a nimbus. I do not know who painted it, though for certain it was done by the hands of a master. The image sits within a six-fold lunette on the left side at the rear of the sanctuary of this venerable gothic cathedral above the door leading to the election chapel for the kings of the Germans' Holy Roman Empire. In 1345 Frankfurt on Main had been determined as the location for royal elections by the Golden Bull of Charles IV. The church had been completed shortly before this while the election chapel was only finished in 1425. This is also around the time when this image was affixed above the architrave, the door through which the “Roman kings” of the Germans along with the electors stepped into the cathedral right after their election, to present themselves to the people in order to sing the Te Deum together.

This door therefore occupies a key position in Europe’s history. The architects were well aware of this when they had the image of the Savior of the World, unknown to any other culture, painted precisely here. The fact that Christians do not just have one but the image of God in Christ, was and remains a unique feature of Christianity amongst the other religions. Only Christians have this. They know: God showed his face through Jesus. Additionally they believe that God left an image of this face which could not have been created by men. “The secret of a person is expressed in his face,” as Sister Columba wrote to me from a monastery in the orthodox world where this belief is maintained to the present day. “In the face of the one who lives in the midst of all as the Alpha and Omega, are – as Dante put it – also our faces engraved. Only if we wholly behold the face of him who is called I AM, will we be able to say – now within him: I AM.” This knowledge let blossom icon painting among the orthodox. The icon of icons, however, is the Vera Icon. Here he is painted in an incredibly modest manner so that the only one who recognizes it is the one who has seen the original before. The painter had surely seen it.

Copies of the original received the most exclusive and prominent places of honor in the eastern and western cathedrals. But in order to see the prototype one had to travel to Rome. Because for the “true image” itself only the most prominent place in the West could suffice: the tomb of St. Peter. It was no surprise that the largest church in the world was to be built for this original in 1506. Bramante erected a tower-like treasury for the true image right above the foundation stone of the new Basilica of St. Peter's.

This mysteriously beautiful yet ethereal veil arrived in Rome under Pope John VII in 706 during the age of Byzantine iconoclasm. It remained here for 820 years until 1527. During this time numerous copies were made, one more beautiful then the other, from the mosaic in the Zenon Chapel in Santa Prassede to the large depictions by Italian, German, French and Flemish masters.

The most fascinating factor for us in the origin and history of this true image is, however, that it disappeared during the “sack of Rome” in 1527, went missing for centuries but luckily did not remain lost. For it returned into history almost as silently as it had disappeared the moment Pope Benedict XVI – as the first pope after 479 years – got down on his knees on a hill behind Manoppello on the Adriatic in front of this most precious papal treasure of former times. It was the first pilgrimage of his pontificate within Italy of his own choice. No one was prepared for this rediscovery. Contrary to the case of the Shroud of Turin, which at the time when it was first photographed in 1898 had already been venerated for centuries in the West, the true image had been forgotten by us for centuries. No one had anticipated its reappearance. No one had expected it. Not a single researcher had it on his radar anymore – only a few shepherds and farmers and fishermen in Abruzzo, by whom it had been reverenced in a local shrine.

Unbelieving amazement therefore accompanied the rediscovery. Yet the finding was by far no Christian Troy. It is not an unearthed ruin, rather a living picture, as blazing and self-explanatory as it was on the first day, but actually even brighter, more revealing and surrounded by so much more light than ever before. It is incredibly easy to access on every day of the year and this access is free. Most uplifting of all is, however, that this legendary “true image” of the Church is no legend at all despite being described in this way even by extraordinary scholars such as Hans Belting. According to him, it could never have existed. If examples of the legendary kind would have been preserved, he wrote in his 2005 book “The real image”, they would have quickly “revealed themselves as fake”. But the authentic image is preserved here; and despite manifold attempts no one has yet been able to expose it as a fake. Here we have it in front of us.

The mother image of all Christ Icons, inexplicable, it is therefore no surprise that amazement and disbelieving skepticism have always accompanied this image – from Dante to Martin Luther. Because this isn’t just any image. It changes with every reflection of light, is painted by light and sometimes looks like photography. Yet there exists no objective photograph of it. Almost all photographs of this image show an unambiguity and one-dimensionality that in fact it doesn't have. It contains thousands of images, all of which are different – except for the merciful look in his eyes: “Would you like to become my friend?” It is the facebook of heaven.

It is impossible to count and explain all the names it has previously been called: Mandylion, Abgar-Image, Camuliana Veil, Sanctum Sudarium, Holy Face, Byssus Cloth, Veronica – but no name has captured its essence as has the term “true image”. Truth is the archimedic reference of its being. That is why we may best imagine this image in its wafer-thin, transparent fabric as a piece of material truth. Such a thing cannot exist, as everyone knows, because we commonly view the truth as a strictly philosophical term. Nonetheless, we are faced with a paradox. “Truth is a person,” Nicolàs Gómez Dávila says. That is how it is. Here he is. Jesus himself, on the other hand, remains silent when Pilate puts the question to him: What is truth? The true image is silent in a similar way. He only looks at us.

Generation Facebook and the following Christian generations may perhaps discover and recognize it as an almost cosmic memory chip of the merciful God, with innumerable gigabytes of unread information, which they will then begin to try to decode. In fact, it returned to us in history precisely at the dawn of the digital age. At the Iconic Turn! During the daunting return of images and hieroglyphs at the gates of our perception, it today reminds us as no other document does: We have an image of God! The word became flesh.

Nobody must therefore demand that this icon shall be elevated to become the polar star of evangelization. It is and will become so in any case, even without any publicity campaigns. Since Benedict XVI's visit, a massive migration movement from all parts of the world has begun to reach the true image on top of the Tarigni Hill behind Manoppello, as to a new Mount Tabor, and is unlikely to cease. The pope, who never tires of praising the “human face of God”, has led and initiated this movement with his pilgrimage. “During these times we will need to keep our gazed fixed upon Jesus Christ,” he said on October 11 during his announcement of the upcoming “Year of Faith”. The ecumenical procession leading the new-evangelization of formerly Christian nations, made up of people from all sides of a Christianity divided in so many ways, has long reached its destination here. By 2027, the 500th anniversary of the abduction and recovery of the veil from the Vatican, Manoppello will be unrecognizable. – “He looks like a sheep!” my wife frightenedly said when we stood in front of the true image of Christ for the first time. In the meantime, many thousands of people myself included recognize in this face the most beautiful being of all. But my wife was obviously right. Behold, the lamb of God!

26. November 2011

(thanks to Paul Badde and to his daughter Christina who translated the article from the original German)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Puebla Conference on the Holy Face and the Madonna of Guadalupe

by Antonio Bini

Father Carmine Cucinelli, rector of the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello, has been invited to participate in the Second Guadalupana Week which is being held from November 15 to 18, 2011 in the Mexican city of Puebla, capital of the region of the same name.

Father Carmine's conference -- awaited with great anticipation -- is scheduled for today, November 17, at the Popular Autonomous State University of Puebla (UPAEP).

Prior to leaving for Mexico Father Carmine emphasized that the year 2011 will be remembered for the significant activities which brought together the Holy Face with the Madonna of Lourdes and of Guadalupe, which are the most visited Marian shrines in the world.

The exhibit “L’image du Christ à travers le visage de la Vierge”, held at Lourdes from September 1 to October 2, 2011 -- at the request of the Bishop of the Diocese of Tarbes-Lourdes -- Monsignor Philippe Perrier -- was visited by thousands of people, and coincided with the time of the year in which is recorded the greatest number of pilgrims. The level of interest raised by the exposition is shown by the distribution of more than 100,000 leaflets prepared by the Capuchin Fathers in the various languages.

If the exhibit of Lourdes pertained to the relationship between the Holy Face and the Face of the Madonna in the variety of expressions of devotion and of faith which Lourdes and Manoppello share, the conference of Puebla -- which opens new perspectives for the spreading of the knowledge of the Holy Face of Manoppello (Santa Faz) in South America -- will concentrate on a comparison of studies on the acheropite ("not made by human hands) origin of the two images, in a historical, scientific and religious perspective.

Under this aspect, it should be remembered that the two images -- together with that of the Shroud of Turin -- were at the center of the International Workshop on the Scientific Approach to the Acheiropoietos Images – held at the Research Institute of Frascati from May 4 to 6, 2010.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

European and African Bishops to go Together as Pilgrims to the Holy Face in February 2012

In February of 2012, as part of the European and African Bishops symposium in Rome to prepare for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, there will be a pilgrimage of these Bishops to the Holy Face of Manoppello. May Our Lady bless and guide this holy and inspired effort.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Holy Rosary and the Holy Face

One of the unique characteristics of the Holy Face of Manoppello is that the Face of Jesus can be seen bearing many, even seemingly infinite expressions. It can be said that in the variety of moments over time the Face of Jesus in Manoppello shows Himself to be sorrowful, joyful, glorious and luminous. As well it can be said the Face of Jesus in Manoppello has all these characteristics at one and the same time. Without doubt the Holy Face as a historical reality is a help to our praying the Holy Rosary, taking to heart Blessed Pope John Paul II's description of the Rosary as "the school of Mary where we are led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ, in union with Mary and to experience the depths of his love." (Apostolic Letter "The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, number 1)

thanks to Paul Badde for his beautiful photos and to Robert Feeney the author of "The Rosary, the John Paul II Method"

"To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ" Blessed Pope John Paul II

Monday, September 19, 2011

Youtube Course on Holy Face of Manoppello

A talented Italian artist, Raffaela Zardoni, has recently posted a beautifully illustrated course, entitled The Rediscovered Face, describing the history of the Holy Face of Manoppello from the first century until today.

There are four segments totaling approximately 38 minutes. Originally available only in Italian, it has now thankfully been translated into English. This course is a great introduction to the wonderful image.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Scriptural Emblem Linking Holy Face of Manoppello to Our Lady of Guadalupe Discovered by Paul Badde

Recently I received the following e-mail from Paul Badde with some exciting news.
"In the little chapel of the Basilica of Manoppello, where the Holy Face had been kept and locked away for centuries until 1948 throughout the year (with the only exception of two annual processions) I found this Latin scripture the other day emblazoned on the ceiling: NON FECIT TALITER OMNI NATIONI.

This quotation (from psalm 147,20) is precisely the same famous saying, in fact, with which Pope Benedict XIV officially acknowledged on May 25th, 1754 the divine and not man-made nature of the Image on the Tilma of Juan Diego in Guadalupe. In Mexico nearly every taxi-driver knows these words by heart, as I experienced there 12 years ago: HE (GOD) HAS NOT DONE THIS FOR ANY OTHER NATION!

Strangely enough a day before my discovery the first pilgrims from Mexico had arrived at the shrine bringing one of the oldest photos of Juan Diego's Tilma to Padre Carmine (Rector of the Shrine of the Holy Face), whom they invited to Mexico for this October

They are completely enthusiastic about this new discovery in the chapel where the Holy Face has been kept until 1948, too, of course."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Procession of May and the Popular Devotion

The Pilgrim Companies


from "Il Volto Santo di Manoppello" Anno XCVI n. 1 June 2011

For a number of years every day of the year pilgrims and visitors from around the world arrive at the sanctuary,while the solemn celebrations of the third Sunday in May remain still largely anchored to the Abruzzo devotion, in the wake of a centuries-old tradition of worship and veneration of the Holy Face.

A phenomenon of faith - common to many ancient Italian shrines - is still represented by companies of pilgrims, in the past much more widespread, which has survived to the present time, although adapting to the conveniences of modern society. I note with pleasure how May 15 last, after a 25 year interruption of the pilgrimage on foot, a group of young people from Santa Giusta da Lanciano has taken up once again the ancient tradition of participating in the procession of the Holy Face on the third Sunday in May, led by the banner of the Holy Face carried with enthusiasm by Filippo Valentini who was keen to show me how on the reverse of the
iconographic representation of the relic was indicated the year 1934.
Among the group were many young couples with their children who gathered on the steps of the Basilica at the end of the Mass, joyfully preparing themselves for the procession.

As usual, in fact, companies of pilgrims coming from the surrounding areas
are placed at the head of the procession. Padre Filippo da Tussio in his "Historical memories of the Holy Face" (1875) vividly describes the celebration of May "to which many people participated not only from the neighboring countryside, but also from distant places,"stressing that Manoppello welcomed "The very many pilgrim society from distant areas, from Friday evening to Sunday morning. It is a continuous arrival of pilgrims which comes along with manoppellesi to pay their tribute to the Holy Face". The testimony of Padre Philip describes for us a large and supportive extended community, able to join with faith in their common devotion to the Holy Face.
Until the sixties, many pilgrims found hospitality in homes and stables of the
country, while others preferred to lie on the bare floor of the sanctuary, as in other sanctuaries, practicing the ancient rite of "incubation" (incubatio), to which the people's devotion attributed the effects of penance (cf. V. Cianfarani, Ancient cultures of Abruzzo and the Adriatic Molise, 1978 109),
But back to the companies present for the procession of the May 15, 2011.
The company Vacri, in the province of Chieti - that includes people of all ages - has always been present in the rites of May, seamless in time. The community is preceded by three girls with the white dress of their First Communion. One in the center
bears the insignia of the company. Until the sixties, the community reached Manoppello on foot from Sablone says Raffaele (78 years) - following a route that included the ancient passage through several villages including Semivicoli,
Fara Filiorum Petri Roccamontepiano and Serramonacesca, often cutting through
hilly paths, on which converged other companies also aimed at Manoppello.
Raffaele had attended as a boy each year the pilgrimage. Then as a young man the search for a job took him like so many others to migrate away, then return to the country, with the desire to return to the ancient paths of faith of their communities which had imparted newer values ​​acquired over time. Today the company arrived by the Manoppello bus, but along the way to the shrine they still sang the songs and recited prayers that marked the long pilgrimage on foot. These songs were recently collected in a booklet produced by the "Vol-Vacri Company of the Holy Face" which operates in the the Parish of San Biagio Vacri. A publication really appreciable as an expression of piety and distant in time, which has become an integral part of culture for the
vacrese community. In the past, the company remained in Manoppello on Monday too - like other companies - participating in the procession that brought the Holy Face to the Sanctuary.

From the book are some of the songs in dialect verses of the song of the pilgrims
"O Blessed Holy Face" for the time at the beginning of the procession exiting the Shrine

O santissimo Volto Santo
Mo 'nu n'arieme ,
dacci la santa benedizione
eg 'putercene ariturnà

O santissimo Volto Santo
Mo 'nu ce n'arieme ,
se n 'gia' revedeme qua
c'iarevedema all'eternita'

Another company - represented almost exclusively by women - comes from Carpineto della Nora, in the province of Pescara, led by the banner which during the year is kept in the parish church. Even the older members have not been able to tell in what year, or period began the traditional pilgrimage from their community, but all agree that these forms of worship passed down from generation to generation, from a distant past and which are in continuity until today.

The Bulletin aims to underline the significant human and spiritual value of these communities on their centuries old pilgrimages to the Shrine of the Holy Face, urging those who possess documentary and photographic evidence to report them to the shrine, including by e-mail address to

many thanks to Prof. Bini and Fr. Carmine Cucinelli O.F.M., Cap. for allowing me to publish my translation of this important study

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lourdes Exhibition on Holy Face Announced by Shrine of Manoppello

Basilica of the Holy Face of Manoppello (Pescara) - Italy

September 1 - October 2, 2011

The Shrine of the Holy Face announces an exhibition titled "The IMAGE DU CHRIST A TRAVERS LE VISAGE DE LA VIERGE" ("The image of Christ through the face of the Virgin"), to be held in the exhibition hall of the famous Marian Shrine of Lourdes from September 1 to October 2, 2011.
This is an extraordinary event which brings to fulfillment the proposal of the Bishop of the diocese of Tarbes-Lourdes, Most Reverend Philippe Perrier, after his visit to the Shrine of Manoppello, which occurred in April of last year. On that occasion, Msgr. Perrier was impressed by the encounter with the Holy Face. In the presence of Archbishop Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti, Bishop Perrier said he saw in the suffering Face of Manoppello the suffering of the Madonna of Lourdes.
The exhibition will consist of a series of large multi-lingual panels - made under the direction of Prof. Heinrich Pfeiffer S.J. with the collaboration of Sr. Blandina Paschalis Schlomer - which illustrate the history and meaning of the Holy Face, comparing it with the Shroud and with the original iconography of the face of Christ in art as well as recount the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Manoppello.
A significant part of the exhibition will focus on the relationship between the Holy Face and the Face of the Madonna in the various expressions of devotion and faith that are common to Lourdes and Manoppello, the faces of sick, suffering and pilgrims.
The organizational phase of the exhibition was preceded by a visit to Lourdes by the Capuchin Provincial of Abruzzo, Padre Carmine Ranieri, inasmuch as the event - because of its importance - involves the whole community of Capuchins in the region.
During the opening of the exhibition there will be meetings, conferences and film screenings.
In France, the understanding of the Holy Face is spreading thanks to the French edition of the book by Paul Badde, published in Paris in April of last year with the title "L'autre Suaire: enquête sur le secret de Manoppello" (The other Shroud: investigation of the secret of Manoppello).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Doubled Infinity Squared

Behind every image there is an image unseen
Whose foundation is only a part

of the whole which is infinite
being Three persons Yet in one case
We see we think only two yet three doubled squared to infinity
Oh the stars!

watching over light

sharing One Body

Lifting eyes heavenward

to our true celestial home

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Videos of Feast of Holy Face of Manoppello May 2011 on Youtube
video of the Procession of the Holy Face about to leave the Shrine on its way to the Church of San Nicola
people in procession of the Holy Face accompanied by fireworks on the way to the Church of San Nicola

these videos were taken by me and are not very well filmed but give some idea of the amazing Feast of the Holy Face. Special thanks to the Fr. Carmine and the other Capuchin friars, as well as to the people of Manoppello and the Abruzzo region for their devotion and example.

More Photos of the Holy Face May 15 and 16 2011

the Holy Face in procession through the streets of historic Manoppello, note Paul Badde to the right in the white hat

the Holy Face about to leave the Church of San Nicola to return to the Shrine

Thanks to Paul Badde for the first and fourth of the above photos and to Antonio Bini for the second and third photos. What a blessed time to be able to see the Holy Face among the people who have been devoted for centuries. My Lord and my God!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Italian Magazine Devoted to Padre Pio Dedicates Special Edition to the Holy Face of Manoppello

Thanks to Antonio Bini for sending me this striking cover of the Italian publication and for the following note

"Il Settimanale di Padre Pio" (The Padre Pio Weekly) number 16 of April 24, 2011 - comprises a special Easter edition dedicated to the Holy Face of Manoppello entitled "the True Face of the Risen One". The magazine, edited by Father Stefano Miotto, contains a number of number of contributions and articles authored by Renzo Allegri, Sr. Blandina, Lorenzo Bianchi and Antonio Farina, accompanied by numerous images. The nineteen page special edition includes the significant testimony of Renzo Allegri, the author of the article published in 1978 by a german language swiss Catholic magazine which attracted the attention of Sr. Blandina and which began her research into the Holy Face. Allegri is a journalist and author well known for his studies and publications on Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Paul Badde's Photos of the Holy Face May 15 and 16, 2011

Thanks to Paul for his kindness in so many ways including sharing these photos which are just a sample of the ones he took during the feast of the Holy Face in Manoppello last week. Let those who aspire to become great artists study such photos well. As Paul told me when I met him for the first time on May 15 in the Shrine in Manoppello, "Cling to the Holy Face!"

Video from Feast of Holy Face May 15, 2011

Here is some video which I took in Manoppello on Sunday May 15 of the beginning of the procession from the Shrine of the Holy Face to the parish church of San Nicola.

Scenes from Feast of the Holy Face May 15-16, 2011

This year my wife Liany and I had the great grace to be in Manoppello for the feast of the Holy Face. We took a number of photos and some video as well which I am happy to be able to share through the means of this blog. This is the first installment of our efforts.

Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, O.F.M., Cap., Rector of the Shrine of the Holy Face carries the Holy Face at the end of the Feast to return the relic to its place above the altar of the shrine.

The Holy Face in Processional Throne

Saint Pancratius, the youth-martyr who proceeds the Holy Face in procession

Some of the people in procession through the narrow streets of Manoppello

The Holy Face arrives on its way from the Shrine of the Holy Face to within a block of the parish church of San Nicola where it remained overnight, as on the third Sunday of May each year, from Sunday May 15 to Monday morning May 16.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bishop Brandolini On Father Domenico da Cese

Fr. Domenico sharing the Holy Face of Manoppello at the Eucharistic Congress held in Pescara in 1978

As a follow up to my posting on April 28 of this year of the prayer for the beatification of Father Domenico da Cese which was sent to me by Antonio Bini who received it from Mr. Nicola Iacobone of Rome during the recent Manoppello conference on Father Domenico by the express wish of Bishop Brandolini, I am now sharing my translation of Bishop Brandolini's preface to the book on Father Domenico written by Mario Sgarbosso which I also received through the same channel. Many thanks to all of them.

Father Domenico da Cese: A Friar Who Lived the Beatitudes

Presentation of Monsignor Luca Brandolini
Bishop of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo

Father Domenico da Cese was the living expression of the Gospel of the beatitudes which he faithfully followed in perfect joy, humble and aware of having the duty of sharing with others the gifts which God had given to him. Every believer is called to think and act as Christ has shown by his example ("learn from me who am meek and humble of heart") and by his word. Unfortunately in recent years, although there have been abundant examples of holiness highlighted by the large list of new saints and blesseds, many have been given little notice by many Christians, as if they would have nothing to say to us and as if they were not able to restore to Christianity that freshness and youthfulness which have always been the hallmark of the Church, of which the saints are the maternal face, in which are easily seen the features of Christ.

The saints in fact are the ones who recall us to the authentic sense of the Christian life, contradicting the theory that would suggest that we comport ourselves "as if God did not exist". Holiness which is lived and experienced, even in hiddenness and in anonymity, sweeps away so many prejudices against Christianity - how could we not think of Mother Teresa of Calcutta? -- and is the demonstration of how every Christian is able to live "according to the beatitudes" proclaimed by the Redeemer. The saints, by their example, show us the way of liberation from evil, credible witnesses of a truth unknown by many -- which is that living according to the evangelical beatitudes is not a privation of the honest pleasures of life, but is happiness and holy joy, even in the midst of suffering. This is what is shown to us by the life of this humble Franciscan friar, Father Domenico, whose mystical and real sharing in the sorrowful Passion of the Redeemer, in the secret of his cell and of his soul, has now been made public, for the edification of the Christian community, since during his earthly life he carefully concealed every divine predilection behind the screen of discretion and silence. Humility and candor were always the mark of his person. He absolutely did not love to be talked about and the one who has assumed the task and the courage of bringing to the notice of the public the many secrets of Father Domenico's soul, has had the sensation of "not following orders". But it is good to speak of them and the author has done this with a skillful dosage of style and content which makes for an interesting read from the first page to the last.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Play Debuts in England: Destination the Holy Face of Manoppello

Artists are responding to the Holy Face at the inspiration of Blessed Pope John Paul II on Divine Mercy Sunday close to this day of beatification.

"The Quality of Mercy" by Leonie Caldecott recently debuted in Oxford, England inspired by the life and spirituality of Pope John Paul II. See the article in Zenit for more information

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Prayer for the Beatification of Father Domenico da Cese

Bishop Luca Brandolini of the Diocese of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo composed and published a prayer in 2006 for the beatification of Padre Domenico, the apostle of the Holy Face. What follows is my translation of Bishop Brandolini's prayer. To see the original Italian (and check me) click on the image of the prayer above to enlarge it.

O God, glorify in the Church your servant Father Domenico da Cese, humble Capuchin priest, to whom you gave the privilege of sharing also visibly the passion of Christ and of being able to read into the hearts of souls in order to relieve their burdens and to reconcile them with you through the sacrament of pardon, as well as the capacity of recognizing in the poor and the suffering the very Holy Face of your beloved Son, whose devotion he promoted with such zeal, through his intercession obtain for me the humility of heart and the simplicity of the little ones to whom you have revealed the secrets of the Kingdom, and in my hour of trial give me the strength to overcome the seductions of evil in order to put Satan to flight, and to merit, at the end of my earthly pilgrimage, to be able to contemplate the Holy Face of Jesus in the glory of Paradise.

Though unworthy as I am of your divine favors, I ask that you might grant, through the intercession of your faithful servant Father Domenico, the grace that I humbly ask of you...

This prayer was sent to me by Antonio Bini who received it from Mr. Nicola Iacobone of Rome during the recent Manoppello conference on Father Domenico by the express wish of Bishop Brandolini. Many thanks to each of them. In a future post I will share Bishop Brandolini's preface to the book on Father Domenico written by Mario Sgarbosso which I also received through the same channel.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Together We See and Seek The Human Face of God

"The Holy Face of Jesus (is) that Face which 'some Greeks', of which the Gospel speaks, wished to see; that Face which we contemplate in the days of the Passion disfigured by human sins, indifference and ingratitude; that Face, radiant with light and dazzling with glory that will shine out at dawn on Easter Day. Let us keep our hearts and minds fixed on the Face of Christ."

Pope Benedict XVI, March 29, 2009

"Let us ask Mary, Mother of God, to help us to welcome her Son and, in him, true peace. Let us ask her to sharpen our perception so that we may recognize in the face of every human person, the Face of Christ, the heart of peace!"

Pope Benedict XVI, January 1, 2007