Saturday, July 7, 2018

Holy Face Hotel for Pilgrims Re-opens in Manoppello

Pilgrim House adjacent to the Basilica of the Holy Face

Article and photos by Antonio Bini

After being closed for several years, the shrine's Pilgrim House hotel (Casa del Pellegrino) has finally re-opened for business, in the month of May, the month traditionally linked to devotion to the Holy Face, the complex work of renovation having been completed.

Blessed by Msgr. Bruno Forte, archbishop of the diocese of Chieti-Vasto, the hotel, with a three star rating, has 39 comfortable rooms (single, double and some triple with the ability to accommodate disabled people) all with bathrooms, totally renovated and updated with air-conditioning.

On the premises there is also a snack bar, two kitchens and two dining rooms, one, on the ground floor, which can seat 160 patrons and the other, on the first floor, which can hold up to 400 people. This latter room is equipped for the organization of conferences, receptions and meetings, with the possibility of adapting the area according to flexible modules, in relation to the various needs of the gatherings.

 The restaurant offers the opportunity to enjoy, at moderate prices, the traditional cuisine of Abruzzo, while for breakfast it offers international fare. The environment is welcoming, the staff  courteous and professionally prepared. The square in front of the Hotel is a space where you can park your car, while a large bus parking area is available nearby.

The restoration required more than two years of work, with the expense borne by the Capuchin Order of Abruzzo, owners of the property, along with the financial contribution of the region of Abruzzo and the participation of the company that was entrusted with the management of the facility.

The construction of the Pilgrim Hotel, located immediately adjacent to the Basilica of the Holy Face, began in the 1950's in an effort to ensure essential hospitality to those who  came to the Shrine, in an area which at that time was completely devoid of accommodation facilities. The enterprise, due to limited financial resources, was resumed again only in the 1960's, in parallel with the expansion of the Shrine, at the urging of Fr. Gaudenzio da Montenero di Bisaccia and was completed in 1970.

The hotel welcomes those who arrive, whether pilgrims or tourists, individually or in groups, who wish to live an experience of meditation, prayer and study being in direct contact with the extraordinary image of the Holy Face, in the peace of the Tarigni Hills, surrounded by greenery, near the Maiella National Park.

 The historic center of Manoppello, just over a kilometer away, can be easily reached on foot, following the Via Crucis. In the town you can visit the church of San Nicola, where the Holy Face arrived in Manoppello in the beginning, and also the nearby exhibit "The Way, the Truth and the Life", organized and overseen by Sr. Blandina Paschalis Schlömer

The Hotel, open all year round, is the ideal base for getting to know and visit the immediate surrounding area, rich in important historical testimonies of the thousand-year-old spirituality of the Maiella. Among these we point out the Abbey of San Liberatore in Maiella, near Serramonacesca, prototype of Romanesque architecture and cradle of Benedictine monasticism in the region;  Santa Maria Arabona, a very interesting Cistercian church in Manoppello Scalo; and the Abbey of San Clemente a Casauria, founded by Emperor Louis II in the ninth century and considered to be among the most important expressions of  Italian architecture.

Abbey of San Liberatore in Maiella

Abbey of San Clemente a Causaria

Also nearby is the Hermitage of Santo Spirito in Maiella (Roccamorice), which was the seat of the order of the Brothers of Santo Spirito (later Celestini) founded by Pietro da Morrone, who became Pope in 1294 with the name Celestine V.  A little more than a kilometer as the crow flies from the Shrine are the ruins of the ancient Benedictine Abbey of Vallebona, later absorbed by the Celestines. where Saint Stefano del Lupo lived in the 12th century,

Hermitage of Santo Spirito

Abbey of Santa Maria Arabona

In a broader context, the Pilgrim House stands as a functional accommodation facility for pilgrimages to and from Rome, which can be reached in less than two hours, and is centrally located among the main religious destinations of the Adriatic area: for example, the Shrine of Saint Anthony at Padua; Our Lady of Loreto; Saint Gabriel dell'Addolorata in Isola del Gran Sasso; the Basilica of St. Thomas the Apostle in Ortona; the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano; the Cave of St. Michael Archangel and San Giovanni Rotondo (St. Padre Pio).


  Telephone +39 085 850928       +39 393 9849302     + 39 334 57445058


Pat said...

What wonderful news! Thank you for all the great information Raymond, which will certainly be a great blessing to the many pilgrims who wish to spend more time at the beautiful Sanctuary! God bless you!

Raymond Frost said...

You are very welcome I agree it will be a great blessing.