Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco at the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello for the Feast of Omnis Terra

photo by Antonio Bini

It's my great joy to report on the visit of Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, to the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello for the feast of Omnis Terra, on Sunday January 20.  This blog has the honor of originating from within the territory of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Archbishop Cordileone arrived at the Shrine the day before the feast to spend time in prayer before the Holy Face and to enjoy the hospitality of the Capuchin Friars who are responsible for the Shrine.  According to the Communications Director of the Shrine, Antonio Bini, the Archbishop was greatly moved by the experience of praying before the Holy Face and expressed his great gratitude to the the Capuchin Friars for their hospitality,

Archbishop Cordileone with Padre Carmine Cucinelli at his left and Padre Paolo Palombarini far left
(photo by Antonio Bini)

The day of the feast Archbishop Cordileone concelebrated the Mass with Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the Most Reverend Bruno Forte, Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, the Provincial of the Capuchins Fr. Nicola Galasso as well as the Rector of the Shrine Father Carmine Cucinelli.  Archbishop Cordileone took a turn at leading the Eucharistic Prayer (note the photo above with the Archbishop at the far right speaking into the microphone) and  helped to distribute Holy Communion to the faithful.

photo by Antonio Bini
At the end of the Mass, following the procession with the monstrance of the Holy Face around the plaza outside the church,  Cardinal Muller, Archbishop Forte, and Archbishop Cordileone together clasped their hands around the base of the monstrance and blessed the gathered assembly and Omnis Terra -- the whole world.  After the blessing Archbishop Cordileone was entrusted with the monstrance of the Holy Face to return it to its place of perpetual exposition above the shrine's tabernacle.
Procession on the plaza in front of the Basilica (photo by Francesca Esposito Bini)

Blessing with the Holy Face by Cardinal Muller, Archbishop Forte and Archbishop Cordileone
(photo by Antonio Bini)

photo by Antonio Bini

In an e-mail to the journalist Maike Hickson Archbishop Cordileone spoke about his visit:
My visit to the Volto Santo of Manoppello was moving and profound.  It took a very cherished idea and made it personal and real.  I will always treasure the half-hour I had to pray privately before the holy image.  It is alive; even the expression changes from different angles and with different lighting.  It is like looking at a real human face, looking into the face of Jesus.  The eyes, especially, are very alive and penetrating.  My love for Jesus Christ has become much more personal now. 
I will also always be thankful for the opportunity to concelebrate the Mass with Cardinal Muller, along with the Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, the Most Reverend Bruno Forte, the next day – “Omnis terra” Sunday.  To participate with them in blessing the people with the Holy Face and then having the privilege to carry it in returning it to its place of safe keeping was a blessing I will never forget.

I encourage everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ and love for him to cultivate a devotion to this holy image he has left us – a picture of the first instant of the Resurrection."
 In the Guest Book of the Shrine Archbishop Cordileone wrote
Here one looks at God face to face, thanks for your hospitality and for all you do to welcome pilgrims and to spread the devotion to the Holy Face.
                                                             January 20, 2019
                                                            + Salvatore Cordileone
                                                             Archbishop of San Francisco
                                      (English translation from the Archbishop's original Italian)

While spending time with the Capuchin community of the Shrine, staying overnight and sharing in their meals,  Archbishop Cordileone also received from Antonio Bini several copies of his publication, The Holy Face, from Manoppello to the World, a collection of Bini's articles on the Holy Face, which were translated by the editor of this blog.  This publication is also available online at:

photo by Francesca Esposito Bini

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