Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Blessing of Omnis Terra with the Holy Face of Manoppello

Thanks to Paul Badde for this video of the three prelates, Cardinal Gerhard Müller Archbishop Bruno Forte and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone giving the blessing at the end of the Omnis Terra celebration on Sunday January 20 at the Basilica Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Articles Appear on the Holy Face of Manoppello in USA and Australia following Catholic News Service Team Visit to Manoppello

photo by Antonio Bini

A Catholic News Service article by Correspondent Junno Arocho Esteves together with Multimedia Journalist Robert Duncan and Senior Photographer Paul Haring was carried in diocesan Catholic newspapers and websites throughout the United States and also in Australia.

Fr. Carmine Cucinelli displaying the Holy Face to the CNS team with Paul Badde in the background
(photo by Antonio Bini)

 Here is a video report on the day, just prior to the feast of Omnis Terra, that the CNS team spent in Manopello.  The video report includes commentary by Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, Fr. Paolo Palombarini, Antonio Bini and Paul Badde.

Here is a sampling of the articles appearing in many of the major cities of the USA and also in Sydney, Australia.

http://catholicphilly.com/2019/01/news/world-news/seeking-christs-face-some-believe-hilltop-shrine-holds-true-relic/     Philadelphia

https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/could-the-veil-of-manoppello-be-the-face-of-jesus/  Sydney Australia

https://angelusnews.com/news/junno-arocho-esteves/seeking-christs-face-some-believe-hilltop-shrine-holds-true-relic  Los Angeles

http://www.hawaiicatholicherald.com/2019/02/06/seeking-christs-face/    Honolulu

photo by Paul Badde


http://thecentralminnesotacatholic.org/seeking-christs-face-some-believe-hilltop-shrine-holds-true-relic/  St. Cloud, Minnesota

https://thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?ID=184162     Boston

Diocese of Brooklyn, New York Spanish language newspaper

https://detroitcatholic.com/news/catholic-news-service/seeking-christs-face-some-believe-hilltop-shrine-holds-true-relic    Detroit

http://thecatholicspirit.com/news/nation-and-world/seeking-christs-face-some-believe-hilltop-shrine-holds-true-relic/    Minneapolis-St. Paul

http://www.themessageonline.org/us_news/article/id/20805    Evansville, Indiana

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Omnis Terra 2019 in Manoppello

all photos by Paul Badde

Omnis terra in Manoppello

A Copernican turn in the fog of Abruzzo

by Paul Badde

"Omnis terra adoret te, Deus, et psallat tibi"

(Let all the world adore you, O God and sing psalms to you). 
Psalm 100

On the feast day of St. Agnes the Virgin, martyred for Christ in the third century in Rome,there appeared in the New York  magazine a glossy cover story about the “gay church”.  That was to be expected sooner rather than later.  What was wholly unexpected was that, a day before, Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller, the prefect of the Catholic Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2012 to 2017, arrived in Manoppello to come together with the archbishops Bruno Forte from Chieti-Vasto in Abruzzo and Salvatore Cordileone from San Francisco, California, to bless the city, the world and the Church with the face of Christ on his sudarium.

The Aaronic Blessing
 In Hebrew, kohanim birkat םיִנֲהֹּכ תַּכְרִּב, by which God is entreated that his face might shine upon us, is the oldest recorded blessing of the whole entire Bible.  But this blessing is not given to be received from the outstretched hands of the priests, but with the "true Icon "of the human face of God- from the hands of three bishops from Germany, Italy and America -

This was unheard of and has never been this way before. The American news outlet Catholic News Service CNS had beforehand pointed to the event and could not guess what was about to happen. 

Because for Benedict XVI on September 1, 2006, the first Pope after four hundred years to again  bend his knee and bow to the true facecloth of Christ, nevertheless, the circumstances and much resistance had allowed him little more time before the precious icon than would any Japanese tourist be allowed.  Neither the local bishop nor the guardian of the shrine could then dare to ask the Pontiff to bless the world with the true icon. So this Sunday it was no less than a theological turning point, as Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller with two chief shepherds from the Old and the New Worlds blessed the city of Manoppello, the world and the church with the face of Christ.

It was an unprecedented celebration hearkening back to the year 1208 when Pope Innocent III first made known in Rome the face of God to the Latin world of the West on the second Sunday after the feast of the apparition to the peoples (Epiphany), bearing in his hands the hitherto unknown Sanctissimo Sudarium in a solemn procession from St. Peter’s Basilica to the nearby Hospital Church of Sancto Spirito in Sassia.   (cf. https://holyfaceofmanoppello.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-return-of-veronica-to-rome.html also https://holyfaceofmanoppello.blogspot.com/2016/01/from-manoppello-to-rome-january-16-to.html and https://dzehnle.blogspot.com/2016/01/a-roman-pilgrimage-with-holy-face.html )

This Sunday bears the name "Omnis Terra " after the Latin Entrance Psalm for the day. This tradition began again in the same church three years ago by the archbishops Georg Gänswein from Germany (cf. homily of Archbishop Gänswein )and Edmond Farhat from Lebanon
(cf. Homily of Archbishop Farhat) together with pilgrims from Manoppello. It was in the "Year of Mercy ", which Pope Francis proclaimed. And it borders on a miracle that the spark already three years later jumped to California where the brave archbishop, whose diocese adjoins the Silicon Valley and includes the headquarters of YouTube and Facebook, the very same evening published the following statement on the internet:

: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.". - Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, California,- Manoppello, on January 20, 2019 "

The American archbishop "Lionheart" from San Francisco and his Italian brother and Manoppello’s local bishop Bruno Forte, fellow celebrities at the side of the German cardinal, could not be more different. The savvy Monsignor Forte has already fourteen years prior laconically stated that in the enigmatic veil-icon "sorrow and light are close together, as  only love can be ". Since then - and especially after the visit of Pope Benedict XVI -numerous Cardinals have streamed here and are so enthusiastic in their homage to the image, as the evangelist Matthew told of the biblical wise men from the East in front of the child in Bethlehem.

Most recently it was the Cardinals Kurt Koch (cf. Visit of Cardinal Koch) from Switzerland , Robert Sarah (cf.Visit of Cardinal Sarah) from Africa and Antonio Tagle (cf. Homily of Cardinal Tagle) from Asia. Who knows the image, knows that the power of silence rests in it.   It has been scientifically proven for decades that it is not painted and contains no imaging color or blood traces. Nevertheless, there is a decades long conspiracy of professors and experts (who have for the most part never seen it) against the spiderwebs sheath made of mussel silk, since it was first identified in the seventies of the last century by the Capuchin Domenico da Cese as the hagion soudarion, which the evangelist John prominently mentioned next to other cloths in the empty tomb of Christ in his report on the resurrection of Christ from the dead.  

The dispute should be no surprise. Already in the first millennium the Soudarion led to the extremely violent wars and dislocations of the so-called "Iconoclastic controversies". In fact, the issue raised today is not about images but rather the question of God: “You -- who do you think I am?”.  

The spectacular response of Cardinal Muller, is even more of a breakthrough than the visit of Pope Benedict to Manoppello, in which one of the most prominent Church theologians at the end of the Gutenberg Age (dominated by Dr. Luther's maxim "Sola scriptura") in front of this great icon and mother of the images not made by human hands, but still, so to speak,  before the book of evidence has been closed, and without even speaking in his homily of the day's Gospel (the wedding of Cana), but said the following:

“When we are thus face to face with Jesus, person to person, and gaze upon his human face, then we see in Jesus' eyes the benevolent, discerning, judging and saving power of love, which is God in the unity and communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We see Jesus with our physical eyes and recognize his divine nature and power with the "the eyes of [our] hearts enlightened," (Ephesians 1:18) … 
The Apostle Paul calls the human nature of Christ, through which we recognize God's glory and from which we are fulfilled, the "likeness of God" – imago Dei (2 Corinthians 4:4). It is not an image of God conceived in a finite mind and made by man…
Christ is true God of true God. In the darkness of sin, which "blinded the minds of unbelievers" (2 Corinthians 4:4), God has let his light shine in the hearts of believers, "to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6). 
We recognize this when we look Jesus in the eye and offer ourselves to His gaze upon us without malice And this is the creed of the Church, which Paul delivered to the Corinthians as he himself received it: "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve". (1 Cor 15:3-5). 
The Gospel of John tells of the discovery of the empty tomb. When Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, she saw that the stone in front of the burial chamber had been taken away. And because she feared that the body had been taken away, she brought Peter and the other disciple there. Peter went first into the tomb and "he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself" (John 20:6f). Peter, then, is the first witness of the empty tomb.
 In the apparitions of the Risen One, it is Jesus who gives him and the other apostles proof that he lives with God and that he has returned to his Father. But he has not discarded his human nature, rather living with his glorified body forever as the Word made flesh in communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is the head of the body that is the Church. Through Him, as children of God, we have access to the Father and may expect the inheritance of eternal life. And the exalted Lord remains with us with his Gospels and encounters us in the sacraments of his grace.
When Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, the stone is rolled away from the outside of the burial cave. Jesus calls him out. When the deceased comes out, his feet and hands are still wrapped in bandages and his face is covered with a sudarium. But everything must be removed from him, because he cannot free himself from the bandages of death (John 11:44).
 Jesus, who says of himself, "I am the life (John 14:6), rises from the dead with the power of God Himself. The stone before the tomb was taken away before the women came to the tomb. Jesus does not need to be freed from the bonds of death, because he has overcome his and our death by his own divine power.
 St. Thomas Aquinas recognizes in his commentary on John a reference to the church in the relationship of the many bandages to the one sudarium "which had been on his head" (John 20:7), rolled up in a place by itself. In the Godhead united with his human nature, Christ is the head of the Church, for "the head of Christ is God" (1 Corinthians 11:3).
Especially in the Most Holy Eucharist he takes us into the mystery of his dedication to the Father. In Holy Communion we receive communion with Him in His flesh and blood as food and drink for eternal life.
 St. John Chrysostom and St. Augustine, in their comments on the Gospel of John, asked themselves why the evangelist, when discovering the empty tomb, described these trivialities, such as the linen bandages and the folded sudarium, in such detail. They were convinced, however, that the evangelist would not communicate anything in a manner so intricate if it were unimportant for our Faith.
If the historical, sacramental and ecclesial presence of the Son made man is decisive for our salvation, it is not unimportant that we also seek out His historical traces. They save us from the danger of a Gnostic and idealistic evaporation of God's human presence in this world. Without entering into scientific debates, the encounter with Christ in the imprint of His face on the Manoppello Sudarium seems to me to be of great importance for the piety of today's Christian. The uneven history of its rediscovery has come to a good end, arriving at the point of deep veneration and adoration of Jesus Christ, who as a man is the image of God, his Father and our Father in heaven.
 Much remains hidden from the wise and prudent, that God however does reveal to lesser minds in the humility of Faith. Gazing into the most holy face of Jesus, as it was traced into the sudarium on his head, should give us new strength that our life may hold true in the eyes of God. For we believe and know that we will one day see God through and in Christ, the image of God, "face to face" (1 Corinthians 13:12).”
Thus the words of Cardinal Muller's sermon. Even more telling, however, were the pictures taken at the end of the solemn pontifical Mass with his brothers in their common blessing gesture with the facecloth.. It was a Copernican revolution, and yes, it really was a breakthrough that in its meaning must be compared with the book "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium" of Nicolaus Copernicus of 1543. The analogy is neither reckless nor indiscriminate. A lot of the facts of Copernicus were wrong and almost all the details.  Nevertheless, we honor him for being one who has drawn a new picture that is essentially true: with the sun in the center!

And now the three bishops raised like hardly ever before in the liturgy of this new blessing with the human face God's return the visible Jesus Christ to the center of the world and the Church and made it clearer than ever that the Creator of the Heaven and the earth has not become a book at the end of days, but man, and with it also picture. It was an unprecedented translation of all theology into the new and universal imagery that has become the digital revolution of the world in its entirety

"Iconic Turn" as a new means of communication.

Now it was suddenly as if the time of the eclipse haunting the earth, the world and the church finally ends in the misty Abruzzo with the look into the merciful eyes of Christ by the three shepherds
There was no further dispute on the overwhelming, sometimes almost suffocating, problems and capital sins that the Church of our day poses, but with the holy facecloth Christ has steered a whole new look towards his face, as the head of the church and the face of love, "that moves the sun and the other stars” as Dante, the prince among poets, still formulated at the goal of the cosmic pilgrimage in his Divine Comedy. Ω

Monday, February 4, 2019

Enthronements of the Holy Face in Churches of the World

as shown in the official publication of the Shrine of the Holy Face:  Il Volto Santo di Manoppello, Vol. CIII, no. 2 November 2018, p. 30

 ► Ruvo di Puglia (Bari) Italy
Church of Purgatory - 1979

► Richmond Hill, Toronto, Canada
Our Lady Queen of the world - 1986

► Bari, Italy  Church of the Blessed Sacrament
parish priest Don Vincenzo Fiore - 1986

► Nampicuan, Philippines
Immaculate Conception Parish Church -
September 16th, 2014

► Rome, Italy
Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch al Statuario
November 4, 2014

► Delta, British Columbia, Canada
 Immaculate Conception Church
 September 4, 2015

► Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
St. Patrick Church
September 5, 2015

► Taguig, Philippines
Sagrada Familia Parish
September 14, 2015

► Katowice, Poland
Immaculate Conception Church -
December 18, 2015

► Bustos, Bulacan, Philippines
San Martin de Porres Mission Church Orphanage
September 12,  2015

► Baliuag, Bulacan,  Philippines
Bethlehem House of Bread Mission Chapel
September 12th 2015

► Buguias, Benquet, Philippines
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church

► Flintridge,  California,  USA
Saint Bede Church
April 13, 2016

► Las Vegas, Nevada,  USA
St Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church
September 10, 2016

► Catbalogan City, Philippines
Church of Saint Bartholomew Apostle - Diocese of Calbayog
October 30, 2016

► Baguio, Philippines
Cathedral of  Our Lady of the Atonement
 November 30th, 2016

► Samar, Philippines
Cathedral of St. Bartholomew Apostle
December 15, 2016

►  Meycauayan, Malolos, Philippines
St Francis of Assisi Church
November 13, 2016

► Baguio City, Philippines,
The Pink Sisters Convent , Brent Road
November 2016

► Bulacan, Luzon, Philippines
 Cathedral of Malolos
April 16th, 2017

► Lebanon, Father Nadim,Maronite
May 2017

► East Palo Alto, California, USA
St. Francis of Assisi Church
November 11, 2017

► Friend, Nebraska, USA
St. Joseph Church
February,  2018

► Beyrouth, or Blat Byblos, Lebanon
Church of Sant'Elia,
May 2017

► Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia,
Convent of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy
June 14, 2018

► Rome, Italy
St. Elizabeth and Zechariah Church
 October 14th, 2018

► Manila, Philippines -
Chapel of St. Joseph the Worker (BSP)
November 14, 2018