Monday, April 22, 2019

Article on Daisy Neves Appears in Il Centro Newspaper of Abruzzo

I am very grateful to Antonio Bini for sending a copy of the article by Walter Teti which appeared last week in Il Centro, the newspaper of Abruzzo, Italy.  What follows is my translation of the article. 

Goodbye to Daisy, Missionary of the Holy Face.  She Brought the Holy Face to the USA and the Philippines

by Walter Teti

The faithful devoted to the Holy Face are shedding tears upon the death of Mrs. Daisy Neves, born in 1938 in the Philippines and immigrant as a young child with her family to Bellevue, Washington state, in the USA.  Coming to know of the Holy Face upon reading an article about the pilgrimage of Pope Benedict XVI to Manoppello, she immediately became fervently devoted to the Sacred Icon and worked for the promotion of knowledge of it. 

Daisy proposed to the rector of the Basilica of Manoppello, Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, the first international missions to the United States, Canada and the Philippines, to the cities of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Vancouver and Manila, which resulted in the enthronements of the Image of the Holy Face in churches of those localities.  The first enthronement occurred in 2014 at Nampicuan in the Philippines, which today is the goal of Christians from throughout Asia.

Daisy died as a result of an illness which appeared during the period in which she began to spread in the world knowledge and devotion to the Holy Face.  A very aggressive illness, with which she lived for more than five years, so much so that she came to say that the Holy Face prolonged her life. 

"The world has become poorer", wrote Fr. Carmine in his funeral message to Daisy's relatives.  During her last visit to Manoppello, accompanied by her son, she stayed at the Pilgrim Hotel adjacent to the Basilica.  She wished to spend a week in contemplation of the Face of Jesus.  Until just a few days before returning to the Lord she contemplated the Holy Face on a video she made with her cellphone. 

Fr Carmine has conferred on her the tile of "Missionary of the Holy Face".

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Seeing Christ's Love in His Holy Face

photo by CNS/Paul Haring
This article by Kathryn Jean Lopez originally appeared on the website of the weekly publication of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles:  Angelus News at  Thanks to Editor Pablo Kay for giving permission to post the article here.

There’s an altar dedicated to the Holy Face of Jesus at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, New York, where I find myself many days for Mass and prayer. It is one of the spots I am always drawn to. It has a cloth with an image of our Lord. 
Despite being in the middle of everything — and maybe it’s all the more powerful because it is — there can be great quiet there, right on Fifth Avenue in one of the busiest cities in the world, and opportunities for deep prayer. I’m forever seeing piety from daily visitors, joggers, and tourists who appear to be seeking the face of God whenever the doors of the church are open. 
This particular altar is definitely no exception. I’ll often see flowers left behind, a man kneeling, a woman lighting a candle. And I always feel like I am being drawn deeper into a love story — God’s love for us. 
From the Holy Face, my route is largely the same every time I’m there on my way to the Blessed Sacrament chapel dedicated to Our Lady. I always stop at the sixth station on the wall and look at the depiction of the face of Jesus there. 
I always try to get into the line of sight, between Jesus and Veronica. Veronica is so moved by the suffering of Christ in his passion that she walks up and gives him her veil to wipe his sweat and blood on, to give him a moment’s relief. 
Sometimes I see someone working on the frontlines of love — whether it be family life, or supporting struggling families, or another more hidden or thankless ministry; sometimes it’s the priesthood, and I want to do the same. 
Whatever church I’m in, truth be told, it does not have to be as grand as the cathedral in Manhattan or anywhere else — I’m always drawn to this station. I imagine myself looking at Jesus in his passion. Sometimes I’m pretty sure I can see him looking at me. 
We make him suffer and he knows our suffering. We’re together every day. These two profound realities are how we can more consciously live our lives with God. 
Lent is about remembering that, returning to him in love, knowing his presence. Seeing his face — most importantly in the Eucharist, especially after a good Confession — makes all the difference. 
It often doesn’t take very long after leaving a church in a city to encounter his face again in the faces of others. 
The other day it was the counterterrorism officer who was checking the outside of the cathedral with a dog who was sniffing everything that could be a potential hidden threat (the dirt and grass by the handicap ramp; the box that keeps the traffic light on the corner sidewalk running). 
If I’m at St. Patrick’s, frequently the first people I see there are tourists taking selfies. “May they see Christ’s image in them!” I whisper in prayer — sometimes as a plea, because God would appear furthest from their minds, on the surface between Victoria’s Secret and NBA store bags (such is the neighborhood). 
Most especially, Jesus’ face can be — and must be, for the sake of our souls and for the love of every man and woman and child on earth, which is how we love God in this mess of a world — seen in a man nesting on concrete, asking for spare change or a meal, desperate to be noticed, never mind loved. 
In so many of the artistic depictions of the Holy Face of Jesus, both his love and our need are laid bare. (If you were to Google now, you will find plenty of them. I’m partial to El Greco, but I always am.) There’s something about artistic renditions of his face that always seem to capture the depths of love. 
The human imagination captures something both of the truth of God and our longing for him. And as beautiful as so many of them are, they only begin to tell the story. They flow from the love of Jesus on the cross, a love that most of us have not even begun to fully truly appreciate. 
There’s no requirement to believe the Shroud of Turin or the Veil of Manoppello are, in fact, evidence of the Lord’s death and resurrection. But they do seem yet more windows into his love for us, not just in the images themselves but in the possible physical evidence for the skeptical and notes of love for the faithful they so many pilgrims believe them to be. 
As German journalist Paul Badde has laid out, the two of them, when brought together, show the exact same face — one a man who has died, and one of the same man with his eyes opened — and healed.

photo by Alan Holdren

Badde has literally written the book on the Holy Face, which is preserved at a shrine in the mountain village of Manoppello, Italy. Ask him to talk about the face of Christ, and he will immediately be making plans to show you things. 
If you can’t plan a day trip to Manoppello with the Holy Face, he will show you a replica in his apartment, and likely hand you a card with its image before you part ways. 
He says it was the Blessed Mother under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe who first brought the Holy Face of Jesus to his attention — because she always brings you to her Son. He’s since written of the Veil of Manoppello as an adventurous investigation. 
He’s convinced this is the face of Jesus and that it is about the most important relic there is because of the deeper knowledge it draws us into, the reality of Jesus in our lives and in our world. God “didn’t become a book, he became a person. God became a person. Man.” 
Badde is not the only evangelist for Manoppello. In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI took a pilgrimage to the shrine where it resides in the Abruzzo mountains. 
He said at the time: “As the Psalms say, we are all ‘seeking the Face of the Lord.’ And this is also the meaning of my visit. Let us seek together to know the face of the Lord ever better, and in the face of the Lord let us find this impetus of love and peace, which also reveals to us the path of our life.”
The “Volto Santo” (“Holy Face”) has very much become a ministry for Badde. He believes it is critical in this age of disbelief to stop and look and consider the implications of a God who would live and die and be resurrected for love of us and to redeem us for our sins for eternity. 
He fears that so many — even at high levels in the Church — don’t actually believe in the Resurrection. The Holy Face can change this, he believes. And he’s not only talking about people in the pews, but theologians and bishops, too. 
Maybe that explains how scandals can happen — the weakness of belief, the rise of unbelief and outright hostility to real religious faith, even where it would be expected to be most solid. They think resurrection is “good preaching or … a living community. 
“No, resurrection is real. Jesus was dead and he resurrected from the dead. He’s alive. From the dead to alive. … That’s so important. It’s so important against all the heresies about it, because all the heresies … at the foundation … are about not believing in the Resurrection anymore.”

Pope Benedict XVI in prayer before the Holy Face of Manoppello - photo by L'Osservatore Romano

He believes the veil bears witness to the reality of the Resurrection, which is why he is somewhat tenderly relentless about telling its story. 
In his own reflection on the relic, Cardinal Robert Sarah says: “In Manoppello we encounter God face-to-face. It is such a moving place. One is so touched by the gentleness of Christ’s eyes, with their extraordinary penetrating and calming power. And when we let ourselves be seen by him, his gaze purifies and heals us. We can really sense how much Jesus has loved us — so much as to die for us. For true love is dying for the one you love.”
It’s hard to miss that when I ask Badde about the veil, his morning routine, and how he spends his days. All he can talk about is the love of God and the love he draws us into in the Eucharist and the eyes we see on the face on the veil. 
When meditating on the Holy Face of Jesus, whether the Shroud of Turin, the Veil of Manoppello, your parish’s sixth station of the cross, or whatever image your Google search seeking his face lands you on, be drawn in to the truth of what we celebrate as “Good” on that last Friday before Easter year after year. 
There’s no guarantee any one of us will live to see another Paschal Triduum — so don’t let Holy Week be reduced to a series of mere obligations and traditions. 
Gaze at the Lord in his passion, walk with him even to the gates of hell on Holy Saturday. Go to the empty tomb with Mary Magdalene in prayer. Make his love story for us the story of your life, because this is what he wants, this is our identity as Christians. 
Look at him with love and let him look at you with just a touch of a taste of the enormity of his love for you. And you will see this more and more as everything. And you will see his face more and more in the world, just as others will be able to see his face in yours by how you look at them with love. 
Manoppello is worth reading more about. But even if you don’t, remember the love with which the Lord looks down at you from the cross, remember the love with which he forgives and heals and makes you new again. Keep seeking his face.
Kathryn Jean Lopez is a contributing editor to Angelus, and editor-at-large of National Review Online 
Editor’s note: Journalist Paul Badde’s book “The Face of God: The Rediscovery of the True Face of Jesus” (Ignatius, $17.95) tells the story of the historical and scientific evidence behind the belief that the Veil of Manoppello is the face cloth laid over the face of Jesus in the tomb.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

EWTN to Air Program on Easter Sunday on the Topic of the Holy Face of Manoppello

The popular Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) weekly show Bookmark will have as its topic for Easter Sunday April 21 the Holy Face of Manoppello.  Host Doug Keck will interview the journalist and author Paul Badde regarding his latest book:  The Holy Veil of Manoppello.  (Sophia Press).  Easter is a most appropriate time to see and meditate on the face-cloth (Sudarium) of Jesus left behind in the tomb as a witness to the Resurrection. 

The show is scheduled to air on Sunday April 21 at 6:30am, and also on Monday April 22 at 2am and 1:30pm, and Saturday April 27 at 10:30am.  All times are Pacific Daylight Time.  

Several quotes from the book:
"the Church of Saint Michael on the Tarigni Hill, at the gates of Manoppello, where, since 1638, the sudarium of Christ had been hidden. A fortified case secured by three padlocks, placed in one of the side chapels, protected the veil, which was taken out only twice a year to be shown to the faithful.
This place, which concealed the most beautiful and precious treasure of the Catholic Church, was not a royal basilica like that of the House of Savoy in Turin or the beautiful houses of God scattered around Europe, such as St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres. No, it was a small, insignificant Capuchin church at the periphery of Italy, forgotten by the rest of the world." 


"Today an almost visionary kind of grassroots movement is leading Christianity from its own depths to the Holy Face. It started in America with a Filipino lady, Daisy Neves of Bellevue, Washington, on the border of Canada. In October 2006, she saw in an American newspaper a photo of Pope Benedict XVI from September 1, with his hands clasped in prayer his gaze fixed on the Holy Veil in a distant Italian town she had never heard of, despite the more than thirty pilgrimages that had led her already to Christianity’s most important shrines and sites of devotion.
“I have to go!” she told herself. “I must see it!” Five years later, at Easter in 2011, she finally found herself in front of that veil, euphoric and excited like a little girl. She put all the money she had with her into the offering box for the friars, and it was no small amount, but for her it did not seem to be enough.And here begins another story that could fill the pages of a book, but this time written by Americans and Filipinos, focused  on documenting how, through whom, and by what miracles the of the Holy Sudarium with the “face of the God of Jacob” arrived in the New World and in Asia."

            Quoting Archbishop Georg Gänswein on January 16, 2016, the feast of Omnis Terra, at the Roman Church of Santo Spirito near St. Peter's Basilica. 
 "Before coming to Rome, the Sacred Veil was guarded in Constantinople, prior to that in Edessa, and even earlier in Jerusalem. This face cannot be the property or the jealous treasure of one place, one church, or one owner, not even of the popes. It is the “trademark of Christians.” Only we know that God has a face; only we know who and how He is. For this reason, the face of Christ is the most noble and precious treasure of all Christianity, indeed of all the earth, omnis terra! To this face we have to set out ever anew—always as pilgrims; always to areas of the periphery of our conception. And always having only one goal in front of us: the moment we will face him face-to-face. Amen" 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Message from Fr. Carmine Cucinelli in Memory of Daisy Neves Naming her Missionary of the Holy Face

Daisy Neves alongside her beloved Holy Face

MESSAGE from Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, Rector of the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello in memory of DAISY NEVES
Dear children, brother, sister, nephews and nieces and family whole, relatives and friends of DAISY,
I would like to express to you my so profound and cordial condolences.
On March 29 2019, the world has impoverished for the loss of a dear and marvelous person. We have lost a woman of profound faith, a holy mother, a wise guide, a benefactress, a person on sensible and delicate spirit; a great and in-loved devout of the Holy Face.
Last year month of October, feeling that horrendous sickness that was returning to threaten her, she wanted to spend a week in the contemplation of the face of Christ here in Manoppello, accompanied by her son Alfred, staying a few steps from the sanctuary.
She wanted to contemplate long that face before going to see him in heaven.
Back home, when her cancer became definitely acute, was been obedient to what the doctors said: she underwent harrowing treatment. She wrote me:
"my life is in God's hands. Terrible to say that I am plagued with 2 types of cancer. I will continue to pray for trust in the Lord who gives life and who takes it away as He pleases. I surrender my life to the divine will of God. Amen. I am really ready to see Jesus face to face. I just have to enjoy every day that the Lord has granted me in prayers, and to work at the Mission of the Holy Face, which is my joy and, if He gives me more time, I would like to continue spreading the devotion to Holy Face”.
Her pilgrimage to heaven is similar to that of a patriarch, surrounded by the love of the beloved, whom she had blessed one by one. She was so happy to have seen the Holy Face, her reliquary, enthroned in her parish church. Until a few hours before returning to the Lord she has contemplated in video, the Holy Face almost alive from Manopello,
She has loved everyone, she has forgiven those who had hurt her and offered to the Lord all his sufferings for the spiritual good of family members, because they may live as true children of God. She asked many Holy Masses to be celebrated for every dear member of the family and for every friend so that their lives may be filled with many heavenly blessings.
While we blow off in tears over the loss of this dear sister, we want to thank God for the gift of giving us Daisy for over eighty years.
For being so grateful for all she has done for the diffusion of the DEVOTION TO THE HOLY FACE, we from the SANTUARY OF MANOPELLO, entitle and attribute to Mrs. Daisy Neves the title "MISSIONARY OF THE HOLY FACE”.
God uses much mercy toward her and the rest in the eternal Kingdom.
Padre Carmine Cucinelli, Rettore della basilica del Volto Santo di Manoppello

Fr. Carmine, Sr. Petra-Marie, Sr. Blandina, Daisy and her son Erwin in October 2018