Sunday, May 17, 2020

Feast of the Holy Face

From several years ago:  the Holy Face leaving the Church of San Nicola da Bari to begin the procession through the town on its return to the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello
 Photos courtesy of Paul Badde

Thanks to Antonio Bini for this information on this year's celebration of the Holy Face

This year the annual feast of the Holy Face will not be able to be celebrated as usual at Manoppello due to the restrictions imposed to protect the people from the Cornonavirus.  The public Mass at the Basilica Shrine with procession of the Holy Face to the parish church of San Nicola da Bari will not be held today, the third Sunday of May.  The photos above are from the feast of past years.

However tomorrow Monday May 18 with the lifting of restrictions on public Masses in Italy the Holy Face will be brought at 9am to the parish Church of San Nicola da Bari from the Shrine,  mounted on an open truck provided by the Italian Ministry of Civil Protection. Mass will be celebrated at 10am at the Church presided by the local Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto Most Reverend Bruno Forte.  A limited number of the faithful will be present in the Church for the Mass.  As May 18 also marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of St. Pope John Paul II, this happy coincidence will be part of the celebration also.   After the Mass the Holy Face will return to the Shrine of the Holy Face by the same means of the Ministry of Civil Protection.

 As the Holy Face is brought to San Nicola as well as upon its return trip to the Basilica Shrine many residents of Manoppello will be showering rose petals on the Holy Face from the balconies of their residences decorated with intricately embroidered bed coverings according to the beautiful tradition.

The Mass from the parish church will be Live-streamed on the Facebook page of the Basilica

Until May 31 an edited version of the  beautiful documentary on the history of the Holy Face Il Volto Ritrovato di Gesu (The Rediscovered Face of Jesus) produced by Fabrizio Franceschelli and Anna Cavasinni will be available on YouTube.

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