I am sending you some photos taken today on the occasion of the traditional May festival - which falls on the third Sunday. Also this year the celebration , very emotional for the local populations, took place with the constraints imposed by national legislation to contain Covid-19. In place of the procession from the shrine to the parish church of San Nicola, the Holy Face was simply transported there on a Civil Protection van, at the end of the morning Mass at the Basilica. Few people were able to enter the church. Many - even more than last year - waited outside in the plaza.In the village many people waited for the passage of the Holy Face throwing red rose petals from the balconies, on which their finely embroidered bedcoverings were displayed, as per tradition. Few people were also allowed to enter the church of San Nicola. It should be noted that the celebration was preceded by the significant visit of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State who wrote in the visitor's book of the shrine “Your face Lord do I seek, do not hide your Face from me! May this visit, so desired, revive in me the desire to contemplate that Face until the day when our eyes will fix themselves in the vision of glory ”signed card. Pietro Parolin, secretary of state - Manoppello, 11 May 2021". I was not present, also because the visit was not announced in advance. The cardinal was particularly impressed. I remember that another cardinal secretary of state - Cardinal Angelo Sodano - visited the Holy Face in June 1999, after the press conference of Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer of May 31 in Rome. A curiosity: Cardinal Parolin was in the Basilica of Santo Spirito in Sassia on January 16, 2016 on the occasion of the re-institution of the Omnis Terra rite. The pilgrimage procession arrived at the church while the cardinal was completing his speech at the end of a celebration.Here is the photo I took then.
|Cardinal Parolin at the Basilica of Santo Spirito in Sassia on January 16, 2016|
Today, in conjunction with the feast of the Holy Face, there was an important enthronement of the Holy Face at the oratory of San Francesco Saverio, in via Caravita, in the center of Rome just off the Via del Corso. The celebration was presided over by Cardinal Antonio Luis Tagle.
(Here is a video of the Mass of Enthronement of the Holy Face at the oratory of San Francesco Saverio)
and also a video of the concluding Mass of the Holy Face on Monday May 17 at the parish church of San Nicola presided by Archbishop Bruno Forte and concelebrated by the provincial of the Capuchin Friars, Fr. Matteo Siro.