Holy Face Novena 2019 – Day Five

+++The Holy Face Novena for 2019be from Sunday, February 24  to Monday, March 4.  The Feast of the Holy Face is then celebrated on “Shrove Tuesday” March, 5th, 2019 – The day before Ash Wednesday.In your charity, please include in your intentions: May God grant that the face of the Bride of Christ, the Church, may be restored to her original beauty.

Day 5:

Alpha-Omega Holy Face of Jesus Novena Prayers and Consecration

“So may sins of impurity are committed in this city, but true souls of reparation are few, do thou at least console and comfort me.”–words of Our Lord to Bl. Mother Pierina de Micheli, “Missionary of the Holy Face”

IMG_0946“O Holy Face of Christ, light that enlightens the darkness of doubt and sadness, life that has defeated forever the force of evil and death, O inscrutable gaze that never ceases to watch over mankind; Face concealed in the Eucharistic signs and in the faces of those that live with us!  Make us pilgrims in his world, longing for the infinite and ready for the final encounter, when we shall see you, Lord, “face to face” (Cor. 13-12) and be able to contemplate you forever in Heavenly Glory.” — Pope Benedict XVI

 

Daily Preparatory Prayer

O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with His sorrows, love and total abandonment.

We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Fifth Day

Psalm 51: 10-11

Make me hear rejoicing and gladness, that the bones you have crushed may revive.  From my sins turn away your Face, and blot out all my guilt.

IMG_1037Holy Face of Jesus, Sacred Countenance  of God, how great is your patience with humankind, how infinite your forgiveness.  We are sinners, yet you love us.  This gives us courage  For the glory of your Holy Face and of the Blessed Trinity, hear and answer us.  Mary our Mother, intercede for us, St. Joseph, pray for us.

Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, …Pardon and mercy.

Prayer to St. Joseph

“Blessed are the pure of heart; for they shall see God” (Mt. 5:8)

St. Joseph
St. Joseph

Dear St. Joseph!  Adopt us as thy children, take charge of our salvation; watch over us day and night; preserve us from occasions of sin; obtain for us purity of body and soul, and the spirit of prayer, through thy intercession with Jesus, grant us a spirit of sacrifice, of humility and self-denial; obtain for us a burning love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet, tender love for Mary, our Mother.  St. Joseph, be with us in life, be with us in death and obtain for us a favorable judgement from Jesus, our merciful Savior.  Amen.

Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary’s, one (1) Glory Be.

O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (3 times)

* [The prayer to St. Joseph in this novena reminds us of the love of God the Father.  He looks upon us with infinite pity, mercy and love through the Face of His Son, Jesus Christ.    The Holy Face of Jesus shows us the eternal, tender love that God the Father has for us.]

 

Holy Face Novena 2019 – Day Four

+++The Holy Face Novena for 2019be from Sunday, February 24  to Monday, March 4.  The Feast of the Holy Face is then celebrated on “Shrove Tuesday” March, 5th, 2019 – The day before Ash Wednesday.In your charity, please include in your intentions: May God grant that the face of the Bride of Christ, the Church, may be restored to her original beauty.

Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, 1483 - 1561 The Procession to Calvary ca. 1505, detail
Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, 1483 – 1561
The Procession to Calvary
ca. 1505, detail

“Love is tireless, it feeds on silence and humility and is heart to heart with our Beloved, deriving from His Heart the powerful force which makes love tireless to do much, to do well the tiniest everyday things to please Him alone.  How many pearls we can collect each day to make Jesus forget the insults He receives each day? How many kisses–it will be a smile–a word held back–an act of charity–docile obedience–temptation promptly resisted–and in moments in which nature, pride, self-love, sensuality, desire to hold sway–a glance at the Holy FACE–that blood, those Divine Eyes veiled with grief and love and we will say nothing?” –Blessed Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli, Missionary of the Holy Face

Day 4:

Alpha-Omega Holy Face of Jesus Novena Prayers and Consecration

Veil of Veronica C. 1618-22 National Gallery
Veil of Veronica C. 1618-22 National Gallery “While we too seek other signs, other wonders, we do not realize that He is the real sign, God made flesh; He is the greatest miracle of the universe: all the love of God hidden in a human heart, in a human face.” — Pope Benedict XVI

Daily Preparatory Prayer

O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with His sorrows, love and total abandonment.

We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Fourth Day

Psalm 51: 8-9

Indeed you love truth in the heart; then in the secret of my heart teach me Wisdom.  O purify me, then I shall be clean; O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow. 

O Lord Jesus, who has said, learn of me for I am meek and gentle of heart, and who did manifest upon The Holy Face the sentiments of Thy divine heart, grant that we may love to come frequently and meditate upon Thy divine features.  We may read there Thy gentleness and Thy humility, and learn how to form our hearts in the practice of these two virtues which Thou desires to see shine in Thy servants.  Mary our Mother and St. Joseph, pray for us.

Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, …Pardon and mercy.

Sorrowful Mother
Sorrowful Mother
“O Holy Face of my sweet Jesus, by the tenderness of the love and most deep sorrow with which Mary most holy contemplated You in Your Passion, grant to our souls to share in her love and grief and fulfill Your Most Holy Will as perfectly as possible. Amen” –Bl. Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli, “Missionary of the Holy Face”

Prayer in Honor of the Sorrows of The Blessed Virgin

O Most Holy and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs!  Who stood beneath the Cross, witnessing the agony of your dying Son, look down with a mother’s tenderness and pity on us as we kneel before you to venerate your Sorrows and place our requests, with filial confidence, in the sanctuary of your wounded heart.  Present them on our behalf to Jesus, through the merits of His most sacred Passion and Death, together with your sufferings at the foot of the Cross, and through the united efficacy of both, obtain the favor which we humbly ask.  To whom shall we go in our wants and miseries if not to you.  O Mother of Mercy, who having so deeply drunk of the chalice of your Son, graciously alleviate the sufferings of those who still sigh in this land of exile.  Amen.

Prayer to the Souls in Purgatory

My Jesus, by the sorrows you suffered in your agony in the garden, in your scourging and crowning with thorns, in the way to Calvary,  in your crucifixion and death, have mercy on the souls in Purgatory, and specially on those that are most forsaken.  Deliver them from the dire torments they endure.  Call them and admit them to your most sweet embrace in Paradise.  Amen.

Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary’s, one (1) Glory Be.

O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (3 times)

Pope Benedict XVI gazes at the Veil of the Holy Face of Manoppello
Pope Benedict XVI gazes at the Veil of the Holy Face of Manoppello. Photo: Paul Badde

“While we too seek other signs, other wonders, we do not realize that He is the real sign, God made flesh; He is the greatest miracle of the universe: all the love of God hidden in a human heart, in a human face.” — Pope Benedict XVI

 

 

 

Psalm 24

Priest elevating Eucharist on paten viewed through the Veil of the Holy Face of Manoppello. Photo: Paul Badde
Elevated paten viewed through the Veil of the Holy Face of Manoppello.Photo: Paul Badde

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?

Who shall stand in his holy place?

The man with clean hands and pure heart,

who desires not worthless things,

who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor;

He shall receive blessing from the Lord

and reward from the God who saves him.

Such are the men who seek him,

seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Holy Face Novena 2019 – Day Three

+++The Holy Face Novena for 2019be from Sunday, February 24  to Monday, March 4.  The Feast of the Holy Face is then celebrated on “Shrove Tuesday” March, 5th, 2019 – The day before Ash Wednesday.In your charity, please include in your intentions: May God grant that the face of the Bride of Christ, the Church, may be restored to her original beauty.

"Oh Jesus, who in Thy Cruel Passion didst become the "Reproach of men and the Man of Sorrows," I worship Thy Divine Face." --St. Therese
“Oh Jesus, who in Thy Cruel Passion didst become the “Reproach of men and the Man of Sorrows,” I worship Thy Divine Face.” –St. Therese

 

Every time that anyone gazes at my Face, I will pour my love into hearts and by means of the Holy Face, the salvation of many souls will be obtained.” –Our Lord to Bl. Mother Pierina de Micheli, “Missionary of the Holy Face”

Day 3:

Alpha-Omega Holy Face of Jesus,Novena Prayers and Consecration

Daily Preparatory Prayer

O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with His sorrows, love and total abandonment.

We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Third Day – Holy Face Novena

Psalm 51: 6-7

You are just when you pass sentence on me, blameless when you give judgement.  You know I was born guilty, a sinner from the moment of conception.

Bl. Pope Pius IX
Bl. Pope Pius IX

Prayer of Pope Pius IX

O Jesus! Cast upon us a look of mercy; turn your Face towards each of us as you did to Veronica; not that we may see it with our bodily eyes; for this we do not deserve, but turn it towards our hearts, so that, remembering you, we may ever draw from this fountain of strength the vigor necessary to sustain the combats of life.  Amen. our Mother Mary, and St. Joseph, pray for us.

Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, …Pardon and mercy.

IMG_0460Prayer of St. Francis

All highest, glorious God, cast your light into the darkness of our hearts, give us true faith, firm hope, perfect charity and profound humility, so that with wisdom, courage and perception, O Lord, we may do what is truly your holy will.  Amen.

To the Angels and Saints

We salute you, through the Holy Face and Sacred Heart of Jesus,  all you holy Angels and Saints of God.  We rejoice in your glory, and we give thanks to our Lord for all the benefits which He has showered upon you; we praise Him, and glorify Him, and offer you for an increase of your joy and honor, the most Holy Face and gentle Heart of Jesus.  Pray that we may become formed according to the heart of God.  Amen.

Il Transito di San Francisco, 1590 Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary’s, one (1) Glory Be.

O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (3 times)

Holy Face Novena 2019 – Day Two

+++The Holy Face Novena for 2019 – Sunday, February 24  to Monday, March 4.  The Feast of the Holy Face is then celebrated on “Shrove Tuesday” March, 5th, 2019 – The day before Ash Wednesday.In your charity, please include in your intentions: May God grant that the face of the Bride of Christ, the Church, may be restored to her original beauty.

Day 2:

image-13“All those who attracted by my love, and venerating my countenance, shall receive, by virtue  of my humanity, a brilliant and vivid impression of my divinity.  This splendor shall enlighten the depths of their souls, so that in eternal glory the celestial court shall marvel at the marked likeness of their features with my divine countenance.” (Our Lord to St. Gertrude)

 Alpha-Omega Holy Face of Jesus Novena Prayers and Consecration – Day 2

Daily Preparatory Prayer

(to be said each day as you console the Holy Face)

O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with His sorrows, love and total abandonment.

We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Second Day

Psalm 51: 5-6

My offenses truly I know them; My sin is always before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned; What is evil in your sight I have done.

Most Holy Face of Jesus, we are truly sorry that we have hurt you so much by constantly doing what is wrong; and for all the good works we have failed to do.  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Saint Joseph, intercede for us, help us to console the Most Holy Face of Jesus.  Pray that we may share in the tremendous love Thou hast for one another, and for the most Holy and Blessed Trinity.  Amen.

Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, …Pardon and mercy.

Prayer to The Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, Sanctifier, all powerful God of love, Thou who didst fill the Virgin Mary with grace, Thou who didst wonderfully transform the hearts of the apostles, Thou who didst endow all Thy martyrs with a miraculous heroism, come and sanctify us, illumine our minds, strengthen our wills, purify our consciences, rectify our judgments, set our hearts on fire and preserve us from the misfortune of resisting Thine inspirations.  We consecrate to Thee our understanding, our heart and our will, our whole being for time and for eternity.  May our understanding be always submissive to Thy heavenly inspirations and to the teachings of Thy Holy Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible guide; may our heart be ever inflamed with love of God and neighbor; may our will be ever conformed to the divine will, and may our whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and Thee be honor and glory forever.  Amen.

Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary’s, one (1) Glory Be.

O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (3 times)

Holy Face Veil of Manoppello photo: Paul Badde
Holy Face Veil of Manoppello
photo: Paul Badde

“O God, Who did constitute Your only begotten Son the Savior of mankind, and did command that He should be called JESUS; grant in Your kindness that our heart’s joy in Heaven may be the Face of Him Whose Holy Name we venerate on earth.” Amen. — Blessed Mother Pierina De Michelli, “Missionary of the Holy Face”

 

 

 

Holy Face Novena 2019 – Day One

+++The Holy Face Novena for 2019 begins Sunday, February 24  to Monday, March 4.  The Feast of the Holy Face is then celebrated on “Shrove Tuesday” March, 5th, 2019 – The day before Ash Wednesday.  In your charity, please include in your intentions that the face of the Bride of Christ, the Church, may be restored to her original beauty.

“Whoever who gazes upon me already consoles me.” –Our Lord t Bl. Mother Pierina De Michelli
image1
Bl. Mother Maria Pierina De Micheli known for her extraordinary devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus and The Holy Face Medal

The great “Missionary of the Holy Face,” Blessed Mother Maria Pierina De Michele, was asked by Our Lord to have a Feast of the Holy Face, which was to be preceded by a novena. (The Feast was approved in 1958 by Pope Pius XII, who formally declared  the Feast of the Holy Face on “Shrove Tuesday” (The Tuesday which precedes Ash Wednesday.)

Bl. Mother Maria Pierina inspired her Daughters of the Immaculate Conception to make a novena with all the fervor of their hearts, uniting themselves to Jesus in grief and suffering, in the Garden of Gethsemane.  She exhorted her nuns to honor the Face of Jesus by giving Him “a kiss of love.”

 “Honor the Holy Face of our dear Jesus, sorrowful for the sins of men–ours–everyones–but specially for those who should be His intimate friends…Let us gaze profoundly at that Divine Face–speak heart to heart–and we will share His most bitter griefs–and He will say, ‘Console Me, you at least who say you love Me–in order to be all Mine.'”  –Bl. Mother Pierina de Micheli, “Missionary of the Holy Face” 

Day 1:

Daily Preparatory Prayer

(to be said each day as you console the Holy Face)

O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with His sorrows, love and total abandonment.

We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

First Day

Church of St. Veronica, Lecco, Italy c. 1280

Psalm 51: 3-4

Have mercy on me, O God in your goodness, in your great tenderness wipe away my faults; wash me clean of my guilt, purify me from my sin.

O most Holy Face of Jesus, look with tenderness on us who are sinners.  You are a merciful God, full of love and compassion.  Keep us pure of heart, so that we may see Thee always.  Mary, our mother, intercede for us.  Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, …Pardon and mercy.

Prayer to Our Almighty Father

Almighty Father, come into our hearts, and so fill us with your love that forsaking all evil desires, we may embrace you, our only good.  Show us, O Lord our God, what you are to us.  Say to our souls, I am your salvation, speak so that we may hear.  Our hearts are before you; open our ears; let us hasten after your voice.  Hide not your Face from us, we beseech you, O Lord.  Open our hearts so that you may enter in.  Repair our ruined mansions, that you may dwell therein.  Hear us, O Heavenly Father, for the sake of your only Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen. (St. Augustine)

Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary’s, one (1) Glory Be.

O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (3 times)

St. Veronica, the model of reparation, with the sudarium veil of the Holy Face

“Behold, O God, our protector, and look upon the Face of Thy Christ!”

 

Blasphemy: Attacks against the Face of God and Reparation

Mocking of Christ by Bloch

Catholic News Agency recently reported an increasing number of acts of desecration of Catholic churches in France.  Tabernacles have been knocked down, the Eucharist scattered or destroyed, crosses torn down, altar cloths burnt…in other words: blasphemy.

When God became man at the Incarnation, He showed us His human face in Jesus Christ. Through the Face of Jesus we enter into relationship with God. He lets us know the hidden Face of the Father through His human Face, by the gift of the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts. Blasphemy is rejecting the tender love God offers to mankind, then attacking and spitting in His Face.

Because of this relationship between God and man — reflected in His Name and Face — sins committed against Him cause pain and suffering to His Sacred Heart, and are reflected in the Face of Christ. The manifestation of our sins on His Countenance come about through blasphemy, atheism, disrespect of God in sacred things, the profanation of Sunday, hatred of God’s Church.  These crimes, committed by those who do not know God, pale in comparison to the most horrible and destructive blasphemy which has been committed by those who should be closest to the Heart of Jesus, within the Church, who have betrayed Him. All these indignities suffered by Our Lord in His Face represent the most serious sins, because they are against God Himself.

Left: The Holy Face of Manoppello / Right: Painting by Hans Holbein
Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

The damage done by our sins to our precious relationship with God, reflected in the Face of Jesus Christ, needs reparation. For this reason, devotion and reparation to the Holy Face and the Holy Name are fitting in order to make amends for what we have done to Him.  If you would like to console Jesus, prayers of reparation may be found in the “Prayer tab” above. In addition, The Holy Face Novena for 2019 will be from Sunday, February 24 to Monday, March 4.  The Feast of the Holy Face  is then celebrated on “Shrove Tuesday” March 5, 2019 – the day before Ash Wednesday. The Novena prayers will be posted each day of the Novena on this website, or if you would like to receive each day’s novena prayer by e-mail, just click the “Follow” button.

“For God so loved the world

“Do you see how I suffer? Yet, very few understand me. Those who say they love me are very ungrateful! I have given my HEART as the sensible object of my great LOVE to men and I give my FACE as the sensible object of my sorrow for the sins of men. I wish that it be venerated by a special Feast on Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. I wish that the feast be preceded by a novena in which the faithful make reparation with Me, joining together and sharing in my sorrow.” –Words of Our Lord to  Bl. Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli  

 

 

 

 

A Miracle of Light

The Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the temple is a feast of light, signifying by the lighting of the candles that Christ our radiant Light shines in the world.  Mary carried the Christ Child, the true Light of the World, to present Him in the Temple, but so few recognized Him, because the world had been eclipsed in darkness. It was only the prophetess Anna, “who spent night and day praying in the Temple,” and the aged Simeon, who longed to see the Messiah before  he died, who saw the light on the face of the Child Jesus and recognized their Lord.

The transparent veil on which, by a “miracle of light” the Face of Christ is visible. Hand of Cardinal Koch Photo: Paul Badde

The world today is also eclipsed in darkness, but a glimmer of light still shines, bringing hope and peace to souls. If you are prayerful, like Anna, if you long to see His Face, like Simeon the high priest, you too will recognize your Lord — in the Scripture, in the faces of those around you, and in the Most Holy Eucharist.

There is yet another “miracle of light,” a means by which the Face of Jesus shines: It is called the Veil of Manoppello.  It is a sign to a darkened world that God became man for our salvation.  As was true at the Presentation in the Temple, there are few that recognize this great sign for what it is: An *”Iconic Turn,” a gift from God to draw mankind back “to seek His Face.”

Paul Badde has written a wonderful article for Vatican Magazine, on the Omnis Terra celebration honoring the “miracle of light,” the Face of Christ on the Veil of Manoppello, and the humble men who recognized their Lord there. Thank you, Paul, for the permission to post this article, and thanks too, to Raymond Frost for your translation in English from the original German.

*”An Iconic turn…a new picture that is essentially true: with the sun in the center! –Paul Badde”

Veil of Manoppello, photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

Omnis terra in Manoppello

A Copernican turn in the fog of Abruzzo

BY PAUL BADDE

“Omnis terra adorate, Deus, et psallat tibi”

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

Psalm 100

Cardinal Muller, Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

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” by the avowed gay writer Andrew Sullivan.  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.

Pope Benedict XVI gazes at the Veil of the Holy Face in Manoppello, Photo:Paul Badde/EWTN

Because as Benedict XVI on September 1, 2006, as the first Pope after four hundred years for the first time who again had bent his knee and bowed 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 not 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.

Omnis Terra Procession of Pope Innocent II in 1208 carrying “the Veronica” Face of Christ (from “Liber Regulae Sancti Spiritus in Saxia” manuscript 1350)

It was an unprecedented celebration dating back to 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.

This Sunday bears the name “Omnis Terra” after the Latin entrance psalm for the day. This tradition was renewed again in the same churches three years ago by the archbishops Georg Gänswein and Edmond Farhat from Lebanon with pilgrims from Manoppello. It was in the “Year of Mercy ” which Pope Francis had proclaimed. And it borders on a miracle that the spark only three years later jumped to California where the brave archbishop, whose diocese adjoins the Silicon Valley and includes the headquarters of YouTube and Facebook, on the same evening sent the following statement on the internet:

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

“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.

Archbishop Bruno Forte and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

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 ”

L-R: Archbishop Bruno Forte, Cardinal Gerhard Muller holding the Veil of the Holy Face, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

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 from each other. The savvy Monsignor Forte had already fourteen years prior laconically stated that the enigmatic veil icon “sorrow and Light are brought so close together, as only love can do “. Since then – and especially after the visit of Pope Benedict XVI -numerous Cardinals have streamed here and are so very enthusiastic in their homage to the image, as the evangelist Matthew related of the biblical wise men from the East in front of the child in Bethlehem.

Kurt Cardinal Koch observes the transparency of the Veil of Manoppello. Photo: Paul Badde
Cardinal Tagle delivers homily at the Basilica Sanctuary of the Holy Face (Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN)
Robert Cardinal Sarah (photo: Paul Badde/EWTN)

Most recently it was the Cardinals Kurt Koch from Switzerland, Robert Sarah from Africa and Antonio Tagle from Asia. Who knows the portrait, knows: 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 “iconoclast controversy”. In fact, the issue raised today is not about images but about 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:  link to homily

“Il Volto Santo” the Holy Face of Manoppello, Photo: Paul Badde

Thus the words of Cardinal Muller’s sermon. Even more telling, however, were the photos 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!

Archbishop Bruno Forte (L), Cardinal Gerhard Muller (Center), Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone (R) Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

And now the three bishops raised like hardly ever before in the liturgy this new blessing with the human face –God’s return of 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

Venice, Illustration for the Divine Comedy of Dante, 13th Century”

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

Miraculous Veil of the”Holy Face of Manoppello” in Italy Photo:Paul Badde/EWTN
The Holy Sudarium: the Veil of Manoppello, Italy Cardinal Gerhard Muller, Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN