Holy Face Novena 2020 – Day Six

Holy Face Novena – Day 6:

Click here to learn “What does it mean to be a Veronica?”

What are our sufferings when we think of those of Jesus?  Have we perhaps sweated blood?  Have we received blows and spittle, been scourged and crowned with thorns?…And what can we possibly give Jesus save a heart desirous of loving Him…to desire nothing save His Will?  — Bl. Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli

 

Daily Preparatory Prayer

"Il Volto Santo" Holy Face of Manoppello, Italy
“Il Volto Santo” Holy Veil of Manoppello, Italy Photo: Paul Badde

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.

Sixth Day

Psalm 51: 12-13

A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence not deprive me of your Holy Spirit.

Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit
Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit

May our hearts be cleansed, O Lord, by the in-pouring of the Holy Spirit, and may He render them fruitful by watering them with His heavenly dew.  Mary, the most chaste spouse of the Holy Spirit, 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 Saint Michael the Archangel *

(Click here for more about St. Michael and the Holy Face)

“Who is like God?” St. Michael holding high the Face of Jesus (Sculpture by Cody Swanson)

O Victorious Prince, most humble guardian of the Church of God and of faithful souls, who with such charity and zeal took part in so many conflicts and gained such great victories over the enemy, for the conservation and protection of the honor and glory we all owe to God, as well as for the promotion of our salvation; come, we pray Thee, to our assistance, for we are continually besieged with such great perils by our enemies, the flesh, the world and the devil; and as Thou wast a leader for the people of God through the desert, so also be our faithful leader, and companion through the desert of this world, until Thou conduct us safely into the happy land of the living, in that blessed fatherland from which we are all exiles.  Amen.  (St. Aloysius)

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. Michael, sculpture by Cody Swanson, Old St. Patrick’s New Orleans (photo: Patricia Enk)

*[St. Michael, whose battle-cry is “Who is like God?” is the Patron of the Arch-Confraternity of The Holy Face, which was canonically erected in the Chapel of the Discalced Carmelite nuns of New Orleans by Archbishop Perche in 1883, the first in The United States. From that humble oratory, devotion to The Holy Face spread throughout the Americas.

Holy Face Novena 2020 – Day Five

Holy Face Novena Day 5:

Statue of Jesus Sc

“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”

The Divine Prisoner, Holy Face of Manoppello
photo: Patricia Enk

“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 (Excerpt from his prayer in honor of his visit to the Basilica Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello.)

 

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.

St. Veronica statue by Francesco Mochi, 1629

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 2020 – Day Four

Click here to learn: What does it mean to be “a Veronica?” 

“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 Prayer

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 2020 – Day Three

Holy Face Novena – Day 3:

“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

 

Daily Preparatory Prayer

“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”

Face of Christ: Fra Angelico, c. 1427

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.

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)

"Their Face is the Face of Christ" --Pope Francis
“Their Face is the Face of Christ” –Pope Francis

“The Face of God is like that of a merciful Father that always has patience and is willing to forgive…All of us have felt joy, sadness, and sorrow in our lives.  Have we wept during the darkest moment?  Have we that gift of tears that prepare the eyes to look, to see the Lord?” — Pope Francis

Holy Face Novena 2020 – Day Two

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)

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 2020 – Day One

“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!”

 

Holy Face Novena Begins Soon

“For God so loved the world” The Novena begins on Sunday, February 16th, 2020 

The Holy Face Novena will begin on Sunday, February 16th, and will be posted here for each day.

The Feast of the Holy Face for 2020 will be on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday – Tuesday, February 25th.

“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  

c. 1510, Dirk Bouts, Carmel of Toledo. It is believed that this is the image of Christ the St. Teresa was praying before when her dramatic conversion occurred.

In Jesus Christ, God Has Revealed His Name and His Face

The Veil of the Holy Face of Manoppello, photo by Paul Badde/EWTN

“To know Christ better, contemplate His Holy Face.” ~Pope Francis 01/19/20

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EWTN News Nightly segment Manoppello begins at 20:37.

Blessing with Holy Face by Cardinal Kurt Koch assisted by Fr. Paolo Palombarini – Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

IN JESUS CHRIST, GOD HAS REVEALED HIS NAME AND HIS FACE

The Homily of Kurt Cardinal Koch for Omnis Terra 

(Translation by Raymond Frost)

A person with a name and a face

If you want to know a person and especially his mystery, it is advisable to know his name. Already a proverb suggests it: “Nomen est omen”. And it makes us realize that names play an important role in the lives of us humans. Even before a person is born, parents think about the name they want to give the newborn and the life prospects associated with it. The name received accompanies the person throughout his life. The person is called by his name, can be identified by his name and must sign with his name. Above all, the name allows the person to be called. When we call a person by his or her name, we are bound in a personal relationship with him or with her whom we name. The great meaning that the name holds in the life of an individual shows that the name expresses the essence of a person.

Of course, with the name alone we can not yet fully know the mystery of a person. The name alone remains somewhat abstract, suspended in the air, if it cannot be associated with a precise face. “Nomen est omen”: this saying begins to speak only when you meet the face that bears the name. Everyone has an unmistakable face that expresses his originality in the best sense of the word. As an individual can be called by his name, so he can be seen with his face and can establish a very personal relationship with another individual who shows him his face, so that a real “face-to-face” communication arises.

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

Name and face make an individual a concrete person. The name is a word of relationship and highlights the fact that a person, based on his name, can be called and can turn towards other people. Thanks to his face, he can be watched by others and can look at others and, therefore, convey to them the image already suggested by the language. It is no coincidence that the Hebrew word for face, “panim”, has been translated as “prosopon” in Greek and “persona” in Latin. A person, in fact, is characterized as having a name and a face.

If we take these bonds into account and if we also consider that the recognition of the mystery of the human being as person was possible, in history, thanks to the Christian effort to understand God as Trinity, then we will also approach the most intimate mystery of the Christian faith: the novelty of Christian revelation does not consist in a new religious idea or a new ethical decision, but in a person. No one is a person more than God himself, and we human beings become more and more persons as we deepen our personal relationship with him and believe in the person in whom God has made himself recognized definitively, revealing to us his name and showing us his face, that is, to say, his Son. Jesus Christ has made the name of God accessible, and He is himself the face of God who turns toward us.

Jesus Christ as name and face of God

“Father, I have manifested your name to the men you have given me from the world” (Jn 17: 6a). With this confession in his priestly prayer, Jesus points to the fulcrum of his divine mission in our world. He naturally assumes that God, whom he calls Father and with whom he finds himself face to face, also has a name. That God has a name is the most obvious fact in the biblical image of God. The name of God is certainly an expression of the recognition of God’s nature, but, first of all, it makes it possible to call God in His essence.Just as we humans are called by our name, so too can we believers invoke the name of God.

According to Scripture, it is not we humans who give a name to God, thus forcing him to be called. Rather, God can only be called because he lets himself be called; and his name is known to us humans only because God himself has made it known to us. The personal relationship between us and God, made possible by his name, is therefore established not by us humans, but only by God. The name of God is the expression of the fundamental biblical fact that God gives himself a name and reveals himself, just as Jesus sums up his mission in the revelation of the name of God that he makes to us humans. Elsewhere, Jesus formulates his main concern and goal in life with the prayer addressed to the Father: “Father, glorify your name” (Jn 12: 28). Jesus identifies himself as the new Moses, the one who fulfills the mission of the first Moses, namely the proclamation of God’s name “Yahweh”, in an even deeper way.

Holy Face Veil of Manoppello, Italy (Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN)

As God revealed his name to us in his Son Jesus Christ, so he has also revealed to us that he has a face, showing it to us in the Son, in accordance with what Jesus Christ himself testifies: “Whoever has seen me, has seen the Father” (Jn 14, 9). With this confession, Jesus responds to the insistent request of the Apostle Philip to show him and his companions, the other apostles, the Father. Philip expresses humanity’s original desire to see the face of God and to meet him face to face. This request already passes through the Old Testament as a common thread, as eloquently testified to in the prayer of a persecuted man, in Psalm 17: “But as for me I shall behold your face in righteousness, upon awakening I shall be satisfied with beholding your form” (Psalm 17:15). Psalm 24 recalls that the search for the face of God embraces all life: “Here is the generation that seeks him, that seeks your face, God of Jacob” (Psalm 24:6).

The original desire of men, which was expressed with particular incisiveness in the Old Testament, found fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the authentic witness to the fact that God, for the Christian faith, is not a distant God and is not even a simple philosophical hypothesis about the origin of the cosmos, but is a God who has shown us his true face, who has thus given us his final word , and that, with his full and unsurpassed word of love, has addressed us, as St. John of the Cross summed up in a meaningful way referring to the fulcrum of the Christian faith: “Because in giving us, as he gave us, his Son, who is his own Word and has no other,  he told us everything and at once in this one Word, and he has nothing more to say.” In fact, there is nothing more to say, because God, in Jesus Christ, has approached us men as much as possible, revealing his name to us and showing us his true face.

Lifelong search for a face “full of blood and wounds”

The Sacrificial Lamb, Josefa de Ayala

In the light of the extreme seriousness of God’s revelation in His Son, the further question presented to us is: how exactly does the face of God look? John the Baptist provides us with the crucial answer in today’s gospel. Seeing Jesus come towards him, he says: “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away sin from the world” (Jn 1:19). God, in Jesus Christ, has the face of a lamb. This face of God must make us reflect; it invites us to dwell before him.

The first time we hear it, this message may seem harmless and even a little romantic. But it assumes all its importance if we reflect on the fact that Christ has the face of a lamb and not of a lion or a wolf. But as such people expected it then, and we humans still hope today that God will use the power of a lion to undo the world and its structures and to create a new one. But Christ doesn’t have the face of a lion. Rather, it is the kings of our world who have repeatedly portrayed themselves with this image to celebrate their power in a demonstrative way. Christ does not even have the face of a wolf, an image used by ancient Rome to present itself as a redeemer thanks to its power that dictated regulatory norms. John the Baptist shows us that redemption comes not from large and powerful animals, but from the fact that Christ came to us as a lamb, in the strength of his wide-open love.

This is the deepest reason why the cross is also part of the mystery of Jesus Christ, and why, in the world, the face of Christ is always presented as a “head full of blood and wounds”. Being lamb and cross are in fact inseparably linked. Christ is the good shepherd of his people and the full realization of that figure of the servant to whom the prophet Isaiah refers, precisely because he has become lamb and has sided with the tortured lambs, to share their suffering and to save them. Jesus redeemed us by offering his life out of love. The deepest focus of Jesus’ mission is in fact love; therefore, his mission can only be accomplished on the cross, as the evangelist John testifies: “God has indeed loved the world so much that he has given his only begotten Son, so that anyone who believes in him will not be not lost, but will have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

Holy Face of Manoppello
photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

When here, in the shrine of Manoppello, we gaze upon and worship the “Holy Face”, we meet the face of a defenceless lamb and at the same time the face full of blood and wounds, because we meet the face of God’s boundless love. We are invited to venerate this image and to seek the face of God, as Pope Benedict XVI recommended during his personal pilgrimage to Manoppello: “to seek the face of Jesus must be the yearning of all of us Christians; in fact, we are ‘the generation’ who in this time seek his face, the face of the ‘God of Jacob’. Pope Benedict XVI spoke these words, referring to Psalm 105 which says: “Seek the Lord and his power, always seek his face” (Psalm 105:4).[3]

With the word “always” we are invited to ensure that our lives as Christians are focused on the desire to seek the face of the Lord in the depths of our existence at all times, and on the certainty that this desire will not come to nothing, because faith sends us the beautiful message that God has a wonderful name and a loving face. If we seek and worship his face, then our whole life will be under God’s blessing, which consists in the promise of his face: ” the Lord bless and protect you. the Lord let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face to you and give you peace” (Num 6:24-26). This splendor of God’s face is the blessing we need and ask for in the celebration of the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, the Lord looks at us with his face of boundless love and gives himself to us as bread of life, which is spiritual nourishment on the way to eternity, in which we will praise and adore the face of God, for ever.

The National Gallery, Washington, D.C.

A Short interview with Cardinal Koch:- “The most beautiful message we have in the Gospel.”

Holy Face of Manoppello, Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

First reading:         Is 49: 3. 5-6

Second reading: 1 Cor 1: 1-3

Gospel:     Jn 1:29-34

[1]Homily for the Eucharistic celebration in the Shrine of the “Holy Face” of Manoppello, January 19, 2020.

[2]St. John of the Cross, Mount Carmel, II, 22, 3.

[3]Benedict XVI, Speaking during the pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello, the September 1 2006.

Omnis Terra 2020 Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello — Holy Face of Manoppello

“Jesus Christ is the authentic testimony that God, for the Christian faith, is not a God far from the world,  and also that He is not simply a philosophical hypothesis on the origin of the cosmos, but a God who has shown us his true face, thus giving us his final word and has drawn near to us with his complete and invincible word of love.

Blessing with Holy Face by Cardinal Kurt Koch assisted by Fr. Paolo Palombarini  (photo by Paul Badde)
At the very same time, Pope Francis, during the Angelus today at the Vatican, also urged the faithful to contemplate “an icon of Christ, a “holy face”.  see  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-to-know-christ-better-contemplate-his-holy-face-50535

WE ALWAYS DESIRE THE FACE OF THE LORD IN THE DEPTHS OF OUR EXISTENCE

Cardinal Kurt Koch presided over the rite of Omnis Terra at the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello by Antonio Bini

Today the ancient rite of Omnis…. Read the rest by clicking link below:

via Omnis Terra 2020 Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello — Holy Face of Manoppello

Give Testimony to the World

Baptism of Christ, Pietro Perugino

“Now I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God.” (JN 1:34)

Christmas has passed, festivities done, the tree taken down and decorations put away. Ho hum. Back to everyday life?  After having seen the face of the Christ Child, would the Shepherds and Magi have returned to their homes and gone about as usual? No. Seeking the Face of Jesus would have transformed their lives. To “seek the Face of God” in this life would mean seeking His Face through prayer, by reading the Scriptures, seeking Him in our neighbor, and in His Eucharistic Presence. It should transform our lives, moving our hearts to testify, and bear witness to the all the earth that Jesus is the Son of God.

The Second Sunday after Epiphany is also known as “Omnis Terra” Sunday, meaning “All the Earth.” From the words of Psalm 65, “Omnis terra adore te, Deus, et psallat tipi.”

“All the earth adore you; they sing of you, sing of your name!”

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

 The “Omnis Terra” (All the Earth) procession in honor of the Holy Face  had its beginning in 1208 when Pope Innocent III processed with the Veil of the Holy Face which was known as the crown treasure of the popes. Pope Innocent III made the procession walking barefoot, from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to Spirito Santo church and hospital, giving alms to the poor and the sick along the way.

Archbishop Ganswain holding the replica of the Holy Veil of Manoppello at Spirito Santo in Rome for the Year of Mercy.

The beautiful tradition was renewed in Rome for the Year of Mercy to honor Jesus Christ who is the “Face of Mercy” by a procession on “Omnis Terra.” A replica was carried of the “Vera Icon” known as the “true image” of the Face of Christ. The original image remained at the Basilica Shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello, Italy,  at that time. The Holy Face of Manoppello is believed to be the cloth which covered the Face of Christ at his burial, and left a miraculous image at the Resurrection.

“Blessed the people who know you, Lord, who walk in the radiance of your Face.”

(Psalm 89:16)

 

This Veil of the Face of Christ is the same relic visited by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006   when he made a pilgrimage to the the Veil of the Holy Face shortly after being made pope in 2005. He said at that time:

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

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. (Link)

 

 

 

Kurt Cardinal Koch contemplates the Holy Veil of Manoppello. The Veil is sheer and delicate, yet the Face is visible. Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

The celebration of Omnis Terra has been continued by a feast and procession each year at the Basilica Sanctuary of the Holy Face in Manoppello, Italy.  This year’s main celebrant for the “Omnis Terra” Solemn Mass at the Sanctuary Basilica of the Holy Face will be Kurt Cardinal Koch of Switzerland. He has been a cardinal since November 2010 and President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity since 1 July 2010. He was the bishop of Basel from 1996 until 2010.

On January 19, 2020, after a pontifical ceremony, the cardinal will bless the entire earth (urbi et orbi) with the holy relic of the Face of Jesus while giving the Aaronic blessing:

“May the Lord bless and keep you; may He make His Face shine upon you and be merciful to you; may He turn His Countenance toward you and give you His Peace!”  (Num. 6:22-27)

Kurt Cardinal Koch blesses the world with the Holy Face of Manoppello on Omnis Terra. Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN
detail of Face of Jesus on the Holy Veil from the precious manuscript “Liber Regulae Sancti Spiritus in Saxia”

More details on the Omnis Terra event may be found in this article by Antonio Bini on the Holy Face of Manoppello Blogspot.

Let all the earth worship and praise You, O God; may it sing in praise of Your Name, O Most High. Shout joyfully to the Lord all the earth; sing a psalm in honor of His Name, praise Him with magnificence!  

–Omnis Terra Introit

Holy Veil of Manoppello, photo: Patricia Enk