Omnis Terra! – Sing With Joy All the Earth!

Detail from The Wedding at Cana by Paolo Veronese (1528-1588)

Omnis Terra, Latin for “All the Earth, ” is the name given to the Second Sunday in Ordinary time, when the Gospel of the Wedding at Cana is read.  In the midst of the wedding feast, Mary whispers to her son Jesus, “They have no wine.” At Mary’s words, Jesus then performed his first miracle: “the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee, and so revealed His glory, and His disciples began to believe in Him.” (John 2: 1-11)  The revelation of His glory is the cause for all the earth rejoicing, giving praise to His Name at the wedding feast of the Lamb!

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI gazes on the Holy Face of Manoppello photo: Paul Badde

God has a face and a name. The expression “name of God” means God as He Who is present among men. “His name,” Pope Benedict XVI says, “is the concrete sign of His Existence.” When we praise His Name, we are rejoicing in the splendor of His Face.  Benedict wrote:

 “To rejoice in the splendor of His Face means penetrating the mystery of His Name  made known to us in Jesus, understanding something of His Interior life and of His will, so that we can live according to His plan for humanity. Jesus lets us know the hidden Face of the Father through His human Face; by the gift of the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts.”

That is certainly a reason for all the earth to rejoice, as though at a wedding feast!

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  from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to Spirito Santo church and hospital, giving alms to the poor and the sick along the way.  Our Lord’s Holy Face and Holy Name are also honored by a feast and procession at the Basilica Sanctuary of the Holy Face in Manoppello, Italy  on this day, the Second Sunday after Epiphany, inviting “All the Earth” to join them in celebrating Our Lord, who has “revealed His glory” so that we too may believe.

(For more information on Omnis Terra in Manoppello for 2019 see Holy Face of Manoppello blogspot here.) This years celebrants for the Solemn Mass at the Sanctuary Basilica of the Holy Face will be Cardinal Gerhard Muller, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, and Archbishop Bruno Forte.  To see the Omnis Terra Procession Live Streaming on Youtube on January 20, which may also be viewed anytime after the event – click (here)

detail of Face of Jesus on the Holy Veil from the precious manuscript “Liber Regulae Sancti Spiritus in Saxia”

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

 

Feast of The Holy Name of Jesus – God has a Face and a Name!

“Be merciful to us, O my God, and reject not our prayers, when amid our afflictions, we call upon The Holy Name and seek with love and confidence Thine adorable Face.  Amen.”

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Holy Face on The Shroud of Turin

Pope Benedict XVI teaches us the Hebrew term, “panim”, which means “face” means to see The Face of God, or The presence of God.  “Panim” is a term that describes relationships.  The Hebrew word “shem” meaning “name” is also a term of relationship.  God has a Face and a Name!

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Miraculous Limpias Crucifix

The revelation of the Face of God took on a new and beautiful manifestation when God became man at the moment of The Incarnation, in the person of Jesus Christ.  The Son of God was made man and He is given a Name, Jesus.  As fully God and fully man, Jesus Christ gave us a human face that revealed the Face of God.  The Incarnation, Pope Benedict XVI teaches, reveals the direct connection between The Holy Face and Holy Name of God.  Jesus shows us the Face of the Father for as He told His disciples, “If you have seen Me, you have seen The Father.”  But Jesus also makes known to us the Name of God: as He said at the Last Supper when praying to His Father, “I have made Your Name known to them.”

The expression “name of God” means God as He Who is present among men.  His name, Pope Benedict XVI says, is the concrete sign of His Existence.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XI gazes on The Holy Face of Manoppello photo: Paul Badde

Pope Benedict XVI wrote, “To rejoice in the splendor of His Face means penetrating the mystery of His Name made known to us in Jesus, understanding something of His Interior life and of His will, so that we can live according to His plan for humanity.  Jesus lets us know the hidden Face of The Father through His human Face; by the gift of The Holy Spirit poured into our hearts.”

Because of the  profound relationship with God and His Name and Face, sins committed against this relationship with Him 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 indignities suffered by Our Lord in His Face represent the most serious sins, because they are against God Himself.

The damage done by our sins to our relationship with God are reflected in the Face of Jesus Christ.  For this reason, devotion and reparation to The Holy Face is fitting in order to make amends for what we have done to Him.

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Sr. Marie St. Pierre

The Golden Arrow is a beautiful Prayer given by Our Lord to Carmelite Sr. Marie St. Pierre to be said in reparation for blasphemy against the Holy Name.

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Holy Face of Tours

The Golden Arrow

“May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God, be forever praised, blessed, adored, loved and glorified, in heaven, on earth, and in the hells, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.  Amen.”

(The term, “in the hells” refers to the Greek sense of the word as a place of purification, not the hell of the damned, where God’s justice is glorified.)

There are many other beautiful prayers which can be found on the “Prayers” tab, all of which have the effect of wiping the blood, sweat, dust and spittle from The Face of Jesus, as tradition tells us St. Veronica did on the way to Calvary.  We too, can be a “Veronica” by saying these prayers, speaking God’s Name with love and reverence and praying for those who do not.

“O God, Who did constitute Your only-begotten Son the Saviour of mankind, and did command that He should be called Jesus; grant in Your kindness that our hearts joy in Heaven may be the Face of Him Whose Holy Name we venerate on earth.” Amen. –Bl. Mother Pierina De Micheli