Thursday, 14 January 2010

Pope Benedict and the Holy Face of Manoppello: Part 1

This first link will lead you to a report (with comments) published on the day of Pope Benedict's visit to Manoppello on September 1st 2006;
this second one will lead you to the blog of Raymond Frost;
and this third, to a column in 'Joan's Rome' site on EWTN.
Fr Mark Kirby, who incidentally inaugurated his 'Vultus Christi' blog on the same day as the Pope's visit, later made a pilgrimage to Manoppello and posted about it on February 2, 2007.
If you are unfamiliar with the above items, I do recommend that you read them before continuing here.

Immediately below, I mention three matters, before going on to consider the spiritual impact (at the time and since) of the Holy Face, and of the Holy Father's veneration of it.

1. Among the comments on the report, you will find one which dismisses any claim as to the 'Face' being similar to the one on the Shroud of Turin, because of the absence of a moustache on the former. Actually, the picture reproduced in the recent 'Inside the Vatican' article, certainly does show a moustache. Yes, it is faint, like the beard, but it is definitely there.

2."Pope Benedict became curious about this image when, as Cardinal Ratzinger, he was given a photo of the face that had been taken by a fellow German, Cardinal Joachim Meisner .........just before the start of the 2005 conclave." (See above link to 'Joan's Rome', EWTN.)

3. Doctor Robert Moynihan, editor of ITV has visited the 'Holy Face', but the current article is by Wlodzimierz Redzioch who returned to Manoppello three years after the Pope's visit to find out what has changed since then and whether further research has been done into the Veil. The article takes the shape of interviews, in question and answer format, with Fr Cucinelli, the rector of the sanctuary and Sr Blandina, a German Trappist nun who lives there as a hermit.
The interviews provide satisfying answers to his quest, and ours.

First I would like to consider the immediate impact of the Pope's visit, for himself and for those who gathered around him on that occasion. I hope to attempt this in another post tomorrow.

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