THE HOLY FACE: THE VEIL OF MANOPPELLO


I didn’t want to be manic because Monday’s over. Today’s Tuesday. So I woke up early and didn’t skip any process in my morning routine. To my frustration, when I arrived at CPAR, no seat was available for me. First come, first served. I avoided the stress of waiting for someone to leave his chair. Upon getting the answer key, I hurried back to my dormitory and checked my papers. I wasn’t happy with the results for I computed an unadjusted average of 76%. I felt depressed so I slept for three hours. Good thing! Sir Ed visited and treated us at Shakey’s. I really enjoyed the food but the company’s even more mood-boosting. The belittling feeling of getting those low marks seemed to have abated.

It’s Mama’s birthday today, September 15, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Sorrows as well. At 5:00 PM, I went to UST to attend the mass. I was not aware that it was a concelebrated mass. Five priests officiated. Why? It’s because the Veil of Manoppello has come for the parishioners. It was my first time to attend a mass with an Italian priest who spoke the homily. Along with him was a Filipino priest who was assigned at the Diocese of Rome. The latter served as the former’s translator. When it was my turn to touch the relic, I said a little prayer— a brief but very profound prayer.

Pamphlets were given to us about the Veil of Jerusalem: The Face of Mercy which wrote:

“The account of the resurrection of the Lord (Jn. 20:19) narrates that inside the empty tomb where Jesus was laid down, several burial clothes were found including the cloth that wrapped Jesus’ head. St. Peter entered the tomb followed by St. John who gazed at the cloth that covered the face of Jesus.

“He saw and believed” that indeed Jesus is Risen from the Dead.

After scrutinizing the image of the Lord’s face imprinted on the veil, St. John concluded that the Crucified Jesus, who was once buried in the tomb, is in fact, risen. He is ‘alive.’ The veil is the proof of the resurrection.

Together with the other burial clothes, the ‘veil’ on which the picture of the Lord was impressed at the moment of the resurrection was brought to the Blessed Mother Mary.

She kept them in her custody until the time she was taken up into heaven; then, they were entrusted to the Apostles who, in turn, entrusted them to others for veneration and safekeeping.

Question and Answer:

What is the ‘sudarium of Oviedo’?

               It is towel used to absorb the blood and water coming out from the nose and mouth of Jesus while being brought down from the cross. This absorbent cloth covered Jesus’ face after He was crucified. It is now kept in the Cathedral of San Salvador at Oviedo in Spain. It is the veil of the Holy Friday depicting the ‘passion of Jesus’.

What is the ‘shroud of Turin’?

               It is a four-meter linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical torture like flagellations and crucifixion. It is believed to be the shroud used to wrap the dead body of Jesus before it was laid down in the tomb. It is the veil of the Holy Saturday depicting the ‘death of Jesus’.

What is the ‘veil of Jerusalem’?

               It is a precious marine byssus that was put over the face of the Lord as the last homage to the divine King. At the moment of the resurrection, the image of the face of the ‘Risen Lord’ was imprinted on the veil. It is the veil of the Easter Sunday, a relic of the Resurrection. It is also called the ‘Veronica’ or ‘veil of Manoppello’.

Historical facts on the Veil of Manoppello:

Year c.33

The crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. The veil of Jerusalem containing the image of the Risen Lord was found by the Apostles in the tomb where Jesus was laid down for three days.

Year c.40-50

As a personal request of King Abgar V, the veil was brought by St. Jude Thaddeus in Edessa (Syria) where it was eventually called the ‘mandylion of Edessa’.

Year c. 547

The veil was traditionally kept in the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople where it was venerated as the ‘acheiropoietos’: a mysterious image not painted by human hands.

Year c. 705

The acheiropoietos was already venerated in Rome at the chapel of Sancta Sanctorum, the Apostolic Palace in St. John Lateran.

Year c. 1200

The veil kept in the St. Peter’s Basilica was already called the ‘veil of Veronica’ or simply ‘Veronica’.

Year c. 1506 (1608)

The ‘veil of Veronica’ was brought to a small town of Manoppello in Abruzzo. From then, it began to be called the ‘Holy Face of Manoppello’.

Year 2015

The replica of the ‘human face’ of God will be enthroned at the Sagrada Familia Parish as a gift of the rector of the Basilica of Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, OFMCap Volto Santo of Manoppello, (Italy) and Ms. Daisy Neves (Seattle, USA).”

 

Whenever I feel off-form, I attend the mass— the highest form of veneration. Just like today, my bodily, mental, and spiritual health seemed to have been restored. I feel motivated, driven and fuelled with passion. Thanks be to God!

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