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THE RESURRECTION VEIL OF OUR LORD JESUS (VOLTO SANTO) IN THE CARE OF THE CAPUCHINS SINCE 1638!


THIS RELIC OF THE MOST PRECIOUS HOLY FACE OF JESUS ALSO KNOWN AS THE VOLTO SANTO HAS BEEN IN THE SMALL TOWN OF MANOPPELLO, ITALY SINCE 1506 A.D. HOWEVER, RESEARCH SHOWS THAT THE CLOTH CAN BE TRACED BACK TO AT LEAST 704, WHEN THE IMAGE WAS TRANSPORTED FROM CONSTANTINOPLE TO ROME DURING THE ICONOCLAST. IN 705, THE IMAGE WAS KEPT IN THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY OF THE MARTYRS (PANTHEON) THEN TO ST. PETER'S. BISHOP ANDREW OF CRETE IN 710, MENTIONED AN IMAGE CARRIED TO ROME ATTRIBUTED TO ST. LUKE THE EVANGLELIST. IN 1208, POPE INNOCENT III CARRIED IN PROCESSION THE "SANCTUM SUDARIUM" AN OPENED EYED VEIL SHOWING THE FACE OF JESUS TO NEARBY SANTO SPIRITO SASSIA FROM ST. PETER'S IN ROME.

(THE PICTURE BELOW IS SEEN IN THE MUSEUM UPSTAIRS IN THE BASILICA OF THE VOLTO SANTO, MANOPPELLO, ITALY.)

BELOW IS THE IMAGE ON THE WALL OUTSIDE IN THE GARDEN AREA OF ST. JOHN LATERAN IN ROME, THE "CATHEDRAL OF THE POPE". POPE SILVESTER I CONSECRATED THE FIRST CHRISTIAN BASILICA IN THE YEAR 324, LATER IN THE 9TH CENTURY, POPE SERGIUS III DEDICATED IT TO JOHN THE BAPTIST, AND FINALLY IN THE 12TH CENTURY POPE LUCIUS II ADDED ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST. IT WAS DEVASTATED OVER THE CENTURIES AND REBUILT.

APRIL 1506, WORK ON THE NEW BASILICA OF ST. PETER BEGAN.

1616: QUEEN MARIA COSTANZA OF AUSTRIA THE WIFE OF SIGISMOND II, KING OF POLAND REQUESTS A REPRODUCTION, SHE WAS SENT A "CLOSED EYE" IMAGE DONE BY PIETRO STROZZI, CANON AND PRIVATE SECRETARY OF POPE PAUL V.

SEPTEMBER 7, 1616, POPE PAUL V ISSUES A LETTER PROHIBITING UNDER THE PAIN OF EXCOMMUNICATION ANY FURTHER COPIES OF THE "VERONICA" (WHICH MEANS TRUE IMAGE). COMPARING TWO MANUSCRIPTS DATED 1616 THE FIRST BY MSGR. FRANCESCO GRIMALDI ARCHIVIST AT ST. PETER'S THE EYES ARE OPENED. THEN IN 1635 BY MSGR. FRANCESCO SPERONI SACRISTAN AT THE VATICAN THE EYES WERE NOW CLOSED.

(PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF TAMARA KLAPATCH)


THE HISTORY REGARDING ITS APPEARENCE IN MANOPPELLO DATES BACK TO 1506, WHEN THIS VEIL WAS GIVEN TO DR. GIACOMANTONIO LEONELLI IN THE CHURCH OF ST. NICHOLAS IN BARI BY AN UNKNOWN PILGRIM, TELLING HIM TO TAKE SPECIAL CARE TO PROTECT IT.

IN 1618, DR. DONATANTONIO DE FABRITIIS BUYS THE IMAGE FROM MARIA LEONELLI, DURING THIS TIME THE IMAGE IS CLEANED BY FRA. CLEMENTE AND TRIMMED OF THE RAGGED EDGES AND PLACED BETWEEN TWO PANES OF GLASS IN A WALNUT FRAME BY FRA REMIGIO DA RAPINA.

IN 1638, DR. FABRITIIS DECIDES TO GIVE THE IMAGE TO THE CAPUCHINS. THE FIRST FEAST IN HONOUR OF THE HOLY FACE IS CELEBRATED ON AUGUST 6,1690, THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD. WHEN THE IMAGE WAS REMOVED FROM THE FRAME TO REPLACE THE GLASS THE IN 1703 IN FRONT OF PADRE BONIFACIO OF ASCOLI THE IMAGES DISAPPEARS ONLY TO REAPPEAR ONCE IT WAS PLACED BACK BETWEEN THE GLASS PANELS. AGAIN IN 1714, THE IMAGE DISAPPEARS WHEN REMOVED FROM THE GLASS AND THEN REAPPEARS WHEN PLACED BETWEEN NEW GLASS PANELS.

IT WAS PADRE DOMENICO DA CESE IN 1964 UPON HIS FIRST VISIT BEFORE THE VOLTO SANTO, RECOGNIZED THIS FACE AS THE ONE WHO RESCUED HIM FROM THE EARTHQUAKE RUBBLE IN JANUARY 2015. PADRE DOMENICO SPENT MANY HOURS IN PRAYER BEFORE THE VOLTO SANTO.



THIS IMAGE IN 1998, AT THE UNVERSITY OF BARI, PROFESSOR

DONATO VITTORE DOES EXTENSTIVE TESTING USING A HIGH RESOLUTION SCANNER - THE RESULTS, NO PIGMENT OF COLOR OF ANY KIND CAN BE DETECTED.

SEPTEMBER 1, 2006: POPE BENEDICT XVI VISITS THE SHRINE, AND ON SEPTEMBER 23, 2006 DECLARED IT A MINOR BASIILICA, HE IS THE FIRST POPE IN 479 YEARS TO VIEW THE VOLTO SANTO.



SEPTEMBER 1, 2007, POPE BENEDICT WRITES A PRAYER IN HONOR OF THE HOLY FACE.

"LORD JESUS, SHOW US, WE PRAY YOU, YOUR FACE EVER NEW, THAT MIRROR, MYSTERY LADEN, OF GOD'S INFINITE MERCY. GRANT THAT WE MAY CONTEMPLATE IT WITH THE EYES OF OUR MIND AND OUR HEARTS: THE HUMAN FACE OF GOD THAT HAS BURST INTO HISTORY TO REVEAL THE HORIZONS OF ETERNITY. THE SILENT FACE OF JESUS SUFFERING AND RISEN, WHEN LOVED AND ACCEPTED CHANGES THE HEART AND LIFE. WE WANT TO DRAW FROM YOUR EYES, THAT LOOK ON US WITH TENDERNESS AND COMPASSION. THE FORCE OF LOVE AND PEACE WHICH SHOWS US THE WAY OF LIFE, AND THE COURAGE TO FOLLOW YOU WITHOUT FEAR OR COMPROMISE, SO AS TO BE WITNESSES OF YOUR GOSPEL, WITH CONCRETE SIGNS OF ACCEPTANCE, LOVE AND FORGIVENESS. 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 MEN AND PEOPLE, FACE CONCEALED IN THE EUCHARISTIC SIGNS AND IN THE FACES OF THOSE THAT LIVE WITH US, MAKE US GOD'S PILGRIMS IN THIS WORLD, LONGING FOR THE INFINITE AND READY FOR THE FINAL ENCOUNTER, WHEN WE SHALL SEE YOU, LORD, "FACE TO FACE" (1COR.13,12), AND BE ABLE TO CONTEMPLATE YOU FOREVER IN HEAVENLY GLORY. AMEN!"


THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS TAKEN FROM THE BOOK ENTITLED, "THE HOLY FACE OF MANOPPELLO, TRADITION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND DEVOTION" BY EUGENIO DI GIAMBERARDINO AND "THE CATHEDRAL OF THE POPE" BY MSGR. DR. JOHN BAPTIST DE TOTH , THE ARCHBASILICA OF ST. JOHN LATERAN BRIEF HISTORIC AND ARTISTIC GUIDE.

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY TAMARA KLAPATCH


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