Sunday, 25 November 2012

Tenuta Arabona

Tenuta Arabona

We are still drinking our box wine (Rosato and Pecorino) and have really enjoyed the bottle of Manus Plere Chardonnay from Tenuta Arabona which is run by a lovely friendly couple! It costs just 3.50 euros from their shop.

We also have a bottle of their organic olive oil which I'm saving for Christmas - I wonder if it will compare well with my friend Stefania's oil which we recieved last week fresh from the mill ! Lovely and peppery as you would expect after a hot Abruzzo summer.



“We patronize the animals for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they are more finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other Nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time.”

love the quotation!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Holy Veil of Manoppello

I am not a religious person but my research into the history of our house keeps leading me back to The Church.Manoppello is known throughout Italy as the site of the VOLTO SANTO which houses the mysterious 'Holy Veil.' Catholics from all over Italy make a pilgrimage to the church to see this artefact which is housed in a specail room inside a frame studded with semi-precious stones.The veil is a piece of fabric perhaps linen? Or cambric.The image is of a young bearded man with his mouth slightly open showing a surprisingly healthy set of teeth considering the times.

Much controversy surronds the veil and recent reseach points to the image being a painting indded one researcher has suggested it was actually painted by Durer which given the quality of the image I find quite incredible!Devotees maintain that this fabric was actualy drapped over Christ's face when he was taken from the cross and the image (with teeth, beard and hair) is a form of miraculus imprint similar to the Turin Shroud.

It isn't just the creation of the Holy Shroud that is mysterious its also how it came to be in Manoppello.

In my post about San Peitro, later Pope Celestine V  I've reproduced some information from an article on the culture in Abruzzo web site.Many of the sites dedicated to the history of the Holy Veil completly omit the information regarding it being kept in the monastery of San Pietro di Morrone /Vallebona in the 12th century.This is what Roberto Falcinelli says about its history:

from  Roberto Falcinelli

Since the 12th century and until 1608 the Veronica in St. Peter had been a worship destination for thousands of pilgrims; then came the time when they couldn’t worship it anymore.   In 1608, after the chapel that hosted the Veronica was demolished and the veil disappeared, never to be found again. Father Pfeiffer’s discovery claims that the veil has been in Manoppello exactly since 1608. The story goes that a soldier’s wife sold it to a nobleman in the town for 400 scudi in order to bail out his husband from jail. This nobleman, De Fabritiis, handed in the veil to the Capuchins with a legal act. Father Pfeiffer’s research is based on the so-called Historic Report by Father Donato da Bomba, a Capuchin monk. But why,according to the scholar, was the veil hidden? Most likely because Pope Urban VIII had all the copies of Jesus’ facepainted on a veil destroyed, in order to eradicate the pilgrims’ habit of ordering and buying images of Christ. The Veronica was kept in a chapel purposely built by Pope John VII and decorated with mosaics in the year 705. Oddly, in the same year in Constantinople an important relic, the Acheiropoietos, went missing. The word Acheiropoietos is found in the New Testament and in the Byzantine legend of Camoulia in two different editions: the first in the emperor Diocletian’s period, the second during the reign of king Abgar of Edessa, who received the veil from Jesus. “As far as the imprint is concerned, the mystery stays, as for the Shroud. The images on the Shroud and the Veronica couldn’t have been made by any known technique. We might therefore speculate that an unknown energy source left some markson the veils, marks that the human eye perceives as an actual image”. One of the Capuchins, Father Donato da Bomba began some studies in 1640 and drew up a “Historic Report” (Relatione Historica) which is at present kept in the Capuchins Provincial Archive in the Santa Chiara convent in L’Aquila.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Some Local History -Vallebona

Ever since I found out about the ancient monastery situated at the top of 'our valley' I've been trying to find out more about its history and a possible connection to our house.Possibly some of the large stones used to create the original entrance to the Church may have come from the site of this monastery rather than San Libertore in Serramonacessca as we had been told.

The monastery is known as San Peitro di Vallebona and I assume that the Vallebona in the title refers to the valley/ravine that runs below our house? Bona was a Roman goddess linked to fertility and there are other references to her in the Manoppello area.There is the abbey of Santa Maria Arabona in Manoppello which is believed to have been built over a Roman Altar dedicated to Bona.

Site of the ruined monastery looking down to Manoppello and the Pescara Valley

The existence of the monastery belonging to the diocese of Chieti, there are various historical sources (for further discussion, please refer to the contribution of Dr. Daniela E. White in SANTANGELO, Manoppello. Historical and artistic guide to the city and its surroundings, pp. 104-108): the first statement is 1140, then the foundation of the same is certainly prior to this date.

In 1285, to mention only the main dating, the Abbey of St. Peter's congregation joined Celestine employed by the Holy Spirit of Morrone and was then placed under the same Pietro da Morrone he bought this monastry

. In the period from 1320 to 1350, the monastery enjoyed a renewed splendor which ceased in 1383 when resumed from the incursions of predators causing a state of decay and neglect. Only in 1645, the building was restored by the University of Manoppello after a miraculous apparition of a crucifix in the church that attracted a multitude of the faithful.

This is the last statement that we have historical and hence the name of the Church of the Crucifix which is commonly called the site. Other titles with which is mentioned below in St. Peter Vallebona, which is the foundation are: Santa Maria di Santo Stefano and Vallebona Vallebona or Wolf. The first name is linked to one of the two historical artifacts that come from this sacred place: it is a witness to the cult of the Virgin, or the so-called "Madonna of the Snow", stone sculpture preserved since 1855 at the Basilica of the "Holy Face Manoppello "and now placed on an altar in the backyard, the name Vallebona instead could be linked to the cult of the goddess Bona, as the pre-existence of the abbey of S. Maria Arabona.

The head of the Vallebona close to the monastery now the bottom of the ravine is very overgrown and impossible to walk along -the lowest section which comes out on the road leading to the Volto Santo is used by a local Shepherd and several people cultivating small vegetable plots and the path continues to the area below our house in Contrada Foce. Possibly a track may have lead from Manoppello up the valley/ravine and to the monastery and up onto the mountain?
This view of the ruins show just to the right the area of the spring (you can make out some willows) The commune have put up some new signs so people can at last walk to the monastery.
new sign


Such tracks were used by shepherds taking their flocks up onto the mountains in the drier summer months.