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.

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