The Shrine of the Holy Face of Jesus in Manoppello
(volto santo di manoppello)


Veil of Manoppello

Information about the Veil
The “Holy Face” is a very tenuous Veil that measures 6.70 inches by 9.45, stretched between two framed panes of glass. In order to avoid running the risk of damaging the mysteriously impressed Image, the Veil has not yet been removed from the reliquary to verify scientifically the kind of staple that at a glance seems to be an ancient sea-byssus fibre, a precious "marine silk" also found inside some sarcophagi of the Egyptian pyramids, the "fine linen" mentioned forty-six times, neither more nor less, in the Bible.

The horizontal threads are rather wavy and the structure of the material is simple, so weft and warp intersect in the usual way as in a normal texture.

The fabric is so thin that the Image is visible before and behind the shrine and so transparent that a newspaper, put behind it, could be read even at a distance.

There is the effigy of a long-haired man with broken nose, bloodstained forehead and swollen cheek (Jn 18:22); his half-open mouth seems to be about to utter the word LOVE (1Jn 4:8 "God is Love"). The contrasting shades of brown flatten by candlelight so the dark bruises covering his hit face become visible (Jn 19:1-3). His eyes look very intensely upward so we can see the white of the eye under the iris. His pupils are completely open, but in an irregular way.

Prof. D. Vittore from Bari and Prof. G. Fanti from Padua, not only by enlarged digital photographs but also by ultra-violet rays confirm that there is no paint on the Veil.

The expert iconographer B. Paschalis Schlömer evidenced the truth of her assertion by placing both diapositives (of the Holy Face of Manoppello and the Holy Shroud of Turin) one upon another: their transparent data-points fit together perfectly.

Heinrich Pfeiffer, professor of iconography and history of Christian art at the papal Gregorian university, affirms that the Veil was considered also in times past "ảχειροποίητος", i.e. not a human work of art and this sacred Image was the model for the later representations of the Holy Face, included the portraits painted in the Roman catacombs during the IV century. Furthermore, he asserts that Our Lord gave us not only his Word by means of the Holy Scriptures, but also his Image formed in the tomb when a supernatural radiant energy maybe illuminated (1Jn 1:5 "God is light") the "fine linen" soaked in aloes and myrrh, photosensitive "spices" (John 19:39,40), leaving the impression of the immense event, the divine evidence of the Passion, Resurrection and everlasting Glory of the Redeemer (Mt 28:7 - Lu 24:51 - Acts 1:9).

Story of how the Veil Arrived in Mannopello
There are different theories of the exact origin of the veil – some researchers say it is the veil of Veronica, which Veronica (name meaning ‘true image’ or icon) used to wipe the holy face of Jesus on His way to Calvary. Others think that it may be the small burial cloth covering the face of Jesus when He was in the tomb (different from the Shroud of Turin).

In one theory, in which it is said to be the veil of Veronica, it is said that Veronica traveled to Rome to present the cloth to the Roman emperor Tiberius, and that the veil possessed miraculous properties, such as the curing of blindness and even raising the dead. The veil was then later given to the Vatican. In the year 1300, the veil of Veronica was publicly displayed and became one of the "Mirabilia Urbis"' ("wonders of the City") for the pilgrims who visited Rome. Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, a Jesuit priest and professor at the Gregorian University in Rome, argues that the veil was stolen from the Vatican during the rebuilding that took place in 1508.

Regardless of the origin, how did this veil arrive at Monopello? It is said to have been taken to Manoppello by an anonymous pilgrim in 1508, and given to a notable of the place, Dr. Leonelli, who was sitting on a bench in front of a church. It remained in the family nearly a century. It was sold by Marzia Leonelli to Dr. Donato de Fabritiis between the years of 1618-1620. He then gave it to the Capuchins in Manoppello. In 1999, Father Heinrich Pfeiffer, announced that he had found the veil in a church of the Capuchin monastery, in Manoppello, Italy, where it had been since 1660. It is now housed in the Shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello, Italy. Pope Benedict XVI visited the Shrine in September of 2006.

See also:
-Seeing What Peter Saw in the Empty Tomb
-"If We Are United to Christ, We Can Truly Love" - Homily of H.H. Benedict XVI
- Prayer of H.H. Benedict XVI during visit to the Shrine
-Address of Blessed John Paul II on his visit to the Shroud


Return to the main page

This page is the work of the Servants fo the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary
Copyright © 2012 SCTJM