The horrific 1915 earthquake that leveled tiny Manoppello, Italy, brought forth from the local church’s rubble one of Christendom’s long-lost, but most precious relics: the small cloth that lay on Jesus’s face in the tomb.
Saint John speaks of it in his Gospel: “When Peter went into the tomb, he saw linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself.” Tradition says that Our Lady herself laid this cloth on His face before He was wrapped in His shroud for burial.
This small veil — now known as the Holy Face of Manoppello — absorbed the very first new breath of the Risen Christ . . . and at that same instant had imprinted on itself, miraculously, a vivid image of the now-resurrected Jesus.
Modern scholars have confirmed that this image corresponds perfectly in all its measurements to the face of the dead Christ on the more famous Shroud of Turin.
Unlike the Shroud, however, the Holy Face of Manoppello shows not the grim visage of a dead man with eyes closed, but the lively face of the living Christ, His eyes wide open, piercing us with their gaze.
In 2006, Pope Benedict made a pilgrimage to Manoppello to pray before this image. In the decade since then, tens of thousands of other pilgrims have followed in the Pope’s footsteps, making the trek to central Italy to meet Jesus face-to-face.
Now, thanks to author Paul Badde you can learn of the loss and recovery of this precious relic. Better yet, by means of the dozens of color pictures in this book, you, too, can encounter this miraculous cloth, and finally gaze reverently on the face of the living Christ Himself!
By Paul Badde
Paperback. 112 pages
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