The Volto Santo is a depiction of the face of Jesus kept in Manoppello, in the Basilica of the Holy Face. Is it one of the best known and most important Christian relics? In fact, according to some studies, the Sacred Face of Manoppello coincides with the Veil of Veronica. It is currently kept inside the Basilica of the Holy Face, in the small town of Manoppello, in the province of Pescara.
The relic consists of a thin veil in which a male face is depicted characterized by long hair and a beard that studies trace back to the characteristics of Christ. Precisely for this reason he is called Volto Santo.
What does history tell us?
This relic of unknown origin arrived in Manoppello in 1506, brought by an unknown pilgrim. The person then disappeared without a trace immediately after handing the Veil to the doctor Giacomo Antonio Leonelli.
A story, partly legendary, by Father Donato di Bomba, the Relatione Historica, confirmed by a notarial deed of 1646, for the donation of the Veil to the Capuchin fathers by Doctor Antonio de Fabritiis, narrates that in 1506 the Veil was left in gift from a stranger to Dr. Giacomo Antonio Leonelli.
His family kept it until Marzia Leonelli sold it to Donato Antonio de Fabritiis. The new owner immediately thought of giving a more convenient arrangement to the Veil, now in poor condition, therefore he asked Father Clemente da Castelvecchio to entrust the arrangement of the Veil to the art of friar Remigio da Rapino.
He worked the walnut frame and prepared the two glasses that still enclose the image today. However, Father Clemente would have eliminated, around the Face, all the rest of the canvas which had the proportion of a tablecloth, which could have constituted a clue to establish the place of origin.
Once the conservation problem had been resolved, De Fabritiis went to the Capuchin fathers in 1638 who inserted the relic into their church. In 1703 the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord began to be the proper feast of the Holy Face.
Volto Santo and Holy Shroud?
Furthermore, according to studies and investigations conducted by Sister Blandina Paschalis Schloemer it would seem that the Holy Face of Manoppello can also be superimposed on that of the Holy Shroud. To be able to admire the Holy Face up close, visit the Basilica of Manoppello, where it is kept.
Photo by RaBoe/Wikipedia secondo la licenza Wikipedia
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