Friday, August 25, 2006

Pope to visit "the Holy Face" shroud in Abruzzo

The Sydney Morning Herald

The shroud of evidence
August 26, 2006

Locals call it 'the Holy Face' but others believe the face is Christ's. The Pope will see for himself next week, writes Desmond O'Grady.

THE brown hair is shoulder-length and a narrow, straggly beard covers the lower part of the oval, asymmetric face. There is a hint of a moustache. A tuft sprouts at the centre of the hairline.

Bruises are visible on either side of the nose and there appears to be other damage to the forehead and an eyebrow. Slightly open lips reveal the teeth, and the eyes are open. The face's biscuity colouring and expression change according to the light thrown on them.

Jesus Christ?

The face certainly makes an impression as you look at it - young, battered - at a church in the foothills of the Abruzzo mountains in Italy. The face, on a piece of fabric measuring 24 centimetres by 17 centimetres, is preserved in a reliquary above and behind the main altar of a church in Manoppello. The town of 5000 is in the foothills of the majestic Maiella massif near the Adriatic coast.

The sacred relic is held within the Sanctuary of the Holy Face in Manoppello.


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