MANOPPELLO, Italy (CNS): All Christians should be on a never-ending search for Christ, who can be seen in the faces of all people, especially the poor and needy, Pope Benedict XVI said.
To be drawn and transformed by the splendour of Jesus’ face is to live in God’s presence on earth, the Pope said during a brief visit on September 1 to the Sanctuary of the Holy Face in Manoppello, about 200 km east of Rome.
Some scholars believe the sanctuary houses “Veronica’s Veil”, the cloth used by Veronica to wipe Christ’s face prior to his crucifixion and which, according to tradition, now contains the image of Christ’s face.
The man on the veil has a beard and long hair, his eyes are open, and his lips are parted as if he were ready to say something.
Legend says Veronica, who wiped Christ’s face along the road to Calvary, later went to Rome to leave the relic with St Clement.
The 17cm by 24cm veil is transparent like a colour slide.
How the brown image appeared on the veil is still considered a mystery.