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Articoli e note firmate

FRANCESCO BARBESINO, Cristianità n. 311 (2002)


The Holy Face of Manoppello

(Translation by Raymond Frost, University of San Francisco)


The question regarding the existence of a prototype, whether in the form of an icon or a relic, which inspired the ancient images of Christ, customarily centers around the Shroud of Turin. (1) Thus, every other possibility tends in some way to"disturb" the progress of this now centuries old search for a prototype. This is the case, for example regarding the Holy Face of Manoppello, which is the subject of a book published in the Italian language in the year 2000 by Father Heinrich Pfeiffer, S.J. entitled "Il Volto Santo di Manoppello" (The Holy Face of Manoppello). (2)

Fr. Pfeiffer is a German Jesuit who is well known by all who have studied Christian iconography, a professor of the History of Art at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and director of the Upper level Course on the Cultural Patrimony of the Catholic Church. He is not only the editor of the book, but also a co-author of a great part of the text, beginning with the Editor’s Introduction (p. 13-15) as well as chapters on the "History of the Acheropite" (p.16-23), "The Holy Face of Manoppello" (p. 24-31), "The Two Models for Christ in Art: the Shroud and the Holy Face of Manoppello"(p. 32-40). "The Legends"(p. 66-71), "Hypothesis on the Origins of the Image"(p.72-74), and "Relatione Historica"(p.75-77) . His collaborator is Sr. Blandina Pascalis Schlomer, from the Trappist abbey of Maria Frieden in Dahlem, Germany. Sr. Blandina is the author of the chapter, "The Cloth of the Holy Face of Manoppello and the Holy Shroud of Turin"(p.41-65). Fr. Pfeiffer writes of her "She has given the best description of the Holy Face of Manoppello". The appendix, "Manoppello, its Urban Nucleus and Historical-Artistic Patrimony"(p.86-109) - preceded by the "Index of Names and Places"(p.78-81), is by Professor Adriano Ghisetti Giavarina, Professor of the History of Architecture at the School of Architecture at Pescara. Dr. Giavarina’s chapter describes Manoppello, the village where the relic is preserved, emphasizing its historical and artistic elements, along with accompanying photographs.

The book begins with several short introductory presentations: by the Mayor of Manoppello in the Province of Pescara, Professor Luca Giorgio De Luca, by the Vice Mayor and Representative for Cultural Affairs, Giovanni Terreri, and by the Director of the Center for Cultural Activities - Torre de’Passeri, Doctor Mario d’Eramo. In the Preface the research is praised by Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care. Cardinal Angelini is the founder, together with the Benedictine Reparation Sisters of the Holy Face of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the International Institute for Research on the Holy Face of Christ. In the preface the Cardinal writes "I am convinced that this volume marks an important step in the history of iconography regarding the representation of the Holy Face of Jesus." (p.9). Following the Cardinal’s words, is the Introduction to the book by the Rector of the Shrine where the Holy Face is preserved, Father Germano Di Pietro, O.F.M. Cap. (p. 11-12).

The work concentrates on the relic (3) that is found in Manoppello, a village in the Abruzzi region of Italy, situated among the verdant hills at the foot of Mt. Maiella. In 1620 the Capuchin Friars built a convent just outside the inhabited zone of the town, with a little church dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel. It is here that since 1638 the relic, now grown in fame, has been preserved. The primitive little church has been enlarged, until the middle of the twentieth century when it became the Shrine of the Holy Face (Il Santuario del Volto Santo).

In fact, what beckons so many pilgrims to this shrine is the face of a man impressed on both sides of a cloth which is almost transparent, as if on a photographic slide "... as that of a living person that is found behind the fabric and that looks out from behind this extremely fine material: a person with hair of a marvelous splendor,... that falls in two flowing bands on both sides of the cloth. But even more striking are the eyes which are of an intense whiteness. The expression on the face is gentle, with a hint of a smile." (p. 28)

Nevertheless for an unhurried observer "there is something inexplicable and totally extraordinary. For example the material appears very old, with a rough surface, but from one moment to the next, the same material appears like a very fine and delicate weaving, yet totally transperent, almost shining. In the same way the human face that can be discerned on this material appears at one time with a very intense coloration in the design of the hair and of the other details - we are before an image that appears concise in a profound tonality of gold with flourishing features - and yet we are surprised to see instead a fabric which is white and almost as subtle and passing as a breath."(ibid.) What is more, "if one passes the Cloth against the light, when the light passes directly from behind, through the fabric, the image disappears, almost as if the threads had absorbed the image." (p. 29). It is almost unnecessary to add that not even when it is greatly magnified, is it possible to see any traces of color on the fibers of the fabric. The color can only be observed if one places oneself at a certain angle in relation to the image or if an opaque slate is placed behind it.


1. Hypothesis regarding the travels of the image

The Holy Face or Cloth (Veil) of Manoppello can be determined, with historical certainty, to have been acquired by the Capuchin Friars by 1638. This is revealed by the "Relatione Historica" written by Father Donato di Bomba. This report, written between 1640 and 1646, is certainly legendary regarding the episodes which took place long before the report was written, but not when it speaks of those which are the closest in time to the writing of the report. The actual donation of the Cloth by Doctor Donato Antonio de Fabritiis is confirmed also by a notarized document of 1646.

The "Relatione Historica" describes what can be called the "vulgate" of the acquisition of the Holy Face. One day in 1506 doctor Giacomo Antonio Leonelli was speaking with other noblemen in front of the church of St. Nicola in Manoppello when he was approached by a pilgrim "with an appearance which was pious and very venerable" (p. 76), who invited him to come with him into the church where he gave him a parcel, urging him to treat it with great care. Immediately unwrapping the parcel, there appeared the Holy Face, but the mysterious pilgrim had already disappeared and it was impossible to locate him. Thus the Cloth became the property of the Leonelli family and around 100 years later it formed the dowry for Marzia Leonelli, the bride of a "soldier and man of arms" (p.77). It seems that the brother of the bride was opposed to handing over the relic and that the man of arms took it by force, but that once he had the relic in his possession, he treated it with little care or respect. Later on, in 1618, Marzia in order to secure the release of her husband from prison at Chieti, sold the Cloth to Doctor Donato Antonio de Fabritiis at the cost of 4 scudi. After 1620 he gave the Cloth to the Capuchin Friars who had come to Manoppello at the urging of de Fabritiis himself. The "Relatione Historica" states that, already before the change of hands of the Cloth had been confirmed, the first superior of the Capuchins, Fr. Clemente da Castelvecchio, had trimmed with scissors all the little loose threads from the cloth, while Brother Remigio di Rapino had arranged to enclose the Cloth between two panes of glass, in a walnut frame measuring 24 by 17.5cm.

This story, certainly legendary in part, became one of the elements analized by Fr. Pfeiffer, S.J., to sustain one of the facts that he claims to have verified after years of resarch and that he summarizes thus "The Cloth with its face is none other than the Veil of Veronica from Rome which was believed to have been lost" (p. 13)

Veronica, it is well to remember, was the pious woman who, according to a late medieval legend - very well known in the West, even becoming one of the Stations on the Way of the Cross - had wiped with her veil the face of Jesus during the sorrowful ascent to Calvary. Her name is the late Latin form of the Greek name Berenice; it appears in an apocraphyl writing of the 6th century, the "Acts of Pilate", and she has sometimes been identified with the woman suffering from a hemmorhage whom Jesus cured, of whom the Synoptic Gospels (4) speak. The sweat and flowing blood had miraculously impressed on the cloth the "Vera icona" (True icon) of the Savior. This Face is a historical object certainly present at Rome from the 12th century. Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) promoted the cult, instituting an annual procession and granting indulgences to all who piously would participate in it. Enclosed in a golden frame, the gift of three noblemen from Venice, it was displayed in St. Peter’s during the major feast days and in particular during the Holy Years of 1300 and 1350. These showings were referred to by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) both in Vita Nuova (5) and in Paradiso. (6)

Therefore the Relatione Historica, as happens in regards to many texts based on legends, contains a grain of truth. The mysterious pilgrim that consigned in secret the Veil to Doctor Leonelli, and right away completely disappears from the scene, is in every probability a legendary figure. Fr. Pfeiffer,S.J. maintains that behind the violent acquisition of the relic, brought about by a "man of arms", is hidden a different violent acquisition, not at all legendary, that which happened at St. Peter’s in Rome, or in the nearby archive, carried out by unknown persons at the beginning of the 17th century. It is known that the glass covers of the reliquary which held the Veronica and which dated from 1350 were broken, according to documents, before 1618. These glass covers were two parallel pieces of glass, that undoubtedly enabled the image of the Face of Christ to be seen from both sides of the Cloth. One bit of evidence in favor of this hypothesis concerning a theft of the image is contained in the chips of glass which can be identified on the lower edge of the Holy Face of Manoppello.

There is also iconographic proof: Before 1616 all the copies of the Veronica had, as does the Holy Face, its eyes open, while the few images which have come to us after this date show the eyes closed. Those few in the twentieth century who have been able to examine the cloth preserved in St. Peter’s, in the little chapel which opens up above the statue of Veronica - at the column southwest of the cupola - affirm that it is a square cloth, bright in color, not transparent, on which no features can be made out. (7) This is another element that leads one to think that the original is no longer there. After all, the last public showing dates back to the years 1600-1601. Following that, Pope Paul V (1604-1621) and Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644) prohibited all copies. What is more, in 1629 Pope Urban decreed the destruction of all existing copies.

At this point Fr. Pfeiffer takes a step farther back in time in order to make what he describes, quite correctly, as only a reasonable hypothesis. The hypothesis is this: The veil of Manoppello, alias the roman Veronica, at one time was known in the Roman Empire of the East (Byzantium) as the Image of Camulia. The image that was known as "acheropite" (8), that is, not made by human hands, just as the Veronica, came from the small city of Kamulia, or Kamuliane in Cappadocia. It was brought from Cesarea, capital of the region, to Constantinople in 574. In a short time the Image of Camulia became the "palladium", the protective image of the capital, guaranteeing protection to the city and victory to the imperial army. It is said that the relic was received with enthusiasm in Byzantium to take the place of the "Labarum" of Constantine (280ca. -337) which was lost during the reign of Julian the Apostate (331-363). The characteristics of this older standard of Constantine remain totally unknown. The Image of Camulia was raised up during the battle of Constantina in Africa in 581, also at that of the Arzaman River in 586, and was present in many other battles. The emperor Eraclio (575-641), on his departure for a military campaign in Persia, held in his hand a standard on which was carved the Image of Camulia. And later, in 626 during the attack on Constantinople by the Avars the holy image was displayed on the walls of the city in order to defend it.

One day the image disappeared never to be seen again at Constantinople. It could be that it was destroyed in battle, but the most reasonable hypothesis, supported also by the Jesuit Father, is that it was sent in secret to Rome.

In the Vita of Germano I, Patriarch of Constantinople (715-730), it is narrarated that he saved the Acheropite by throwing it into the sea. Miraculously the image reached the shore of Ostia, where it was pulled from the water and brought to Rome. Despite the legendary aspect of the narraration, there are other documents which seem to confirm the substance of what happened, namely the sending of the relic to Rome. (9)

Fr. Pfeiffer, S.J. places the date of this transfer in the years that run between the first and the second reign of Justinian (679 ca. -711), from 695 to 705, but in my opinion that could have happened at least ten or twenty years later. (10)

Naturally the Image of Camulia, now safe in Rome, remained the property of the Patriarch of Constantinople and could not thus become the protector of a city where it had been sent only temporarily, with the understanding that it would be restored whenever the persecution against images would cease. The author correctly notes that the Image of Camulia - Veronica was publicly shown only after the definitive decline of the power of Byzantium, that is after the fall of Constantinople in 1204. (11)

But where was the image preserved for the almost five centuries before it began to be publicly shown? To this question the author attempts to give a reasonable reply. From ancient times it is known that in the Oratory of San Lorenzo, known as the Sancta Sanctorum, situated in the Lateran Palace, an image of the Savior was venerated. This image, that was claimed "not to have been made by human hands", was the Palladium of Rome. Today it is a panel of silver laminate, upon which appears a face with large eyes, a beard and subtle moustache, surrounded by a halo inserted in an octagonal shape. For centuries it was impossible to conduct an accurate study on it, and only in 1907 did Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914) allow this exceptional privilege to Monsignor Joseph Wilpert (1857-1944), an archeologist of noted fame. (12) Monsignor Wilpert determined traces of three successive restorations. The restoration which most interests us is that undertaken during the pontificate of Pope Alexander III (1159-1181), and consists in the application, under the laminated panel, of a painted silk veil, which has become extremely damaged over time.

On the basis of this evidence, Fr. Pfeiffer, S.J. puts forth the hypothesis that the painted veil applied above the original image by a totally unknown process, could indicate that in the past another Veil, that of the Image of Camulia, was venerated in the Sancta Sanctorum, perhaps hidden by a metallic masque. When the Image of Camulia was finally able to be shown publicly, a copy of the Acheropite was placed over the original icon, while the Image itself was definitively transferred under the title of Veronica to St. Peter’s, where it remained until its theft at the beginning of the seventeenth century. (13)


2. The original models for the face of Christ

According to the Jesuit father the only archetypes which were the models, both in the East and the West, for the images of Christ dating from the first centuries of the Christian era, are the only two Acheropite which are still with us: The Shroud of Turin and the Holy Face of Manoppello. Despite the fact that the iconography of the face of the Savior has developed with the passing of the centuries, it has remained substantially faithful to a classic type, that can be recognized on the basis of numerous particular characteristics, or tell-tale elements, that are always present, at least in part, in all artistic representations. It is useful to underline that, contrary to pagan idols or images of Buddha, these representations always are of a asymmetrical and personal face.

These elements bring one invariably to either or both relics, while at the same time give witness that that they existed and were known at least from the fourth century.

The Shroud gives more evidence to the bone structure while the Holy Face, more spherical, underlines the vital aspects, in particular the eyes.

Where one can suppose a more direct connection with the Shroud, for example with the Mandylion or Image of Edessa (14), the iconographic characteristics of the Cloth of Turin are prevalent. This is the case, for example, with the mosaics of Christ the Pantocrator in Constantinople and other areas permeated by byzantine culture, while in cases where one can suppose a direct connection with the Roman Veronica, as for the Flemish art of the 1400’s, there prevails the latter influence.

Nevertheless there are numerous cases in which this simple outline can not be followed: according to the author in the roman catacombs and in the mosaics of Saint Apollinarius Novus, dating from 520, the eyes of Christ are those of the Veil of Manoppello, that at the epoch had not yet reached Italy. On the other hand, if the tell tale signs belonging to the two Acheropite recognizable in the same image or one of these comes into the area where, for geographical and historical reasons it would be tempting to exclude its influence, the indisputable iconographic connections open up more problems than it is possible to resolve given the actual state of what is known. Fr. Pfeiffer, S.J. raises some difficult questions: "Were there, already towards the end of the fourth century, drawings which followed the model of the Holy Face that today is venerated at Manopello?" (p.38)) As the Jesuit father records (15), St. Irenaeus of Lyon (130 ca. -200) recounts in his work "Against Heresies" (16), the followers of the Egyptian Gnostic heretic Carpocrates (2nd century), possessed and venerated images of Christ "...some painted images, others made of other material"(17), made according to the model executed by Pontius Pilate "during the time in which Jesus was among men"(18). "Were these drawing done at Rome? Were the two models, the Shroud and the Veil, still together at this time? Were the two models together but materially separated one from the other, or did they form one unit, with one piece of material placed on top of the other?" Legitimate questions that however bring us to another class of problems upon which already rivers of ink have been poured without a coherent interpretation of the various experimental, historical and exigetical investigations which have been undertaken. What kind and how many were the burial cloths which were used for Jesus’ burial; how and when were they utilized, and in what arrangement were they placed on the dead body, and finally, who were the first to possess these relics and what route did the relics travel as the centuries unfolded?


3. Holy Face and Icon of the Face of Christ

At this point of the iconographic analysis Fr. Pfeiffer, S.J. is replaced by Sister Schlomer, O.S.C.O. As she herself recounts, some years ago, while recovering in the Infirmary of the Abbey, she was in some way constrained to look at the only object, other than the Crucifix, which hung on the walls of her room: the reproduction of a Face of Christ preserved in the Museum of Icons in Recklinghausen, Germany. While trying to reproduce it, she began to familiarize herself with the characteristic features of that Face. After this she came to deepen her knowledge of icons and of their painting technique, until she herself became a painter of icons and to discover, to her surprise, the presence of some characteristic elements that were common to the Faces of Christ observable in churches and museums, realized over a wide range of centuries.

All these observations inevitably brought her to search for a prototype. The Trappist Religious looked to the East, to the Holy Shroud, the image that was most dear to her heart; despite having known the Jesuit father, who had spoken of the Roman Veronica preserved at Manoppello. At first she was not interested in it. Finally she decided that it was not up to her to reject off-hand a venerable image just because the bodily features were not those which she would have wanted. Thus, after a prolonged observation, she is able to locate on the Veil of Manoppello many characteristics features or tell-tale elements, present in all the ancient icons of Christ.

Her work analyzes six examples of famous images arranged in chronological order according to the historical dating attributed to them, from the relatively more recent to the most ancient. They go from "The resurrected" from the altar of Vyssi Brod, preserved in the National Gallery of Prague in the Czech Republic dating from 1350 to the Christ the Pantocrator in the apse of the Church of St. Prudenziana in Rome, which dates from the end of the 4th century. The images found in the text show the Face of Christ and, next to it, the same image with the Veil placed on top of it (19), from the front or the back.

Looking at these tremendous riproductions it is above all necessary to remember the ancient saying, "contra factum non est argumentum". (Against a fact there is no argument) In fact, my eyes were quickly drawn to the extremely close similarity between the Face of Manoppello and that of the icons under consideration, even if some of the iconographic elements are those of the Holy Shroud.

This result should be sufficient to justify a greater attention to the Veil of Manoppello (20) and to Sister Schlomer, O.S.C.O.’s research, by those who are experts in the study of the Shroud.


4. The Holy Face and the Shroud

If, as often happens, in the same work of art some elements proper to the Holy Shroud appear contemporarily with other elements typical of the Face of Manoppello, it is still true that in the past the Face of the Shroud was not able to be seen, even today we know it through its photographic negative, with an exceptional richness of details. How would it have been possible to reproduce some of the very delicate features of the Face, if the image impressed on the Veil had not been known? Even so, tradition, even that expressed in legendary accounts, has never associated the two relics. These are the questions raised by Sr. Schlomer, O.S.C.O.

At first sight the two Faces seems to exclude each other. To an image with shadowy outlines is contrasted one which is almost photographic. On one image there are shadowy colors, while on the other, one finds strong colors. The majestic face, solemn even in death, is transformed into a common human face whose beauty flowers only if one observes it at length with patience. Nevertheless, taking the negative of the Shroud, following the first photography taken by Giuseppe Enrie (1888-1961) in 1931 (21), and superimposing it on the anterior side of the Veil, a good ten points of congruence can be found. The Trappist religious furnishes in the text many details to arrive at this superimposition.

On the other hand an immediate proof of this substantial similarity is found if one observes that some celebrated icons - for example that of Christ in the Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai,- are superimposed almost perfectly both to the Shroud and to the Holy Face.

Another note. In other writings of Sr. Schlomer, O.S.C.O. I find a statement that, in my opinion, stretches in an inappropriate way the objective correspondence verified between the two faces: "I understood that the Shroud should be seen differently: the eyes are not closed and also the teeth are seen as in the Veil of Manoppello." (22) I limit myself to the eyes. One concedes that the left eye is partially open which permits us to catch a glimpse of the pupil, because the circular shape of the bulge that one sees at the center of the right eye has fallen, in this case, on the eyebrow. (23) Nevertheless, that the right eye is closed, or that a button or a coin has been placed over the eyelid has been proven with certainty (24), and this can not be ignored.

Naturally this criticism takes nothing away from the highly rewarding research of Sr. Schlomer, O.S.C.O. which is rich in its results. Even less does it take away from the work compiled and edited by Fr. Pfeiffer, S.J., an example above all for its logical foundation and its conciseness, and so it can be recommended not only to those who are experts in this field but also to those who want to know one of the lesser known and most mysterious relics of Christianity.

Francesco Barbesino


(1) Cf., Bollone, Pierluigi Baima, Sindone. 101 Domande e Risposte , Edizioni San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo (Milano) 2000; Zaccone, Gian Maria and Barberis, Bruno (co-editors), Sindone, Cento Anni di Ricerca, Centro Internazionale di Sindonologia e Poligrafico Zecca dello Stato, Torino, 1998.

(2) Cf., Pfeiffer, S. J. , Heinrich (editor), Il Volto Santo di Manoppello, CARSA, Pescara, 2000. All the citations from this work are inserted in the text in parentheses.

(3) On the use of the term "relic" and on related questions, cfr. H. Pfeiffer, S.J., "Teologia della reliquia", in Il Telo, Giornale Italiano di Sindonologia, anno II, n. 4, Roma, pp. 18-21.

(4) Cf., Di Blasio, Tiziana Maria, Veronica, Il Mistero del Volto. Itinerari iconografici, memoria e rappresentazione, Citta’ Nuova, Roma, 2000, pp. 14-19.

(5) Cf., Alighieri, Dante, Vita Nuova, XL.

(6) Cf., Alighieri, Dante, La Divina Commedia, Paradiso, canto XXXI, VV. 103-108.

(7) Cf., Wilson, Ian, "La Veronica e la Sindone", in Il Telo, Rivista di Sindonologia, anno I, n. 1, Roma, gennaio-aprile 2000, pp. 14-16.

(8) Regarding the Greek term acheiropoieton "not made by human hands", cf. Mk. 14:58, in which some witnesses report the affirmation of Jesus "I will destroy this temple made by human hands (cheiropoieton) and in three days I will build another not made by human hands (acheiropoieton).

(9) The same information, stripped of its legendary characteristics, is furnished by the byzantine chronicler Giorgio Monaco, called Amartolo, "the sinner", in his Chronikon published in 842. In this document it states that Saint Germano I, patriarch of Constantinople (died 733), exiled by the Emperor Leo III Isaurico (717-741) for his firm opposition to the iconoclasts, carried the relic with him into exile and later sent it to Rome to Pope St. Gregory II (715-731). These facts are related also in some Greek codices of the Vatican dating from the 11th century, copies of a document which is judged to be not more than 130 years removed from the events narrarated: cf. Zaninotto, "Acheropita del Ss. Salvatore nel Sancta Sanctorum del Laterano", in Coppini, Lamberto e Cavazzuti, Francesco (editors), Le icone di Cristo e la Sindone. Un modello per l’arte cristiana, San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo (Milano) 2000, pp. 164-180.

(10) The disagreement on this point, certainly marginal, is based on several considerations: a. Justininan II, also during his second reign remained perfectly orthodox. The solidi, coins which he had made, present the face of Christ, even if they were different from the model taken from the Shroud which came from his first reign, that were copied in later centuries, present a Face of a Syrian-Palestinian type which numismatists [cf. Breckenridge, James D., The Numismatic Iconography Justinian II (685-695, 705-711 A.D.) The American Numismatic Society, New York, 1959, p. 98-99] retain may have taken their inspiration from the Camulia; in particular, differing from other gold coins, the pupils of the eyes are clearly seen. b. After Justinian II the first iconoclast emperor was Leo III Isaurico, but even he openly pronounced himself against images only in 727 and was deposed by St. Germano I nel 730. The date of 705 is nevertheless supported, not only by Fr. Pfeiffer, S.J. but also by other authors because the oratory in St. Peter’s was of Pope John VII (705-707) and later came to be called the Oratory of St. Mary of the Veronica, and it was rumored that the same Pope had placed the precious relic there.

Cf. for example, Gregorovius, Ferdinand (1821-1891), Storia della citta’ di Roma nel Medioevo, 1859-1872, italian translation, new version edited by Trompeo, Gherardo, Gherardo Casini Editore, s.i.l. 1988, vol. II, pp. 225-229.

(11) To tell the truth in "Liber Pontificalis" and "Gestae" and "Vitae pontificum romanorum" the Acheropite, the palladium, was carried in procession by Pope Stephen II (752-757) from the Lateran to the Basilica of Santa Mara ad Presepe when, in 753, the Lombard king Astolfo (died 756) threatened to destroy the city; but it also says that the Pontiff "carried the image on his shoulders" and this particular would lead us to exclude that it referred to something made of cloth. cf. G. Zaninotto, op. cit., pp. 168, nota 274.

(12) Cf. ibid, pp. 172-172.

(13) Zaninotto shares the following hypothesis: " For a certain period the Lateran panel and the Camulia shared the same location: the oratory of San Lorenzo. Due to its influence the panel assumed the name of Acheropite and served as the palladium of Rome." (op. cit., p. 179); he also cites in a footnote the English writer Gervasio di Tilbury (12th to 13th centuries) who, in a passage of his "Otia imperialia" , a work written at the beginning of the 13th century for Otto IV of Brunswick (1175 ca. -1218), notes an evident similarity between the face of Christ of Veronica, preserved in St. Peter’s and the painted panel that is found in the oratory of San Lorenzo (ibidem).

(14) From the context it seems that Fr. Pfeiffer, S.J. shares without objections the hypothesis, moreover highly probable, developed in a particular way by the studies of Zaninotto and Wilson, of the identity between the Acheropita preserved until 994 at Edessa and then transferred as the Mandylion to Constantinople, and the Shroud of Turin.

(15) Cf. H. Pfeiffer, S.J., "Dai Carpocraziani alla Sindone", in Il Telo, Rivista di Sindonologia, anno II, n. 4, Roma, gennaio-aprile 2001, pp. 4-7.

(16) Cf. Irenaeus of Lyno, "Contro le eresie", I, 25, 6 in idem, Contro le eresie e gli altri scritti, edited by don Enzo bellini (1935-1981) and the new edition of George Maschio, Jaca Book, Milano 1997, pp. 45-483 (p. 105).

(17) Ibidem.

(18) Ibidem.

(19) This superimposition is lacking only for the Image of Edessa at Geneva and the Icon of Christ in the Vatican, at the Sacristy of the Matilde chapel, both from the 12th century, for which the correspondence with the Holy Face of Manoppello is not perfect. To compensate for this, in the text the Icon of Recklinghausen appears along with the Veil superimposed.

(20) Cf. Bollone, P. Baima, Sindone o no, Societa’ Editrice Internazionale, Torino, 1990, p. 168.

(21) For example, Enrico Morini simply affirms in "Icone e Sindone" - a text moreover quite good - in L. Coppini and F. Cavazzuti (Editors), op. cit. pp. 17-34 " On the other hand , I do not take into consideration the Holy Face of Manoppello, from its evident post renaissance painting characteristics". (p. 31, nota 38).

(22) Sr. Blandine Paschalis Schlomer, O.S.C.O., "Penuel. Il Volto del Signore", in Il Telo. Rivista di Sindonologia, anno I, n. 1, Roma gennaio-april 2000, p. 34.

(23) Moroni, Mario and Barbesino, Francesco: "Le monete di Pilato ed i decalchi sugli occhi dell’Uomo della Sindone: ricerche numismatiche, prove sperimentali e nuovi riscontri", in Il Telo. Rivista di Sindonologia, anno II, n. 4, Roma gennaio-aprile 2001, pp. 30-36, paper presented at the first South American Congress regarding the Holy Shroud held at Rio de Janeiro from Sept. 2-4, 1999.

(24) Cf. what has been verified by the researchers in the United States from the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), who have explored the eye-sockets of the Holy Shroud using electronic means, and the later confirmations obtained by italian researchers Giovanni Tamburelli and Nello Balossino from the University of Torino. cf. Balossino, Nello, Computer processing of the body image, in Scannerini, Silvano and Savarino, Pietro (editors), The Turin Shroud, past, present and future, International Scientific Symposium, Torino, 2. -5. March 2000 , Sindo-Effatà Editrice, Torino-Cantalupa (Torino) 2000, pp. 111-124.

il Volto Santo di Manoppello