Manoppello Holy Face
The precious veil was kept in the family for over a century, until it was included in the nuptial gifts for Marzia Leonelli. But the gift was never delivered so that in 1608 Marzia's husband, Pancrazio Petrucci, stole it from his father-in-law's house. Later on, in order to have her husband released from prison in Chieti, Marzia sold the veil to Dr Donato Antonio De Fabritiis who placed the relic between two glasses and presented it to the capucine convent in 1638.
In 1646 the Holy face was offered to public cult in the hurch of San Michele Arcangelo, but was still preserved in private quarters for another forty years. In 1686, when the lythurgical feast of the transfiguration was established on 6 August, the Volto Santo was moved to a chapel inside the church.
The Volto Santo of Manoppello has the same features described for the Camulia image: it is completely transparent and the image almost disappears if placed against the sky light; surely the image is not painted or woven. It is likely that the Camulia image was then transported to Rome. As a matter of fact, in 753 a procession was recorded with Pope Stephen II carrying an "Acheropsita", that is an icon on which a painted veil was placed, known at the time as the Holy Face of the Sancta Sanctorum Chapel in the Popes' Palace in Laterano; it was very likely the Holy Face now in Manoppello.
With the decline of the Eastern Roman Empire (which ended in 1456 A.D.), the Veil was detached from the Icon and its veneration was established by Pope Innocenzo III, who called it "Veronica" (meaning True Image). From the Chapel in St, Peters, Rome, the Volto Santo then came to Manoppello, along unknown routes.
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