‘News & Events’
May the light of the Holy Face of Jesus shine upon us!
In view of the coming Papal Visit in 2015, the 38th ANNUAL NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE CRUSADERS OF THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS will be held on JANUARY 20, 2015 with the theme “Jesus, the Holy Face of Mercy and Compassion for the Poor and the Afflicted”. It was a decision made by the National Council so that the Crusaders from provinces could have the opportunity to attend the Holy Mass of our beloved Pope Francis I at Luneta on January 18, 2015.
The venue of the Convention is at San Andres Sports Complex in San Andres Street, Malate, Manila (back of Our Lady of Remedies Parish Church – Malate Church).
Due to the proximity of the date of the Convention, it is requested that the registration regarding attendance be communicated as soon as possible (on or before December 31, 2014).
Contacts for your registration or additional inquiries:
Sis. Aurora P. Llames
0917-5230801; (02) 9216787
Sis. Rosie Escribano
Mo. Ma. Teresita P. Bantillo, HFJ
The Mother Mary Therese Vicente Pastoral Foundation (MMTVPF), the foundation which was launched by our Congregation on June 13, 2013, will celebrate its 1st Year Anniversary on March 12, 2014, Wednesday. We will have a thanksgiving Mass, to be presided by Rev. Fr. Erick Santos, at four o’clock in the afternoon (4:00 p.m.) to be followed by the blessing of the Foundation’s office at the Holy Face of Jesus Center & Convent, Quiapo, Manila.
This foundation which was named in honor of the late Mo. Mary Therese, our foundress, envisions of becoming a pastoral institution that will serve the holistic formation, development and renewal of the poor and the ‘faceless of the society so that they can be led to an experience of fullness of life.
To know more about this foundation visit mmtvpf page. God Bless!
FILIPINO CATHOLIC LAITY: CALLED TO BE SAINTS, SENT FORTH AS HEROES!
Our dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
You already know surely that this coming 2021 we shall be celebrating the 500th year of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines. For in 1521, Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines, and in Cebu, he, a lay person, catechized King Humabon of Cebu, his wife and their people. The king and his queen were subsequently baptized together with their followers. It was on this occasion that the queen, newly given the baptismal name of Juana was gifted by Magellan with a statue of the Santo Niño, which was later found in 1565 by soldiers of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, and is now preserved in the Basilica of the Santo Niño in Cebu.
In preparation for the celebration of this providential event of the first arrival of Christianity in our shores, the Church in the Philippines has planned nine years of intensive evangelization, with a theme for every year. For the year 2013, we celebrated the Year of Faith provided by then Pope Benedict XVI. The Year 2014 will be the YEAR OF THE LAITY.
Our Situation: the Gospel of Joy
If we were given an opportunity to describe the situation of the Catholic laity in the Philippines, it would be the paradox of poverty and abundance. The devastation that typhoon Yolanda brought upon our brothers and sisters in Samar and Leyte has created surges of pain and anguish all over our land and even beyond our shores. The typhoon left us dazed and lost groping in the dark for answers and explanation. Poor as we are, this pauper among the nations of the earth hides two jewels in her rags. One of them is our music. Our other treasure is our faith. As long as there remains in these islands one mother to sing Nena’s lullaby, one priest to stand at the altar and offer God to God, this nation may be conquered, trampled upon, enslaved but it cannot perish. Like the sun that dies every evening, it will rise again from the dead–Horacio de la Costa, SJ.
The first and most important truth about you Filipino Catholic laity is not poverty but the greatness of your dignity. This dignity derives from God’s unmerited choice of you to belong to God’s holy people. God called you in Christ to be united to his Son. When you were baptized, the Holy Spirit united you with our Lord Jesus the Son of God, and thus you became true sons and daughters of God, partakers of the divine nature. There is no greater dignity on earth or in heaven than that of being adopted children of God, and being made truly his children, and thus co-heirs to eternal life with Jesus Christ. This dignity flows from the love of God, and made the author of 1 John exclaim, “Behold, what manner of love God has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God, and that is what we are. Beloved we are already the children of God but it has not yet appeared what we shall be, because when we see him, we shall become as he is.” This is what also made St. Leo the Great exclaim, Recognize your dignity, O Christian . . .” That grace came to you with your baptism which is a true rebirth to eternal life.
The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. (Evangelii Gaudium, 1)
When you were united to Christ by the Spirit at baptism, you were also incorporated into the body of Christ, which is the Church, and you became members of the people of God.. Your membership in the Church is a full membership. You belong to the Church as much as any pope, bishop, priest, or religious does. You are not second class members of the people of God. When you live the life of grace, you are full citizens of God’s kingdom on earth. In fact, the Church teaches that “the greatest in the kingdom of God are not the ministers but the saints”.
When you were joined to Christ by the Spirit at baptism, you also became sharers of the threefold mission of Christ teacher, priest and servant. You were baptized not only to share in Christ’s dignity as Son of God, but also to share in his mission for the salvation of the world.
You share in Christ’s dignity and mission with all others who are likewise united to him by the Holy Spirit. In uniting you to him, Christ also united you to all those who are united with him. With all those who are united to Christ by faith and baptism, you form one body of Christ, whose head is no less than Christ himself. Thus the whole body manifests and prolongs Christ’s life and mission in the world.
You, our dear lay faithful, have as your particular mission the sanctification and transformation of the world from within. In fact, many of you are called by the Lord to do service in the Church and for the Church. Such is the case of lay liturgical ministers and catechists, for example, who perform an indispensable service in the Church community and its institutions. Such also is the case of lay people who are asked to participate in the administration of Church property and works.
Yet, your own specific task, and the special responsibility given to you by the Lord is to find your own sanctification in the world, and to sanctify the world and transform it so that this world becomes more and more God’s world, God’s kingdom, where his will is done as sit is in heaven. You are called by Jesus to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The Lord Jesus told his disciples to preach the Gospel to every creature, and to make all nations his disciples. This command to the whole Church falls especially on you, who are in the world.
As Pope Francis has been repeatedly telling Catholics, you must go into the world of the family, of business, of economics, of politics, of education, of the mass media and the social media, to every human endeavour where the future of humanity and the world are at stake and to make a difference, the difference that the Gospel and the grace of Christ bring to human affairs.
Our Situation: The Challenge of the Gospel
When we look at our Philippine world with the eyes of faith, there are several areas of special concern which you, our lay faithful should direct your attention and action to.
Pope Francis calls our attention to “the great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ. (Evangelii Gaudium, 2).
Poverty is a social and spiritual problem in our country. A great percentage of our people live below the poverty line. They do not even have the necessities for decent human living. It is estimated that twelve million of our people have gone to foreign countries in their search for adequate income to support their families’ needs. While this has brought many material advantages, it has also resulted in great harm to family life. And many of our overseas Filipino workers work in conditions of servitude and are often submitted to humiliations. A still a vast number of our people are without work, and many are forced to live in slum areas and in miserable situations. A vast number of our children are unable to go to school, and those who do go get sub-standard education in poorly equipped schools. Many have been driven by poverty to cater to the lusts of human predators.
Though there have been significant economic gains, the same percentage of our people have remained mired in poverty over the past several years. The wealth of our country has remained woefully mal distributed. This endemic poverty is gravely contrary to the will of God. You, my dear lay faithful are in the best position to creatively work our solutions which will satisfy the demands of justice and charity. What are you doing to create wealth, to preserve wealth, and to share wealth? Do the more prosperous among you feel the sufferings of our poor brothers and sisters, and do you think of ways and means to help alleviate their poverty, and help them towards prosperity?
The second is the problem of politics. We say “problem of politics” because, as we have repeatedly pointed out, politics as it is practiced in our country is perhaps the single biggest obstacle to our integral development as a nation. Politics as presently practiced, and as it has been practiced for a long time, is riddled with graft and corruption.
Our elections are notoriously noted for their violence and vote-buying and for the lack of proper discernment in the choice of candidates. Recent developments have highlighted the corruption connected with the pork barrel which those in power are loath to give up despite their blatant misuse for political patronage. It is now clear that our people are poor because our leaders have kept them poor by their greed for money and power. What are you doing to help get worthy people to positions of authority and power? What are you doing to get rid of the politics of patronage, violence and uneducated choices? What are you doing, our dear lay faithful to rid our country of graft and corruption? Do you perhaps participate in corrupt practices by selling your votes, by buying votes, by bribery and acceptance of kickbacks?
Business and Commerce
Corruption in politics is paralleled and strengthened by corruption in business. We know that our tax collecting agencies are notorious for their extortionary practices. Corrupt tax collectors of course imply business people who cooperate in their corrupt activities either to survive in business or to reap bigger profits. It is also known that too many of our tax payers do not pay the correct taxes, while the taxes that are collected are often misspent in over-priced or ghost projects. Corruption in business leads to the further impoverishment of the poor and the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor.
Greed and Selfishness
While poverty and corruption are real and great evils; we must search for their causes. Our culture has been contaminated by the twofold greed for money and power that has characterized much of the modern world. In our consumerist and materialistic society, people are valued according to what they have.
Pope Francis says “Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “throw away” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”. (Evangelii Gaudium, 53)
The greed for power is the twin brother of greed for money. Those who have money easily get into power, and when they are in power, they can protect and increase their acquisitions. In our country, winning a government position is often the passport to affluence. Politics in the Philippines is a business proposition.
The first casualty of such greed for money and power is the truth. To get money and power, to keep money and power, to increase their money and power, people have recourse to lies and cheating. The truth is easily disregarded and sacrificed. This is true also in the mass media where what is sought after and broadcast is not so much what is true but what is news; the competition among the networks and the printed media is not so much for accuracy in reporting but for ratings which attract more money and build up greater power.
Common Good is Ignored
The second casualty is the common good. The sense and responsibility for the common good is sadly wanting in our country. The culture of greed for money and power caters to the selfish interests of individuals, families and economic and political groups. Our families which are characterized by an admirable closeness are also characterized by a closedness that is unmindful of the common good. This being closed to the common good is especially evident in our politics where political dynasties are nurtured and people vote with little consideration for the impact on the country of their votes. But even our mass media are often tools of vested interests rather than instruments for the promotion of the common good. In business, in politics, in the entertainment business, in media, profit almost always has priority over service despite protestations to the contrary.
Pope Francis warns us “Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us. (Evangelii Gaudium, 54).
Challenge and Mission
The renewal of our country thus demands of us all, and especially of you, our lay faithful, a return to truthfulness and the fostering of the sense of the common good. A society that is not founded on truth cannot stand, because a society not founded on truth is either founded on lies or deceit which can provide no stable basis for human relationships and a stable social order. Thus, we must obey the biblical injunction “to do the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15 ). We must seek the truth, speak the truth, do the truth. This means that we must seek what is right, speak what is right, and do what is right; and to do so “in love”, that is, in solidarity with and service of others.
Know the Faith
My dear lay faithful, the greatest challenge for you is to know the content of our faith, and to bear witness to your faith by a life of faith. We wrote to you a few months ago praising your simple but deep faith. Yet we had to point out to you two main deficiencies of the faith of our people: first, that the faith of many is uninstructed and, more importantly that this faith has been separated from life.
So many of our people do not even know the fundamentals of our faith! They thus become very vulnerable to the seductions of other religious groups who find them easy targets of their recruitment efforts. Many of our Catholics cannot even answer attacks on basic Catholic doctrines like the divinity of Christ, the Eucharist, the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the veneration of images.
Live the Faith
We echo the challenge of Pope Francis “We want to challenge “the baptized whose lives do not reflect the demands of Baptism”, who lack a meaningful relationship to the Church and no longer experience the consolation born of faith. The Church, in her maternal concern, tries to help them experience a conversion which will restore the joy of faith to their hearts and inspire a commitment to the Gospel. (Evangelii Gaudium, 15)
Thus we urge you to promote a continuing education towards maturity of faith among our people, starting with our Christian families. But even more importantly, we ask you to make your faith bear on your day to day decisions and activities. It is only an integral faith, a faith that believes, a faith that worships, and a faith that works in love (Gal. 5: 6), that will serve as God’s way “to make all things new” in our beloved country.
Communities of Faith
Since the corruption in business and in politics that we must fight against is systemic, we your pastors, urge you to unite in groups which through prayer, discernment and concerted action will renew the social and political fabric of our country. Individual goodness is not sufficient anymore. The good individual will only be swallowed up by the evil system. While individual witness is important, it is in unity that good Christian people will get their strength and attain victory.
To sustain and strengthen you in your efforts, we urge you to read the BIBLE, God’s written word. Read it not only to study it but pray with it. When read prayerfully, the Bible will nourish your life. It will be a lamp to guide you in your journey. It will help you resist temptations; it will help you to know and follow Jesus, our Lord.
Second, we urge you to have recourse to the SACRAMENTS. Value your baptism and prepare well for the baptism of your children. Let parents take seriously the responsibility they undertook at baptism to raise up their children as good Christians.
Christian marriage should be valued not only as a beautiful and solemn ceremony but as a welcoming of Christ into the life of the couple and their future family. Hence, it must be adequately prepared for by pre-marital instructions. Christian married couples should see their marriage as a public commissioning by Christ to serve and protect life and married love itself.
We ask you to have recourse especially to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. The Eucharist, participated in actively in faith, is the source of Christian life and strength. It is the bread of life and of martyrs. The Sacrament of Reconciliation, on the other hand, will help us heal our moral wounds and give us the grace to fight sin in ourselves and in society.
A Church which “goes forth” is a Church whose doors are open. Going out to others in order to reach the fringes of humanity does not mean rushing out aimlessly into the world. Often it is better simply to slow down, to put aside our eagerness in order to see and listen to others, to stop rushing from one thing to another and to remain with someone who has faltered along the way. At times we have to be like the father of the prodigal son, who always keeps his door open so that when the son returns, he can readily pass through it. (EG, 45)
And finally, we ask you to stand up for Jesus not only in religious activities but in your private and public life. Speak up for Jesus and his Church in public discussions. Do not be afraid to be identified as Catholic Christians. You have been called to be saints; you are sent forth as heroes. Take courage. Choose to be brave!
May the example of our two lay Filipino saints Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod be your inspiration for the coming year!
May the Jesus and his Mother be with you and with us all, and make us, a “pueblo amante de Maria” also truly the land of Jesus in Asia.
For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines,
(SGD) +SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS, D.D.
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
CBCP President December 1, 2013, First Sunday of Advent
For further information and updates visit the official website of the Year of the Laity.
In one of the messages which our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to Mother Pierina de Micheli (now Blessed) in 1939, our Lord said, I have given my heart as a sensible object of my great love for man and I give my Face as a sensible object of my sorrow for the sins of man,
“I desire that My Face be honored by a special Feast on Quinquagesima Tuesday (Tuesday on the 5th week before Easter Sunday), a feast preceded by a Novena, in which all the faithful will make reparation to Me, thus uniting and participating in my grief.”
This year 2014, the FEAST OF THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS is on MARCH 4 to be preceded by a NOVENA starting FEBRUARY 23 until MARCH 3. For future guidance, the feast of the Holy Face of Jesus is always on a Tuesday but the date is movable as it is dependent on when the Ash Wednesday will fall.
Looking back on how this feast of the Holy Face of Jesus started, we go back in the early 20th century when Mo. Maria Pierina was inspired through visions of our Lord and our Blessed Mother to take up the work of spreading the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus in reparation for the many insults, irreverence, and violence He suffered. The Holy Face image that was presented to her by our Lady was an image bearing the likeness on the Holy Shroud which at first was a scapular but was reproduced as a medal. On the side of the Holy Face image, it has an inscription, “Illumina, Domine, VultumTuum Super Nos.” (Psalm 66: “May, O Lord, the light of Thy countenance shine upon us”), and on the other side was the Sacred Host with the words, “Mane Nobiscum, Domine.” (“Stay with us, O Lord”). Although reproduced as medals, it carries the same promises and favors.
The first Holy Face Medal was offered to Pope Pius XII who accepted it and approved the devotion in 1958 and declared the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus as Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) for all Roman Catholics.
One can make a NOVENA OF REPARATION TO OBTAIN A FAVOR by visiting our Novena page or by saying the “Golden Arrow ” prayer and “The Litany of the Holy Face” on nine consecutive days, preferably before the Blessed Sacrament or the picture of the Holy Face, and by going to Confession and Holy Communion.
To view the schedule of activities at the Holy Face Center and Convent in Quiapo, Manila, Philippines please click here.
For several months rumors have been flying that the Shroud would be publiclly displayed again in 2015, even though the next officially scheduled public exhibition had originally been set for 2025 by Pope John Paul II. As of this morning, it is official! The Shroud will go on public display in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, for around 45 days between the Easter season (from mid-April 2015) to the closing celebrations of the bicentenary of the birth of St. John Bosco (August 16th, 2015). The official announcement that a 2015 public exhibition has been authorized by Pope Francis was made this morning by Archbishop of Turin Cesare Nosiglia and is detailed in an English language news release from the Centro Internazionale di Sindonologia titled Ostensione della Sindone 2015 (Holy Shroud Public Display 2015). You can also find the text of the Message From the Custodian on the Sindone.org Website. Specific dates have yet to be announced, but of course, we will keep you updated as soon as more information becomes available.
The Catholic Bishops of the Philippines exhorted a preparation for the 5th centenary of the Christian faith in the Philippines with a nine year “Era of New Evangelization” . The nine (9) Major Pastoral Priorities are efforts to intensify a vision of a renewed integral evangelization towards a renewed Church. These nine priorities are:
2013 – Integral Faith Formation
2014 – Year of the Laity
2015 – Year for the Clergy and Relgious
2016 – The Eucharist and the Family(an International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Cebu)
2017 – Transforming the parish as a Communion and Communities
2018 – Renewal of Clergy and Religious
2019 – Active Participation of the Youth
2020 – Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Dialogue
2021 – Mission ad Gentes
The Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus will celebrate their 27th Foundation Anniversary on October 1, 2013, Tuesday. Their theme for this year is “HFJ@27: A Journey of Faith in God’s Providence”.
Masses is at 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., to be presided by Rev. Fr. Joe Zerrudo and by His Excellency Most Rev. Jesus Cabrera, D.D., respectively. Since it falls on a Tuesday – Holy Face day, the said Masses are preceded by Holy Hour in honor of the Holy Face of Jesus (7:45 a.m. / 4:45 p.m.)
May the Holy Face of Jesus always shine upon us!
To all Crusaders of the Holy Face of Jesus:
The 37th Annual National Convention of the Crusaders of the Holy Face of Jesus, with the theme “The Role of the Laity in the Life and Mission of the Church”, is on March 16, 2014, Sunday, to be held at Heroes Hall, Gapan-Olongapo Road, San Fernando, Pampanga.
The activities for the convention are summarized as follows:
March 15, 2014 – Socialization for all delegates
March 16, 2014 – Convention day
March 17, 2014 – Pilgrimage to Churches in Pampanga
The accommodation for delegates is at Villa Alfredo’s Resort,Brgy. Baliti, San Fernando, Pampanga.
For more details, the Crusaders’ national office will be sending circulars for the said event. You may also contact the Crusaders (see contacts) for specific details.
God bless to all!
In April 2009, Pope Benedict XVI advanced the beatification of Mo. Pierina de Micheli thereby formally recognizing a miracle attributed to her. She was beatified on a Sunday, May 30, 2010 at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome by His Excellency, Archbishop Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Roman Curia.
BUT WHO IS BLESSED MO. PIERINA DE MICHELI?
Here is a biographical synopsis of her life (Ref.: Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia)
Blessed Maria Pierina De Micheli (1890–1945) was a Roman Catholic religious Sister who was born near Milan Italy. She is best known for her association with the Holy Face of Jesus, one of the Catholic devotions, and for introducing a medal bearing an image from the Shroud of Turin as part of this devotion.
She was born Giuseppina De Micheli and took the name Sister Maria Pierina on May 16, 1914, when she took vows as a member of the Daughters of the Immaculate Conception, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sister Pierina did not initiate the Holy Face of Jesus devotion, for it had already been started almost a century earlier by a French Carmelite nun, Sister Marie of St Peter, of Tours, France. Both women claimed visions of Jesus and Mary as part of their motivation for following the devotion.
She had been aware of the Holy Face of Jesus devotion since an early age. From 1919 to 1921 she was sent to the mother house of her religious congregation in Argentina. While there, her attachment to the Holy Face devotion grew stronger. After her return to Milan, she was eventually elected as the mother superior of her house and began to spread the devotion.
On the first Friday in Lent 1936, she reported a vision of Christ in which Jesus appeared to her and said: “I will that My Face, which reflects the intimate pains of My Spirit, the suffering and the love of My Heart, be more honored. He who meditates upon Me, consoles Me”. Further reported visions of Jesus and Mary urged Sister Maria Pierina to make a medal with the Holy Face of Jesus.
Further reported visions of Jesus and Mary urged Sister Maria Pierina to make a medal with the Holy Face of Jesus. After some effort, she managed to obtain permission to reproduce the photograph of the Shroud of Turin and authorization from the Curia in Milan to proceed with the medal in 1940. This became known as the Holy Face Medal.
One side of the medal bears a replica of the Holy Face of Jesus from the Shroud of Turin and an inscription based on Psalm 66:2: “Illumina, Domine, vultum tuum super nos”, i.e. “May O Lord, the light of Thy countenance shine upon us”. On the other side of the medal, there is an image of a radiant Sacred Host, the monogram of the Holy Name (“IHS”) and the inscription “Mane nobiscum, Domine” i.e. “Stay with us, O Lord”.
Approval of the Holy Face medal
The first medal of the Holy Face was offered to Pope Pius XII who approved the devotion and the medal. Mo. Maria Pierina had also reported that Jesus wanted a special Feast on the day before Ash Wednesday in honor of His Holy Face, to be preceded by a nine-day Novena of prayers. In 1958, Pope Pius XII declared the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus as Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) for all Roman Catholics.
In 1941 Mo. Maria Pierina wrote in her diary: “I feel a deep longing to live always united to Jesus, to love Him intensely because my death can only be a transport of love with my Spouse, Jesus.” Sr. Maria Pierina died in 1945 in Milan. Her remains are enshrined at the Holy Spirit Institute in Rome.
Blessed Mo. Pierina de Micheli, pray for us!
For more information visit Blessed Maria Pierina de Micheli.
The exposition of the Holy Shroud in Turin, Italy ended on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. Cardinal Severino Poletto, the Archbishop of Turin, celebrated the Solemn Mass. Only limited people were allowed to enter the Cathedral for the Mass but luckily, the sisters were able to inch their way among the crowd to get inside.
At first, it was decided upon and announced in the year 2000 by Pope John Paul II that the next public exhibition of the Shroud of Turin would be in the year 2025 to coincide with the next Holy Year of the Catholic Church.
However, on June 2, 2008 Pope Benedict XVI announced that the Shroud would be displayed from April 10 – May 23, 2010, which was the longest period in its history. The event’s theme was PASSIO CHRISTI, PASSIO HOMINIS. Pope Benedict visited and venerated the Holy Shroud on May 2, 2010.
Visitors of the 2010 Shroud exposition viewed the cloth in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, commonly called Duomo. Though free in admission, they came on reservation basis, but priorities were given to the disabled visitors. Towards the end of the exposition, however, the ushers no longer checked them.
There were two ways of personally seeing the Holy Shroud: some lined up a few blocks away from the Cathedral for a better and closer view, and others followed the easier route – pilgrims just entered the cathedral upon arrival and viewed the shroud several yards away. Those who lined up were ushered by batch and stood before the bulletproof, climate-controlled case containing the cloth for five minutes while an Italian speaking guide gave explanations about the Shroud. Though taking videos and pictures were prohibited, many visitors could not help but to secretly took souvenirs.
In support of the event, all the nearby churches in Turin had a replica of the Shroud being displayed at one of their side altars. Various souvenirs can be bought from the established business stores and also from the temporary stalls along the streets. The price of several items got cheaper as the event of the shroud’s exposition approached its end.
Taking the opportunity of being in Turin, the sisters frequented visiting the cathedral. There they met and befriended many Filipinos, residents and visitors alike. Meeting them were always joyful and heartwarming encounters. Soon after the end of the exposition, however, people could not enter the cathedral because the equipment used for the said event was being removed. The Shroud was stored back into a closed case and placed within an alcove of the Cathedral. After a week or so, visitors were once again able to pray and meditate before the encased Shroud inside the cathedral.
May you be blessed whenever you gaze the most Holy Face of Jesus!