week, I shared with you my translation of the homily of His Excellency
the Most Reverend George Ganswein, Prefect of the Papal Palace and Secretary to
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, he preached during the pilgrimage of the Holy Face from Manoppello to Rome.
Today, I am happy to share with my translation of the homily preached by His
Excellency the Most Reverend Edmond Y. Farhat, Apostolic Nuncio Emeritus to
Austria, to close the same pilgrimage:
In the Face of
Christ, impressed on the veil of Veronica, conserved in the sudarium of
Manoppello, we venerate the Lord God of mercy, Savior of the world.
Today, brothers and
sisters, right now, we turn to the temple of the Holy Spirit to venerate the
Holy Face and what it means. We
celebrate the Eucharist, we confess our sins, and we announce the Good News.
|PHOTO: Antonio Bini|
The Good News of
today is the invitation to the wedding at Cana. Jesus was invited, invited by
his Mother because the guests were friends of his mamma. She invited her Son,
and at a certain point, said, “They have no wine.” “My hour,” responded the
Son, “has not yet arrived.” “Do that which he says,” said the momma. Jesus,
obedient to his Mother, saved face for the groom and his family.
The feast was
beautiful and the joy was great. They drank and sang. The feast was transformed
into a unique occasion. It was the occasion of the first sign of his
manifestation, of the manifestation of his divinity. It was the beginning of
the signs carried out by Jesus, because of which they believed in him. Better
still, it is the first sign that reveals his personality. He came that they
might have life, and have it in abundance. At Cana, Jesus manifested his
authority. “Fill the jars,” and they filled them. Cana was the very first sign
of the divine authority of Jesus, this authority that developed during his
mission until it became known in the passion and in a true image, living, in
the hands of Veronica.
|PHOTO: Paul Badde|
Cana was the first
visible sign of the divinity of Jesus. It is a provocative sign now, the icon
of Manoppello that is a definitive sign. Cana was the first, and the face of
the sudarium is the definitive sign. It is a provocative sign and insignificant,
discrete and quiet, but most eloquent, always old and always new. Discussed and
venerated, look at it with your eyes, accompany, follow, and guide your gaze. It
is a concrete sign, but it is not made by man; it is created, but no one knows
its origin, its formation.
It is not an object
of another time; it is the icon of the eternal face, the face of goodness and
of friendship, of mercy and of peace. The face that speaks, that examines, that
asks, that awaits a response. It seems to say: “Look at me, you who are tired.
Come to me and I will give you rest.” They have not seen, they did not have to
suffer humiliation, the men of our time, as the friends of Mary had to suffer
humiliation at Cana. He had to make a deed.
They do not have
faith, the men of our time, but, as at the wedding at Cana: “Have mercy on them,”
Mary says [to her Son], “and contemplate the face bequeathed to you” [to the
men of our time]. And we contemplate the face of Jesus. It speaks to us and
nods to us, it is good, it is merciful. Therefore, we have brought it from
Manoppello to here, because his expression [something inaudible] a wider
goodness and mercy in this year of grace in which God reveals himself with the
name of mercy, as the Holy Father Francis teaches. Therefore, we expose
ourselves in the church of the Holy Spirit because the Spirit speaks to the
heart, it suggests intentions of wisdom and hope. Therefore we put it in the
church looked after by Saint Faustina because she has been able to perceive the
dimensions of his face.
There are moments in
which, in an even stronger way, we are called to keep our look fixed on mercy
to become effectively inserted into the action of the Father, as Pope Francis
says in his exhortation.
This, dear brothers
and sisters, is a privileged moment. We fix our gaze on the Holy Face and we
will be transformed by God’s mercy. The sign is not an end in itself; the sign
is a pointer on the way of the return, the return to the Father. The sudarium [something
inaudible] of Christ. Christ is Jesus that has transformed the water into wine
to participate in the joy of his friends and parents. The transformation
requires a change. Our transformation and our conversion from pointless
spectators to collaborators in the work of Jesus and Mary, who kept all these
things in her heart, and no one knows the son and Lord like her. She guides us
on the journey to encounter her Son, through his face that we can physically
|PHOTO: Antonio Bini|
Yesterday we took it
and venerated it to give thanks for so many benefits; today we greet it and
honor it, asking him to accompany us on our new journey, the journey to the
wedding of the Lamb, full of grace and mercy.
We hold impressed in
our minds and in our heart his image that speaks to us and examines us. It is
the image of the Incarnate Word because we have life. It accompanies us in our
street because we remember always that God is mercy. His mercy accompanies us.
We remember that the people of God, going up to Jerusalem, in the Old Testament,
always repeated in their pilgrimages: “God is good, he has given us goodness;
he has given us faith because his mercy is eternal, because his mercy is
We from this Eternal
City, city of saints, of Faustina; city of John Paul II, of Paul VI, of John
XXIII, of popes and saints; we want [to turn] our thought to the Jerusalem of
Jesus, to the Jerusalem of Mary; and we ask peace for Jerusalem, peace to all
the people of Palestine and of Jerusalem, of the Middle East and of the
Mediterranean. There is room for everyone; mercy has no limits. [N.B.: He repeated the prayer for peace
in Hebrew and in Arabic.] Eternal is the mercy of God, because he is good; he
is great, his face guides us, accompanies us, and we will not be lost.
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