True Image of Christ´s Face Is in Italy, Not in BBC Series

PESCARA, Italy, APR. 2, 2001 ( Where is a real image of Christ´s face to be found?

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It is not in the BBC´s version of the «Son of God,» but in «the sacred Shroud of Turin and the Holy Face of Manopello [in the Italian province of Pescara], which match perfectly,» German professor Father Heinrich Pfeiffer said.

Father Pfeiffer is professor of iconography and history of Christian art at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He made his statement Saturday in Pescara, when he presented a book on «the authentic icon» of Christ.

The Holy Face, jealously preserved in Manopello, and visited last year by 1 million pilgrims, is the Veronica (which, etymologically means, precisely, «vera icona,» or true icon), the veil on which Christ face was imprinted, and which was kept in St. Peter´s Basilica until the year 1600, when it disappeared, in very unclear circumstances.

Father Pfeiffer´s book helps to reveal «the mystery of Veronica´s veil,» said Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, president of the International Research Institute on the Face of Christ.

The BBC series «Son of God,» whose first chapter was aired Sunday, asked a forensic expert in England to design the face of a Palestinian, based in a first-century cranium. The picture that emerged from this research suggests a possible image of Christ, though any resemblance is coincidental.

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