|Italy||'FACE OF CHRIST' RELIC FOUND IN MONASTERY|
The legendary 'Veil of Venonica' has been found in a remote monastery in Italy's Apennine mountains.
The London Sunday Times cites the view of art history Professor Heinrich Pfeiffer of the Vatican's Gregorian University that the fabric is the headcloth handed to Christ by a woman as he carried the cross to Calvary. Christ pressed it to his sweaty, bloody face, leaving an image of the son of God, and handed it back.
The small piece of stained pale cloth kept in the tiny village of Manoppello has been regarded as a sacred icon with wondrous properties by Father Germano, head of its Capuchin monastery.
The veil, measuring 17cm by 24cm, is almost transparent. But reddish-brown marks on it trace the face of a bearded, long-haired man with wide-open eyes. The face becomes invisible depending on the angle of the light.
"The fact that the face appears and disappears according to where the light comes from was considered a miracle in itself in medieval times," said Pfeiffer, who is presentingt his findings at a conference today. "There are few such objects in history. This is not a painting. We don't know what the material is that shapes the image, but it is the colour of blood."
Times 11:31am 31/5/99