The Coronavirus Emergency Does Not Stop the Feast of The Holy Face

testi e foto di Antonio Bini, trad. Raymond Frost

Despite the exceptional situation due to the effects of the coronavirus, the centuries-old May celebration of the Holy Face was observed this year, although without the participation of the thousands of people who ordinarily come to Manoppello for the occasion, from Italy and abroad. The festival, which traditionally takes place over two days, coinciding with the third Sunday of May, during which the Holy Face is carried in procession through the town, to  the church of San Nicola, where the sacred image had been brought by an anonymous pilgrim in the sixteenth century, while on the following day, after a prayer vigil for the whole night, the precious relic is brought back, again in procession, to the basilica.