VISITING AN ICON IN ROME
Today I went to see the replica of the Holy Face of Manoppello during its presence this weekend in the Rome church of Santo Spirito, Holy Spirit. This church, just blocks from St. Peter’s Basilica, is principally dedicated to Divine Mercy and is crowded just about every day of the week, often at the 3 pm time of the Hour of Divine Mercy.
I got to the church exactly at 4 pm (not that I had planned such a precise arrival) and I discovered that a Mass for Polish pilgrims had just begun. I was a lector at Mass last evening with the Santa Susanna community so this second Sunday Mass was a special joy, especially given the presence of the Holy Face (about which I wrote in my Friday, January 15 column).
Polish pilgrims come often to Santo Spirito because, as you know it was a Polish nun, St. Faustina Kowalska, who spread the devotion to Divine Mercy and a Polish Pope, John Paul II, who instituted Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter.
The altar dedicated to Divine Mercy and St. Faustina:
A reliquary near the Divine Mercy altar:
The altar dedicated to St. John Paul:
A reliquary with relics of John Paul:
I took these photos after Mass as hundreds gathered to pray before the replica of the Manoppello icon, before the altar dedicated to St. John Paul and before the altar dedicated to Divine Mercy.