NAMPICUAN, Nueva Ecija, September 22, 2014—The veil “no human hands have made” and believed to miraculously bear an imprint of Christ’s face was formally enshrined at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija on Monday, September 15, following a weeklong pilgrimage to select parishes in Metro Manila.
With Fr. Danilo Flores interpreting in his behalf, the overwhelmed rector of the Shrine and Basilica of the Holy Face of Manoppello in Italy, Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, was beside himself expressing his gratitude to the hospitable residents of Nampicuan who had gone out of their way to welcome the image.
The Church-run Radyo Veritas reported Cucinelli as saying that the Immaculate Conception Parish in Nampicuan was chosen to be the “center of devotion of the Holy Face of Manoppello” in the country.
The Italian priest was on the verge of tears witnessing how the Nampicuan faithful turned what was supposedly a simple ceremony into an occasion for celebration involving the whole town.
With street dancers in tow, the Holy Veil went around the parish in procession ending at the Immaculate Conception Parish Church where San José Bishop Roberto Mallari presided over a mass.
Concelebrating with Mallari were Tarlac Bishop Florentino Cinense and other priests of the diocese.
A public veneration of the image took place after mass.
Nampicuan is a fifth class municipality located in the westernmost portion of Nueva Ecija near Tarlac.
It has a population of just over 13,000. (Raymond A. Sebastián)