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Santa Faz

Santa Faz

The Holy Face is one of the oldest traditions celebrated in Alicante, but what is the Holy Face? We have to leave at the time of Christ's Calvary, Good Friday, Jesus was loaded with the cross, blood, sweat and tears already appear on his face, from among the crowd, a woman who is known today as Veronica appears and with a cloth wipe the face of Christ. The woman puts the cloth away and discovers that the face of Christ is engraved on it.

The cloth passed through different places depending on wars and invasions, Jerusalem, Cyprus, Constantinople and finally Rome. And at this time it was divided into three parts.

How do you get to Alicante? A cardinal from the Vatican arrives in San Juan at the house of his friend Pedro Mena, in compensation for his hospitality he gives him the sacred canvas so that it can be venerated by the faithful and help them end the drought that devastates the area and that he had already done another miracle in Venice ridding its inhabitants of the plague. The canvas was a cotton cloth where the face of Christ was marked by sweat and blood.

It is decided to hold a procession to ask to remedy the situation of drought. This is how on March 17, 1489 they began a pilgrimage. The entourage would go from San Juan to the hermitage of Los Angeles. Halfway down the road an extraordinary event occurs, the priest feels a great weight, he could not continue walking and suddenly... a tear arose from his right eye where the face of Christ was represented. A man approached, verified that the tear was real, this man, Guillén Pascual, was a landowner and the land where they had just stopped was his, so he decided to donate it to build a monastery and venerate the image of the Holy Face ( that is the Monastery where today the Holy Face is venerated and kept)

After this miracle, the pilgrimage is terminated and the faithful are summoned to next week, the following Thursday (that is why the San Faz is celebrated on the second Thursday after Holy Thursday).

They start the pilgrimage again from San Juan, a large number of faithful join and finally arrive at the hermitage of Los Angeles. The crowd was such that the mass could not be held inside, so the priest decided to celebrate the mass outside under a pine tree. At the end of the mass, the priest raised his arms to heaven with the Holy Face and at that moment... it levitated, that is, it rose into the air, it flew! The image of the Holy Face appeared three times in the sky and a soft and fine rain fell on the city (today there is a street called Pino Santo, in the place where the miracle occurred).

Why are three Santas Faces depicted? Because today three are recognized since the cloth was divided into three parts, one is in Alicante, another in Jaén and the last one in Rome.



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