On Pascha we were finally able to set up our new vigil lamp for our Mandylion icon (or, as is quantly written on it, “The Holy Napkin”). (If the Mandylion is the same thing as the Veil of Veronica, I don’t know – I’ll leave that to the experts, as there seems to be disagreement on the matter.)
We had been thinking about getting an icon of the Holy Face for quite some time now, given our relationship with Silverstream Priory and its very apropos entitled blog Vultus Christi. As mentioned before, one of the Benedictines of Silverstream’s charisms is eucharistic adoration. Father prior has spoken many times of the “eucharistic face” of Jesus. Catholicism is a fulfilment of “Temple Judaism”. It is not a mere coincidence that the “shew bread”, or “bread of the presence” was also called “bread of the face”. Can we see this as a type of which the Eucharistic Body of Our Lord is an antitype? I believe so. But, I digress… To sum up, the relation between the Eucharist and the Holy Face was what led us to chose this icon (which was most gratiously gifted to us by a dear friend); adding a vigil lamp before it serves us even more as a reminder of that relation, recalling to our memory the vigil lamps kept in the vicinity of tabernacles containing the sacred hosts.
My heart hath said to thee: My face hath sought thee: thy face, O Lord, will I still seek.