Ignatius Press:

image SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21, 2010 – “The Face of God” is a “gripping cultural thriller,” declares the German newsmagazine “Der Spiegel.” Such praise is common for well-written mysteries, detective stories, thrillers, and other works of fiction.

This book, however, is not fiction.

In “The Face of God: The Rediscovery of the True Face of Jesus,” journalist, historian and best-selling author Paul Badde reports in tantalizing detail on his exciting quest to uncover the truth behind a rare, mysterious cloth housed in small church in the remote village of Manoppello, Italy. Better known as the Holy Face of Manoppello, this is a relic recently rediscovered and, prior to Badde’s research, thought by many to be “Veronica’s Veil” – the cloth used to wipe Jesus’ face as He carried his cross to Golgotha for crucifixion.

Badde’s research and reports on the Holy Face of Manoppello prompted a 2006 visit to the relic by Pope Benedict XVI – in spite of counsel against it by others in the Vatican. Badde compiles and expands on those dispatches in “The Face of God.”

The German newspaper Bild called the results of Badde’s work “almost beyond our imagination.”

The image of a man’s face on the cloth in Manoppello is clearly visible. Most astonishing—when the face of the Shroud of Turin is laid over the Holy Face of Manoppello, the two images form a perfect match. They are the same face.

Unlike the image on the Shroud, however, which is a “negative,” the Holy Face of Manoppello is a “positive” image on a cloth made of byssus, or sea silk, a rare and delicate fabric woven from a silky filament produced by mollusks. The fabric is so thin and delicate it is impossible to paint on.

The Face of God” reports the conclusion by experts that the cloth of Manoppello is not Veronica’s veil, but rather a burial cloth of Jewish tradition that was laid over the face of Jesus in the tomb.

The book recounts Badde’s thrilling journey of discovery as he travels to research this remarkable relic, tracing the turbulent history of the Holy Face from ancient times to the historic visit to Manoppello by Pope Benedict XVI.

Badde is a best-selling author, renowned journalist and historian. He has been an editor of Die Welt since 2000, first as the Jerusalem correspondent and, most recently, as the Vatican correspondent in Rome. His other works include “Maria of Guadalupe: Shaper of History, Shaper of Hearts;” “Jerusalem, Jerusalem;” and “The Heavenly City.”

Ignatius Press will publish “The Face of God” in November, in hardcover, and Badde will be in the U.S. for a multi-city book tour that same month.