DEVOTION TO THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS
(Start Novena on Sexagesima Sunday -- see below)
SISTER MARY OF ST. PETER
(from the Veil of Veronica)
In Tours, France during the 1840's a young Carmelite nun, Sister Marie de
Saint-Pierre (1816-1848), received a series of revelations from Our Lord
about a powerful devotion He wished to be established worldwide - the
devotion to his Holy Face. The express purpose of this devotion was to make
reparation for the blasphemies and outrages of 'Revolutionary men' (the
Communists), as well as for the blasphemies of atheists and freethinkers
and others, plus, for blasphemy and the profanation of Sundays by
We read in her autobiography:
"Then he unfolded his Heart to me, concentrating therein the powers of my
soul, and addressed me thus: 'My Name is everywhere blasphemed, even little
children blaspheme it.' And he made me understand how that dreadful sin
pierced and wounded his Heart, more than all other crimes. By blasphemy,
the sinner outrages him to his Face, attacks him openly, and pronounces
upon himself his own judgment and condemnation. Blasphemy is a poisoned
arrow, wounding his Divine Heart continually; he told me that he would give
me a "golden arrow" with which to wound him delightfully and heal the
poisonous wounds caused by sin."
Our Lord then dictated to Sr. Mary the following prayer as a Golden Arrow
assuring her that every time she said it, she would wound his Heart most
This prayer is regarded as the very basis of the Work of Reparation.
THE GOLDEN ARROW PRAYER
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and
ineffable Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored, and
glorified in heaven, on earth and in hell, by all the creatures of God, and
by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of
the Altar. Amen.
Our Lord told Sr. Mary on March 16, 1844, "Oh if you only knew what great
merit you acquire by saying even once, 'Admirable is the Name of God,' in
the spirit of reparation for blasphemy."
Promises of Our Lord to Sr. Mary of St. Peter
- "By my Holy Face you shall work wonders." (October 27, 1845)
- "All those who honor My Holy Face in a spirit of reparation will by so
doing perform the office of the pious Veronica." (October 27, 1845)
- "According to your care you take in making Reparation to my Face,
disfigured by blasphemies, so will I take care of yours, which has been
disfigured by sin. I will reprint my image and render it as beautiful as it
was on leaving the baptismal font." (November 3, 1845)
- "Our Lord has promised me for all those who defend His cause in this Work
of Reparation, by words, by prayers, or in writing, that He will defend
them before His Father; at their death He will purify their souls by
effacing all the blots of sin and will restore to them their primitive
beauty." (March 12, 1846)
- "By my Holy Face you will obtain the conversion of many sinners. Nothing
that you ask in making this offering will be refused to you. No one can
know how pleasing the sight of my Face is to my Father!" (November 22,
- "Our Lord has promised me that He will imprint His Divine likeness on the
souls of those who honor His Holy Countenance." (January 21, 1847)
VENERABLE LEO DUPONT
Around the same time Sr. Mary was receiving her visions, the saintly
Monsieur Leo Dupont (1797-1876), inspired by the Holy Ghost through Sr.
Mary's example, decided to dedicate his life to this work. He kept an oil
lamp burning continuously before an image of the Holy Face, and his home
became a center of pilgrimage when people began to gather to pray before
the image, with many receiving miraculous cures through the application of
his lamp's oil to their skin. These miracles continued for 30 years and
were so numerous that Pope Pius IX declared Leo Dupont to be perhaps one of
the greatest miracle workers in Church history!
He was later recognized by the Church as a "Venerable." He is now known
familiarly as "The Holy Man of Tours."
While devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus has always existed in some form or
another, these revelations and miraculous occurrences lead to this special
devotion being established by Pope Leo XIII in 1885 as an
Archconfraternity; and contrary to custom, He immediately established it
for the ENTIRE WORLD.
ST. THERESE AND THE HOLY FACE
Saint Therese of Lisieux was also very dedicated to this devotion, which
prompted her to take the name, "Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy
Face". It is said that this devotion brought St Therese of Lisieux, "the
Little Flower", to her great sanctity. She and her family were registered
as members of the Archconfraternity of Reparation to the Holy Face at Tours
THE HOLY FACE MEDAL
SISTER MARIA PIERINA
(from The Image of the Holy Shroud)
The Blessed Maria Pierina de Micheli, a holy nun who died in 1945
(beatified May 30, 2010), was urged in many visions by the Blessed Mother
and Jesus Himself to spread the devotion to the Holy Face, in reparation
for the many insults Jesus suffered in His Passion, such as to be slapped,
spit upon and kissed by Judas, as well as now being dishonored in many ways
in the Blessed Sacrament by neglect, sacrileges and profanations.
Jesus showed Himself to her often, sad and bleeding, asking her for
reparation thus increasing in her the desire to suffer and to immolate
herself for the salvation of souls. During the night adoration of the First
Friday in Lent in 1936, Jesus, after having made her participate in the
mental sorrow of the agony in the Garden of Gethsemani, with His Face
covered with blood and profoundly sad, told her: "I wish that my Face,
which reflects the deep pains of my Soul, the sorrow and love of my Heart,
be better honored: who contemplates me consoles me. ' On the Tuesday
following Passion Sunday, Jesus returned to her and said, 'every time my
Face is contemplated, I will pour out my love into the heart of those
persons and by means of My Holy Face the salvation of many souls will be
These manifestations became more and more frequent and in May 1938, whilst
at prayer on the step of the Altar, a beautiful Lady appeared to her
carrying in her hand a Scapular, made of two pieces of flannel joined by a
cord. One of these pieces bore the image from the Holy Shroud and the
inscription: "Illumina, Domine, Vultum Tuum Super Nos" (May, O Lord, the
light of Thy Face shine upon us). On the other piece was a radiant Host,
with the words, "Mane Nobiscum, Domine" (Stay with us, O Lord).
Gently the lady approached and said: "Listen carefully and report
everything to the Father : This Scapular is an armor of defense, a shield
of strength, a token of the love and mercy which Jesus wishes to give the
world in these times of lust and hatred against God and His Church.
Diabolical nets are thrown to wrench the Faith from hearts, evils abound,
true apostles are few, and the remedy is the Holy Face of Jesus. All who
wear a Scapular like this and make, if possible, every Tuesday a visit to
the Blessed Sacrament, in order to repair the outrages which the face of my
son Jesus received during His Passion and receives every day in the Holy
Eucharist, will be strengthened in Faith, prompt to defend it and to
overcome all difficulties internal and external. Further they will have a
peaceful death under the loving gaze of my Divine Son."
The same year Jesus appeared again covered with blood and with much sadness
said: "See how I suffer. Nevertheless I am understood by so few. What
ingratitude on the part of those who say they love me. I have given my
heart as a sensible object of my great love for man and I give My Face as a
sensible object of my sorrow for the sins of man, I desire that it be
honored by a special feast on Tuesday in Quinquagesima. The feast will be
preceded by a novena in which the faithful make reparation with me uniting
themselves with my sorrow." In 1939 Jesus said again: "I wish that My Holy
Face he honored in a particular manner on Tuesdays."
Mother Pierina felt the desire of Our Blessed Lady, manifested to her, very
pressing. She obtained permission from her spiritual Director and though
means were wanting, she set about the task of having a medal cast. She
obtained the permission of the photographer Bruner to take copies of the
Holy Shroud as reproduced by him, and also the permission of the venerable
Curia of Milan on the 9th August 1940. Financial means were still wanting,
but the confidence of the Reverend Mother made up for it. One morning she
found on her desk an envelope with the exact amount of the bill -- 11,200
lire. Our Blessed Lady had seen to it.
The devil, maddened at this, fell upon this soul to frighten it and prevent
the distribution of the medals: he threw her down in the corridor and down
the steps: he tore the images and pictures of the Holy Face, but she bore
up everything. She tolerated and sacrificed all in order that thus the Holy
Face may be honored.
Mother Pierina was worried because she got medals made instead of
scapulars. She turned to Our Blessed Lady to obtain peace of mind in the
matter. On the 17th of April, 1943 the Blessed Virgin appeared to her and
said: "My daughter, be calm, the Scapulars have been substituted by the
medal with the same promises and favors. It only remains to be distributed
widely. Just now my heart is set on the feast of the Face of My Divine Son.
Tell the Pope that it preoccupies me." She blessed her and departed.
The first medal of the Holy Face was offered to Pope Pius XII who approved
the devotion and the medal. On April 17th, 1958, he declared the Tuesday
before Ash Wednesday (Shrove Tuesday) as the Feast of the Holy Face of
As revealed to Mother Pierina, Tuesday is a day of reparation to the Holy
Face, particularly before the Blessed Sacrament. All are encouraged make a
visit to the Blessed Sacrament.
Shrove Tuesday in 2016 will be on February 9.
NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE
Start the novena on Sexagesima Sunday -- two Sundays before Ash Wednesday.
(The novena can also be said anytime -- say once a day for 9 days)
O Lord Jesus Christ, in presenting ourselves before Thine adorable Face, to
ask of Thee the graces of which we stand in most need, we beseech Thee
above all, to grant us that interior disposition of never refusing at any
time to what Thou requirest of us by Thy holy commandments and divine
O Good Jesus, who hadst said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and ye shall
find, knock and it shall be opened to you," grant us O Lord, that faith
which obtains all, or supply in us what may be deficient; grant us, by the
pure effect of Thy charity, and for Thine eternal glory, the graces which
we need and which we look from Thine infinite mercy. Amen.
Be merciful to us, O my God, and reject not our prayers, when amid our
afflictions, we call upon Thy Holy Name and seek with love and confidence
Thine adorable Face. Amen.
O Almighty and Eternal God, look upon the Face of Thy Son Jesus. We present
It to Thee with confidence to implore Thy pardon. The All-Merciful Advocate
opens His mouth to plead our cause; hearken to His cries, behold His tears,
O God, and through His infinite merits, hearken to Him when He intercedes
for us poor miserable sinners. Amen.
Adorable Face of Jesus, my only love, my light, and my life, grant that I
may know Thee, love Thee and serve Thee alone, that I may live with Thee,
of Thee, by Thee and for Thee. Amen.
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the adorable Face of Thy Beloved Son for the
honor and glory of Thy Name, for the conversion of sinners and the
salvation of the dying. O Divine Jesus, through Thy Face and Name, save us.
Our Hope is in the virtue of Thy Holy Name! Amen.
Prayer of St. Therese of the Child Jesus to the Holy Face
O Jesus, who in Thy bitter Passion didst become "the most abject of men, a
man of sorrows", I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon there once did shine
the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if
it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured features,
I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love
Thee and make Thee loved by all men. The tears which well up abundantly in
Thy sacred eyes appear to me as so many precious pearls that I love to
gather up, in order to purchase the souls of poor sinners by means of their
infinite value. O Jesus, whose adorable Face ravishes my heart, I implore
Thee to fix deep within me Thy divine image and to set me on fire with Thy
Love, that I may be found worthy to come to the contemplation of Thy
glorious Face in Heaven. Amen.