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 Christians.
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 lovingly.
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.
VENERABLE LEO DUPONT
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, 1846)
– “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)
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 HER DEVOTION TO THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS
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 France.
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.
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 obtained.”
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 Jesus.
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 2022 – March 1st.
Shrove Tuesday in 2023 – February 21
NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE
This beautiful novena prayer may be said at any time, but especially in the nine days culminating to the Feast of the Holy Face on Shrove Tuesday – i.e. starting two Sundays before the start of Lent.
The Life of Sister Saint Peter – Carmelite of Tours” (autobiography) and “Sister Saint-Pierre and the Work of Reparation – A Brief History” by the Very Rev. P. Janvier (1885) is available online (translated from the French).
“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord shew His Face to thee, and have mercy on thee. The Lord turn His Countenance to thee, and give thee peace.” ~ Numbers 6:24-26
“My heart hath said to thee: My face hath sought Thee: Thy Face, O Lord, will I still seek.” ~ Psalm 26:8
“O how great is the multitude of Thy sweetness, O Lord, which Thou hast hidden for them that fear Thee! Which Thou hast wrought for them that hope in Thee, in the sight of the sons of men. Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy Face, from the disturbance of men. Thou shalt protect them in Thy tabernacle from the contradiction of tongues.” ~ Psalm 30:20-21
“Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His Face.” ~ Psalm 67:2
“We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to Face. Now I know I part; but then I shall know even as I am known.” ~ I Corinthians 13:12
Please join us in spreading this wonderful devotion given to us by Christ Himself.
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