*The Holy Face of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin
Traditional Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus
Sister Mary of St. Peter (Marie de Saint Pierre – 1816-1848) was a Discalced Carmelite nun who lived in Tours, France. From 1844 to 1847, Our Lord spoke to her about spreading the devotion to His Most Holy Face throughout the world. He revealed in particular that the Father was greatly offended by mankind’s sin, especially the widespread violation of the first three of the Ten Commandments: the Holy Name of God blasphemed and the Holy Day of the Lord profaned. Through the work of reparation to the Holy Face, God’s justice would be disarmed.
Our Lord promised to Sr. Mary that he would imprint His divine likeness on the souls of those who would honor His most holy countenance; and He further promised that all who would defend His cause in this Work of Reparation by words, prayers, or in writing, would in return be defended by Him before His Father – “Those who by words, prayers or writing defend My cause in this Work of Reparation I will defend before My Father, and will give them My Kingdom.”
Our Lord further explained that this Work of Reparation included, “not only reparation for what is generally called blasphemy, that is, abusing the Holy Name of God, but that it also embraced reparation for all attacks against [His] Religion and against Holy Church, since these also constitute a form of blasphemy.”
*Sister Mary of St. Peter
About the Holy Face of Jesus
Thus, the primary purpose of this devotion is to make reparation for the blasphemies and outrages perpetuated by sinners [mankind] against Jesus Christ Our Lord. At the time this Work of Reparation was promulgated, the revolutionaries, atheists, “freethinkers”, Masons, and profanation of Sundays by Catholics were at the forefront of thought. But in addition to the aforementioned is all of us today – sinners in need of a Savior; sinners who daily sin against Jesus, the Holy Family, and His one, holy and apostolic Church.
We read in Sister Marie’s 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 …”.
Sr. Marie continued, “By blasphemy, the sinner outrages Him to His Face, attacks Him openly, and [consequently] 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’ which would wound Him delightfully and heal the poisonous wounds caused by sin.”
The Golden Arrow Prayer
Our Lord dictated to Sr. Mary the following Golden Arrow prayer, assuring her that every time she (any of us!) prayed it, she would wound His Heart delightfully and heal other wounds inflicted on Him by the malice of sinners … which would no doubt merit many graces.
This prayer is 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, adored, loved, and
glorified, in Heaven, on earth and under the earth,*
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.
*The original text read: “… in the hells.” Sr. Mary was somewhat astonished at the words “in the hells,” but our Lord gave her to understand that His Justice was glorified there; that “in the hells” included Purgatory where He is loved and glorified by the suffering souls. She saw torrents of graces streaming from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, delightfully wounded by the Golden Arrow.)
Our Lord told Sr. Mary on March 16th, 1844: “O if you only knew what great merit you acquire by saying even one, ‘Admirable is the Name of God!’ in the spirit of reparation for blasphemy.”
Confraternity of Reparation
Our Lord also told Sr. Mary of St. Peter of His desire to have established a Confraternity of Reparation. This Confraternity was to have a two-fold purpose – the first being Reparation for blasphemy and the second being Reparation for the profanation of Sunday, since these were the two principal sins which in modern times were provoking the anger of God.
“Therefore the new Association … would oblige members to refrain from all Sunday work themselves, and to do what lay in their power to see that others stop all unnecessary servile works on the holy days of the Lord.”
“Our Savior also desires that this Association be placed under the patronage of St. Michael, St. Martin, and of St. Louis (the crusader against blasphemy), asking that each member should say daily One Our Father, One Hail Mary, and one Glory Be, together with the Act of Praise, called the ‘Golden Arrow prayer’ [listed above]. But on Sundays and on feast days, all the Prayers of Reparation are to be recited, in order to make fitting reparation for the crimes committed against God’s Majesty on these days of the Lord in order to obtain mercy for the guilty.”
“Our Lord showed me this Association as an army of brave soldiers, uniting themselves to Him as their Commander-in-Chief, to defend the glory of His Father. It is His will that this militia be called ‘The Defenders of the Holy Name of God,’ so that this noble title should give evidence of the high calling of those enrolled” [Taken from the autobiography of Sr. Mary of St. Peter].
*CLICK HERE TO PRAY THE PRAYERS OF REPARATION ON SUNDAYS AND ON FEAST DAYS
Promises of Our Lord Jesus Christ in favor of those who honor His Holy Face
- All those who honor My Face in a spirit of reparation will by so doing perform the office of the pious Veronica. According to the care they take in making reparation to My Face, disfigured by blasphemers, so will I take care of their souls which have been disfigured by sin. My Face is the seal of the Divinity, which has the virtue of reproducing in souls the image of God;
- Those who by words, prayers, or writing defend My cause in this Work of Reparation I will defend before My Father, and will give them My Kingdom;
- By offering My Face to My Eternal Father, nothing will be refused, and the conversion of many sinners will be obtained;
- By My Holy Face, they will work wonders, appease the anger of God and draw down mercy on sinners;
- As in a kingdom they can procure all that is desired with a coin stamped with the King’s effigy, so in the Kingdom of Heaven they will obtain all they desire with the precious coin of My Holy Face;
- Those who on earth contemplate the wounds of My Face shall in Heaven behold it radiant with glory;
- They will receive in their souls a bright and constant irradiation of My Divinity, that by their likeness to My Face they shall shine with particular splendor in Heaven;
- I will defend them, I will preserve them and I assure them of Final Perseverance.
Novena to the Holy Face
*This novena can be said anytime, but especially in the nine days leading up to the Feast of the Holy Face on Shrove Tuesday.
O Lord Jesus Christ, in presenting ourselves before Thy 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 what Thou requires of us by Thy holy Commandments and divine inspirations. Amen.
O Good Jesus, who has 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 Thy eternal glory, the graces that we need and that we seek from Thy 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 Thy 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 Lips to plead our cause. Hearken to His cries, behold His tears, O God, and through His infinite merits, hear 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, 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.