Holy Face Devotion – St. Therese and Sr. Mary of St. Peter, Carmelite

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Devotion to the Holy Face

Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre, born in 1816 at Rennes (France), entered the Carmelite monastery at Tours in 1839, having already a rich prayer life and an intense devotion to the Infant Jesus. In 1843 our Lord urged her to undertake herself and to encourage in others reparation for blasphemies, revealing that the adoration of His holy face would honor Him and serve in the work of reparation.

Further, our Lord informed that adoration of His holy face in reparation would render Him the same service as St. Veronica’s wiping from His holy face the spittle, dust, sweat, and blood that covered it as He struggled on the road to Calvary. In a later vision that same year, our Lord told Sr. Marie that His sacred face is “like a divine stamp” that reproduces the image of God in souls. During the course of the revelations, which took place over five years (from 1843 until 1848), our Lord made several promises to the Carmelite nun.

On October 27, 1845, our Lord said, “By My holy face you will work wonders.”

On November 5, 1845, Sr. Marie realized by “divine illumination” that through devotion to His holy face in reparation for the outrages committed against God, our Lord would restore His image in souls by applying to them the virtue of His holy face.

On March 12, 1846, our Lord promised that “all who defend His cause in the work of reparation, whether by their words, their prayers, or their writings, He would Himself present before His eternal Father and that He would give them His kingdom.” Moreover, He promised that at the death of those who strive to atone for blasphemies “He would purify . . . their souls by effac- ing the stains of sin and that He would restore to them their original beauty.”

On November 22, 1846, our Lord assured Sr. Marie that through His holy face she would obtain the conversion of many sinners: “Nothing that you ask in virtue of the holy face will be refused you.”

The Golden Arrow
On March 16, 1844 Our Lord told Sister Mary of St. Peter, “Oh! If you only knew what great merit you acquire by saying even once, ‘Admirable is the Name of God,’ in a spirit of reparation for blasphemy.” He revealed the following prayer to her:

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 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.

After receiving this prayer, Sister Mary of St. Peter was given a vision in which she saw the Sacred Heart of Jesus delightfully wounded by this “Golden Arrow” as torrents of graces streamed from It for the conversion of sinners.

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Prayer to the Holy Face

(Composed by St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face)

As she herself tells in The Story of a Soul, St. Thérèse had a fervent devotion to the holy face, where she found unfathomable “depths of treasures hidden.” She wrote further, “Ah, I desired that, like the face of Jesus, [and now quoting Isaiah] ‘my face be truly hidden that no one on earth would know me.’”
On August 5, 1899, just a few weeks before her death, to celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration her sisters brought to the infirmary from the choir the “picture of the holy face she so much loved and hung it where she could see it” Looking at the picture, she said, “Oh, how much good that holy face has done me in my life!”

O adorable face of Jesus,
sole beauty which ravishes my heart,
vouchsafe to impress on my soul
Your divine likeness
so that it may not be possible
for You to look at Your spouse
without beholding Yourself!
O my Beloved,
for love of You I am content
not to see here on earth
the sweetness of Your glance,
nor to feel the ineffable kiss
of Your sacred lips,
but I beg of You
to inflame me with Your love
so that it may consume me quickly
and that soon I (name) may behold
Your glorious countenance in heaven.

Credits:“The Little Book of Carmelite Spirituality and Practice” and various web sites ( http://www.ctocds.com)

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