Holy Face Devotion
Veneration of the Sorrowful Face seems to have been inaugurated by Our Lord Himself. On the way to Calvary, the Son of God was being led to crucifixion through the crowded streets of Jerusalem followed by a shouting rabble which filled the air with loud insulting cries. Jesus, exhausted by the torture of the scourging and trials of the morning, collapsed beneath the heavy weight of the Cross. A passerby, Simon of Cyrene, was forced by the Roman soldiers to assist Jesus in carrying His Cross. The sad procession had advanced but a short distance, when suddenly a Jewish woman of majestic appearance broke through the infuriated mob and offered Our Savior a veil as a sign of her compassion. Our Lord took it gratefully and wiped His adorable Face covered with blood and sweat. The woman retreated hastily into her house at the side of the street, opened the veil, and discovered the miraculous imprint of Jesus' Holy Face printed on her veil. The incident had many witnesses who, not knowing her real name but learning later of the miracle, called her Vera (true) icon (likeness).
After her death, the Veil came into the care of Saint Clement, who was later Pope Clement, and the Veil was thus carefully venerated and preserved as one of the most precious relics of the Vatican Basilica. Veronica's charity has been immortalized in the centuries that have followed be being included in the Stations of the Cross - the Sixth Station - in Roman Catholic Churches throughout the world. The miraculous preservation of this Veil proves that Our Lord is very pleased with the veneration of His Sacred Face.
"I seek for Veronicas to wipe and honor My Divine Face for It has few adorers! All who apply themselves to the work of Reparation are performing the office of the pious Veronica who, with My Mother, will teach you how to honor It. By means of this Holy Face, you will work miracles."
Sorrowful Comments from Our Lord
Origin of the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face
Devotion to the Sorrowful Face has been practiced from time immemorial in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. However, the idea of reparation being attached to this devotion was not thought of until Our Lord Himself communicated it to Sister Mary of Saint Peter in the Carmel of Tours, France (1843). In His revelations to Sister, Our Lord clearly stated His desires: that reparation be made for blasphemy and profanation of Sunday through the worship of His Holy Face and that an Archconfraternity of the Holy Face be established, forming a Center toward which confraternities set up in different parts of the world could converge. Serious difficulties, which lasted a long time, impeded the designs of Our Lord and of Sister Mary of Saint Peter.
Several Associations were set up in France, which attempted to respond to the requests of Our Lord, but these did not exactly satisfy His designs. However, they did serve to publicize the Devotion, which spread rapidly. It was the zealous efforts of M. Leo Dupont to publicize the Devotion outside the Carmel of Tours, which were crowned with success.
Eternal Father, we offer You the Holy Face of Jesus, covered with blood, sweat, dust, and spittle, in reparation for the crimes of communists, blasphemers, and for the profaners of the Holy Name and of the Holyday of Sunday.
- Aspiration to the Eternal Father to be frequently recited during the day
Confraternity of the Holy Face
Carmelite Monastery of the Little Flower of Jesus, Buffalo, New York
On July 7, 1960, His Excellency the Most Reverend Joseph A. Burke, D.D., Bishop of Buffalo, canonically erected the Confraternity of the Holy Face in the Monastery Chapel of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns. Its affiliation to the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face at Tours, France, took place in the same year.
The Confraternity has for its principal object:
1. The rendering of a special homage of respect and love to the Holy Face of Our Lord Jesus Christ, outraged and disfigured in His Passion.
2. The repairing of blasphemies, profanation of Sunday, and other sins of impiety, which outrage It afresh.
3. The obtaining from God of the conversion of sinners, particularly blasphemers and other impious sinners.
4. The appeasing of Divine Justice.
5. In addition, its establishment here in the Carmel of Buffalo has the particular aim of obtaining the fulfillment of God's designs of mercy on the Communists. More than a hundred years ago, Our Lord revealed to Sister Mary of Saint Peter, Discalced Carmelite Nun of Tours, that He had special designs of mercy on this class of erring ones, which merciful designs would be accomplished by devotion to His Holy Face.
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible, and most ineffable Name of God be always 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.
- "The Golden Arrow" Prayer in Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God
Promises of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Favor of Those Who Honor His Holy Face
1. All those who honor My Face in a spirit of reparation will by so doing perform the office of the pious Veronica.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. By offering My Face to My Eternal Father, nothing will be refused, and the conversion of many sinners will be obtained.
5. By My Holy Face, they will work wonders, appease the anger of God and draw down mercy on sinners.
6. 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.
7. Those who on earth contemplate the wounds of My Face shall in Heaven behold it radiant with glory.
8. 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.
9. I will defend them, I will preserve them and I assure them of Final Perseverance.
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.