In 1843, Jesus came as a vision to a Carmelite Nun, Sister Marie of St. Peter, requesting the establishment of a devotion to his Holy Face.  Jesus said in this vision that the devotion would be an opportunity to make amends for the wrongdoings happening throughout the world.  Through participating in the devotion, faithful souls would be like St. Veronica, who, during Christ’s Passion, separated herself from the indifferent crowd by wiping the sweat and blood from Jesus’ face with her veil.  When she took the veil away an impression of the Holy Face was left.

Numerous miracles have been associated with the Holy Face.  During a period of public upheaval in the Papal States in 1849, St. Veronica’s Veil was displayed to petition for God’s mercy.  On the third day of this display, a distinct halo of light appeared around Christ’s features.  After this, copies of the Holy Face were made, being touched to the original veil.  The Holy Face was displayed in many homes, with the home of the Frenchman, Leo Dupont, becoming a site of pilgrimage for devotional prayer in order to experience the Holy Face’s healing miracles.

As a result of these miracles, Pope Leo XIII established the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face in 1885, which St. Therese’s family became members of.  Therese’s particular devotion to the Holy Face was shown by her choice of the name Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face when she entered the Carmel.  She said: “I desire that, like the Face of Jesus, my face be truly hidden that no one on earth would know me. I thirsted after suffering and I longed to be forgotten.”

In 1958, Pope Pius XII approved the observance of the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus on Shrove Tuesday.  Below is a short prayer known as the Golden Arrow dictated to the Carmelite Nun who received the vision of Jesus in 1843:

May the Most Holy, Most Sacred, Most Adorable, Most Mysterious and Unutterable Name of God be praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in Heaven, on earth, and in the hells, by all God’s creatures, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Amen.