When we gaze upon the face of Christ crucified, we allow ourselves to be united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.
Today in the Holy Catholic Church we celebrate Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday) and The Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus. I touched upon shrove Tuesday in yesterday’s post, so today I will focus more on this ancient and venerable practice of honoring the face of Jesus. This feast was first approved by Leo XIII in 1895, and then made into a feast day by Pope Pius XII in April of 1958.
In Tours, France during the 1840’s a young Carmelite nun, Sister Marie of Saint Peter, received many revelations from Our Lord in which He requested that a devotion to His Holy Face be established. The express purpose of this devotion was to make reparation for the blasphemies and outrages carried out by the Communists, as well as for the blasphemies of atheists and freethinkers and others who profaned the Lord on Sundays, by those Christians who no longer reverenced Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. He gave her the Golden Arrow prayer as a remedy to the “poisoned arrows” of blasphemy. He told her that those who recited this prayer would pierce His heart delightfully, and heal those wounds inflicted on Him by the malice of sinners.This prayer is regarded as the very basis of the Work of Reparation.
PRAYER OF REPARATION IN PRAISE OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS
ENTITLED ” THE GOLDEN ARROW”
May the most Holy, most Sacred, most Adorable,
Most Incomprehensible and Ineffable Name of God
Be always 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.
Years later, a devout and pious nun, Sister Pierina de Micheli, (who died in 1945,) was given many visions through Our Blessed Lady , as well as from Our Lord, Jesus. They urged her to make reparation for the many insults suffered by Jesus during His Passion, when he was slapped, and spit upon and even when he was kissed by Judas. She was also urged to make reparation for the neglect and sacrileges against Jesus in the Eucharist.She was asked to have a medal cast that showed the face of Jesus as it appeared on the cloth of St. Veronica and to further spread this holy devotion.
The first medal of the Holy Face was offered to Pope Pius XII who approved the devotion and the medal.In 1940, when the Second World War was raging through the world, the medal was widely distributed throughout Italy to soldiers, sailors and pilots. There were many miracles attributed to the medal and devotion to the Holy Face spread. On April 17th, 1958, he declared the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (Shrove Tuesday) as the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus as Our Lord had requested.
In Our Lady’s own words; “the medal is a weapon for defense, a shield for courage, a token of love and mercy,which her Divine Son wished to give to the world in these troubled days of lust and hatred for God and His Church. Devilish snares have been set to rob the hearts of men of their faith while evil spreads the world over. Genuine apostles are few. A Divine remedy to all these evils will be the Adorable Face of my Son, Jesus.”
It was also said that whoever wore the medal , and paid a visit to the Blessed Sacrament on Shrove Tuesday, in a spirit of reparation for the outrages received by the Holy Face of Jesus during His Passion, and the outrages suffered daily by the Holy Eucharist, would be granted the gift of a strong faith and the grace needed to defend Our Lord. They are also promised the grace of a happy death with the assistance of Christ Himself.
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