Holy Face Part III: the “exterior object” of reparation8-min read (inc. footnotes)

This is a series on the Holy Face.

Part I Prayers of the devotion, history and ecclesiastical approvals.
Part II Sr Marie of St Peter’s revelations, blasphemy, communism, revolution and reparation.
Part III The object of this reparation – the Holy face.
Part IV The relevance of the revelations to the universal Church.
Part V The Holy Face and the defeat of Communism.

Announcement of the Third Rosary Crusade against our current tyranny, in reparation to the Holy Face for blasphemy

This is the third part of our series on the Holy Face devotion. In this part we take up the account of the revelations where we left it at the end of Part II. Readers will recall that Our Lord Jesus Christ, in a series of revelations between August 1843 and June 1845 made known to Sister Marie of St Peter, a nun of the Carmelite convent of Tours, that he wanted a great “work of reparation” to make reparation for the crime of blasphemy – including attacks on the Church and religion – and for the desecration of Sunday and Holy Days.

This great “work of reparation” was to centre around a Confraternity erected by lawful ecclesiastical authority, the basic rule of which was also revealed. He entrusted Sister Marie of St Peter with communicating his wishes to the Archbishop of Tours. The archbishop accepted the authenticity of the revelations and asked Sister Marie to ask Our Lord for new revelations to help him to know what he should do next. This request of Sister Marie inaugurated the second phase of the revelations: that the Holy Face was to be the exterior object of the work of reparation.

The revelation of the Holy Face – 11 October 1845

In her account of her revelations Sister Marie writes that following her conversation with the archbishop, which took place in June 1845, she continued in prayer in accordance with his wishes. On 11 October, after receiving Holy Communion:

“Our Lord carried me in spirit to the road leading up to Calvary, and there he vividly showed me the pious deed of charity which St Veronica performed towards him when with her veil she wiped his holy face covered with spittle, dust, sweat and blood. Then this Divine Saviour told me that in our present age the wicked, by their blasphemies, renew all those outrages that disfigured his holy face on that occasion. I was enlightened to see that all the blasphemies which wicked men hurl against the divinity, whom they cannot reach, fall back like the spittle of the mob upon the Holy Face of Our Lord, who offered himself a victim for sinners.”[1]

Following this vision:

“Our Lord told me that by practicing reparation for blasphemy, we render him the same service as did the pious Veronica and that just as he looked with kindly eyes upon this holy woman during his passion, so would he regard with affection all those who make reparation. I could see from Our Lord’s attitude that he had a very tender love for St Veronica.”[2]

After these revelations Sister Marie “was constantly occupied in adoring the august and holy face of our Divine Saviour” and in further beseeching Our Lord for new revelations – as the Archbishop of Tours had asked of her.

Further revelations of the Holy Face – Vigil of SS Simon and Jude, 27 October 1845

On the morning of 27 October 1845, while she was in choir for the daily mental prayer, Our Lord told Sister Marie that he was going to fulfil the archbishop’s request. It was in this revelation that he explained the intrinsic relationship between the “work of reparation” for which he had called, and the devotion which he was now revealing. This revelation is central to a full understanding of the Holy Face devotion and the prayers of reparation, and it is for this reason that we give lengthy extracts from Sister Marie’s account of what followed:

“Drawing me strongly to the contemplation of his adorable face, our Divine Saviour made me see through a ray of light issuing from his august countenance that the Holy Face which he presented to mankind for their adoration, was indeed the mirror of those unutterable divine perfections comprised and contained in the Most Holy Name of God. […]

“I then understood by this illumination that as the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the exterior object offered for our adoration, to represent his boundless love in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, so in a parallel manner, in the work of reparation, the adorable Face of Our Lord is the exterior object offered for the adoration of the members. I saw that by thus honouring and venerating this Sacred Countenance covered anew with outrages, we could atone for blasphemers who attack the divinity, of which this Holy Face is the figure, the mirror and the expression. […]

“By virtue of this Holy Face, offered to the Eternal Father, we can appease His anger and obtain the conversion of the wicked and of blasphemers… Then he showed me this Face as the butt of all the enemies of His Holy Name and I saw that all blasphemers and dissenters inflicted once more the sufferings of the passion upon Our Lord’s Holy Face. By this divine illumination I saw also that the impious in uttering wicked words, and in blaspheming the Holy Name of God spit in Our Lord’s face, and cover it with mud. I comprehended too that all the blows which dissenters inflict upon Holy Church, attacking religion, are a renewal of the numerous blows which Our Lord’s face received in the passion, and also that these blows were inflicted on Him by those who attempted to stamp out the works of God.”

After this vision has taken place, Our Lord said to Sister Marie:

“I seek Veronicas to wipe and venerate My Divine Face which has but few adorers!”

And then he assured her that:

“[A]ll persons who would apply themselves to this work of reparation would perform the same service in His behalf as that which saintly Veronica has performed.”

This revelation concluded by Our Lord saying: 

“‘By My Holy Face you will work wonders!”

And 

“Now if there will be those who will not recognise that this is truly My Work, it is because they close their eyes.”[3]

On the following day Our Lord, in a new revelation, gave Sister Marie the following beautiful image:

“Just as in an earthly kingdom, money which is stamped with the picture of the sovereign or ruling executive of the country procures whatever one desires to purchase, so likewise in the Kingdom of Heaven, you shall obtain all that you desire by offering the coin of My precious Humanity which is My adorable Face.”[4]

Continuing revelations of the Holy Face 

In the months that followed Our Lord made further revelations of the nature of the devotion to the Holy Face. The accounts of these revelations can be found in the autobiography Sister Marie wrote at the request of her superiors. In this series we will examine some of these revelations in more depth. We will conclude this part by drawing attention the revelation was that given on 5 November 1845, of which Sister Marie recalled:

“Our Divine Saviour told me that he has undertaken to bring to the knowledge of men the power residing in his adorable face in order to restore the image of God in those souls who have lost it through sin… By divine illumination I see that this adorable face is a divine stamp which has the power of imprinting anew the image of God upon those souls to whom this seal is applied.”[5]

In response to this revelation, Sister Marie of St Peter was moved to compose the following beautiful prayer:

I salute you, I adore you, and I love you, O adorable face of my beloved Jesus, as the noble stamp of the divinity! Completely surrendering my soul to you, I most humbly beg that this seal be affixed upon us all so that the image of God may once more be reproduced by its imprint in our souls!”[6]

She commented:

“In this work, man is invited to make reparation for the outrages committed against God in return for which God promises us to restore his image in our souls, by applying to them the virtue of his Holy Face. What a mystery of love! I believe that God has great plans of showing mercy to souls by revealing to is the power of his adorable countenance. In this priceless gift we possess an infallible means of appeasing the anger of the Eternal Father, irritated by blasphemers because whenever we beg him to cast a look on the face of his divine son, the rod falls from his hands. ‘Behold, O God, our protector and look on the face of your Christ!’”[7]

In the Part IV of this series we will explore the revelation given on the Vigil of Epiphany 1846, which the editor of the Autobiography and Revelations referred to as “the loftiest of all His revelations on the Holy Face” in which “the Divine Redeemer holds out blessings of unbounded hope even for those blasphemers who openly attack religion and the Holy Catholic Church.” In Part V we will discuss the final phase of the revelations, in which Our Lord revealed that communism was a punishment for blasphemy and could be defeated by the work of reparation.

We hope that this series will encourage you to consider incorporating the prayers of reparation to the Holy Face into your daily prayer life.

This is a series on the Holy Face.

Part I Prayers of the devotion, history and ecclesiastical approvals.
Part II Sr Marie of St Peter’s revelations, blasphemy, communism, revolution and reparation.
Part III The object of this reparation – the Holy face.
Part IV The relevance of the revelations to the universal Church.
Part V The Holy Face and the defeat of Communism.

Announcement of the Third Rosary Crusade against our current tyranny, in reparation to the Holy Face for blasphemy


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[1] The Autobiography and Revelations of Sister Mary of St. Peter on Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus, ed. Dorothy Scallan, trans. Fr Emeric Scallan S.D.B, (New York, 1954), p152-53.

[2]Autobiography and Revelations, p153.

[3] Autobiography and Revelations, p158.

[4] Autobiography and Revelations, p161.

[5] Autobiography and Revelations, p163.

[6] Autobiography and Revelations, p163.

[7] Autobiography and Revelations, p163-64.

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