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
During 1848 – “The Year of Revolution” – violent upheavals broke out all over Europe. France, Italy, Germany, the Habsburg territories, and other parts of Europe all saw liberal revolutionaries attempting to overthrow the established order. However, the most revolutionary act of that year was not an act of political violence, but the publication of a book. On 21 February 1848 the Communist Manifesto was made known to the world by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. This document proved to be one of the most destructive in human history. This is the Manifesto which, said Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn:
“[E]veryone knows by name, and which almost no one ever takes the trouble to read [and] contains even more terrible things than what has actually been done.”
Revolutions, wars, genocide, famines, atheism, persecution, sacrilege, torture, humiliation, destruction of prosperity, deconstruction of morals, corruption of children and slaughter of innocents… these are all among the poisoned fruits of the most destructive ideology ever to plague mankind. And yet the growth of Communism, its many victories, and its current global advance, were not inevitable: they were the result of human sin.
They could have been prevented – and can still be brought an immediate halt – by repentance and reparation.
Our Lord promised that he would be with his Church until the end of time. He fulfils this promise through his threefold ministry of teaching, governing and sanctifying, which he exercises through the Roman Pontiff and the bishops in union with him. But he also assists the Church through private revelations, which can instruct and guide the faithful, when they are duly investigated and approved by legitimate ecclesiastical authority.
One such assistance was given by Our Lord through his revelations to Sister Marie of St Peter of the Carmel of Tours, in the years immediately prior to the “Year of Revolution.” Months before the launch of the world’s first organised Communist movement in 1847, and at the time when Marx and Engels were preparing their Manifesto, Our Lord warned of the existence of Communists who “were working secretly to advance their schemes” and of their “secret and diabolical plots.” Not only this, but he also provided a remedy: reparation to his Holy Face for the sins of blasphemy and for the desecration of Sundays and Holy Days.
Our Lord’s words were not sufficiently heeded at that time: let us take notice now.
Image: Marx and Engles at the Rheinische Zeitung, Wiki Commons.
Our series so far
In Part I, we provided the prayers of reparation and outlined the ecclesiastical approval given to the work of reperation to the Holy Face – especially the judgement in favour of a supernatural origin given by theArchbishop of Tours in 1875, and the extension of the work of reparation to the Universal Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1888.
In Part II, we discussed the early revelations, in which Our Lord called for the founding of the work of reparation for blasphemy and the desecration of holy days.
And now in part V we move on to the final phase of the revelations, during which Our Lord summoned us to make reparation to his Holy Face as a means to wage war against communism.
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The “malice of revolutionary men”
Between 1843 and 1847, Our Lord communicated to Sister Marie of St Peter very frequently. Yet the phase of revelations that we are now examining was preceded by a gap of “several months” during which time no extraordinary supernatural events occurred. In her Autobiography (UK readers: here), written in obedience to her superiors, Sister Marie recalled that during this time Our Lord “deigned however to purify my soul by great interior sufferings, as all consciousness of his presence was withdrawn from me.”
However, on of the feast of St Francis of Assisi, 4 October 1846, Our Lord spoke to her once again:
“My justice is irritated on account of the profanation of the holy day of Sunday. I seek a victim!”
Sister Marie answered him:
“Lord, you know that my superiors have given me permission to abandon myself into your divine hands. Therefore do with me whatever may please you, although I must add, ‘What am I anyhow?’”
After making a profound act of self-sacrifice, offering herself anew, Our Lord informed her that:
“He would in a new way take possession of my whole being, so that in a certain manner He himself would suffer within me, in order to appease the divine justice, aroused by reason of the desecration of Sunday.”
After that, Our Lord commanded her to receive Holy Communion every Sunday for these three particular intentions:
1st In a spirit of atoning for all forbidden works done on Sundays, which as holy days are to be sanctified.
2nd To appease divine justice which was on the very verge of striking on account of the profanation of holy days
3rd To implore the conversion of those sinners who desecrate Sundays, and to succeed in obtaining the cessation of forbidden Sunday labour.
Following this revelation Our Lord invited her to offer his Holy Face to his Eternal Father as “a means of obtaining these gifts of mercy.”
Sister Marie added a note after her account of this revelation, in which she remarked:
“[W]hat filled my soul with sadness was an interior light which Our Lord granted me, by which I saw that God’s justice was preparing to send us still other chastisements. Our Lord communicated to me that this time he would use as the instruments of punishment, not the elements, but the malice of revolutionary men.”
Thus it was that Our Lord declared to Sister Marie what we see made manifest in our time: that it is through the “malice of revolutionary men” that he is punishing mankind.
God will show mercy if reparation is made
God is punishing us by means of “revolutionary men”, but he will spare us if we repent. That is the message of the revelation of 25 October 1846.
On that day, after the reception of Holy Communion, Our Lord spoke once more to Sister Marie:
“Our Lord told me that the cup of divine justice had been only partly poured out upon us as yet and I was then shown still other punishments which divine justice was preparing to send down to earth.”
At the sight of these terrible punishment Sr Marie exclaimed:
“O Sweet Jesus, if I could only drink what remains in that cup so that my brethren could be spared!”
Our Lord consoled her:
“[He] told me that in his excessive mercy he had given in me this [Sacred] Heart as a vase which alone was worthy of being presented to his Eternal Father to receive the bitter wine of his anger. Then he showed me that by passing through this holy channel, the bitter wine of God’s anger would be changed for us into the sweet wine of his mercy. But that since the rights of justice cannot be entirely disregarded, if I may so express myself, Our Lord desires to make an alliance between his justice and his mercy, and for this end he now asks that the work of reparation be established. Oh, yes, Our Lord will most assuredly disarm the anger of God, his Father, by offering him from us his reparative work!”
Then he dictated a prayer to her:
Eternal Father, look upon the Sacred Heart of Jesus which I offer to you as a vase that it might receive the wine of your justice, and in passing through this holy channel that it may be changed for us into the wine of your mercy!
The connection between the Holy Name and the Holy Face of Jesus
On 21 January 1847, Sister Marie heard “Our Saviour sighing that his love in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar was not appreciated because of the lack of faith among Christians.”
Commenting on this Sister Marie wrote:
“Yes, it is through this august sacrament that Jesus, Our Saviour, desires to impart to souls the rare virtue emanating from his most Holy Face, for indeed there in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, his adorable face is more dazzling than sun. He then once more promised me to imprint the divine likeness upon the souls of those who honour the feature of his face.”
After giving her these revelations concerning the Blessed Sacrament, Our Lord showed Sister Marie “by means of a comparison simple and appropriate, the special connection existing between his Holy Name and his Holy Face.
“He made me understand that whereas merit accruing from noble actions is always attached to persons themselves, yet the glory which accompanies those actions is always attached to the names of these persons. In short, I saw that the merit or demerit of any person is always attached to his name, so that each time the name of a person is mentioned, it recalls either the glory of that person or his ignominy.
“Because the most Holy Name of God expresses the divinity, and all the perfections of the creator, it follows from this that blasphemers of this sacred name attack God himself. Recalling the words of Our Lord who said, ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me,’ we must realize that since Jesus, through his incarnation, became capable of suffering, it is he who endures in his adorable face the insults offered to the name of God, his Father, by blasphemers. I then saw that the impious through their blasphemies attack his adorable face, and that the faithful glorify this holy face by the praises they confer on the Holy Name of God.”
After this Our Lord explained to the connection between his Holy Face, his Holy Name, the sin of blasphemy, and the power of reparation.
He began his explanation by drawing attention to that which is always “mystifying in the facial expression of an honourable man who has been maligned.” Imagine, he asked her, the face of man who has “earned for himself a distinguished name”. He is standing “in the presence of his enemies” who “by uttering their slanderous accusations and sarcastic remarks against him, instead of offering titles of honour which are his due… injure him most painfully.” Our Lord then conveyed a vivid picture to Sister Marie of the injury done by such insults to an honourable man and, thus to the greatest degree imaginable, to he himself. Sister Marie retells the vision for us in her Autobiography (UK: here):
“His whole facial expression undergoes a painful change as the insults flung at him become reflected in every line of his features, which tell all too clearly that he is undergoing real torments.
“Look closely at the way this man’s face turns red which is only natural since he is burning with shame and confusion, feeling cheap and disgraced he suffers more cruelly from this embarrassment covering his face than he would suffer from various other pains that might be inflicted on other parts of his body. Well, this is but a faint picture of what the adorable face of our Saviour endures when it is outraged by the blasphemies of the wicked.”
Blasphemy therefore, which insults God’s Holy Name, also outrages the Holy Face of Our Lord. But what is the effect of reparation? Sister Marie’s instruction by Our Lord continued:
“After that, Our Lord made me visualise this same man in the presence of his friends, who, hearing of the insults to which he had been subjected by his enemies, at once gather around him that they might undo the wrongs that he was made to endure. Joining in one voice they all begin to treat him with the dignity which he deserves, speaking highly and openly and of his achievements, recommending his great deeds, and rendering honour to his distinguished name as they address him by his special titles.
“Now watch the face of this man as it begins to take on the expression of sweetness, which reflects his appreciation of the praise and honour accorded to him. Soon happiness is seen resting on is brow, as momentarily it spreads over his whole face, making it radiant with contentment. Observe the joy sparkling in his eyes, and finally a blissful smile parts his lips, for behold, the entire face of this man has become transformed.
“In short, the faithful friends of this man have not only wiped away the burning shame on his face, outraged by the insults of his enemies, but by their unanimous praises, they have given him so full a measure of honour that it by far surpassed the former shames he endured in his countenance. And that is precisely what the friends of Our Lord Jesus Christ actually do for him by the work of reparation. The honour which they give to his name is seen reflected in his brow and in his facial expression, but especially is the Holy Face in the Blessed Sacrament made radiant with joy by means of reparation.”
Sister Marie concluded her account of this extraordinary and profound revelation with these moving words:
“I comprehend that as blasphemers cruelly afflict the Holy Face, so those who make reparation delight and glorify it. But what I see as I never saw before is the striking connection between a person’s face and his name, for the face reflects indeed either his honour or his dishonour.”
Blasphemy, under which, as Our Lord stated, is included attacks on the Church, is the great evil of our day. Reparation is the solution.
The secret and diabolical plots of the Communists
On 14 March 1847, after Holy Communion, Our Lord warned Sister Marie of St Peter of the “punishments which divine justice is preparing” for mankind if the anger of God is not appeased. Sister Marie recalled:
“He showed me the sins of blasphemy and profanation of Sunday under the symbol of two pumps, with which men guilty of these crimes are drawing the waters of God’s wrath on our country, and which is in danger of being submerged – if the work of reparation, which he has given as a means of deliverance, be not established.”
Our Lord then warned – just a few months before the founding of the Communist League and just under a year before the publication of the Communist Manifesto – that the Communists “were working secretly to advance their schemes”. He said:
“Oh, if you only knew their secret and diabolical plots and their anti-Christian principles. They are waiting for a favourable day in order to inflame the whole country. To obtain mercy, ask therefore that this work of reparation be established, by addressing yourself to him who through the bounden duty of his office can establish it.”
Alas, the Archbishop of Tours, though believing fully in the revelations, did not establish the work of reparation publicly. This would not be done until 1875, by which time Communism had already caused much bloodshed in France.
Our Lord commands warfare against Communism
With her typical and becoming simplicity, Sister Marie recorded the following of the revelation made to her after Holy Communion on 29 March 1847:
“Our Lord commanded me to make war on Communism because he said they were the enemies of the Church and of her Christ. He told me also that most of these wolfish men who are now Communists had been born in the Church whose bitter enemies they now openly declare themselves to be.”
“I have already told you that I hold you in my hands as an arrow. I now want to hurl this arrow against my enemies. To arm you for the battle ahead, I give you the weapons of my passion, that is my cross which these enemies dread, and also the other instruments of my tortures. Go forward to meet these foes with the artlessness of a child, and the bravery of a courageous soldier. Receive for this mission the benediction of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
After having been favoured with this revelation, Sister Marie would “frequently call on the Blessed Virgin to be the depositary of these sacred weapons which her Divine Son gave me since she is called the Tower of David on which hang a thousand bucklers.”
“Since Our Saviour continued to give me further lights on this subject I now said to him:
‘Lord, give me a skilful hand, and train me to use well these weapons which you have entrusted to me for combat.’
“To this Our Lord answered:
‘The weapons of my enemies inflict death – but my weapons give life.’
“The following is the prayer I frequently recite to fulfil the mission entrusted to me:
‘Eternal Father, I offer you the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ and all the other instrument of his holy passion, that you may put division in the camp of your enemies, for as your beloved son has said, “a kingdom divided against itself shall fall.”’
I have entered the arena to battle with the enemies of God
And now we come to the final pages of Sister Marie’s revelations, compiled at the command of her superiors and made known to the world by Archbishop Colet of Tours when he pronounced in favour of the revelations in 1875.
These final words must rank among the most militant ever spoken by a religious of the Church of God, engaged in spiritual combat with the forces of Hell. We end this part of by quoting them in full:
“I have entered the arena to battle with the enemies of God, and since I am engaged in this war under the banner of obedience, if I may so express myself, my soul is at peace. Fighting under this banner I feel safe and I no longer fear the demon. Our Lord has given me the grace to launch an offensive warfare.
“Today, after Holy Communion, he inspired me to be brave in the encounter, promising me that as a reward for my faithful conduct in these battles, he would give me a Cross of Honour, which would have the power of opening heaven to me. He also promised me the gold of charity, by which I understood that I would be granted all the graces needed to triumph patiently and lovingly over any obstacles that would come my way.
“Having fought the enemies of God during these past three solemn feast days, and that with all my strength, I must explain that I have uttered many imprecations against them, I am now somewhat saddened for having done so. I well know that the holy king David has done as much, as for example in his Psalm 108, yet I am not certain whether the same course is allowed me. Nevertheless, everything that I said during prayer was inspired by Our Lord, and should it turn out that I have been mistaken, I will, of course, do this no more. The following is the formula of my militant procedure:
“I begin by placing my soul in Our Lord’s hands, after which I beg him to use my soul as he would a bow, urging him to bend it so that the arrows would fly directly towards his enemies.
“After doing this I proceed to enter the battlefield, fortified with the cross and the other instruments of Our Lord’s tortures as my weapons of war, levelling their infinite conquering power against the military entrenchments of the enemy, in the way he has taught me. Then I say:
“May God arise and let his enemies be scattered and let all those who hate him flee from before his face!”
“May the thrice Holy Name of God overthrow all their plans!”
“May the Holy Name of the Living God split them up by disagreements!”
“May the terrible Name of the God of eternity stamp out all their godlessness!”
“Repeating other similar ejaculations, I continued to level these rounds of ammunition at God’s enemies, and after I have beaten them down I add:
“Lord, I do not desire the death of the sinner, but I want him to be converted and to live. ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’
“Feeling disturbed about uttering these imprecations, I sometimes worry but I must make it clear that never do I have the intention to wish evil to the enemy. I desire only to oppose their wickedness and their passions. In short, what I want is not to kill them but the ‘evil spirit’ within them.
“Such is the spiritual exercise which I perform without any mental effort and with great ease, because I simply allow myself to be led by the grace given me, but I fully believe that there is someone anxious to alarm me, this being the general of the opposing side, the devil.
“SISTER MARIE OF ST PETER AND OF THE HOLY FAMILY.”
An appendix to the Autobiography and Revelations provides us with some details of the final months of Sister Marie’s life. Later in 1847, Our Lord informed Sister Marie of the overthrown of King Louis Phillipe, which would take place during the revolution of 1848:
“Imagine what will be the state of things in this country when soon my powerful arm will shake this throne and overthrow him who is now seated thereon.”
And on 2 December 1847 he urged that the work of reparation be speedily established for “the storm is already rumbling but I will keep my promise, of my wishes regarding the reparation be respected and acted upon.”
On 13 February, she wrote:
“Our Lord made known to me that terrible woes were impending, and He said: ‘Pray, pray, for the Church is threatened by a fearful tempest!’”
And a week later – the day before the publication of the Communist Manifesto – she wrote:
“On Sunday, February 20, having offered Holy Communion in reparation for the outrages against the Divine Majesty, it was made known to my soul by an interior light that the crisis was at hand. I heard these words:
‘The Lord has strung his bow and he is about to discharge his arrows!’
“Realising how shamefully God had been outraged, I could no longer remain neutral, as it were, and so entering into his designs of justice, I answered:
‘Strike, O Lord!’
“I longed for God’s honour to be vindicated. Praying God to strike as a father and not as an angry judge I saw that his stroke would not be a mortal stroke. I comprehended that this scandal, of I may so express myself, must of necessity come to pass. For more than four years had the arm of Our Lord been raised over our guilty heads.”
For more than four years the call of Our Lord for the establishment of the work of reparation had not been heeded, and in 1848 a monster was given birth.
For 174 years since 1848 we have not heeded Our Lord’s call for reparation to his Holy Face. For 105 years since Fatima we have not heeded Our Lady’s call for reparation to her Immaculate Heart. And with each year the evils of Communism have got worse until they threaten to sweep away even the remnants of Christian civilisation.
But it is never too late:
“Our Lord desires to make an alliance between his justice and his mercy, and for this end he now asks that the work of reparation be established. Oh, yes, Our Lord will most assuredly disarm the anger of God, his Father, by offering him from us his reparative work!”
In the final part of this series, we will consider what each one of us can do make the requested reparation to the Holy Face, even now, when the hour is late.
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All quotations from the revelations are taken from The Golden Arrow: The Autobiography and Revelations of Sister Mary of St Peter on Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus, ed. Dorothy Scallan, (New York, 1954). This book was published with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur. (UK: here) [The WM Review benefits from all purchases through these Amazon links.]