April is the Month the Church Dedicates to the Holy Face
“And my people, upon whom my NAME is called, being converted, shall
make supplication to me, and seek out MY FACE, and do penance for their most wicked ways: then will I hear
from heaven, and I will forgive their sins and will heal their land.”
(II Paralipomenon, vii. 14)
“I have given my body to the strikers, and my checks to them that plucked them: I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon me.”
(Isaias, l. 6)
“Then did they spit in
his face, and buffeted him, and others struck his face with the palms of their hands.”
(St. Matth, xxvi. 67)
TO THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS
As revealed to Sr. Mary of St. Peter
(Click here, to download the book, The Life of Sister Mary St. Peter Carmelite of Tours, 1884)
“And I will pour out upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of
Jerusalem, the spirit of grace, and of prayers: and they shall look upon me, whom they have pierced.”
(Zacharias, xii. 10)
Promises of Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sr. Mary of St. Peter, Discalced Carmelite Nun of Tours, France, in favor of those who honor His Holy Face:
1. “By My Holy Face you shall work miracles.”
2. “By My Face you will obtain the conversion of many sinners.”
3. “Nothing that you ask in making this offering will be refused to you.”
4. “If you knew how pleasing the sight of My Face is to My Father.”
5. “As in a kingdom you can procure all you wish for with a coin marked with the King's effigy, so in the Kingdom of Heaven you will obtain all you desire with the precious coin of My Holy Face.”
6. “Our Lord has promised me that He will imprint His divine likeness on the souls of those who honor His most holy Countenance.”
7. “All those who honor My Holy Face in a spirit of reparation will, by so doing, perform the office of the pious Veronica.”
8. “According to the care you take in making reparation to My Face, disfigured by blasphemies, so will I take care of yours, which has been disfigured by sin. I will reprint therin My image and render it as beautiful as it was on leaving the Baptismal font.”
9. “Our Lord promised me that all those who defend His cause in this work of reparation, by words, by prayers, or in writing, He will defend them before His Father; at their death He will purify their souls by effacing all the blots of sin and will restore to them their primitive beauty.”
History of the Image.
(Click here, to open the image in a new tab)
Excerpt from Life of Sister Mary St. Peter Carmelite of Tours, pages 341 – 344.
One of these deserves a particular notice, for it contains both Reparation and the devotion to the Holy Face: the Reparatory Congregation with perpetual adoration, founded at Paris by Mademoiselle Dubouche, in religion Sister Mary Teresa.
This pious lady, a distinguished artist, (portrait painter) and at the same time a person of uncommon strength of mind, and of high moral worth, heard of the Abridgment of Facts when on a visit to Mother Isabella of St. Paul, prioress of the Carmelites at Rue d’Enfer. She was struck by what she read in this little notice, and was full of admiration for the beautiful litanies of the Holy Face which she had just received, and commenced to recite them with great devotion. “The night following (Friday),” said M. Dupont, “Our Lord appeared to her in the same suffering condition as during his Passion. The next morning Mlle. Dubouche, full of holy ardor, undertook to reproduce on canvas the disfigured and bleeding Face of Our Lord which she had beheld in her vision. She was inspired to work at this painting only on Fridays and on her knees: for four successive Fridays she toiled at this labor of love, and at the expiration of the fourth week a picture was produced such as would be creditable to our best artists. Mlle. Dubouche, laden with her precious burden hardly finished, set out for Tours, and presented herself unexpectedly at the carmelite monastery, where she found souls ready to appreciate and understand her noble heart, for Our Lord had previously said to Sister Mary St. Peter:
“I will give you my Face and every time that you present it to my Father, my mouth will open to plead your cause.”
Mlle. Debouche was received in the parlor by the mother prioress assisted by her secretary Sister Teresa of St. Joseph; and in presence of Sr. St. Peter, at the time portress, Mlle. Dubouche opened the box containing the picture set in a black frame with a gold star in each corner. Sister St. Peter was called upon by the lady to know if the picture corresponded to what she had seen; she humbly replied that the Face of Our Lord had never been shown her in a sensible manner, but that the picture was a good expression of the idea she had conceived of the suffering countenance of our Divine Lord.
To give the Community the pleasure and opportunity of beholding it, the picture was placed on the novitiate altar, and whilst the sisters were piously contemplating it, Sister Mary St. Peter approached and regarded it with such an expression of sorrow and love, that many of the sisters remained profoundly impressed thereat.
M. Dupont desired to behold this wonderful picture, and to gratify his wish, the pious artist had it brought to his house, and presented it to him herself. She very willingly gave the permission to have it copied, of which favor he was not slow in taking advantage; the first hasty but faithful copy was given to the Carmelites. It is preserved with great care in the chapter-room, above the spot where our good Sister St. Peter now reposes. Mlle. Dubouche, herself, recopied the picture several times; one of these copies is now in the chapel of St. Ursula at Tours.
THE GOLDEN DAGGER
Excerpt from Life of Sister Mary St. Peter Carmelite of Tours, pages 126 – 129.
At five o’clock, she commenced her evening prayer; placing herself in spirit at the foot of the cross, (according to her custom, as we have seen), she lovingly asked of Our Lord the cause of his wrath. Her Divine Master, wishing to try her, changed his usual manner, and said: “I have lent ear to your sighs, and have seen your desire to glorify me; yet, all this proceeds not from you, it is I who am the Author of all holy desires.”
The sister continues: “Then he unfolded his Heart to me, concentrating therein the powers of my soul, and addressed me thus: ‘My Name is everywhere blasphemed, even little children blaspheme it.’ And he made me understand how that dreadful sin pierced and wounded his Heart, aye, more than all other crimes. By blasphemy, the sinner outrages him to his face, attacks him openly, and pronounces upon himself his own judgment and condemnation. Blasphemy is an empoisoned dagger, wounding his Divine Heart continually; he told me that he would give me a golden dagger with which to wound him delightfully, and heal the poisonous wounds caused by sin.”
“The following is the prayer which Our Lord dictated to me, notwithstanding my unworthiness, for the reparation of blasphemy against his Holy Name: he offered it to me as a golden dagger, assuring me that every time I said it, I would wound his Heart most lovingly.”
THE GOLDEN DAGGER.
“May the most holy, the most sacred, the most adorable, the most unknown and the most inexpressible Name of God be adored, praised, blessed, loved and glorified, in heaven, on earth and in hell, by all creatures formed by his sacred hand, and by the loving Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Blessed Sacrament of the altar. Amen.”
The sister here suddenly interrupts her interesting narrative to explain an expression contained in this prayer.
“As I was not a little astonished when Our Lord said and in hell, he had the goodness to make me understand that his justice was there glorified. I beg to remark, that he did not only mean the place where the wicked are punished, but also purgatory, where he is loved and glorified by the suffering souls. The word hell is not merely applied to the place where the damned are confined, for our faith teaches us that the Saviour descended into hell or Limbo, where the souls of the just were detained until his Coming; and does not our holy mother the Church pray her divine Spouse to deliver the souls of her children from the gates of hell? A porta inferi erue, Domine, animas eorum.” (Office of the Dead.)
To these explanations may be added, that St. Paul, in one of his epistles, made use of the same expression in an analogical sense, saying: “At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bend in heaven, on earth and in hell.”
She continues: “Our Lord, having given me this golden dagger, added: ‘Beware how you appreciate this favor, for I shall demand an account of it.’ At that moment, I seemed to behold flowing from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, wounded by this golden dagger, torrents of grace for the conversion of sinners, which sight gave me confidence to ask: My Lord, do you then hold me responsible for blasphemers?’”
MIRABILE NOMEN DEI
“Admirable is the Name of God”
Excerpt from Life of Sister Mary St. Peter Carmelite of Tours, pages 197 – 198.
The Divine Master lent a favorable ear to the humble prayers of his servant; he revealed to her the heinousness and enormity of the sin of blasphemy. “It seems as if Our Lord said to me: ‘You cannot comprehend the abomination of this sin: if my justice were not restrained by my mercy, the guilty would be destroyed in an instant; even inanimate beings would feel my vengeance, but I have an eternity in which to punish the wicked.”
“Then he made me understand the excellence of this Work of Reparation; how far it surpassed all others, and how pleasing it was to God, to the angels, the saints and to our holy mother the Church. Oh! would that we could understand the glory we could obtain by repeating these words: MIRABILE NOMEN DEI (Admirable is the Name of God) in a spirit of reparation for blasphemy!”
Gift of God
Excerpt from Life of Sister Mary St. Peter Carmelite of Tours, pages 296 – 298.
“If you but
knew the Gift of God.”
(St. John, iv. 10)
“These words give me new strength and light: ‘If you but knew the gift of God!’ He enlightened me on their signification, and I commenced to penetrate the wonders of this precious Gift of the Father. Oh! what could I not
obtain for myself and for my brethren if I knew how to make use of his infinite merits unknown to the majority of men! I sanctify myself for them (St. John, xvii. 19), Jesus has said to his Father. Let us then offer to this Divine Father, for the
salvation of souls, all that our Redeemer has suffered for us, and we shall thereby enrich our extreme indigence. O blindness of men! who run with ardor after the treasures of earth which together cannot purchase one single soul. The Gift of God is unknown,
despised; this vast treasure of Christians with which we can buy millions of souls by presenting the infinite merits of Jesus at the bank of the Divine Majesty! It seems to me that we should never present ourselves in presence of the Eternal Father without
having some of the merits of his Son in our hands to oblige him, in a manner, to accomplish the admirable promise of Our Lord: ‘Verily, I say into you, whatsoever you ask of the Father in my Name shall be granted you.’ (St. John, xvi. 23)
If we have no virtue of ourselves to offer God, let us present those of Jesus, our Saviour, who has sanctified himself for us. Let us offer his meekness, his patience, his humility, his poverty, his fasts, his vigils, and his zeal for the glory of his Father,
and the salvation of souls! Let us offer his divine and effacious prayers. He has prayed during his mortal life; the Gospel relates that he retired at night to pray, he prayed to heaven, he presented his wounds to his Father, and he prays continually for us
in the most Blessed Sacrament of the altar! Oh! ineffable mystery! A God Saviour praying for his creatures! Let us
unite our prayers to those of the Word Incarnate, and they shall be heard; let us again offer to the eternal Father the Divine Heart of Jesus, his adorable Face and his sacred Wounds; let us offer his tears and his blood, let us offer his journeys, his labors, his words and his silence, all he has suffered in each of the mysteries of his holy life; in fine, let us always have our eyes fixed on this ‘Gift of God.’ ”
“Let us, if we are able, enumerate all the goods we possess in this treasure unknown to the world and we shall soon become rich ourselves and shall enrich poor sinners; because we can offer the humility of Jesus for the conversion of the proud; his poverty for the avarious; his mortifications for the sensual; his zeal to glorify his Father, for the blasphemers, and all the accusations he has suffered at the hands of the Jews, especially that of violating the Sabaoth for the conversion of those who really violate the Lord’s Day.”
“O ‘Gift of God,’ so long unknown, thou shalt henceforth be my only treasure! How many new riches do I not daily discover in thee!”
Correlation between the Sacred Heart and Holy Face.
Excerpt from Life of Sister Mary St. Peter Carmelite of Tours, pages 121 – 122.
The Devotion of the Holy Face emanates from that of the Sacred Heart, the one is the complement of the other[…]
M. Dupont, establishing a comparison between the revelations of Blessed Margaret Mary and those of Sr. St. Peter said: “If the Heart of Jesus is the emblem of love, his adorable Face is that of the sufferings endured for our salvation.” (Life of Mr. Dupont, vol. II,) On this subject a distinguished member of the Society of Jesus, Rev. L. P. Gros, has written the following, which furnishes matter for pious reflection: The heart is the symbol of love; the face is the living mirror of the heart; the face reveals what the heart contains, namely, love, sorrow with the other sentiments of the soul. For this reason the Church does not regard with a favorable eye the images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, if the heart be isolated from the face; it is the face which authorizes us to say: behold such a one! When I have before me the face and the heart of Jesus, I have before me Jesus entire, his soul and its sentiments. Thus Jesus manifested himself to Blessed Margaret Mary, the face of Jesus in this vision, certainly was the light, the life, the word of the heart; that Face of Jesus, at Parray-le-Monial, was a dolorous face, a Holy Face. Behold the heart which has so much loved mankind. . . and they offer me nothing but ingratitude! Surely it was not joy that was then expressed on the Face of Jesus!”
Correlation between the Holy Face and the Holy Name
Excerpt from Life of Sister Mary St. Peter Carmelite of Tours, pages 244 – 247.
Sr. Mary of St. Peter: “I understood that as the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the visible object offered to our admiration to represent his immense love in the most Blessed Sacrament of the altar, likewise, in the Work of Reparation, the Face of Our Lord is the sensible object offered for the adoration of the associates, to repair the outrages of blasphemers who attack the Divinity, of which it is the figure, the mirror and the image. In virtue of this adorable Face, offered to the Eternal Father, we can appease his anger and obtain the conversion of blasphemers.” The co-relation existing between the devotion to the Sacred Heart and that of the Holy Face, could not have been better expressed. The Holy Face is a picture of the Divinity outraged by the opprobrium, of blasphemers, as the Sacred Heart is a picture of the immense love of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
The sister was also favored with another light. “Our Lord” said she, “showed me that the Church, his Spouse, is his mystical body, and that religion is the face of this body; then he showed me this face as the butt of all the scoffs coming from the enemies of his Holy Name; and I saw that blasphemers and sectarians renew in this holy face, all the opprobrium of the Passion. I beheld, also, by this divine light, that the wicked, in uttering profane words and in blaspheming the Holy Name of God, spat in the Divine Face of Our Lord and covered it with filth; that all the blows aimed at the Church and at Religion by sectarians, were the renewal of the numberless buffets which our Divine Lord received in his Holy Face, and that these unfortunate wretches drew forth perspiration in drops of blood from his Divine Face, by thus maliciously destroying his works.”
The word religion, employed here to signify the face of the mystic body of Jesus Christ, is easily explained. We may understand it to mean the doctrine of Jesus Christ, which teaches us what we are obliged to believe and practise, and the worship which we must render to God. Religion, in this sense of the word, is the face of the Church, because her doctrine renders visible the features by which we recognize her even as we distinguish and recognize a person by the features of his countenance. This face of the Church is, at the same time, the Face of Jesus Christ; for the Church can have but one head, which is Jesus Christ, and consequently but one face which is likewise that of Jesus. Finally, in a mystic sense, it can be said that the doctrine of Jesus Christ, that is the Christian religion, is as much his face as that of the Church, because it is by this doctrine that we recognize him as he is himself. Therefore the expression inspired to the sister, justifies itself, and we can but admire the nicety and depth of the word.
Nothing, therefore, could be more conformable to the spirit of Reparation which Our Lord proposes to himself. In our days, more than ever before, the face of his mystic body, the Church, is the butt of all the outrages of his enemies. Sectarians vomit forth their blasphemies into his face, as so much ignoble filth; they launch at her a thousand injurious invectives, even falsehoods which recall to mind the buffets received by the Saviour during his Passion; thus do they seek to destroy his labors; and after the lapse of centuries since the time he passed in the world, ‘doing good,’ they exult in their endeavors to overthrow what he has established, and to counteract the fruits of the salvation brought to man. This face of the Church, also, stands in need of being consoled and comforted, and we are not surprised that Christ has repeated to his servant, the request already made in favor of his Spouse, placed like him on the road to Calvary.
“Then, at this sight,” she continued, “our Lord Jesus Christ said to me: ‘I seek for more Veronicas to console and adore my Divine Face, which has but few worshippers.’ He made me understand anew, that all those who devoted themselves to this work of Reparation, would perform the same office as Veronica. After which he addressed to me the following consoling words: I give you my Holy Face as a recompense for all the services you have rendered me for the past two years; you have done but little, it is true, but your heart has conceived great designs; therefore, I give you this Face in presence of my Eternal Father, in virtue of the Holy Ghost, and in sight of the angels and saints; I present you this gift by the hands of my Holy Mother, and of St. Veronica, who will teach you how to honor it. Our Lord continued: ‘By this Face, you will perform prodigies.’ ”
SUMMARY OF PRAYERS
Act of Reparation for Blasphemy (The Golden Dagger)
May the most holy, the most sacred, the most adorable, the most unknown and the most inexpressible Name of God be adored, praised, blessed, loved and glorified, in heaven, on earth and in hell, by all creatures formed by his sacred hand, and by the loving Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Blessed Sacrament of the altar. Amen.
• Eternal Father, I offer Thee the adorable Face of Thy beloved Son for the honor and glory of Thy Holy Name, for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of dying souls.
• Eternal Father, I ask of Thee as many souls as was the number of the drops of Blood as Thy Divine Son shed in His Passion. (She was given a vision of Hell and the multitude of souls falling in, and was invited to pray for poor sinners. Dec. 21, 1846).
• Eternal Father, I offer Thee Our Savior, Jesus Christ for the expiation of my sins and for the needs of Holy Church.
• Our Lord told Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre on March 16, 1844, “Oh if you only knew what great merit you acquire by saying even once, ‘Admirable is the Name of God,’ in the spirit of reparation of blasphemy.” (say often)
• Be merciful to us, O my God and reject not our prayers, when amid our afflictions, we call upon Thy Holy Name and seek with love and confidence Thine adorable Face.
• Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Holy Face of Jesus, covered with Blood, Sweat, dust and spittle, in reparation for the crimes of communists, blasphemers and by the profaners of His Holy Name and of the Holy Day of Sunday.
Taken from: The Life of Sister Mary St. Peter Carmelite of Tours, 1884;
Below listed are the feasts falling in April 2020:
April 1: Mass of the Season
April 2: St. Francis of Paula Confessor, Double.
April 3: FIRST FRIDAY/Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Greater Double; Commemoration of the Feria.
(THE PASCHALTIDE BEGINS)
April 13: Easter Monday, Double.
April 14: Easter Tuesday, Double.
April 15: Easter Wednesday, Double.
April 16: Easter Thursday, Double.
April 17: Easter Friday, Double.
April 18: Easter Saturday, Double.
April 19: Low Sunday, Double of the I Class.
April 20: Mass of the Season
April 23: St. George Martyr, Simple.
April 24: St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen Martyr, Double.
April 26: II Sunday after Easter, Double; Commemoration of Ss. Cletus and Marcellinus Popes and Martyrs.
April 28: St. Paul of the Cross Confessor, Double; Commemoration of St. Vitalis Martyr.
April 30: St. Catherine of Siena Virgin, Double.
“We have in this precious gift an infallible means of appeasing the wrath of God the Father, irritated against blasphemers; we shall beg him to cast a glance at the Face
of his Divine Son, and the thunderbolts of justice will fall harmlessly from his hands. O God, our protector, look upon us and cast thine eyes on the Face of thy Christ!”
(The Life of Sister Mary St. Peter Carmelite of Tours, 1884, page 256)
“Turn not away thy face from
me; decline not in thy wrath from thy servant.”
(Ps, xxvi. 9)
Admirable is the Name of God!