St. Therese of Lisieux’s Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus

 

 

“However tender was her devotion to the Child Jesus, it cannot be compared to the devotion which she had for the Holy Face.”

— Mother Agnes of Jesus, Testifying at the Process of Canonization of Her Sister(St. Therese of Lisieux)


 

History of Devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus Christ 

 

According to tradition, while our Lord was on His way to Calvary the compassionate woman Veronica offered Him a veil with which to wipe His face and on this veil He left the imprint of His features. This led to widespread devotion to the Holy Face in the early Middle Ages.

Our chief reasons for honoring the adorable Face of Jesus are to offer respectful love and homage to that Face so disfigured in the Passion; to make reparation for blasphemy and the neglect of a Christian observance of Sunday; to pray for the conversion of those who profane the Lord’s Day.


 

Promises of Our Lord to Sr. Mary of St. Peter

 

• “By my Holy Face you shall work wonders.”

• “All those who honor My Holy Face in a spirit of reparation will by so doing perform the office of the pious Veronica.”

• “According to your 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 my image and render it as beautiful as it was on leaving the baptismal font.”

• “Our Lord has promised me for all those who defend His cause in this Work of Reparation, by words, by prayers, or in writing, that 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.”

• “By my Holy Face you will obtain the conversion of many sinners. Nothing that you ask in making this offering will be refused to you. No one can know how pleasing the sight of my Face is to my Father!”

• “Our Lord has promised me that He will imprint His Divine likeness on the souls of those who honor His Holy Countenance.”


 

Other Promises made by Our Lord to those who honor Him through this devotion.

 

Besides having the appellation, “The Little Flower of Jesus”, Saint Therese was also called “Therese of the Holy Face”.

She is numbered in the galaxy of those reparatrices, who were so devoted to the Holy Face of Our Lord. In the measure that Therese spent herself in this reparation offered to Jesus, Our Lord was not lagging in the more abundant measure of graces which He revealed so often to those loving souls who practiced this devotion.

He promised St. Mechtildis that those who honor Him in this manner will always be His special care: “None of these persons shall ever be separated from Me”.

To St. Gertrude He promised, that by the resemblance to His Face, they will shine more than others in heaven. On the twenty-ninth of October in the year 1845, Our Lord made the following promises to Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre, a Carmelite nun, who died in the odor of sanctity:

As with a coin upon which is imprinted the face of a reigning sovereign, one can purchase material things, so they who offer My Face to My Father, will purchase as with a celestial coin, all favors from Heaven.”

 

A few days later Our Lord appeared to the same nun and made another promise:

“In the measure that you make reparation for the stains of blasphemy cast by the wicked against My Holy Face, I in turn will imprint My divine Features in your soul and will cleanse all the stains from it, and make it as beautiful as it was at the time of baptism.”

In the following year, on the twentieth of March, Our Lord again appeared to the above mentioned client, and promised that He would defend at the heavenly Throne the cause of those who defend His honor through this devotion of reparation, by word, prayer or writing. That further in the hour of death He would renew in them the image of God, which was effaced by sin.

On the twenty-second of November, 1846, Our Lord further promised her that in offering His Holy Face to His heavenly Father, they shall appease His anger, and shall be a fruitful instrument in obtaining pardon and conversion for sinners, and that He would plead with His Father to grant all their petitions.

Finally on the twenty-seventh of October, 1847, Our Lord again assured her, that they like the saintly Veronica, shall wipe His adorable Face outraged by sin, “and in turn I will imprint my Divine Image on their soul”.

 

Imbued with these sentiments, and urged by these promises of Our Lord, Saint Therese became a zealous client of this beautiful devotion, and composed a prayer in honor of the Holy Face, to which has been attached an indulgence of three hundred days, by the Sov. Pontiff, Pius X.

 


Prayer to the Holy Face(Composed by St. Teresa)

 

O Jesus, Who in Thy cruel Passion didst become “reproach of men and the Man of Sorrows”, I worship Thy divine Face. Once It shone with the beauty and sweetness of the Divinity; now for my sake It is become as the face of a “leper!”

Yet in that disfigured Countenance I recognize Thy Infinite Love, and I am consumed with the desire of loving Thee and of making Thee loved by all mankind.

The Tears that streamed in such abundance from Thy Eyes, are to me as precious pearls which I delight to gather, that with their infinite worth I may ransom the souls of poor sinners.

O Jesus, Whose Face is the sole beauty that ravishes my heart, I may not behold here upon earth the sweetness of Thy Glance, nor feel the ineffable tenderness of Thy Kiss.

I bow to Thy Will–but I pray Thee to imprint in me Thy divine Likeness, and I implore Thee to so inflame me with Thy Love, that it may quickly consume me, and that I may soon reach the Vision of Thy glorious Face in Heaven! Amen.

(Indulgence 300 days each time– Plus X, 1906).

 


Litany of The Holy Face of Jesus

 

Lord, have mercy on us.

Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Holy Virgin Mary, Pray for us.

 

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face Mary and Joseph worshiped with profoundest reverence, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face is the masterpiece of the Holy Ghost, in which the Father was well pleased, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face ravished with joy the angels, shepherds and Magi in the stable of Bethlehem, Have mercy on us.

 

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face wounded with a dart of love the aged Simeon and the Prophetess Anna in the temple, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face was bathed in tears in Thy holy infancy, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face at the age of twelve astonished the doctors in the temple, Have mercy on us.

 

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face is white with purity and ruddy with charity, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face is more beautiful than the sun, brighter than the moon and more brilliant than the stars, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face is lovelier than the roses of spring, Have mercy on us.

 

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face is more precious than gold, silver and gems, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face wins all hearts by its charms and grace, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face is most noble in its heavenly features, Have mercy on us.

 

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face is contemplated by the angels, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face is the sweet delight of the saints, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face was the joy of Thy Virgin Mother and Thy foster-father, Have mercy on us.

 

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face is the ineffable mirror of the Divine perfections, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, the beauty of Whose adorable Face is ever ancient and ever new, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, the modesty and mildness of Whose adorable Face attracteth both just and sinners, Have mercy on us.

 

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face appeaseth the Divine wrath, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face is the terror of the evil spirits, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face is the treasure of grace and blessings, Have mercy on us.

 

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face was exposed to the inclemency of the weather in the wilderness, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face was bathed with sweat in Thy journeys and scorched with the heat of the sun, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, the expression of Whose adorable Face is wholly Divine, Have mercy on us.

 

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face gave a holy kiss and blessing to the little children, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face sorrowed and wept at the grave of Lazarus, Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face was brilliant as the sun and radiant with glory on Mount Thabor, Have mercy on us.

 

V. The light of Thy Face has been shed upon us, O Lord.

R. Thou hast given joy to our hearts.

 

O Adorable Face, worthy of all reverence, veneration and worship, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, sorrowful at the sight of Jerusalem and shedding tears over that ungrateful city, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, bowed to the earth in the Garden of Olives and covered with confusion for our sins, Have mercy on us.

 

O Adorable Face, bathed in a bloody sweat, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, kissed by the traitor Judas, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, Whose sanctity and majesty smote the soldiers with fear and cast them to the ground, Have mercy on us.

 

O Adorable Face, struck by an infamous servant, blindfolded and profaned by the sacrilegious hands of Thine enemies, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, denied with spittle and bruised by so many buffets and blows, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, Whose Divine look wounded the heart of Peter with repentance, sorrow and love, Have mercy on us.

 

O Adorable Face, humbled for us at the tribunals of Jerusalem, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, which didst preserve Thy serenity when Pilate pronounced the fatal sentence, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, covered with sweat and blood and forced into the mire under the weight ot the Cross, Have mercy on us.

 

O Adorable Face, the brow crowned with deep and piercing thorns, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, wiped with a veil by a pious woman on the way to Calvary, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, raised on the instrument of the most shameful punishment, Have mercy on us.

 

O Adorable Face, Whose eyes shed tears of blood, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, Whose mouth was tormented with vinegar and gall, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, Whose hair and beard were plucked out by executioners, Have mercy on us.

 

O Adorable Face, disfigured like the face of a leper, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, Whose incomparable beauty was obscured under the fearful cloud of the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, covered with the sad shades of death, Have mercy on us.

 

O Adorable Face, washed and anointed by Mary and the holy women, and covered with a shroud, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, enclosed in the sepulchre, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, all resplendent with glory and beauty on the day of Thy Resurrection, Have mercy on us.

 

O Adorable Face, all dazzling with light at the moment of Thine Ascension, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, hidden in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, which will appear at the end of time in the clouds, with great power and majesty, Have mercy on us.

 

O Adorable Face, which will cause sinners to tremble with terror, Have mercy on us.

O Adorable Face, which will fill the just with joy for all eternity, Have mercy on us.

 

V. O Lord, show us Thy Face,

R. And we shall be saved.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord!

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord!

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us, O Lord!

 

Let us pray:

I salute Thee, I adore Thee, I love Thee, O adorable Face of Jesus, my Beloved, noble seal of the Divinity! With all the powers of my soul, I apply myself to Thee, and most humbly pray Thee to imprint in us all the features of Thy Divine Countenance. R. Amen.

We beseech Thee, O Almighty and merciful God, grant to us and to all who venerate the Countenance of Thy dearly beloved Son, all disfigured by our sins, the grace to behold It throughout eternity in the glory of its majesty.

Through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord, Who is, with Thee and the Holy Spirit, every one God, world without end. R. Amen.

O my Jesus! cast upon us a look of mercy; turn Thy Face toward each of us as Thou didst to Veronica; not that we may see It with our bodily eyes, for this we do not deserve, but turn

It toward our hearts, so that remembering Thee, we may ever draw from this fountain of strength the vigor necessary to sustain the combats of life. Amen.

 

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