Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Devotion to the Holy Face

In 1958, Pope Pius XII confirmed that the feast of the Holy Face would take place on Shrove Tuesday each year. The medal of the Holy Face is said to be powerful against demons and is available free of charge from the Holy Face Association.

Devotion to the Holy face has gone back at least to the second century. The Apocraphal Acts of Pilate says that Veronica was the biblical woman Jesus cured of the hemorrhage and that she testified on His behalf at His trial. Later, as he carried His cross to Gethsemane, Veronica was said to have tried to comfort Him by wiping His bruised and bloody face with her veil. At any rate, Scripture does speak of the women who were along the route to His crucifixion, mourning for Him, and of women who followed Him during His life, ministering to Our Lord and the Apostles.

Modern fascination with the Holy Face includes the Shroud of Turin. Whether one believes that the Shroud is authentic or not is beside the point. Devotion to the Holy Face is powerful and efficacious, especially during Lent.

In a vision in 1848, Sr. Mary of St. Peter tells us that the image of the Holy Face of Jesus is a stamp that imprints the image of the Divine on our souls.

Prayer to the Holy Face

' I salute You, I adore You and I love You,
adorable Face of my beloved Jesus,
as the noble stamp of the Divinity!
Completely surrendering my soul to You,
I most humbly beg You to stamp this seal upon us all,
so that the image of God may once more
be reproduced by its imprint in our souls.

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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