Compiled by A MEMBER OF THE URSULINE COMMUNITY BLACKROCK, CORK , Nihil Obstat:Carolus Doyle, S.J. Censor Theol. Deput. Eduardus, Archiep. Dublinen, Hiberniae Primus. 29 September, 1938 [Tribute Sacred Heart]
St. Veronica and the Authentic Picture of the Holy Face
“If he humble himself before thee, and hide himself from thy face, thou shalt have unanimous friendship for good.” [Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 6:12]
In some popular manuals of devotion we read that Veronica was the name of the image of the Holy Face imprinted on the veil, and that no such saint as she ever existed at the time of the Passion. This is a mistake. The best authorities prove beyond doubt that Veronica was the name of the woman who, through pity, gave Him the veil to wipe His Face. Many learned authors think that she was also the woman cured by Jesus, by touching the “hem of His garment.” Full of gratitude for this miracle, she followed His footsteps with Our Lady, Magdalen and the other holy women, and watched every stage of the Passion. Father Ventura writes : “It is probable that she who received the distinguished favor from Our Lord of wiping with her own hands the sweat and blood from His Face, is the same who touched His garment with heroic faith, and, in doing so, rendered a most beautiful testimony to His Divinity.”
[Cityof God.blog Does Not subscribe to this theory,but does not discount it either. City will discuss Veronica, & Catherine Emmerick’s revelation at a future date; the woman’s age is an important factor. Mark tells us her blood issue had lasted 12 years, and Veronica gave her veil to the Church (Pope Clement not before 88AD) or 50 years later.]
Piazza, a learned writer, describes it thus: “After Jesus had left the Praetorium, laden with His cross and covered with blood, which issued from the wounds received during the Scourging and Crowning with thorns, and gone four hundred and fifty steps on the road to Calvary, He approached a house that stood at the corner of the street. Veronica, then seeing Him from afar, came full of pity to meet Him, and, having removed the veil she wore on her head, she gave it to Him that He might use it to wipe His Holy Face, all bathed as it was with blood and sweat. Christ, having benignantly received it, gave it back to her, when He had used it, leaving upon it, as a gracious recompense, the impress of His Holy Face. The resemblance is so complete that it is even possible to perceive the mark made by the hand that dealt Him the sacrilegious blow. Rejoicing over so precious a treasure, the illustrious lady preserved it in her house with jealous care.
“Veronica is said to have given the precious relic to Pope Clement, the third successor to St. Peter. (currently in St Peter’s, along with spear and other relics of the “Way”)
“And after these things the Lord appointed also other seventy-two:and he sent them two and two before His face into every city and place whither he himself was to come.” [Lk10:1]
Like all the other sacred relics, the Veil was preserved for centuries with the greatest care and reverence, as well as the greatest secrecy. That Veronica herself conveyed the relic to Rome is the unanimous opinion of all holy writers on the subject. The learned Pope Benedict XIV writes: “In the Basilica of the Vatican, in addition to the Spear and Lance, is also preserved and greatly venerated the Sudarium, which has perfectly kept, and still keeps, the impression of the Holy Face of Our Lord Jesus Christ, bathed in sweat and blood.” Dante, in his immortal poem, meets Veronica in Paradise, and, seeing the Veil, exclaims with admiration: “Oh! my Lord. Jesus Christ True God, it is thus then that Thy Holy Face has been preserved.” Piazza, who wrote in 1713, describes the Holy Face thus: “The Head of Christ is everywhere trans-pierced with thorns. The Forehead is bleeding, the Eyes swollen and bloodshot, the Face pale and livid. Upon the right Cheek the cruel mark of the blow given by Malchus, with his iron gauntlet, sorrowfully attracts attention, the same as the spittle of the Jews and the stains on the left Cheek. The Nose is flattened and bleeding; the Mouth open and filled with blood; the Beard torn in several places, and the Hair is also torn on one side.” The facsimile of the Holy Face sent from Rome corresponds with the above description. For a long time it was forbidden, under pain of excommunication, to produce copies of the Holy Face.
“And he measured the length thereof twenty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits, before the face of the temple: and he said to me: This is the holy of holies.” [Ez 41:4]
Since 1848, under the pontificate of Pope Pius IX, authorized copies have been printed on linen, cotton or silk. They are impressed with a seal, which is a guarantee that they are authentic and are true copies of the real Holy Face. They have also touched the Lance and Spear and the Wood of the True Cross. It may be added, the copies marked with the seal have the same privileges as the miraculous Holy Face itself. We know from the writings of the saints that all through the centuries devotion to the Holy Face of Our Lord was practiced in the Church. But it was in the middle of the last century that a fresh impetus was given to it.
Extract from Cardinal Newman’s “Meditations on Christian Doctrine
To thee, O Lord, I turn my face, to thee I direct my eyes.” [Tobias (Tobit) 3:14]
… I see the figure of a man, whether young or old I cannot tell. He may be fifty, or He may be thirty. Sometimes He looks one, sometimes the other. There is something inexpressible about His Face which I cannot solve. Perhaps, as He bears all burdens. He bears that of old age also. But so it is: His Face is at once most venerable and most child-like, most calm, most sweet, most modest, beaming with sanctity and with loving kindness. His eyes rivet me and move my heart: His breath is all-fragrant and transports me out of myself. Oh! I will look upon that Face for ever and will not cease!
And there shall be month after month, and sabbath after sabbath: and all flesh shall come to adore before my face, saith the Lord.” [Isaias (Isaiah) 66:23]
And I see suddenly someone come to Him. and raise his hand and sharply strike Him on that heavenly Face. It is a hard hand, the hand of a rude man, and perhaps has iron on it. It could not be so sudden as to take Him by surprise, who knows all things past and future, and He shows no sign of resentment, remaining calm and grave as before; but the expression of His Face is marred : a great weal arises, and in a little while that all-gracious Face is hid from me by the effects of this indignity, as if a cloud came over it.
A hand was lifted against the Face of Christ. Whose hand was that? My conscience tells me: “Thou art the man.” I trust it is not so with me now. But, O my soul, contemplate the awful fact. Fancy Christ before thee, and fancy thyself lifting thy hand, and striking Him! Thou wilt say: “It is impossible: I could not do so!” Yes, thou hast done so. When thou didst sin willfully. then thou hast done so. He is beyond pain now: still, thou hast struck Him, and, had it been in the days of His flesh, He would have felt the pain. Turn back in memory. and recollect the time, the day, the hour, when, by wilful mortal sin, by scoffing at sacred things, or by profaneness, or by acts of impurity, or by deliberate rejection of God’s voice, or in any other devilish way known to thee, thou hast struck the All-Holy One! O injured Lord, what can I say? I am very guilty concerning Thee, my Brother: and I shall sink in sullen despair if Thou dost not raise me up. I cannot look upon Thee: I shrink from Thee: I throw my arms around my face: I crouch to the earth. Satan will pull me down, if Thou take not pity. It is terrible to turn to Thee: but, O, turn Thou to me, and so shall I be turned to Thee. It is a purgatory to endure the sight of Thee, the sight of myself—I, most vile—Thou, most holy. Yet, make me look once more on Thee, whom I have so incomprehensibly affronted, for Thy Countenance is my life; my only hope and health lies in looking on Thee, whom I have pierced. So I put myself before Thee: I look on Thee again: I endure the pain in order to the purification.
“Who shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction, from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his power:” [2 Thes1:9]
O my God, how can I look Thee in the Face
when I think of my ingratitude, so deeply seated, so habitual, so immovable—or rather so awfully increasing? Thou load me day by day with Thy favors, and feed me with Thyself, as Thou didst Judas, yet. not only do I not profit thereby, but I do not even make any acknowledgment at the time. Lord, how long? When shall I be free from this real, this fatal, captivity? He who made Judas his prey has got hold of me in my old age, and I cannot get loose. It is the same, day after day. When wilt Thou give me a still greater grace than Thou hast given me—the grace to profit by the graces which Thou give? When wilt Thou give me Thy effectual grace, which alone can give life and vigor to this effete, miserable, dying soul of mine? My God, I know not in what sense I can pain Thee in Thy glorified state; but I know that every fresh sin, every fresh ingratitude I now commit, was among the blows and stripes which once fell on Thee in Thy Passion. O, let me have as little a share in those Thy past sufferings as possible. Day by day goes, and I find I have been more and more, by the new sins of each day, the cause of them. I know that, at best, I have a real share in solido of them all, but still it is shocking to find myself having a greater and greater share. Let others wound Thee, let not me! Let me not have to think that Thou wouldst have had this or that pang of soul the less, except for me. O my God, I am so fast in prison that I cannot get out. O Mary, pray for me.
Invocations to The Holy Face in Reparation for Blasphemies and for the Conversion of Blasphemers
An Act of Reparation for all the Outrages Jesus Christ Suffered in His Holy Face for our Personal Sins
I adore and praise Thee, O Divine Jesus, Son of the Living God; I desire to make reparation for all the outrages Thou hast endured for me, the most miserable of Thy creatures, in all the members of Thy Blessed Body, and particularly in Thy adorable Face, disfigured by blows and defiled by spittle, and hardly to he recognized through the cruel treatment which Thou didst receive from the impious Jews. I salute Thee, O blessed Eyes, all bathed in tears for my salvation. I salute Thee, O blessed Ears, assailed by insults, blasphemies and cruel mockeries. I salute Thee, O blessed Mouth, filled with graces and tenderness for us sinners, but embittered with vinegar and gall by the monstrous ingratitude of that people, whom Thou didst choose, from among all others. In reparation for all these ignominies I offer Thee all the homage which is given Thee in that holy place, where Thou art pleased to be honored with a special worship, uniting myself thereto Amen. (Abridged from the History of the Holy Face of our Savior preserved in the cathedral at Laon.)
O most Holy Face of God made Man, battered, bruised and defiled for my sins in Thy Passion. O Holy Face, which I myself have injured with more malice, more knowledge, more ingratitude than the soldiery of Pilate. Behold me kneeling before Thee in abject penitence and adoration, and by my veneration of Thy Holy Face and my faithful service, I desire to consecrate myself like Veronica to the work of repairing, as far as is in my power, the injuries beyond number which I and all mankind have inflicted on Thy Holy Face. Amen.
Blessed for ever be the holy Face of Jesus, our consolation on earth and our joy in heaven:
Prayer of the Little Flower to the Holy Face of Jesus
“O Jesus, who, in Thy cruel Passion didst become the ‘reproach of men and the Man of Sorrows,’ I worship Thy divine Face. Once it shone with the beauty and sweetness of the Divinity; but 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 making Thee loved by all mankind. The tears that flowed so abundantly from Thy Eyes are to me as precious pearls that I delight to gather, that with their worth I may ransom the souls of poor sinners. O Jesus, whose Face is the sole beauty that ravishes my heart, I may not see here below 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 so to 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.”
Prayers of Monsieur Dupont, “the Holy Man of Tours” Prayers of Monsieur Dupont, “the Holy Man of Tours” Prayers of Monsieur Dupont, “the Holy Man of Tours”
O my Saviour. Jesus, at the sight of Thy most Holy Face disfigured by suffering, at the sight of Thy most Sacred Heart, so full of love, I cry with St. Augustine: “Lord Jesus, imprint on my heart Thy sacred wounds, so that I may read therein sorrow and love; sorrow, to endure every sorrow for Thee; love, to despise every love for Thee.” “O adorable Face of my Jesus, so mercifully bowed upon the tree of the Cross on the day of Thy Passion, for the salvation of men, now inclined in Thy pity towards us, poor sinners; cast upon us a look of compassion, and receive us to the kiss of peace. Amen” “O Lord Jesus Christ, in presenting ourselves before Thy adorable Face, to beg of Thee the graces we most need, we beseech Thee, to give us above all things the disposition of never refusing at any time to do what Thou require of us by Thy commandments and divine inspirations. Amen.” “Be merciful to us, O my God, and reject not our prayers when we call on Thy Name in the midst of our afflictions, and seek Thy adorable Face with loving hearts. Amen.” “O Almighty and Eternal God, look upon the Face of Thy Son, Jesus. We present it to Thee with confidence to implore Thy pardon. The All-Merciful Advocate opens His Mouth to plead our cause: hearken to His voice, behold His tears, O God, and, through His infinite merits, listen to Him when He intercedes for us, poor sinners. Amen.” “May I die consumed by an ardent thirst to see the adorable Face of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!” (ST. EDMUND). (Towards the end of his life Monsieur Dupont very often repeated this prayer.)
“Lamed. To turn aside the judgment of a man before the face of the most High,” [Lam3:35]
Prayer of Pope Clement IV
O God, who didst enlighten us with the light of Thy Countenance, and who, to reward the loving kindness of St. Veronica, didst leave us the impression of Thy Holy Face on her veil as a remembrance, grant that, through Thy Cross and Passion, we may one day fearlessly look upon Thy Holy Face, when Thou wilt come to judge the living and the dead.
Almighty and Eternal God, through whose grace the image of the Holy Face of Thy Son doth shine forth radiantly to Thy devout people, grant us, we beseech Thee, the remission of our sins, and direct all the thoughts, words and actions of those who confide in Thy mercy, who lives and reigns with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
“And the priests went in, and stood before the face of the altar and the temple: and weeping, they said:” [1 Machabees 7:36]
Daily Indulgence June Sacred Heart Partial (300 days) (S.P. Ap., Jan 13, 1920). RACCOLTA Pg 157.