“I seek Veronicas to wipe and honor My Divine Face which has few adorers.” Jesus to Sister Mary of St. Peter
One of my favorite devotions is the Stations of the Cross. Through them my faith is strengthened and I come to a deeper appreciation of the magnanimous gift of Jesus Passion and suffering for my salvation. So when I was invited to participate in the Sixth Station of the Cross at a Catholic university I was humbled and honored. However, what I did not expect was how portraying St. Veronica would impact me.
After fervent prayers it came time for our Sixth Station to be presented in the Chapel. Many of us felt as though we were no longer in front of the student body but had been transported to the streets of Jerusalem…
I could hear the Lord coming closer because agitation in the crowd increased in front of me. Then I saw Him, the Lord Jesus through the crowd and I was struck in seeing His agony, the weight of our sins bearing down upon Him in the Cross. Emboldened by a spirit of courage, neither the brute force or weaponry held by the soldiers, nor the meanness and vile comments spewing from those who called for Jesus blood held me back. Nothing mattered but for me to give Our Lord recompense, solace, a presentation of love. As I made my way to the front of the procession an ominous silence came over me and I fell on my knees before Him, trembling, not in terror but in holy awe. For before me was God, and I offered His tortured and bloodied face my veil.
Glancing with a gratitude that permeated my soul, He received the veil then pressed His Face upon it. When He returned it to me the treasured silence ended abruptly and the abhorrent noise of the crowd came crashing down upon me as Our Lord left, formidably making His way to Golgotha.
I can’t imagine what Veronica felt when she returned home with veil in hand to discover upon it was emblazoned the face of God. Her gesture deemed forever as an act of heroic love given during Jesus’s horrific Via Dolorosa. Portraying Veronica touched me deeply so when I discovered there was a devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus I was eager to learn more.
The Holy Face Devotion was revealed by Jesus to a Carmelite nun in Tours, France by the name of Sr. Mary of St. Peter in the mid 1800’s. The central focus of the devotion is to make reparation for sins committed against the First Three Commandments:
Denial of God
Blasphemy of the Holy Name of God
Profanation against the Sabbath and Holy Days of Obligation
Reparation is the making of amends for, or the action of repairing for any way we, or our brothers, sisters, friends and/or enemies might have offended God by way of breaking the first commandments which are against God Himself.
A Call for More Veronicas
On October 27, 1845, the Reparative Mystery of the Holy Face was suddenly revealed to Sister Mary of St. Peter. She writes that she “felt herself carried in spirit to the road leading to Calvary.” “There” she relates “Our Lord vividly portrayed before her the pious and charitable act of Veronica, who, with her veil, had wiped His most Holy Face covered with spit, dust, sweat and blood.
It was during this vision Jesus made known to Sister Mary “that, at present, the impious, by their blasphemies, renewed the outrages and indignities offered His Holy Face.” Jesus told Sister Mary that He wished her to “imitate the zeal of the pious Veronica, who had so courageously braved the crowd of His enemies to reach Him. He presented to her, Veronica, as her protectress and model, saying that when we render Him the same charity as she did we promote the Reparation for Blasphemy.
Ways that we can answer the Call of Veronica are by learning more about the Holy Face Devotion. A good place to start is with the books:
Beautiful prayers and a Chaplet prayer to the Holy Face can be found here: https://theholyface.com/prayers-of-the-holy-face/
In answer to our Lord’s mandate an international prayer group hosts the Holy Face Holy Hour online every Tuesday. This powerful intercessory prayer group is segmented into 3 parts.
- History, Promises and Miracles
- Holy Face Devotion Prayers
- Rosary of the Blessed Mother
A simple but powerful way to make reparation when we hear someone taking the Name of God in vain is by immediately praising His Name saying Praise God! or Blessed Be the Name of the Lord!
A formal prayer that was given to Sister Mary to amend for blasphemy against God’s name that Our Lord deemed as a ”poisoned arrow” that continually wounds God’s Heart. The Golden Arrow prayer which He says has the power to wound Him delightfully causing torrents of graces to stream for the conversion of sinners.
GOLDEN ARROW PRAYER
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.
May God abundantly bless you and your families this Most Holy Triduum!