‘Holy Face of Jesus’

In one of the messages which our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to Mother Pierina de Micheli (now Blessed) in 1939, our Lord said, I have given my heart as a sensible object of my great love for man and I give my Face as a sensible object of my sorrow for the sins of man,

“I desire that My Face be honored by a special Feast on Quinquagesima Tuesday (Tuesday on the 5th week before Easter Sunday), a feast preceded by a Novena, in which all the faithful will make reparation to Me, thus uniting and participating in my grief.”

This year 2014, the FEAST OF THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS is on MARCH 4 to be preceded by a NOVENA starting FEBRUARY 23 until MARCH 3. For future guidance, the feast of the Holy Face of Jesus is always on a Tuesday but the date is movable as it is dependent on when the Ash Wednesday will fall.

Looking back on how this feast of the Holy Face of Jesus started, we go back in the early 20th century when Mo. Maria Pierina was inspired through visions of our Lord and our Blessed Mother to take up the work of spreading the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus in reparation for the many insults, irreverence, and violence He suffered. The Holy Face image that was presented to her by our Lady was an image bearing the likeness on the Holy Shroud which at first was a scapular but was reproduced as a medal. On the side of the Holy Face image, it has an inscription, “Illumina, Domine, VultumTuum Super Nos.” (Psalm 66: “May, O Lord, the light of Thy countenance shine upon us”), and on the other side was the Sacred Host with the words, “Mane Nobiscum, Domine.” (“Stay with us, O Lord”). Although reproduced as medals, it carries the same promises and favors.

The first Holy Face Medal was offered to Pope Pius XII who accepted it and approved the devotion in 1958 and declared the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus as Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) for all Roman Catholics.

One can make a NOVENA OF REPARATION TO OBTAIN A FAVOR by visiting our Novena page or by saying the “Golden Arrow ” prayer and “The Litany of the Holy Face” on nine consecutive days, preferably before the Blessed Sacrament or the picture of the Holy Face, and by going to Confession and Holy Communion. 

To view the schedule of activities at the Holy Face Center and Convent in Quiapo, Manila, Philippines please click here.

In April 2009, Pope Benedict XVI advanced the beatification of Mo. Pierina de Micheli thereby formally recognizing a miracle attributed to her. She was beatified on a Sunday, May 30, 2010 at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome by His Excellency, Archbishop Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Roman Curia.


Here is a biographical synopsis of her life (Ref.: Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia)

pierinaBlessed Maria Pierina De Micheli (1890–1945) was a Roman Catholic religious Sister who was born near Milan Italy. She is best known for her association with the Holy Face of Jesus, one of the Catholic devotions, and for introducing a medal bearing an image from the Shroud of Turin as part of this devotion.

Early years
She was born Giuseppina De Micheli and took the name Sister Maria Pierina on May 16, 1914, when she took vows as a member of the Daughters of the Immaculate Conception, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sister Pierina did not initiate the Holy Face of Jesus devotion, for it had already been started almost a century earlier by a French Carmelite nun, Sister Marie of St Peter, of Tours, France. Both women claimed visions of Jesus and Mary as part of their motivation for following the devotion.
She had been aware of the Holy Face of Jesus devotion since an early age. From 1919 to 1921 she was sent to the mother house of her religious congregation in Argentina. While there, her attachment to the Holy Face devotion grew stronger. After her return to Milan, she was eventually elected as the mother superior of her house and began to spread the devotion.

On the first Friday in Lent 1936, she reported a vision of Christ in which Jesus appeared to her and said: “I will that My Face, which reflects the intimate pains of My Spirit, the suffering and the love of My Heart, be more honored. He who meditates upon Me, consoles Me”. Further reported visions of Jesus and Mary urged Sister Maria Pierina to make a medal with the Holy Face of Jesus.

Further reported visions of Jesus and Mary urged Sister Maria Pierina to make a medal with the Holy Face of Jesus. After some effort, she managed to obtain permission to reproduce the photograph of the Shroud of Turin and authorization from the Curia in Milan to proceed with the medal in 1940. This became known as the Holy Face Medal.
One side of the medal bears a replica of the Holy Face of Jesus from the Shroud of Turin and an inscription based on Psalm 66:2: “Illumina, Domine, vultum tuum super nos”, i.e. “May O Lord, the light of Thy countenance shine upon us”. On the other side of the medal, there is an image of a radiant Sacred Host, the monogram of the Holy Name (“IHS”) and the inscription “Mane nobiscum, Domine” i.e. “Stay with us, O Lord”.

Approval of the Holy Face medal
The first medal of the Holy Face was offered to Pope Pius XII who approved the devotion and the medal. Mo. Maria Pierina had also reported that Jesus wanted a special Feast on the day before Ash Wednesday in honor of His Holy Face, to be preceded by a nine-day Novena of prayers. In 1958, Pope Pius XII declared the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus as Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) for all Roman Catholics.

Final years
In 1941 Mo. Maria Pierina wrote in her diary: “I feel a deep longing to live always united to Jesus, to love Him intensely because my death can only be a transport of love with my Spouse, Jesus.” Sr. Maria Pierina died in 1945 in Milan. Her remains are enshrined at the Holy Spirit Institute in Rome.

Blessed Mo. Pierina de Micheli, pray for us!

For more information visit Blessed Maria Pierina de Micheli.

The exposition of the Holy Shroud in Turin, Italy ended on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. Cardinal Severino Poletto, the Archbishop of Turin, celebrated the Solemn Mass. Only limited people were allowed to enter the Cathedral for the Mass but luckily, the sisters were able to inch their way among the crowd to get inside.

At first, it was decided upon and announced in the year 2000 by Pope John Paul II that the next public exhibition of the Shroud of Turin would be in the year 2025 to coincide with the next Holy Year of the Catholic Church.

However, on June 2, 2008 Pope Benedict XVI announced that the Shroud would be displayed from April 10 – May 23, 2010, which was the longest period in its history. The event’s theme was PASSIO CHRISTI, PASSIO HOMINIS. Pope Benedict visited and venerated the Holy Shroud on May 2, 2010.

Visitors of the 2010 Shroud exposition viewed the cloth in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, commonly called Duomo. Though free in admission, they came on reservation basis, but priorities were given to the disabled visitors. Towards the end of the exposition, however, the ushers no longer checked them.

There were two ways of personally seeing the Holy Shroud:  some lined up a few blocks away from the Cathedral for a better and closer view, and others followed the easier route – pilgrims just entered the cathedral upon arrival and viewed the shroud several yards away.  Those who lined up were ushered by batch and stood before the bulletproof, climate-controlled case containing the cloth for five minutes while an Italian speaking guide gave explanations about the Shroud.  Though taking videos and pictures were prohibited, many visitors could not help but to secretly took souvenirs.

In support of the event, all the nearby churches in Turin had a replica of the Shroud being displayed at one of their side altars.  Various souvenirs can be bought from the established business stores and also from the temporary stalls along the streets.  The price of several items got cheaper as the event of the shroud’s exposition approached its end.

Taking the opportunity of being in Turin, the sisters frequented visiting the cathedral. There they met and befriended many Filipinos, residents and visitors alike. Meeting them were always joyful and heartwarming encounters.  Soon after the end of the exposition, however, people could not enter the cathedral because the equipment used for the said event was being removed.  The Shroud was stored back into a closed case and placed within an alcove of the Cathedral.  After a week or so, visitors were once again able to pray and meditate before the encased Shroud inside the cathedral.

May you be blessed whenever you gaze the most Holy Face of Jesus!