Lenten Preparation Novena to the Holy Face Begins today, 17 February

Lenten Preparation
Novena to the Holy Face
Begins today, 17 February

lenten prep novena to the holy face - begins 17 feb 2020

Shrove Tuesday is also the Feast of the Holy Face.   Many who discover this are quickly struck by the significance of beginning Lent more in love with His countenance.   For having made reparation “with Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment” through the novena, we can begin our Lenten walk with Christ more at the ready to comfort Him along the way, as St Veronica did.

Indeed, this searingly beautiful devotion goes back to the Passion itself, when the veil of Veronica smoothed the injuries of Jesus’ Holy Face, so besieged with pain.

In 1843, Sister Marie of St Peter had visions of Jesus requesting a devotion to His Holy Face called “The Golden Arrow,” [] which brings Him great delight, as He said to Sr Marie, “All who honour My Holy Face in a spirit of reparation thereby perform for Me the services of the pious Veronica.”holy card those on earth who contemplate the wounds of my Face jpg

In 1938, Jesus appeared to Blessed Maria Pierina de Micheli, His face bloodied by His Passion and said, speaking of His Face, “I wish that it be venerated by a special feast on Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.   I wish that the feast be preceded by a novena in which the faithful make reparation with me, joining together and sharing in my sorrow.”   For:  “Those on earth who contemplate the wounds of My Face, shall in heaven, behold it, radiant with glory.”

Following that request, Pope Pius XII named Shrove Tuesday as the official Feast of the Holy Face in 1958.

We pray our Novena in fine company.
St Augustine (354-430), St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302) and St Bernard (1090-1153), St Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897), among many others, all venerated the Holy Face.

In the words of St John Paul II:
“And is it not the Church’s task, to reflect the light of Christ in every historical period, to make His face shine also before generations of the new millennium?   Our witness, however, would be hopelessly inadequate, if we ourselves had not first contemplated His face.”

In a similar way, our Lenten witness to the wounds on His Hands and Fee, is inadequate if we have not first contemplated His Face, bitterly kissed by Judas, spat upon, battered, covered with sweat and blood and crowned with thorns, continuing to be dishonoured even today, through the Blessed Sacrament by profanations, sacrilege and neglect.

For so many, Shrove Tuesday is a date on the calendar that gets overshadowed by Ash Wednesday, that memorable day we wear the outward sign of repentance and recall our mortality.   How much more meaningful will our Ash Wednesday be, if we first mark Shrove Tuesday as a Feast of the Holy Face, concluding the Novena we began in Ordinary Time and beginning Lent, more in love, with the countenance of Christ and, through Him, made more beautiful in our own soul. Amen!


“I firmly wish that My Face, reflecting the intimate pains of my soul, the suffering and love of my heart, be more honoured!   Whoever gazes upon me already consoles me.”

(Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Pierina)

This novena prayer may be said at anytime but, especially in the nine days leading up to the Feast of the Holy Face on Shrove Tuesday.   The Holy Face Devotion is approved by the Vatican.


O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity,
through the intercession of Holy Mary,
whose soul was pierced through
by a sword of sorrow
at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son,
we ask Your help,
in making a perfect Novena of Reparation with Jesus,
united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.
We now implore all the Angels and Saints
to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena
to the Most Holy Face of Jesus
and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

“All those who, attracted by My Love and venerating My Countenance, shall receive, by virtue of My Humanity, a brilliant and vivid impression of My Divinity. This splendour shall enlighten the depths of their souls, so that in eternal glory the celestial court shall marvel at the marked likeness of their features, with My Divine Countenance.”  … Our Lord Jesus Christ to St Gertrude


(Console the Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer) above.
Psalm 51,3-4.
Have mercy on me, O God in your goodness,
in your great tenderness wipe away my faults,
wash me clean of my guilt, purify me from my sin.

O most Holy Face of Jesus,
look with tenderness on us who are sinners.
You are a merciful God,
full of love and compassion.
Keep us pure of heart,
so that we may see Thee always.
Mary, our Mother,
intercede for us,
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Through the merits of Thy Precious Blood
and Thy Holy Face, O Jesus,
grant us our petition………………
and Thy pardon and mercy.

Prayer to Our Almighty Father
By St Augustine (354-430)

Almighty Father, come into our hearts
and so fill us with Your love that forsaking all evil desires,
we may embrace You, our only good.
Show us, O Lord our God, what You are to us.
Say to our souls, I am your salvation,
speak so, that we may hear.
Our hearts are before You,
open our ears,
let us hasten after Your Voice.
Hide not Your Face from us, we beseech You, O Lord.
Open our hearts, so that You may enter in.
Repair the ruined mansions, that You may dwell therein.
Hear us, O Heavenly Father,
for the sake of Your only Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Pray (1) Our Father, (3) Hail Marys, (1) Glory Be.

O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every Adoration Thine (Three times)



Thought for the Day – 17 February – The Will

Thought for the Day – 17 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Will

“The coat of arms of the great city of Chicago bears the motto “I will.”
With this forceful approach to it’s programme of expansion, it was not long before it became one of the largest cities in America.
It grew to be a wealthy industrial centre, in which skyscrapers, factories and churches, sprang up side-by-side.

When it is said with sincerity and determination, this little phrase, “I will,”
is capable of producing amazing results, both in the physical and spiritual order.
St Thomas Aquinas was once asked by a nun, what were the requirements for sanctity.
He replied, that the chief thing necessary, was a strong and decisive act of the will, which would be certain to be reinforced by divine grace.
The Saints began every project by making a sincere and definite resolution to succeed.
They were weak creatures like the rest of us but, they knew, that if they wanted something intensely enough, God would grant whatever miracles they needed.
The father who asked Jesus to heal his son pleaded: “If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us,” to which Jesus replied: “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mk 9:16-22).
The same answer could be given to any of us who say, that we are anxious to become holy.
Anything is possible if we really want it, because God will do the rest!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 February – ‘Everything is a sign!’

Quote/s of the Day – 17 February – Monday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year A

And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said,
“Why does this generation seek a sign?

Mark 8:12

“But for what sign from heaven were they asking?
Maybe that He should hold back the sun,
or curb the moon,
or bring down thunderbolts,
or change the direction of the wind,
or something like that?
In Pharaoh’s time there was an enemy
from whom deliverance was needed.
But for one who comes among friends,
there should be no need of such signs.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father & Doctor

mark 8 12- and he sighed deeply for one who comes among friends st john chrysostom 17 feb 2020

“You also are blessed,
because you have heard and believed.
A soul that believes, both conceives
and brings forth the Word of God
and acknowledges His works.
… Christ has only one mother, in the flesh
but we all bring forth Christ, in faith.”

St Ambrose of Milan (340-397)
Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church

you-also-are-blessed-becauxe-you-have-believed-st-ambrose-21-dec-2019-the-vistation and 17 feb 2020

“For those who believe,
everything is a sign!”

Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964)

for-those-who-believe-everything-is-a-sign-bl-benedetta-porro-23-jan-2020 and 17 feb 2020


One Minute Reflection – 17 February – ‘…Don’t wait for Tabor to “see” God’

One Minute Reflection – 17 February – Monday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: James 1:1-11, Psalm 119:67-68, 71-72,75-76, Mark 8:11-13 and the Memorial of St Alexis Falconieri (13th century –1310) Priest, One of Seven Founders of the Servites

“Why does this generation seek a sign?” … Mark 8:12

REFLECTION – “Believing even in darkness – The Holy Spirit tells us:  Do not let your mind succumb to temptation and sorrow, for joy of the heart is life for the soul.   Sorrow is no good for anything and causes our spiritual death.

It happens sometimes that the darkness of trial overwhelms your soul’s heaven but this darkness is light!
Thanks to it, you believe even in darkness, the mind feels lost, it fears no longer being able to see, no longer understanding anything.   But this is the moment when the Lord speaks and makes Himself present to the soul and the soul listens, understands and loves in the fear of God.   So don’t wait for Tabor to “see” God when you are already contemplating Him on Sinai.

Progress in the joy of a sincere heart, that is wide open.   And if it is impossible for you to keep that happiness, at least don’t lose courage and keep all your trust in God.” … Saint Pius of Pietralcina “Padre Pio” (1887-1968)mark 8 12 why does this generation seek a sign - dont wait for tabor - st padre pio 17 feb 2020

PRAYER – Almighty Lord and God, protect us by Your power throughout the course of this day, even as You have enabled us to begin it.   Your grace is all that we need to see the loving kindness of Your Son, our Lord Jesus in all we meet.   Do not let us turn aside from His path but by the faith You have granted us, let us find meaning in all, which is the sign of Your glory.   Do not let us turn aside to sin and may the intercession of St Alexis Falconieri and the Seven Holy Founders of the Servites, grant us courage and peace.   Through Jesus Christ, our Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, alexis falconieri 7 holy founders servites 17 feb 2020 pray for us 17 feb 2020

seven-holy-founders-pray-for-us-17-feb-2017 and 2020


Our Morning Offering – 17 February – Psalm 121 By Fr Daniel Berrigan

Our Morning Offering – 17 February – Monday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year A

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Then he left them, got into the boat again and went off to the other shore. – Today’s Gospel: Mark 8:11-13

Psalm 121
By Fr Daniel Berrigan SJ (1921–2016)

I lift my eyes to You
my Help, my Hope

the heavens (who could imagine)
the earth (only our Lord)
the infinite starry spaces
the world’s teeming breath

All this. I lift my eyes
– upstart, delighted –
and I praise.

Fr Daniel Joseph Berrigan SJ was an American Jesuit priest, anti-war activist, Christian pacifist, playwright, poet and author.psalm 121 fr daniel berigan i lift up my eyes to you my help my hope 17 feb 2020

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 February – Saint Alexis Falconieri (13th century –1310)

Saint of the Day – 17 February – Saint Alexis Falconieri (13th century –1310) Religious, one of Seven Founders of the Servites, who are celebrated together on the anniversary of his death.   Born 13th century at Florence, Italy and died on 17 February 1310 at Monte Sennario, Italy.   Patronage – Orvieto, alexis falconieri

He was the son of Bernardo Falconieri, a merchant prince of Florence and one of the leaders of the Republic.   His family belonged to the Guelph party and opposed the Imperialists.

Falconieri grew up in the practice of the most profound humility.   He became a wealthy noble in one of Italy’s most wealthy and cultured cities.   He joined the Laudesi, a pious confraternity of the Blessed Virgin and there met the six future companions of his life of sanctity.   He was favoured with an apparition of the Mother of God on 15 August 1233, as were these companions.  She asked these seven young nobles to dedicate their lives to God and they did, founding a religious order. 7 holy founders servites 6

They took up a common life together and were later again visited by Mary, who held a black habit and told them, “I have chosen you to be my first Servants, and under this name you are to till my Son’s vineyard.   Here, too, is the habit which you are to wear, its dark colour will recall the pangs which I suffered on the day when I stood by the cross of my only Son.”

7 holy founders servites 57 holy founders servites 3

Falconieri at once abandoned all and retired to La Camarzia, a house on the outskirts of the town and was bestowed the title of Founder and Mystic.

With humility, he traversed, the streets of the city through which he had lately moved as a prominent citizen, as a mendicant, in quest of alms for his brethren.   So deep and sincere was his humility that, though he lived to the great age of over 100 years, he always refused to enter the Priesthood, of which he deemed himself unworthy.

His duties were confined principally to the material needs of the various communities in which he lived  . In 1252 the new church at Cafaggio, on the outskirts of Florence, was completed under his care, with the financial assistance of Chiarissimo Falconieri.   Saint Giuliana Falconieri, his niece, was trained in sanctity under his personal alexis falconieri 2

The influence exerted on his countrymen by Falconieri and his companions may be gathered from the fact that in a few years ten thousand persons had enrolled themselves under the banner of the Blessed Virgin in the Servite Order.

He died in Monte Senario on 17 February 1310.

His shrine and entombed body is near the church of the Santissima Annunziata in Florence.   Pope Clement XI declared Falconieri worthy of the veneration of the faithful,  on 1 December 1717 and accorded the same honour to his six companions on 3 July 1725.

About these holy men:

st alexis falconieri death

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 17 February

Seven Founders of Servants of Mary (Optional Memorial)
• St Alexis Falconieri (c (1200–1310) One of the Seven Founders of the Servites
• St Bartholomew degli Amidei
• St Benedict dell’Antella
• St Buonfiglio Monaldi
• St Gherardino Sostegni
• St Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni
• St John Buonagiunta Monetti7 holy founders servites
About these holy men:

St Alexis Falconieri – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS (13th century –1310)
St Antoni Leszczewicz
St Bartholomew degli Amidei – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Benedict dell’Antella – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Benedict of Cagliari
St Buonfiglio Monaldi – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Bonosus of Trier
Bl Constabilis of Cava
St Donatus the Martyr
Bl Elisabetta Sanna
St Evermod of Ratzeburg
St Faustinus the Martyr
St Finan of Iona
St Fintan of Clonenagh
St Flavian of Constantinople
St Fortchern of Trim
St Gherardino Sostegni – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Guevrock
St Habet-Deus
St Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St John Buonagiunta Monetti – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Julian of Caesarea
St Loman of Trim
Bl Luke Belludi (c 1200- c 1285)

St Lupiano
Bl Martí Tarrés Puigpelat
St Mesrop the Teacher
St Petrus Yu Chong-nyul
St Polychronius of Babylon
St Romulus the Martyr
St Secundian the Martyr
St Silvinus of Auchy
St Theodulus of Caesarea
Bl William Richardson