Novena to the Holy Face
Begins Monday 13 February
Ends on Shrove Tuesday,
The Feast of the Holy Face
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 ready to comfort Him along the way, as St Veronica did.
In 1938, Jesus appeared to Blessed Maria Pierina de Micheli (1890-1945), 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 to 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, in 1958, Pope Pius XII named Shrove Tuesday as the official Feast of the Holy Face.
We pray our Novena in fine company.
St Augustine (354-430), St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302), St Bernard (1090-1153), St Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897), among many others, all venerated the Holy Face.
Our Lenten devotion to the Wounds on His Hands and Feet 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, abuse and neglect!