Shrove Tuesday: Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus

TODAY, SHROVE TUESDAY (aka “Mardi Gras”) we celebrated the FEAST OF THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS, with Holy Mass and Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament.  On the first Sunday of every month, we also have Holy Face Devotions with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

DEVOTION TO THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS:  This ancient and venerable Catholic practice is rooted in the representation of the Face of Christ said to have been left on the towel or veil used by a holy woman thought to be named Veronica. Through the revelations made in the 1840’s to the Servant of God, Sister Marie of Saint-Pierre and the Holy Family (1816-1848), a Carmelite Nun of Tours, and the work of spreading the devotion by the Venerable Leo Dupont (1797 – 1876) , a layman of Tours, the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face was established in Tours, France in 1884.  The members make reparation for the blasphemies hurled at Christ, especially those which blaspheme the Holy Name, and for the profanation of Sundays and Holydays of Obligation. Since St. Therese’s devotion to the Holy Face has become known, this devotion has spread worldwide.

In addition, a devout and pious nun, Blessed Mary Pierina de Micheli (1890-1945), was given many visions of the Lord Jesus and Our Blessed Lady. They urged her to make reparation for the many insults Jesus suffered in His Passion, such as to be slapped, spit upon and kissed by Judas, as well as now being dishonored, by ordained and lay persons alike, in the Blessed Sacrament through neglect, sacrilege, and profanation.

THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FACE ON SHROVE TUESDAY (aka “Mardi Gras”): On April 17th, 1958, His Holiness, the Venerable Pope Pius XII approved the observance of the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus on Shrove Tuesday (Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.  His Holiness granted this Feast to honor a request of Our Lord Himself to Blessed Pierina in 1938: “See how I suffer. Nevertheless, I am understood by so few. What gratitude on the part of those who say they love Me.  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 it be honored by a special feast on Tuesday in Quinquagesima (Shrove Tuesday – the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, or Mardi Gras, or Carnivalé).  The feast will be preceded by a novena in which the faithful make reparation with Me uniting themselves with My sorrow.”

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