The Confraternity of The Holy Face

Protector noster, aspice, Deus; Et respice in Faciem Christi tui
(Ps. LXXXIII, 10)

Two angels presenting the Holy Face, oil on canvas, Claude Vigno

History of the Devotion to the Most Holy Face of Jesus Christ.

Origin of Saint Veronica’s Veil and the Miracle of 1849

In the days of Pope Pius IX, God wished to glorify the Sacred Image of the Holy Face, venerated at the Vatican. It was during the exile of the Holy Father at Gaeta in 1849, when the Veil of Veronica was exposed for public veneration from Christmas to Epiphany. On the third day of the exposition, the Veil, which was somewhat faded, became transfigured, as if it were living and illuminated by a soft light. Though covered with a piece of silk, the sacred features could, nevertheless, be distinctly seen. The Holy Face was of a deathly pallor, the eyes sunken, yet animated, with an expression of profound sadness.

Artists’ drawings of the vision were then copied, and in turn, touched to Veronica’s veil itself. After the ‘miracle’ of the Veil in 1849, the Sovereign Pontiff authorized ‘Holy Face Relics’ of the Sacred Picture, to be made on linen or silk. These were then impressed with the Vatican seal and furnished with a ‘guarantee’, that is, the word ‘Gratias’, printed on the picture. This image has been venerated and kept for centuries.

Jesus of Nazareth crowned with thorns Mary Evans Hieronymus Wierix

Innumerable miracles have been worked with the original and its copies throughout the world. Faithful reproductions, such as the Relic image hanging in our Chapel, dating from 1886, are permitted to be exposed, in order to reanimate faith and piety in the hearts of the faithful.

Devotion to the Holy Face was revealed by Jesus to Sister Marie de St. Pierre (1816-1848).
A Carmelite from the Monastery in Tours, France.

This devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus, based on the life and writings of Sister Marie de St. Pierre was officially recognized as a Confraternity at Tours in 1884. In October 1885, the following year, Pope Leo XIII raised the Confraternity to an Arch-confraternity, thereby bringing about the spread of this devotion for the whole world. Thereupon, those associated with the Arch-confraternity are granted permission to initiate the erection of a Confraternity of Reparation to the Holy Face of Jesus.

Hence, with the consent of His Lordship, Bishop Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury, a Confraternity to the Holy Face, has been established in the Monastery Chapel of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Birkenhead. Whose affiliation to the Arch-confraternity of the Holy Face at Tours, took place in 2022.

Saint Teresa of Jesus and the Work of Reparation

On January 4th, 1848, Saint Teresa of Jesus appeared to Sister Marie de St. Pierre, as she describes it. ‘in the interior of my soul, having been deputed by God to combat the enemies of the Work of Reparation, which the demon is doing his utmost to annihilate. She, (St Teresa), told me that this Work will be the honour of Carmel, and that it is in every way conformable to the spirit of our holy vocation, whose sole aim is the glory of God and the needs of the Church. Wherefore she has urged me to devote myself to it with unremitting fervour.......‘Finally, it was revealed to me that God had deputed Our Holy Mother, Saint Teresa, to be a powerful protectress of the Work, and a most sweet consolation to me in my trials. I have therefore felt my soul closely united to this great Saint.’

The Confraternity has for its principal object:

All those who meditate frequently on the vision of My Divine Face, attracted by the desires of love, shall receive within them, through My Humanity, a bright ray of My Divinity, which shall enlighten their inmost souls so that they shall reflect the light of My Countenance in a special manner throughout eternity.
Words of Our Lord spoken to Saint Gertrude

If you wish to be enroled in the Confraternity of the Holy Face. Please click on the link below to download information regarding the Confraternity. There you will find attached to the pamphlet, an application form. Please fill in the details required, and return it to us by post. On receipt of your application, your name will be written in the Confraternity Register. You will then receive your membership packet, which will include, a Medal of the Holy Face, the Manual of the Confraternity and a Certificate of Membership, which will show your date of enrolment.