Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras is known as the day that many Catholics indulge in a lot of eating before the Ash Wednesday fast tomorrow. My friend Susi, however, shared a little known fact about this particular day. Today is also the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus.
What is the Holy Face of Jesus, you ask? It’s the image of Jesus that was imprinted on the veil of Saint Veronica. The veil is kept in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
According to The Holy Face Devotion:
It is a devotion that was first heard of through a Carmelite Nun named Sister Mary of St. Peter in France, 1844, who stated Our Lord revealed this devotion to her at Mount Carmel. Sister Mary of St. Peter stated that Our Lord wanted this devotion to be spread throughout the world with the goal of making reparation for the sins which offend God.
It’s a devotion that many popes and saints kept in their hearts as much as praying the Rosary. In fact, St. Therese of Lisieux’s full title is “Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.”
There are many prayers for the Holy Face of Jesus that you can find on the Holy Face Devotion. My favorite one is the Golden Arrow prayer, which goes like this:
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.
So while we all get ready for Lent, I hope that you can set aside some time to offer up a prayer to the Holy Face of Jesus. His Face is the one that we will see as we enter into the desert.