Holy Face Novena 2020 – Day Two

Day 2:

image-13“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 splendor 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 to St. Gertrude)

Daily Preparatory Prayer

(to be said each day as you console the Holy Face)

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 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.  Amen.

Second Day

Psalm 51: 5-6

My offenses truly I know them; My sin is always before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned; What is evil in your sight I have done.

Most Holy Face of Jesus, we are truly sorry that we have hurt you so much by constantly doing what is wrong; and for all the good works we have failed to do.  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Saint Joseph, intercede for us, help us to console the Most Holy Face of Jesus.  Pray that we may share in the tremendous love Thou hast for one another, and for the most Holy and Blessed Trinity.  Amen.

Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, …Pardon and mercy.

Prayer to The Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, Sanctifier, all powerful God of love, Thou who didst fill the Virgin Mary with grace, Thou who didst wonderfully transform the hearts of the apostles, Thou who didst endow all Thy martyrs with a miraculous heroism, come and sanctify us, illumine our minds, strengthen our wills, purify our consciences, rectify our judgments, set our hearts on fire and preserve us from the misfortune of resisting Thine inspirations.  We consecrate to Thee our understanding, our heart and our will, our whole being for time and for eternity.  May our understanding be always submissive to Thy heavenly inspirations and to the teachings of Thy Holy Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible guide; may our heart be ever inflamed with love of God and neighbor; may our will be ever conformed to the divine will, and may our whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and Thee be honor and glory forever.  Amen.

Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary’s, one (1) Glory Be.

O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (3 times)

Holy Face Veil of Manoppello photo: Paul Badde
Holy Face Veil of Manoppello
photo: Paul Badde

“O God, Who did constitute Your only begotten Son the Savior of mankind, and did command that He should be called JESUS; grant in Your kindness that our heart’s joy in Heaven may be the Face of Him Whose Holy Name we venerate on earth.” Amen. — Blessed Mother Pierina De Michelli, “Missionary of the Holy Face”

 

 

 

 

Holy Face Novena 2020 – Day One

“Whoever who gazes upon me already consoles me.” –Our Lord t Bl. Mother Pierina De Michelli
image1
Bl. Mother Maria Pierina De Micheli known for her extraordinary devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus and The Holy Face Medal

The great “Missionary of the Holy Face,” Blessed Mother Maria Pierina De Michele, was asked by Our Lord to have a Feast of the Holy Face, which was to be preceded by a novena. (The Feast was approved in 1958 by Pope Pius XII, who formally declared  the Feast of the Holy Face on “Shrove Tuesday” (The Tuesday which precedes Ash Wednesday.)

Bl. Mother Maria Pierina inspired her Daughters of the Immaculate Conception to make a novena with all the fervor of their hearts, uniting themselves to Jesus in grief and suffering, in the Garden of Gethsemane.  She exhorted her nuns to honor the Face of Jesus by giving Him “a kiss of love.”

 “Honor the Holy Face of our dear Jesus, sorrowful for the sins of men–ours–everyones–but specially for those who should be His intimate friends…Let us gaze profoundly at that Divine Face–speak heart to heart–and we will share His most bitter griefs–and He will say, ‘Console Me, you at least who say you love Me–in order to be all Mine.'”  –Bl. Mother Pierina de Micheli, “Missionary of the Holy Face” 

Day 1:

Daily Preparatory Prayer

(to be said each day as you console the Holy Face)

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 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.  Amen.

First Day

Church of St. Veronica, Lecco, Italy c. 1280

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 your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, …Pardon and mercy.

Prayer to Our Almighty Father

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 our 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.  Amen. (St. Augustine)

Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary’s, one (1) Glory Be.

O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (3 times)

St. Veronica, the model of reparation, with the sudarium veil of the Holy Face

“Behold, O God, our protector, and look upon the Face of Thy Christ!”

 

Holy Face Novena Begins Soon

“For God so loved the world” The Novena begins on Sunday, February 16th, 2020 

The Holy Face Novena will begin on Sunday, February 16th, and will be posted here for each day.

The Feast of the Holy Face for 2020 will be on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday – Tuesday, February 25th.

“Do you see how I suffer? Yet, very few understand me. Those who say they love me are very ungrateful! I have given my HEART as the sensible object of my great LOVE to men and I give my FACE as the sensible object of my sorrow for the sins of men. 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.” –Words of Our Lord to Bl. Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli  

c. 1510, Dirk Bouts, Carmel of Toledo. It is believed that this is the image of Christ the St. Teresa was praying before when her dramatic conversion occurred.

In Jesus Christ, God Has Revealed His Name and His Face

The Veil of the Holy Face of Manoppello, photo by Paul Badde/EWTN

“To know Christ better, contemplate His Holy Face.” ~Pope Francis 01/19/20

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EWTN News Nightly segment Manoppello begins at 20:37.

Blessing with Holy Face by Cardinal Kurt Koch assisted by Fr. Paolo Palombarini – Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

IN JESUS CHRIST, GOD HAS REVEALED HIS NAME AND HIS FACE

The Homily of Kurt Cardinal Koch for Omnis Terra 

(Translation by Raymond Frost)

A person with a name and a face

If you want to know a person and especially his mystery, it is advisable to know his name. Already a proverb suggests it: “Nomen est omen”. And it makes us realize that names play an important role in the lives of us humans. Even before a person is born, parents think about the name they want to give the newborn and the life prospects associated with it. The name received accompanies the person throughout his life. The person is called by his name, can be identified by his name and must sign with his name. Above all, the name allows the person to be called. When we call a person by his or her name, we are bound in a personal relationship with him or with her whom we name. The great meaning that the name holds in the life of an individual shows that the name expresses the essence of a person.

Of course, with the name alone we can not yet fully know the mystery of a person. The name alone remains somewhat abstract, suspended in the air, if it cannot be associated with a precise face. “Nomen est omen”: this saying begins to speak only when you meet the face that bears the name. Everyone has an unmistakable face that expresses his originality in the best sense of the word. As an individual can be called by his name, so he can be seen with his face and can establish a very personal relationship with another individual who shows him his face, so that a real “face-to-face” communication arises.

The transparent veil on which, by a “miracle of light” the Face of Christ is visible. Hand of Cardinal Koch Photo: Paul Badde

Name and face make an individual a concrete person. The name is a word of relationship and highlights the fact that a person, based on his name, can be called and can turn towards other people. Thanks to his face, he can be watched by others and can look at others and, therefore, convey to them the image already suggested by the language. It is no coincidence that the Hebrew word for face, “panim”, has been translated as “prosopon” in Greek and “persona” in Latin. A person, in fact, is characterized as having a name and a face.

If we take these bonds into account and if we also consider that the recognition of the mystery of the human being as person was possible, in history, thanks to the Christian effort to understand God as Trinity, then we will also approach the most intimate mystery of the Christian faith: the novelty of Christian revelation does not consist in a new religious idea or a new ethical decision, but in a person. No one is a person more than God himself, and we human beings become more and more persons as we deepen our personal relationship with him and believe in the person in whom God has made himself recognized definitively, revealing to us his name and showing us his face, that is, to say, his Son. Jesus Christ has made the name of God accessible, and He is himself the face of God who turns toward us.

Jesus Christ as name and face of God

“Father, I have manifested your name to the men you have given me from the world” (Jn 17: 6a). With this confession in his priestly prayer, Jesus points to the fulcrum of his divine mission in our world. He naturally assumes that God, whom he calls Father and with whom he finds himself face to face, also has a name. That God has a name is the most obvious fact in the biblical image of God. The name of God is certainly an expression of the recognition of God’s nature, but, first of all, it makes it possible to call God in His essence.Just as we humans are called by our name, so too can we believers invoke the name of God.

According to Scripture, it is not we humans who give a name to God, thus forcing him to be called. Rather, God can only be called because he lets himself be called; and his name is known to us humans only because God himself has made it known to us. The personal relationship between us and God, made possible by his name, is therefore established not by us humans, but only by God. The name of God is the expression of the fundamental biblical fact that God gives himself a name and reveals himself, just as Jesus sums up his mission in the revelation of the name of God that he makes to us humans. Elsewhere, Jesus formulates his main concern and goal in life with the prayer addressed to the Father: “Father, glorify your name” (Jn 12: 28). Jesus identifies himself as the new Moses, the one who fulfills the mission of the first Moses, namely the proclamation of God’s name “Yahweh”, in an even deeper way.

Holy Face Veil of Manoppello, Italy (Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN)

As God revealed his name to us in his Son Jesus Christ, so he has also revealed to us that he has a face, showing it to us in the Son, in accordance with what Jesus Christ himself testifies: “Whoever has seen me, has seen the Father” (Jn 14, 9). With this confession, Jesus responds to the insistent request of the Apostle Philip to show him and his companions, the other apostles, the Father. Philip expresses humanity’s original desire to see the face of God and to meet him face to face. This request already passes through the Old Testament as a common thread, as eloquently testified to in the prayer of a persecuted man, in Psalm 17: “But as for me I shall behold your face in righteousness, upon awakening I shall be satisfied with beholding your form” (Psalm 17:15). Psalm 24 recalls that the search for the face of God embraces all life: “Here is the generation that seeks him, that seeks your face, God of Jacob” (Psalm 24:6).

The original desire of men, which was expressed with particular incisiveness in the Old Testament, found fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the authentic witness to the fact that God, for the Christian faith, is not a distant God and is not even a simple philosophical hypothesis about the origin of the cosmos, but is a God who has shown us his true face, who has thus given us his final word , and that, with his full and unsurpassed word of love, has addressed us, as St. John of the Cross summed up in a meaningful way referring to the fulcrum of the Christian faith: “Because in giving us, as he gave us, his Son, who is his own Word and has no other,  he told us everything and at once in this one Word, and he has nothing more to say.” In fact, there is nothing more to say, because God, in Jesus Christ, has approached us men as much as possible, revealing his name to us and showing us his true face.

Lifelong search for a face “full of blood and wounds”

The Sacrificial Lamb, Josefa de Ayala

In the light of the extreme seriousness of God’s revelation in His Son, the further question presented to us is: how exactly does the face of God look? John the Baptist provides us with the crucial answer in today’s gospel. Seeing Jesus come towards him, he says: “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away sin from the world” (Jn 1:19). God, in Jesus Christ, has the face of a lamb. This face of God must make us reflect; it invites us to dwell before him.

The first time we hear it, this message may seem harmless and even a little romantic. But it assumes all its importance if we reflect on the fact that Christ has the face of a lamb and not of a lion or a wolf. But as such people expected it then, and we humans still hope today that God will use the power of a lion to undo the world and its structures and to create a new one. But Christ doesn’t have the face of a lion. Rather, it is the kings of our world who have repeatedly portrayed themselves with this image to celebrate their power in a demonstrative way. Christ does not even have the face of a wolf, an image used by ancient Rome to present itself as a redeemer thanks to its power that dictated regulatory norms. John the Baptist shows us that redemption comes not from large and powerful animals, but from the fact that Christ came to us as a lamb, in the strength of his wide-open love.

This is the deepest reason why the cross is also part of the mystery of Jesus Christ, and why, in the world, the face of Christ is always presented as a “head full of blood and wounds”. Being lamb and cross are in fact inseparably linked. Christ is the good shepherd of his people and the full realization of that figure of the servant to whom the prophet Isaiah refers, precisely because he has become lamb and has sided with the tortured lambs, to share their suffering and to save them. Jesus redeemed us by offering his life out of love. The deepest focus of Jesus’ mission is in fact love; therefore, his mission can only be accomplished on the cross, as the evangelist John testifies: “God has indeed loved the world so much that he has given his only begotten Son, so that anyone who believes in him will not be not lost, but will have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

Holy Face of Manoppello
photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

When here, in the shrine of Manoppello, we gaze upon and worship the “Holy Face”, we meet the face of a defenceless lamb and at the same time the face full of blood and wounds, because we meet the face of God’s boundless love. We are invited to venerate this image and to seek the face of God, as Pope Benedict XVI recommended during his personal pilgrimage to Manoppello: “to seek the face of Jesus must be the yearning of all of us Christians; in fact, we are ‘the generation’ who in this time seek his face, the face of the ‘God of Jacob’. Pope Benedict XVI spoke these words, referring to Psalm 105 which says: “Seek the Lord and his power, always seek his face” (Psalm 105:4).[3]

With the word “always” we are invited to ensure that our lives as Christians are focused on the desire to seek the face of the Lord in the depths of our existence at all times, and on the certainty that this desire will not come to nothing, because faith sends us the beautiful message that God has a wonderful name and a loving face. If we seek and worship his face, then our whole life will be under God’s blessing, which consists in the promise of his face: ” the Lord bless and protect you. the Lord let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face to you and give you peace” (Num 6:24-26). This splendor of God’s face is the blessing we need and ask for in the celebration of the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, the Lord looks at us with his face of boundless love and gives himself to us as bread of life, which is spiritual nourishment on the way to eternity, in which we will praise and adore the face of God, for ever.

The National Gallery, Washington, D.C.

A Short interview with Cardinal Koch:- “The most beautiful message we have in the Gospel.”

Holy Face of Manoppello, Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

First reading:         Is 49: 3. 5-6

Second reading: 1 Cor 1: 1-3

Gospel:     Jn 1:29-34

[1]Homily for the Eucharistic celebration in the Shrine of the “Holy Face” of Manoppello, January 19, 2020.

[2]St. John of the Cross, Mount Carmel, II, 22, 3.

[3]Benedict XVI, Speaking during the pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello, the September 1 2006.

Omnis Terra 2020 Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello — Holy Face of Manoppello

“Jesus Christ is the authentic testimony that God, for the Christian faith, is not a God far from the world,  and also that He is not simply a philosophical hypothesis on the origin of the cosmos, but a God who has shown us his true face, thus giving us his final word and has drawn near to us with his complete and invincible word of love.

Blessing with Holy Face by Cardinal Kurt Koch assisted by Fr. Paolo Palombarini  (photo by Paul Badde)
At the very same time, Pope Francis, during the Angelus today at the Vatican, also urged the faithful to contemplate “an icon of Christ, a “holy face”.  see  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-to-know-christ-better-contemplate-his-holy-face-50535

WE ALWAYS DESIRE THE FACE OF THE LORD IN THE DEPTHS OF OUR EXISTENCE

Cardinal Kurt Koch presided over the rite of Omnis Terra at the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello by Antonio Bini

Today the ancient rite of Omnis…. Read the rest by clicking link below:

via Omnis Terra 2020 Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello — Holy Face of Manoppello

Give Testimony to the World

Baptism of Christ, Pietro Perugino

“Now I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God.” (JN 1:34)

Christmas has passed, festivities done, the tree taken down and decorations put away. Ho hum. Back to everyday life?  After having seen the face of the Christ Child, would the Shepherds and Magi have returned to their homes and gone about as usual? No. Seeking the Face of Jesus would have transformed their lives. To “seek the Face of God” in this life would mean seeking His Face through prayer, by reading the Scriptures, seeking Him in our neighbor, and in His Eucharistic Presence. It should transform our lives, moving our hearts to testify, and bear witness to the all the earth that Jesus is the Son of God.

The Second Sunday after Epiphany is also known as “Omnis Terra” Sunday, meaning “All the Earth.” From the words of Psalm 65, “Omnis terra adore te, Deus, et psallat tipi.”

“All the earth adore you; they sing of you, sing of your name!”

Omnis Terra Procession of Pope Innocent II in 1208 carrying “the Veronica” Face of Christ (from “Liber Regulae Sancti Spiritus in Saxia” manuscript 1350)

 The “Omnis Terra” (All the Earth) procession in honor of the Holy Face  had its beginning in 1208 when Pope Innocent III processed with the Veil of the Holy Face which was known as the crown treasure of the popes. Pope Innocent III made the procession walking barefoot, from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to Spirito Santo church and hospital, giving alms to the poor and the sick along the way.

Archbishop Ganswain holding the replica of the Holy Veil of Manoppello at Spirito Santo in Rome for the Year of Mercy.

The beautiful tradition was renewed in Rome for the Year of Mercy to honor Jesus Christ who is the “Face of Mercy” by a procession on “Omnis Terra.” A replica was carried of the “Vera Icon” known as the “true image” of the Face of Christ. The original image remained at the Basilica Shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello, Italy,  at that time. The Holy Face of Manoppello is believed to be the cloth which covered the Face of Christ at his burial, and left a miraculous image at the Resurrection.

“Blessed the people who know you, Lord, who walk in the radiance of your Face.”

(Psalm 89:16)

 

This Veil of the Face of Christ is the same relic visited by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006   when he made a pilgrimage to the the Veil of the Holy Face shortly after being made pope in 2005. He said at that time:

Pope Benedict XVI gazes at the Veil of the Holy Face in Manoppello, Photo:Paul Badde/EWTN

As the Psalms say, we are all ‘seeking the Face of the Lord’. And this is also the meaning of my visit. Let us seek together to know the Face of the Lord ever better, and in the Face of the Lord let us find this impetus of love and peace which also reveals to us the path of our life. (Link)

 

 

 

Kurt Cardinal Koch contemplates the Holy Veil of Manoppello. The Veil is sheer and delicate, yet the Face is visible. Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

The celebration of Omnis Terra has been continued by a feast and procession each year at the Basilica Sanctuary of the Holy Face in Manoppello, Italy.  This year’s main celebrant for the “Omnis Terra” Solemn Mass at the Sanctuary Basilica of the Holy Face will be Kurt Cardinal Koch of Switzerland. He has been a cardinal since November 2010 and President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity since 1 July 2010. He was the bishop of Basel from 1996 until 2010.

On January 19, 2020, after a pontifical ceremony, the cardinal will bless the entire earth (urbi et orbi) with the holy relic of the Face of Jesus while giving the Aaronic blessing:

“May the Lord bless and keep you; may He make His Face shine upon you and be merciful to you; may He turn His Countenance toward you and give you His Peace!”  (Num. 6:22-27)

Kurt Cardinal Koch blesses the world with the Holy Face of Manoppello on Omnis Terra. Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN
detail of Face of Jesus on the Holy Veil from the precious manuscript “Liber Regulae Sancti Spiritus in Saxia”

More details on the Omnis Terra event may be found in this article by Antonio Bini on the Holy Face of Manoppello Blogspot.

Let all the earth worship and praise You, O God; may it sing in praise of Your Name, O Most High. Shout joyfully to the Lord all the earth; sing a psalm in honor of His Name, praise Him with magnificence!  

–Omnis Terra Introit

Holy Veil of Manoppello, photo: Patricia Enk

 

 

 

May God’s Face Shine Upon Us in 2020

May God have pity on us and bless us;
may He let his Face shine upon us.  
So may Your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, Your salvation. (Ps. 67:1)

Mary shows us her Son — From the shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello, Photo: Paul Badde

The Feast of Mary, Mother of God

In God’s beautiful design, the Christmas liturgy continues at the beginning of the New Year by drawing us to the Face of Christ with three holy feast days. All three are tied together by a common, yet golden thread–A mother, sharing her precious Son with us, so we may see His Face.

We begin on January 1, with the Feast of Mary, Mother of God, who teaches us how to contemplate the Face of her Son by seeing the reflection of His beauty and goodness in her face. On the Solemnity of the Mother of God, Pope Francis said,  “Begin the year recalling God’s goodness in the maternal face of Mary.” We see Jesus more clearly through His Mother’s eyes, especially when we pray the Rosary

The first reading for this feast day is the priestly blessing on God’s chosen people from the book of Numbers:

The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them.” (Num 6:22-27)

May Our Lord grant us His blessing in the New Year through intercession the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. As the Incarnation of the Son of God came into the world by the power of the Holy Spirit, at Mary’s “Fiat,” through her prayers, may we obtain the grace to contemplate His Holy Face, and receive God’s greatest gift of peace.

The next holy feast, on January 3 is…

The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

In sacred scripture the Angel Gabriel revealed the Holy Name of the Savior of mankind to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “You shall call His name Jesus.”

When Jesus was named,  Satan was disarmed!

Mary, Mother of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI teaches us, The expression “name of God” means God as He Who is present among men.  His name, is the concrete sign of His Existence. The Hebrew term, “panim”, which means “face” means to see The Face of God, or the presence of God.  “Panim” is a term that describes relationships. The Hebrew word “shem” meaning “name” is also a term of relationship.  “Panim” is also the Hebrew word for “Face of God” and the same word is used for “Bread of the Presence” or “Bread of the Face.” (Exodus 25:30) The “Bread of Presence” mentioned in Exodus was not the actual Face of God, but the earthly sign of His Face. The Eucharist, instituted by Christ, however, is the actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. When we are gazing at the Eucharist, the sign of God’s love for us, in Adoration, we see His Holy Face veiled in the appearance of bread, and in doing so, we give honor to His Holy Name.

Who had a more tender relationship of love with Jesus than his mother Mary? Who spoke His name more lovingly? God has a Face and a Name — It is Jesus Christ, our Redeemer!  The Blessed Mother invites us to rejoice in the splendor of His Face, and contemplate the mystery of His Holy Name by entering into a relationship with her Son Jesus, especially in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.

To rejoice in the splendor of His Face means penetrating the mystery of  His name made known to us in Jesus, understanding something of His interior life and of His will, so that we can live according to His plan for humanity.  Jesus lets us know the hidden Face of The Father through His human Face; by the gift of The Holy Spirit poured into our hearts. This, is the foundation of our peace, which nothing can take from us.” –Pope Benedict XVI

Blessed the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within thee bless His Holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all He hath done for thee. (Ps. ci. i,2)

And the third great holy day drawing us to adore the Holy Face is…

Adoration of the Magi, Giotto, 1302

The Feast of the Epiphany

 The Epiphany is closely linked to the Holy Face, as the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen and mother, presents her Son, the King of Kings, to the Magi–because the Epiphany is the feast on which Jesus Christ first shows Himself to the world represented by the Magi–and He shows Himself through a human face, the face of an infant. On the feast of the Epiphany, we ask God to shine His Face upon us, to reveal His Face to us once more as we come before Him in adoration, so that, like the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may also reflect the light of His Face to the world.

“May the Lord grant that in the new millennium, the Church will grow ever more in holiness, that she may become in history a true epiphany of the merciful and glorious Face of Christ the Lord.”   — Pope St. John Paul II at the Closing of the Holy Door, January 6, 2001

Face of the Child Jesus by Fra Angelico

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A Little Litany by G. K. Chesterton

When God turned back eternity and was young,
Ancient of Days, grown little for your mirth
(As under the low arch the land is bright)
Peered through you, gate of heaven – and saw the earth.

Or shutting out his shining skies awhile
Built you about him for a house of gold
To see in pictured walls his storied world
Return upon him as a tale is told.

Or found his mirror there; the only glass
That would not break with that unbearable light
Till in a corner of the high dark house
God looked on God, as ghosts meet in the night.

Star of his morning; that unfallen star
In the strange starry overturn of space
When earth and sky changed places for an hour
And heaven looked upwards in a human face.

Or young on your strong knees and lifted up
Wisdom cried out, whose voice is in the street,
And more than twilight of twiformed cherubim
Made of his throne indeed a mercy-seat.

Or risen from play at your pale raiment’s hem
God, grown adventurous from all time’s repose,
Of your tall body climbed the ivory tower
And kissed upon your mouth the mystic rose

.Madonna and Child from the Robert Lehman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Our Lady, in whose face – more than any other creature – we can recognize the features of the Incarnate Word.” –Pope Benedict XVI

 

Merry Christmas!!!

 

“In Thee God will manifest the splendor of His presence, for the whole world to see”~Baruch 4

“Visible before to God alone and not to the world, God made the Word visible so that the world could be saved by seeing Him.  This mind that entered our world was made known as the Son of God.”

–St. Hippolytus


Come, let us adore Him!

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. (Mt. 5:8)

Adoration of the Shepherds – Gerard van Honthorst 1622

O that birth forever blessèd,
When the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face,
evermore and evermore!

 

As those who see light are in the light sharing its brilliance, so those who see God are in God sharing his glory, and the glory gives them life.  To see God is to share in life.” ~St. Ireneaus

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Merry Christmas! May His Face shine upon you and your loved ones, today and always!

Advent: Longing to See His Face

During Advent the Church celebrates the longing to see God’s Face, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary, with a Triduum (three days of prayer beginning on December 15) and a Feast (on December 18th)–It is called The Feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Longing to See His Face.  (a bit of the history may be found here.) The prayer may also be continued  until Christmas.

The Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Prayer for the Triduum and Feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Longing to See His Face

“Mary, your life with Jesus was one of the purest, most fervent, most perfect emotions of longing and most eager expectation of the Birth of the Divine Child! How great must have been that longing!  You were longing to see the Face of God and to be happy in the vision.  You were soon really to see the Face of God, the created image of divine perfection, the sight of which rejoices heaven and earth, from which all being derive life and joy; the Face whose features enraptured God from all eternity, the Face for which all ages expectantly yearned.  You were to see this Face unveiled, in all the beauty and grace as the face of your own child. 

Most just indeed it is, O Holy Mother of God, that we should unite in that ardent desire which you had to see Him, who had been concealed for nine months in your chaste womb; to know the features of this Son of the heavenly Father, who is also your own; to come to that blissful hour of His birth, which will give glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to men of good will.  Yes, dear Mother, the time is fast approaching, though not fast enough to satisfy your desires and ours.  Make us re-double our attention to the great mystery; complete our preparation by your powerful prayers for us, so that when the solemn hour has come, our Jesus may find no obstacle to His entrance into our hearts.  Amen.” (Prayer by Rev. Lawrence Lovasik, S.V.D.)

Maranatha – Come Lord Jesus!

Take Us By the Hand, O Blessed Virgin Mary!

O Mary, conceived with0ut sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Madonna, Pompeo Battono, 1742

 

Shutterstock photo

“It is first of all necessary to let the Blessed Virgin Mary take one by the hand to contemplate the face of Jesus. Mary gives us eyes and a heart that can contemplate her Son in the Eucharist.”

~ Pope Benedict XVI

 

Mary was “Blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing,” (cf. Eph 1:3) chosen by God from all eternity to be the Mother of the Redeemer. So, ask her to take you by the hand because it is she who leads us to Jesus. Then we may contemplate, together with her, His Holy Face–in His Word, in the Eucharist, and in our neighbor. As the Immaculate Conception, Mary bears in herself the most perfect reflection of the Face of God.  Pope St. John Paul II wrote, “The Blessed Virgin saw shining upon her, as no other creature, the face of the Father, rich in grace and mercy.”

This Advent, let us fix our gaze on Jesus and Mary rather than on the profane things of the world. We keep Mary before our eyes in order to contemplate in her everything that is good and true and beautiful — She is “God’s Mirror.” “She is the proclamation of a merciful God who does not surrender to the sin of his children,” Pope St. John Paul II tells us “in Mary shines forth God’s sublime and surprising tenderness for the entire human race.  In her, humanity regains its former beauty and the divine plan is revealed to be stronger than evil…” In Mary “the Creator has kept the original beauty of creation uncontaminated” so that in the Immaculate Conception, “the Father’s original, wondrous plan of love was reestablished in an even more wondrous way.”

Virgin and Child,1510

 

And in Her Morning

The Virgin Mary cannot enter
my soul for an indwelling. God alone
has sealed this land as secretly His own;
but being mother and implored, she comes
to stand along my eastern sky and be
a drift of sunrise over God and me.

God is a light and genitor of light.
Yet for our weakness and our punishment
He hides Himself in midnights that prevent
all save the least awarenesses of Him.
We strain with dimmed eyes inward and perceive
no stir of what we clamored to believe.
Yet I say: God (if one may jest with God),
Your hiding has not reckoned with Our Lady
who holds my east horizon and whose glow
lights up my inner landscape, high and low.
All my soul’s acres shine and shine with her!
You are discovered, God; awake, rise
out of the dark of Your Divine surprise!
Your own reflection has revealed Your place,
for she is utter light by Your own grace.
And in her light I find You hid within me,
And in her morning I can see Your Face.
~Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD
(Jessica Powers)

Photo: Patricia Enk