The Face of the Father’s Mercy

Pope St. John Paul II

“At no time… especially at a moment as critical as our own — can the Church forget the prayer that is a cry for the mercy of God. …The Church has the right and duty to appeal to the God of mercy ‘with loud cries.'” (Pope St. John Paul II, Rich in Mercy, 15)

 

“This Mercy of God which has a concrete face, the Face of Jesus, the risen Christ.” –Pope Francis

Some may view this pandemic as “the end of the world” as we know it. Others see the opportunity turn toward the Face of God in prayer and draw closer to Him. We can be certain of one thing in this uncertain time and that is, that He loves us.  So, we can be secure in the knowledge that God’s mercy on mankind is not exhausted.  “The mystery of the Father’s love” is continually being revealed to us; it is found through the beauty and glory shining on the Face of Jesus Christ, His Son.

The Splendor of the Truth is Found on the Face of Christ

“…No one can escape from the fundamental questions:  What must I do? How do I distinguish good from evil?  The answer is only possible thanks to the splendor of the truth which shines forth deep within the human spirit, as the Psalmist bears witness: “There are many who say: ‘O that we might see some good!  Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord’” (Ps 4:6)

The light of God’s face shines in all its beauty on the countenance of Jesus Christ, “the image of the invisible God” (Cor 1:15), the “reflection of God’s glory” (Heb 1:3), “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14).  Christ is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6). Consequently the decisive answer to every one of man’s questions, his religious and moral questions in particular, is given by Jesus Christ, or rather is Jesus Christ himself, as the Second Vatican Council recalls: “In fact, it is only in the mystery of the Word Incarnate that light is shed on the mystery of man.  For Adam, the first man, was a figure of the future man, namely, of Christ the Lord.  It is Christ, the last Adam, who fully discloses man to himself and unfolds his noble calling by revealing the mystery of the Father and the Father’s love”. –Pope St. John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor (1993)

In 2015, a Bull of Indiction, Misericordiae Vultus  (Face of Mercy) was issued, declaring a “Jubilee Year of Mercy.” The document, begun by Pope Benedict and completed by Pope Francis, is a a powerful reminder of our mission of mercy to a spiritually dark world. We each have a precious opportunity that God has given us at this particular time in history to be instruments of His mercy, and to plead “with loud cries” for God’s “mercy on us and on the whole world.”

“This is the opportune moment to change our lives!  This is the time to allow our hearts to be touched!”  Misericordiae Vultus (Face of Mercy)

"Jesus Christ is the Face of the Father's Mercy." -- Pope Francis
“Jesus Christ is the Face of the Father’s Mercy.” — Pope Francis

“Jesus Christ is the Face of the Father’s Mercy.  These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith.  Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching it’s culmination in Him…We need to constantly contemplate the mystery of mercy.  It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace.  Our salvation depends on it.  Mercy:  the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.” “With our eyes fixed on Jesus and His merciful gaze, we experience the love of the Most Holy Trinity.  The mission Jesus received from the Father was that of revealing the mystery of Divine Love in its fullness. ‘God is love.’ (1 Jn 4:8,16)”

“Mercy is not contrary to justice but is the behavior of God toward the sinner…God does not deny justice. He rather envelops it and surpasses it with an even greater event in which we experience love as the foundation of true justice” (MV, 21).

Jesus is the face of the mercy of God the Father: “God so loved the world […] [that] the world might be saved through him [the Son]” (Jn 3:16, 17)

We are called to be merciful to each other and seek the Face of Jesus in our neighbor. “It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.  It will be a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty.  And let us enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy.  Jesus introduces us to these works of mercy in His preaching so that know whether or not we are living as His disciples.  Let us rediscover these corporal and spiritual works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead.  And  let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy:  to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead.”

“Life is a pilgrimage, and the human being is a viator, a pilgrim travelling along the road, making his way to the desired destination.” Let us keep our faces turned toward the Merciful Face of Jesus while on our pilgrimage, and “introduce everyone to the great mystery of God’s Mercy by contemplating the Face of Christ.”(Misericordiae Vultus) 

 

For many of the quarantined, or for those dying in isolation, being deprived of the sacraments, especially of Jesus in the Eucharist, is a very painful suffering. Still, we can offer a “Spiritual Communion,” with a “gaze of faithfulness,” at His Holy Face — to express our love for Jesus — and beg those graces we need until, God willing, we may receive His Sacrament of Love again. Below is a beautiful prayer of St. Faustina, from her diary Divine Mercy in My Soul #1239

Holy Face of Jesus of Manoppello (photo: Paul Badde/EWTN)

“O Living Host, O hidden Jesus.  You see the condition of my soul.  Of myself, I am unable to utter Your Holy Name.  I cannot bring forth from my heart the fire of love, but, kneeling at Your feet, I cast upon the Tabernacle the gaze of my soul, a gaze of faithfulness.  As for You, You are ever the same, while within my soul a change takes place.  I trust that the time will come when You will unveil Your Countenance, and Your child will again see Your sweet Face.  I am astonished, Jesus, that You can hide Yourself from me for so long and that You can restrain the enormous love You have for me.  In the dwelling of my heart, I am listening and waiting for Your coming, O only Treasure of my heart!  

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Holy Veil of Manoppello, Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

Prayer to the Holy Face for the liberation from the coronavirus

Lord Jesus, Savior of the world, hope that will never disappoint us, have mercy on us and deliver us from all evil! Please overcome the scourge of this virus which is spreading, heal the sick, preserve the healthy, support those who work for the health of all. Show us your face of mercy and save us in your great love. We ask you through the intercession of Mary, Your Mother and ours, who faithfully accompanies us. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

+ Bruno Forte
Archbishop of Chieti – Vasto (Italy)
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The “A,B,C’s of mercy:”

Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.

Be Merciful to Others. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.

Completely Trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.

 

 

“The Cloth That Covered His Head”

Holy Veil of Manoppello said to be the image of the Resurrected Christ
Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection, Eugene Burnand, 1898

So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.  (John 20: 1-9)

At the time of Jesus, the Jewish law required several “cloths” to be used for burial, and as many as six for someone who had died a violent death. Christian tradition has preserved six cloths as relics that are associated with the burial of Jesus – 1.) The Shroud of Turin, 2.) the Sudarium of Oviedo in Spain, 3.) The Sudarium Veil of Manoppello, 4.) The Sudarium of Kornelimunster in Germany, 5.) The SindonMunda of Aachen, Germany, 6.) The Cap of Cahors in France.

Three  of the cloths in particular stand out as extraordinary “witnesses” to the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus, and together they bear a powerful testimony to the truth of the Gospels. Each one bearing an imprint or image of the Face of Jesus. They are: The Sudarium of Oviedo, The Shroud of Turin, and the Sudarium Veil of Manoppello. The remarkable relationship between these three “cloths” leave little doubt that each came in contact with the face of the same man at the time of burial.

Sudarium of Oviedo

 The Sudarium of Oviedo directly touched Jesus’s head following His Crucifixion. Blood was considered sacred to the Jews, so this cloth was used to soak up the Precious Blood of Jesus, by wrapping it around Jesus’s Head, as He was taken down from the Cross. The largest bloodstains are from the nose, other stains are from the eyes and other parts of the face.  There is also an imprint on the sudarium of the hand of the person who held this cloth to Jesus’s Face to staunch the flow of blood. It takes one’s breath away to see that the bloodstains on the Sudarium of Oviedo, when overlaid with the Face on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium Veil of Manoppello, correspond perfectly. The blood type is AB, the same as on the Shroud of Turin.

Face on the Shroud of Turin by photographer Secondo Pia, 1898

“He went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there”

The Shroud of Turin; the sindone, or linen burial shroud, was believed to have been used to wrap the entire body of Christ. It is the most famous and studied of the three cloths. The faint but visible imprint on the Shroud of Turin gives witness to the violent torture of a man as described in the Passion and Death of Jesus in the Scripture. The world was amazed when Secondo Pia first photographed the Face on the Shroud in 1898; the negative of the photo incredibly became visible as a positive image. The Shroud of Turin caused an entire branch of science to be dedicated to its research called Sindonology. The most recent research was Atomic resolution studies that detected new biological evidences on the Shroud of Turin — the results of which are stunning.

The Sudarium Veil of the Face of Christ, Photo: Patricia Enk

 The Sudarium Veil of Manoppello, Italy, is perhaps the least known of the three burial “cloths.” The Veil bears the image of the living Face of Jesus. This “miracle of light,” “not made by human hands,” was protected and hidden in an isolated church in the Abbruzzi Mountains for centuries. It is believed to be the “cloth” that covered the Face of Jesus in death, showing traces of the Passion: Bruises, swelling, wounds from the Crown of Thorns, and plucked beard.  But, it is also believed to have recorded in light the Face of Jesus at the moment of His Resurrection. No, this is not a contradiction. Yes, the image changes. It shows suffering, but it also shows life!

“The cloth that had covered his head”

Funeral of Pope St. John Paul II, Archbishop Dziwisz covers the pope’s face with a veil.

An explanation about the tradition of a face cloth for burial may be helpful in understanding its profound significance:  In the funeral rites for priests in some Eastern churches, the veil which was used to cover the chalice and paten were placed on the face of the deceased priest. (The cloth used to cover the chalice and paten had a particular liturgical symbolism linked to the Face of Christ as well.) It was done as a symbol of both the strength and protection of God, and also of the tomb of Christ–an expression of belief in the Resurrection. In Jewish burial custom, a deceased priest’s face would be anointed with oil and then covered with a white cloth, and would have been done for Jesus.

When Pope St. John Paul II was being laid in his coffin, Archbishops Marini and Stanley Dziwisz had the honor of placing a white silk veil over the face of the pope. Poignantly, the choir sang the words from Psalm 42, “My soul thirsts for God, the living God; when will I come and see the Face of the Lord?” Many wondered about the action of covering the pope’s face with a veil because this was the first time it had been done, but was at the request of Pope John Paul II, who had dedicated the millennium to the Face of Christ.

Byssus “Pinna Nobilis” fit for a King! Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

The cloth that would cover the Face of Christ would have to be made of a material fit for a King, a High Priest, and a God. Byssus, mentioned in the Bible forty times, also known as “sea-silk,” is more rare and precious than gold and it has an exceedingly fine texture which can be woven. Made from the long tough silky filaments of Pinna Nobilis mollusks that anchor them to the seabed, it is strong enough to resist the extreme hydrodynamic forces of the sea. Byssus has a shimmering, iridescent quality which reflects light. It is extremely delicate, yet strong at the same time. It resists water, weak acids, bases, ethers, and alcohols. Byssus cannot be painted, as it does not retain pigments, it can only be dyed; and then, only purple.  It can also last for more than 2000 years.

Kurt Cardinal Koch contemplates the Veil “not made by human hands” of Manoppello. Sheer and delicate, yet the Face is visible. Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

The Sudarium Veil of Manoppello is also made of rare, precious, byssus silk.  The skill needed to weave a byssus veil as fine as the Veil of the Holy Face of Manoppello is exceedingly great.  Chiara Vigo, known as “the last woman who weaves byssus,” has said that neither she nor anyone alive today could duplicate the gossamer-thin veil, which is sheer enough to read a newspaper through.  The weave is so delicate, she says, that only the nimble fingers of a very skillful child could weave something so fine.

Miraculous Holy Face Veil Photo: Paul Badde (see “Manoppello Image” tab)

It is only through light that this shimmering image of the Face of Jesus may be seen, and at times appears as a “living image” as though it were reflected in a mirror, at other times the image completely disappears.  Although no camera can adequately capture the image, thanks to the many amazing photos of journalist Paul Badde, the changes that occur when viewing the veil may be better appreciated.  (Click here for more photos, and information about Paul Badde’s books and videos about the Holy Face.)

Servant of God Padre Domenico da Cese (1915-1978) before the Veil of Manoppello

While the Face on the Shroud of Turin clearly shows the Face of Jesus in death with eyes closed, the Sudariam of Manoppello has eyes open–bearing witness to the Resurrection. That was the ardent belief of the former Rector of the Basilica Shrine of the Holy Face, Servant of God Padre Domenico da Cese.  

There are many physiological reasons too for believing that the Face Cloth captures the first breath of the Resurrection. Sr. Blandina Paschalis Schlomer, who shares that belief, has provided meticulous research about the Veil in her book JESUS CHRIST, The Lamb and the Beautiful Shepherd, The Encounter with the Veil of Manoppello.  Sr. Blandina together with Fr. Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, S.J., Professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, have each demonstrated that the Holy Face on the Veil of Manoppello is the proto-image of the earliest icons, and other works of art depicting the Face of Jesus.

As the first rays of light entered the tomb, John and Peter, upon entering, “saw and believed.”               Sudarium Veil of Manoppello, Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

 

“…and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”  

Pope Benedict XVI, who came as a pilgrim to Manoppello on September 1, 2006, Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, S.J., Paul Badde, and Sr. Blandina Schlomer

What did St. John see in the tomb that would cause him to believe? A cloth of blood, such as the Oviedo? The Shroud of Turin? It is a miraculous image, but shows the Face of a dead man. A third witness was needed in order for the disciple to believe. It could only have been evidence of something as astounding as the Resurrection; proof that Jesus was alive!

It is human nature to want to see things for ourselves. Many pilgrims, humble and great, have felt called to make the journey to visit the miraculous relic. If it is God’s handiwork, and I believe that is true, then one can only wonder at its existence, and gaze in silent contemplation, giving thanks for this tremendous gift of God… so we too may “see and believe.”

“We cannot stop at the image of the Crucified One; He is the Risen One!” –Pope St. John Paul II

Holy Face of Jesus of Manoppello (photo: Paul Badde/EWTN)

“”While we too seek other signs, other wonders, we do not realize that He is the real sign, God made flesh; He is the greatest miracle of the universe:  all the love of God hidden in a human heart, in a human face.”  ~ Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

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

“Show us, O Lord, we pray you, Your Face ever new; that mirror, mystery-laden, of God’s infinite mercy. Grant that we may contemplate it with the eyes of our mind and our hearts: the Son’s Face, radiance of the Father’s glory and the imprint of His Nature (cf. Hb 1:3), the human Face of God that has burst into history to reveal the horizons of eternity. The silent Face of Jesus, suffering and risen, when loved and accepted, changes our hearts and lives. “Your Face, Lord, do I seek, do not hide Your Face from me.” (Ps. 27:8ff) How many times through the centuries and millennia has resounded the ardent invocation of the Psalmist among the faithful! Lord, with faith, we too repeat the same invocation: “Man of suffering, as one from whom other hide their faces.” (Is. 53:3) Do not hide your Face from us!”  (Portion of a prayer in honor of the Holy Face of Manoppello by Pope Benedict XVI)

Happy Easter!

Jesus Christ has truly risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The byssus Veil of Manoppello, which is thought to be one of the burial cloths of Jesus, photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

Prayer to the Holy Face for the liberation from the coronavirus

Lord Jesus, Savior of the world, hope that will never disappoint us, have mercy on us and deliver us from all evil! Please overcome the scourge of this virus which is spreading, heal the sick, preserve the healthy, support those who work for the health of all. Show us your face of mercy and save us in your great love. We ask you through the intercession of Mary, Your Mother and ours, who faithfully accompanies us. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

+ Bruno Forte
Archbishop of Chieti – Vasto (Italy)
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To learn more about the history of the Holy Face of Manoppello, click here to read “Four Stories, One Face.”

Or watch this wonderful video below, “The Human Face of God.”

And a recent Vaticano episode:

 

 

 

Mary’s Veil of Faith

Another Mary, Mary Magdalene embracing the Face of Jesus
Mary Magdalene embracing the Face of Jesus in Boticelli’s Deposition 

Mary’s Veil of Faith

O Jesus, hidden God, my heart perceives You, though veils hide You, You know that I love You. ~Prayer of St. Faustina Kowalska

 

The word “veil” can have many meanings. A veil can cover the face, the head, or an object; it can cover, conceal, or separate. In ancient Jewish tradition a veil in the Holy of Holies in the Temple separated sinful man from the presence of God dwelling in the midst of His People. The holiness of God was not to be taken lightly. The blinding light of the purity and glory of the Face of God could not be looked upon by sinful eyes.

But when God chose Mary to be the Mother of His Son He created her to be all-pure and sinless from the moment of her conception through the merits of her Son, Jesus. In Matthew 5:8 we read, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” What was to prevent Mary, the Immaculate Conception, who was free from all sin, from seeing the Face of God in all His glory even while she was still here on earth? The answer is, in a word, a veil.

The Virgin of the Grapes by Pierre Mignard

When the Word of God became flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the Incarnation, Mary became His Tabernacle. Jesus’ human flesh was His veil: “by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is His flesh” (Heb. 10:20). The Angel Gabriel told Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of God.  But Mary, though “full of grace” and all-pure, would only gaze upon the human face of her child and upon the Face of her God through the veil of faith.

Elizabeth bore witness to Mary’s faith when “filled with the Holy Spirit” she greeted Mary with a loud cry: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?…“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (Lk. 1:45). As Pope St. John Paul II wrote in Redemptoris Mater, “Mary entrusted herself to God completely, with the full submission of intellect and will…this response of faith included both perfect cooperation with ‘the grace of God that precedes and assists’ and perfect openness to the action of the Holy Spirit, who constantly brings faith to completion by His gifts.”

The Man of Sorrows in the arms of the Virgin Mary, by Hans Memling

In a truly heroic manner, in poverty and suffering, on her whole pilgrimage or journey towards God, Mary believed, in faith, though everything happening around her seemed to contradict God’s words to her: That “the Lord will give to him the throne of his father David.” And that “He will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Mary believed these invisible truths about her Son, even as Jesus, suffered and died, hanging on the Cross. What was visible on an earthly level did not reflect the heavenly reality. Mary did not necessarily see her Son radiant in glory or angels ministering to Him in His Passion.  At the foot of the Cross she saw His bruised and bloodied suffering Face.

Our Lady of Sorrows

Pope St. John Paul II tells us in Redemptoris Mater that “faith is contact with the mystery of God. Every day Mary is in constant contact with the ineffable mystery of God made-man, a mystery that surpasses everything revealed in the Old Covenant… Mary is in contact with the truth about her Son only in faith and through faith!” Though all-pure, she could not see, except through faith. “Blessed is she who believed” is a key, he says, which unlocks for us the innermost reality of Mary. Mary’s all-pure eyes looked on the glory of her Son through a veil of faith, “a dark night,” to use the words of St. John of the Cross, that feeling of darkness or emptiness when a soul draws near to the brightness and glory of God. Pope St. John Paul II writes in Redemptoris Mater that Mary’s faith is: “a kind of a veil though which one has to draw near to the Invisible One and to live in intimacy with the mystery.”

Joan Mates, Mourning over the body of Christ

The stone rolled in front of tomb is also a sort of veil — seemingly impervious, unmovable, like the hardened hearts of souls closed off from God — yet hiding Our Crucified Lord within. When Mary stood in bitter desolation before the massive stone of the tomb, she knew that Jesus was dead. Still, her heart was full of hope. She heroically believed that her Son would rise again in glory. Mary’s faith was so strong that her heart believed what her eyes could not perceive. We too must believe, although Jesus may be silent and hidden completely from our eyes. If we had a little of Mary’s faith, through her intercession, even the heaviest stone could be rolled away by Our Lord, as though it were the lightest veil. Then,  the hardest of hearts could be changed, and her glorious Son would be revealed.

In this earthly pilgrimage of faith a veil lies over our hearts, as St. Paul writes: “To this day, in fact…a veil lies over their hearts, but whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed… All of us, with unveiled face gazing on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 4:15-16, 18) As members of the Church, we can “look at” Jesus through Mary’s eyes of faith, in the Eucharist, in our neighbor; believing in His Word and following her example in our pilgrimage towards the Father until that time when the “veil” of faith will be finally lifted.

Mary adored Jesus beneath the Eucharistic Veil of the appearance of bread.
The Virgin of the Host, by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

“Blessed is she who believed!”

“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)

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The byssus Veil of Manoppello, which is thought to be one of the burial cloths of Jesus, photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

Prayer to the Holy Face for the liberation from the coronavirus

Lord Jesus, Savior of the world, hope that will never disappoint us, have mercy on us and deliver us from all evil! Please overcome the scourge of this virus which is spreading, heal the sick, preserve the healthy, support those who work for the health of all. Show us your face of mercy and save us in your great love. We ask you through the intercession of Mary, Your Mother and ours, who faithfully accompanies us. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
+ Bruno Forte
Archbishop of Chieti – Vasto (Italy)

Restoring the Image of God in Our Souls

+Prayer for liberation from the Coronavirus by Archbishop Bruno Forte click here.

“Il Volto Santo” The Holy Face of Manoppello. (Photo by Paul Badde/EWTN)

Contemplate the Face of Jesus in His Passion

“There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him; nor appearance that would attract us to him. He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity. One of those from whom men hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem.” (Isaiah 53:2-3)

(Detail) painting by Hans Holbein the elder.

The sins of humanity against the Face of God are related to the first three commandments: Idolatry, blasphemy, profanation of the Holy Name and of the Holy Day of Sunday. 

Mankind has turned from the Face of God and toward idols. We have turned away from the Face of God by blaspheming Him, destroying other human beings made in His image, and using God’s life-giving Name as a curse. We have rejected Him on the one day out of seven that He has given us to rest, and a spend time with Him. Like Jesus’s  tormentors in His Passion, humanity has blindfolded Jesus; striking Him, and spitting in His Face; while at the same time, refusing to look upon Him who is the Truth. 

While we cannot change the whole of humanity, we can begin with ourselves. God looks at our souls; broken, disfigured, and in various states of decay. When we “turn back to His Face,” the Divine Artist looks on us with love and restores His image in us.

Our Lord revealed the work of reparation, which is devotion to the Holy Face, “the most beautiful work under the sun,” to Sr. Marie St. Pierre, a Carmelite nun.  Jesus told her that the image of His Holy Face is like a Divine stamp, which, if applied to souls through prayer, has the power of imprinting anew within them the image of God.

This is Sr. Marie St. Pierre’s beautiful prayer to reproduce the image of God in our souls,

“I salute you!  I adore you and I love you, Oh adorable Face of my beloved Jesus, as the noble stamp of the Divinity!  Completely surrendering my soul to You, I most humbly beg You to stamp this seal upon us all, so that the image of God may once more be reproduced in our souls.  Amen.”

 

Miraculous Veil, the “Vera Icon” or True Image of the”Holy Face of Manoppello” in Italy Photo:Paul Badde/EWTN

“St. Veronica”

“St. Veronica,” refers to an unknown woman, not mentioned in the Bible, yet immortalized in every Catholic church at the Sixth Station of the Cross, for her act of compassion to Jesus who left the image of His Face on her veil.

Pope St. John Paul II wrote this beautiful meditation on St. Veronica in 2000, the same year in which he dedicated the millennium to the Face of Christ:

Sixth Station, St. Theresa Church, Ashburn, Virginia

“Veronica does not appear in the Gospels. Her name is not mentioned, even though the names of other women who accompanied Jesus do appear.
It is possible, therefore, that the name refers more to what the woman did. In fact, according to tradition, on the road to Calvary a woman pushed her way through the soldiers escorting Jesus and with a veil wiped the sweat and blood from the Lord’s face. That face remained imprinted on the veil, a faithful reflection, a “true icon”. This would be the reason for the name Veronica.
If this is so, the name which evokes the memory of what this woman did carries with it the deepest truth about her.

One day, Jesus drew the criticism of onlookers when he defended a sinful woman who had poured perfumed oil on his feet and dried them with her hair. To those who objected, he replied: “Why do you trouble this woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me . . . In pouring this ointment on my body she has done it to prepare me for burial” (Mt 26:10, 12). These words could likewise be applied to Veronica. Thus we see the profound eloquence of this event.

The Redeemer of the world presents Veronica with an authentic image of his face. The veil upon which the face of Christ remains imprinted becomes a message for us.
In a certain sense it says: This is how every act of goodness, every gesture of true love toward’s one’s neighbor, strengthens the likeness of the Redeemer of the world in the one who acts that way. Acts of love do not pass away. Every act of goodness, of understanding, of service leaves on people’s hearts an indelible imprint and makes us ever more like the One who “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (Phil 2:7). This is what shapes our identity and gives us our true name.”

This is the deep meaning and call to every Christian revealed in the presence of the unknown woman we call “St. Veronica”– each act of charity, every act of compassion will leave the imprint of the Face of Jesus in our souls, transforming us into His own Image.

Prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori, from the Sixth Station of the Cross:

My most beloved Jesus, Thy Face was beautiful before, but in this journey it has lost all it’s beauty, and wounds and blood have disfigured it. Alas, my soul also was once beautiful, when it received Thy grace in Baptism; but I have disfigured it by my sins; Thou alone, my Redeemer, can restore it to its former beauty. Do this by Thy Passion, O Jesus.

When we turn to His Face, in prayer, and by acts love and service to our neighbor, He is beautifying and restoring our own souls.

The Holy Face of Manoppello- photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

 

The Shroud of Turin will be displayed via live stream on Holy Saturday: Information here.

Beautiful video also airing on EWTN — from Vaticano — “The Face of God:”

Fr. John Paul Mary, MFVA – homily April 3, 2020

 

“The Holy Face Is My Life. He is My Strength.”

Prayer for liberation from Coronavirus:

Saint Gaetano Catanoso, Pray for us!

“The Holy Face is my life. He is my Strength.” — S. Gaetano Catanoso

From a homily by Pope Benedict XVI:

Gaetano Catanoso was born on 14 February 1879 in Chorio di San Lorenzo, Reggio Calabria, Italy. His parents were wealthy landowners and exemplary Christians.

Gaetano was ordained a priest in 1902, and from 1904 to 1921 he served in the rural parish of Pentidattilo.

Fr Catanoso had a great devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus, and began “The Holy Face” Bulletin and established the “Confraternity of the Holy Face” in 1920. He once wrote:  “The Holy Face is my life. He is my strength”.

Versatility, openness to God’s will

On 2 February 1921, he was transferred to the large parish of Santa Maria de la Candelaria, where he remained until 1940. He was very versatile and his ability to peacefully and diligently serve in such contradictory parish realities earned him the reputation of holiness.

Because he was not conditioned by exterior factors, positive or negative, Fr Gaetano worked well in all situations and settings, striving always to deepen his union with Christ and to do God’s will for the good of those entrusted to his pastoral care. He desired nothing more than to serve at the country parish of Pentidattilo, and his appointment to Candelaria did not make him “puffed up”.

As parish priest of Candelaria, he drew people to Christ by reviving Eucharistic and Marian devotions. He opened institutions, promoted catechetical instruction and crusaded against blasphemy and the profanation of feast days.

Fr Gaetano felt it his duty as a priest to help children and youth who lacked role models and risked being corrupted, as well as abandoned older persons and priests who were isolated and without support. He even helped restore churches and Tabernacles left to decay.

In short, he saw the Face of Christ in all who suffered and would say: “Let us all work to defend and save the orphans, those who are abandoned. There are too many dangers and there is too much misery. With Jesus let us turn our gaze to the abandoned children and youth:  today, humanity is more morally sick than ever”.

Fr Catanoso often spent hours or entire days in prayer before the Tabernacle, and in the parish and beyond he promoted Eucharistic Adoration. He also set up so-called “flying-squads”, teams of priests willing to cooperate in the parishes by giving homilies and hearing confession on these occasions.

Spiritual assistance, Founder

From 1921 to 1950 he served as confessor at religious institutes and in the Reggio Calabria prison. He was also hospital chaplain and spiritual director of the Archiepiscopal Seminary.

In 1934, Fr Catanoso founded the “Congregation of the Daughters of St Veronica, Missionaries of the Holy Face”; its mission: constant prayer of reparation, humble service in worship, catechesis, assistance to children, youth, priests and the elderly. The first convent was opened in Riparo, Reggio Calabria.

When the Archbishop curtailed the activities of the Congregation, Fr Catanoso showed great docility in accepting this decision.

Finally, however, on 25 March 1958, the Constitutions he had written received diocesan approval.
Fr Catanoso died on 4 April 1963, after an exemplary life. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 4 May 1997.

Let the Holy Face be your life, and your strength!”

Limpias Crucifix

 

The Extraordinary Blessing of Pope Francis “Urbi et Orbi”

“The waves of death rose about me; the pains of the nether world surrounded me. In my anguish I called to the Lord, and from His holy temple He heard my voice. (Psalm 18)

EWTN live-streamed video of Pope Francis’s Urbi et Orbi extraordinary blessing on March 27, 2020:

The Gospel from Mark 4:35-41 was first read:   

 On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

Pope Francis then gave a beautiful meditation on the Gospel.  In conclusion he said, “By His Cross we have been saved, in order to embrace hope…embracing the Lord in order to embrace hope. This is the strength of faith, which frees us from fear and gives us hope. Why are you afraid, have you yet no faith?  Dear brothers and sisters from this place that tells of Peter’s rock solid faith, I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the Stormy Sea.  From this colonnade that embraces Rome, and the world may God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace: Lord, bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid, yet our faith is weak, Lord, and we are fearful. But you, Lord, do not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again, ‘Do not be afraid.’  And we, together with Peter, cast all our anxieties onto You, because we know that You care for us.”  

Miraculous Crucifix of San Marcello
The Last Vision of St. John Bosco

After his meditation the Pope proceeded to the icon of Our Lady “Salus Populi Romani” where he prayed for several minutes before moving again to pray before the miraculous Crucifix of San Marcello. This was followed by prayers, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament just inside the door of St. Peter’s Basilica. The powerful image called to mind the last vision of St. John Bosco: The pope on the deck of a large ship in a stormy sea, with no land in sight, being attacked on all sides by smaller vessels and trying to anchor the ship between two columns rising out of the sea — one with the Blessed Sacrament and the other with Our Lady, Help of Christians. 

Pope Francis then proceeded out of St. Peter’s carrying the Blessed Sacrament, and with bells pealing, together with the sounds of sirens in the distance, he blessed the world, in the pouring rain, before a dark, empty St. Peter’s Square. The rain streaming down the side of the miraculous crucifix, recalling the blood and water which flowed from the side of Christ. Please, at least watch the blessing in the video, which begins around 54:54 minutes. One could not fail to be moved by such powerful imagery. This Urbi et Orbi blessing was like no other in history, and a decisive moment for the world to turn back to the Face of God.

Mother Angelica
and Jesus

And how very fitting, that this historic, spiritual event would coincide with the anniversary of the death of Mother Angelica, Foundress of EWTN. It was Mother Angelica’s “Yes” to God that made it possible for millions around the world to see and hear the humble pleas of Pope Francis, and to receive his blessing!

“And we, with our unveiled faces, reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; This is the work of the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18) These are the words on Mother Angelica’s tomb.

2 Chronicles 7:14

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

We Have No Wine

UPDATE: March 27 –  Pope Francis’s Urbi et Orbi blessing in the pouring rain, before a dark, empty St. Peter’s Square.  May the Lord hear our prayers and turn these tears from Heaven into the wine of love, faith and hope for the people of the world! (Blessing is at 54:45)

In solidarity -The Cloistered “Advocata” Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

“On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and His disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.'” (John 2:1-3)

We have no wine. Our priests are offering Mass privately, but the faithful must learn to do without the Eucharist due to the pandemic. Catholics now find themselves at the beginning of a sacramental drought, and thus having to dig deeper in search of the “Living Water” by more frequent prayer and by turning to the Mother of Jesus, our advocate. She knows already what humanity is suffering. Mary immediately presents our need to her Son, “They have no wine.” She tells us, as she told the servers at the Wedding at Cana, “Do whatever He tells you.” Mary always points to Jesus. She desires that we look at the Face of her Son, listen, and act, then Jesus will turn our water into wine.

Rather than turn to media and the endless drumbeats of despair, turn to Mary, our advocate, by saying more rosaries  contemplating the Face of Christ with Mary in the rosary.

“To contemplate the Face of Christ, and to contemplate it with Mary, is the ‘program’ which I have set before the Church at the dawn of the third millennium…It is the Church’s task to reflect the light of Christ in every historical period, to make His Face shine also before new generations of the new millennium. Our witness, however, would be hopelessly inadequate if we ourselves had not first contemplated His Face.” –Pope St. John Paul II

Making the Stations of the Cross, together with the Sorrowful Mother is another powerful means to contemplate the Face of Jesus in His Passion, together with Mary.

The Way of the Cross by Archbishop Georg Gänswein – Sophia Press

I can recommend The Way of the Cross, with beautiful meditations by Archbishop Georg Gänswein, which has just been released and may be ordered here from the Sophia Press website.

 

Advocata Nostra with golden hands and cross
Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

Salve Regina – Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee to we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee!


Advocata Nostra sul Monte Mario – Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

Listen to Pope St.John Paul II in the video below — This is what it is to have WINE!!!

 

Prayer to the Holy Face for the liberation from the coronavirus
Padre Pio called the Holy Veil of Manoppello the “greatest relic of the Church” photo: Patricia Enk

Lord Jesus, Savior of the world, hope that will never disappoint us, have mercy on us and deliver us from all evil! Please overcome the scourge of this virus which is spreading, heal the sick, preserve the healthy, support those who work for the health of all. Show us your face of mercy and save us in your great love. We ask you through the intercession of Mary, Your Mother and ours, who faithfully accompanies us. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

+ Bruno Forte
Archbishop of Chieti – Vasto (Italy)
Lord, God of Hosts, bring us back, let Your Face shine upon us and we shall be saved!
The “Living Face” of Jesus as it appears on the Veil of Manoppello. Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

Prayers Offered for Liberation From the Coronavirus

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Pope Francis calls for 9 pm Rosary for protection from Coronavirus on March 19th, the Feast of St. Joseph.
Detail, St. Joseph with the Child, by Alonso Miguel de Tovar

From Aleteia: “At the end of the general audience March 18, the pope said he is joining the initiative promoted by the Italian bishops to pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary at 9pm (Italian time) on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph.

Presumably, this initiative will gain ground across the globe, with each time zone joining in and creating a chain of prayer.”

“Every family, every member of the faithful, every religious community: All of us spiritually united tomorrow (Thursday) at 9 pm in praying the Rosary, the Luminous Mysteries”

‘We are led to the Luminous and transfigured Face of Jesus Christ and His Heart by Mary, Mother of God, health of the sick, to whom we turn with the prayer of the Rosary, under the loving gaze of Saint Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family”–Pope Francis

“Mary — Mother of God, and Health of the Sick, to whom we direct the Rosary, under the loving gaze of St. Joseph, Protector of the Holy Family, and our families — brings us to the luminous and transfigured Face of Christ and his Heart.

And we ask that he especially protect our families, in particular the sick and those who care for them: doctors, nurses, and volunteers, who risk their lives in this service.”  — Pope Francis 

The Pope also appeals for the 24 hours for the Lord initiative: click here for details  

+++

Prayers are being offered around the world for the end of Coronavirus.  Many churches, including the Vatican are live-streaming (may be seen below) the Mass for those who cannot attend Mass during the health crisis.

Prayer to the Holy Face for the liberation from the coronavirus
Padre Pio called the Holy Veil of Manoppello the “greatest relic of the Church” photo: Patricia Enk

Lord Jesus, Savior of the world, hope that will never disappoint us, have mercy on us and deliver us from all evil! Please overcome the scourge of this virus which is spreading, heal the sick, preserve the healthy, support those who work for the health of all. Show us your face of mercy and save us in your great love. We ask you through the intercession of Mary, Your Mother and ours, who faithfully accompanies us. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

+ Bruno Forte
Archbishop of Chieti – Vasto (Italy)

HOLY HOUR FOR FAITH, HEALING, AND PROTECTION FROM COVID-19

On Friday, Mar. 13 during the 3 p.m. “Hour of Mercy” Fr. John Paul Mary, MFVA,  led a Holy Hour  on EWTN television — which was live streamed, and may still be viewed above, or on facebook.com/ewtnonline, ewtn.com –  invoking Divine Mercy, the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Joseph in these troubled times. EWTN has been re-airing the Divine Mercy Holy Hour. Fr. John-Paul also recited a prayer written by the Archbishop of Chieti, Italy, Archbishop Bruno Forte for the liberation from the coronavirus pandemic which has gripped the world. 

 

Copy of the Holy Face Veil of Manoppello next to a Relic of St. Padre Pio

 

In tempo di corona virus

Preghiera per invocare la liberazione dai mali

Signore Gesù, Salvatore del mondo, speranza che non ci deluderà mai, abbi pietà di noi e liberaci da ogni male! Ti preghiamo di vincere il flagello di questo virus, che si va diffondendo, di guarire gli infermi, di preservare i sani, di sostenere chi opera per la salute di tutti. Mostraci il Tuo Volto di misericordia e salvaci nel Tuo grande amore. Te lo chiediamo per intercessione di Maria, Madre Tua e nostra, che con fedeltà ci accompagna. Tu che vivi e regni nei secoli dei secoli. Amen.

+ Bruno Forte  Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto

 The Holy Veil of Manoppello

Holy Face Veil of Manoppello
(photo: Paul Badde/EWTN)

The origins of this miraculous image on a gossamer-thin veil, “not made by human hands,” of the Face of Jesus are a great mystery and gift of God. It’s existence is an invitation to enter more deeply into relationship with God by contemplating the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus in His Holy Face.  Devotion to The Holy Face is therefore necessary, so that the great gift of “Il Volto Santo” The Holy Face of Manoppello is not treated as a mere curiosity, but with reverence, love and gratitude.  May Jesus Christ draw all souls, by His Merciful Face, reflecting all the love and pains of His Sacred Heart, to Himself.  More about the Holy Veil of Manoppello may be found by clicking (here).

 

“This Mercy of God which has a concrete face, the Face of Jesus, the risen Christ.” –Pope Francis

Please pray that the light on the Merciful Face of Jesus, so darkened by the sins of the world, will shine upon us once more. “Lord, God of Hosts, bring us back. Let your Face shine on us and we shall be saved.”

Holy Veil of Manoppello
Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN

2Chronicles 7:14

13.“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14. if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15.Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

Angelo Cardinal Comastri leads prayers live streamed from St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Veronica sudarium displaying the Veil of the Holy Face

Your prayers are an act of compassion. When a soul performs an “act of compassion,” Jesus leaves His image on the “veil” of the soul. In other words, while contemplating the Face of Jesus in an image, in the Word of God in the Scriptures, in a person made in the image and likeness of God, or above all, in the Eucharist, the soul places itself in the Presence of God. When we are turned completely toward the Face of God, through a daily face-to-face encounter in prayer–by the power of the Holy Spirit–God gradually transforms the soul into the “True Image” of His Son, Jesus Christ. As Pope St. John Paul II says, our hearts must become an “effigy of truth,” a “true icon.” Then our name too will be born from what we gaze upon. It will be “Veronica.”

 

 

 

Prayer, Penance and Procession

EWTN Holy Hour invoking Divine Mercy
Holy Face of Manoppello on the left — Prayer of Archbishop Bruno Forte recited.

Important Update:

HOLY HOUR FOR FAITH, HEALING, AND PROTECTION FROM COVID-19

On Friday, Mar. 13 during the 3 p.m. “Hour of Mercy” Fr. John Paul Mary, MFVA,  led a Holy Hour  on EWTN television — which was live streamed on facebook.com/ewtnonline, ewtn.com –  invoking Divine Mercy, the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Joseph in these troubled times.  Fr. John-Paul also recited a prayer written by the Archbishop of Chieti, Italy, Archbishop Bruno Forte for the liberation from the coronavirus pandemic which has gripped. the world. 

Prayer to the Holy Face for the liberation from the coronavirus
Lord Jesus, Savior of the world, hope that will never disappoint us, have mercy on us and deliver us from all evil! Please overcome the scourge of this virus which is spreading, heal the sick, preserve the healthy, support those who work for the health of all. Show us your face of mercy and save us in your great love. We ask you through the intercession of Mary, Your Mother and ours, who faithfully accompanies us. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
+ Bruno Forte
Archbishop of Chieti – Vasto (Italy)

 

“This Mercy of God which has a concrete face, the Face of Jesus, the risen Christ.” –Pope Francis

+++

This may be the longest Lent on record. I have just read the shocking news that in response to the spread of coronavirus public Masses have been banned in Rome until April 3rd. What a desert the Church is entering into now — without the public sacrifice of the Mass!

In the past, during times of crisis in the world, the Catholic Church has traditionally responded with a greater call to prayer and penance, as well as public demonstrations of faith and trust in God’s infinite majesty and power, by participating in the act of procession.

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

There is power in procession that terrifies the infernal foe and makes all of hell tremble. As Fr. Frederick W. Faber in his treatise on the Blessed Sacrament wrote:

“We process toward our heavenly home in the company of God.  Procession is the function of faith, which burns in our hearts and beams in our faces, and makes our voices tremulous with emotion as our ‘Lauda Sion’ bids defiance to an unbelieving world.”

detail of Face of Jesus on the Holy Veil from the precious manuscript "Liber Regulae Sancti Spiritus in Saxia"
Detail of Face of Jesus on the Holy Veil from the precious manuscript “Liber Regulae Sancti Spiritus in Saxia”

An unbelieving world has reason to fear death. Edward Pentin, of the National Catholic Register has a fine article on the Church’s response to the crisis. In it he quotes Bishop Pascal Roland of Belley-Ars in France:

“The collective panic we are witnessing today — is it not indicative of our distorted relationship to the reality of death? Does it not show the anxiety-inducing effects of the loss of God?”

The Church’s response must be more, not less, devotion, in addition to the caring for the sick and suffering. Where are the calls for prayer, penance and processions? To it’s credit the Diocese of Rome has called for a day of fasting on March 11th, hopefully many will answer that call.  The world is not only unbelieving but publicly blasphemes God to His Face, and it is for this reason that He must be honored publicly. This does not necessarily mean a large crowd, a procession may be small but still public. Whether it is within the confines of a church or through the city streets, the procession is a public function of faith, hope, and love. It is an antidote to the poison disseminated by our culture which falsely asserts that religion is “private” and not something to be brought up in polite society or in the public square.  By solemn procession the Church loudly proclaims to all the world that Jesus is Lord!  Our help will not come through human means, but divine.  Humanity must turn back to the Face of Christ!

“Lord, God of Hosts, bring us back! Let Your Face shine on us and we shall be saved!”
Veil of the Holy Face of Manoppello
Photo: Patricia Enk

 

Prayer to Our Lady Health of the Sick for the people of Rome
by Pope Francis

O Mary,
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.