St Therese of Lisieux had a great devotion to the Holy Face, which compelled her to compose the Prayer of St Therese to the Holy Face of Jesus .
In fact, when she entered the Carmelite monastery, Marie Francoise Therese Martin took the name St Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.
In explanation of why she added “Holy Face” to her name, she said, “I desire that, like the Face of Jesus, my face be truly hidden that no one on earth would know me. I thirsted after suffering and I longed to be forgotten.”
In 1897, while she was lying sick in the infirmary, she had a picture of the Holy Face hung on the curtains of her bed. She also said, “How well Our Lord did lower His eyes when He gave us His portrait! Since the eyes are the mirror of the soul, if we had seen His soul, we would have died from joy. Oh how much good that Holy Face has done in my life!”
So, needless to say, she loved the Holy Face devotion. if you have a devotion to the Holy Face, or you’d like to cultivate a devotion to the Holy Face, pray this prayer.
Prayer of St Therese to the Holy Face of Jesus
“O Jesus, who, in Thy cruel Passion didst become the ‘reproach of men and the Man of Sorrows,’ I worship Thy divine Face. Once it shone with the beauty and sweetness of the Divinity; but now, for my sake, it is become as ‘the face of a leper.’
Yet, in that disfigured Countenance, I recognize Thy infinite love, and I am consumed with the desire of making Thee loved by all mankind.
The tears that flowed so abundantly from Thy Eyes are to me as precious pearls that I delight to gather, that with their worth I may ransom the souls of poor sinners.
O Jesus, whose Face is the sole beauty that ravishes my heart, I may not see here below the sweetness of Thy glance, nor feel the ineffable tenderness of Thy kiss, I bow to Thy Will—but I pray Thee to imprint in me Thy divine likeness, and I implore Thee so to inflame me with Thy love, that it may quickly consume me, and that I may soon reach the vision of Thy glorious Face in heaven.”
Books on St Therese & Family
- Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower) [The Authorized English Translation of Therese’s Original Unaltered Manuscripts]
- The Extraordinary Parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux: Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin
- Walking the Little Way of Therese of Lisieux: Discovering the Path of Love
Holy Face Resources
- Holy Face La Santa Faz Black Framed Canvas by Francisco De Zurbaran
- Holy Face Association
- The Manual of the Holy Face
- The Golden Arrow (1816-1848 On Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus) by . Sr. Mary Of St. Peter
- Veronica’s Veil: Poems, Prayers, and Promises of the Holy Face Devotion
This article was originally posted in 2019