Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Shrove Tuesday
I was disturbed by the thought of this vision. I got on my motorcycle and rode around the island. It was a four-hour ride. At the end of the ride, I passed a church and turned around to go in and pray. I knew I needed God in my life. After a short prayer, I was walking out of the church and there right next the exit door in a pamphlet rack, at eye level was the face in my dream. I was shocked, I pulled the pamphlet out and trembling read that this was the image of the reported face of Christ. It was on the burial cloth of Christ and was stored in a Catholic Church in Italy. I decided God was calling me back to the Catholic Faith. Why me? Why did he appear to me sinner that I was; I knew not. Yet, because of the memory of this call from Christ, I knew I had to consent to bring his precious body to my brother Seabees. The priest also left me a book to read. The book explained the Catholic faith. As I read it, I knew and understood my faith better. I was especially taken by an Old Catholic symbol and I drew it on a small red flag and wore that symbol on my back declaring myself an ICEMAN for Christ. The symbol means “Jesus Christ Conqueror” Now instead of a blue ribbon of pain. I had a flag for victory. I still was the same old sinner but the flag reminded me of God’s ever presence; even here at the bottom of the world.
Principal reasons why we must honor the Holy Face of JesusJesus asked it of Sister Pierina on the First Friday of Lent, as we read above. This reason should be enough but for those Thomases who still doubt, there are more. Thirty-Three Popes have spoken in favor of The Holy Shroud. Here are the statements of a few of them: Leo XIII declared enthusiastically that this photograph of The Holy Shroud with its undeniable revelation of the true likeness of Christ was a providential event and "a means well-adapted in our time to stimulate everywhere a revival of the religious spirit." St. Pius X referred to the photograph as the "true image of The Holy Shroud" and declared it can be a very effective aid in meditating on the Passion and Death of our Divine Savior. St. Pius X expressed the desire that this image be published and seen around the world and venerated in every Christian family. He recommended it to all bishops and priests and gave a special blessing to all who propagate the image and devotion to Jesus Christ pictured on the Holy Shroud.
Why do we so rarely see the picture of The Holy Face of Jesus in Catholic churches, religious orders and Catholic homes? Why are so many Catholics not more devoted to The Holy Face of Jesus? Why? Because, there is a plot of silence! Demons do not like The Holy Face of Jesus and are doing everything to stop the devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus.
How can we not fall in love with Jesus seeing His Holy Face?
Catholic churches, religious families, Catholic families have nice human pictures of Jesus. Why not have the miraculous Holy Face of Jesus given to us on Easter Morning by the risen Jesus, just as St. Pius X recommended? When I have to choose between a picture made by a man or by Jesus, the choice is easy for me. I have The Holy Face of Jesus in my office, in my living room, in my room, in my Bible, in my Breviary, in my many books. The result: I am always walking in the presence of Jesus, thinking, loving, adoring and speaking of Jesus. Then it is also impossible not to live in the presence of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Jesus' Mother and ours.
St. Pius X expressed the desire that the image of The Holy Shroud of Jesus be seen around the world and venerated in every Christian family.
When Catholics will see The Holy Face of Jesus in their churches and hear their priests preaching St. Pius X's call to devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus, then the devotion to The Holy Face will be spread all over the world like the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If you want to please a father, speak nicely of his son and publish his picture everywhere. If you want to please God the Father, speak nicely of Jesus, and publish and show The Holy Face of Jesus everywhere. Believe me, doing so is a special way to have the Heavenly Father shower on you and your family graces and blessings so abundantly that you will be obliged to say: Heavenly Father, please stop, because my heart will burst with joy and happiness. Pius XII asked the faithful to spread knowledge and veneration of so great and sacred a relic. On the occasion of the golden jubilee of Sister Celine Martin, sister of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus of The Holy Face (her full religious name!), he sent her his photograph and the one of The Holy Face of Jesus! He was truly a pope with faith and without fear of the truth.
John XXIII, on seeing the relic, said, "This can only be the Lord's doing... There we see the finger of God."
Paul VI added these words: "The Holy Face of Jesus printed on The Holy Shroud of Turin appeared to us so true, so profound, so human and divine, that we admired and loved it like no other image..."
John Paul I has been named "The Pope of The Holy Shroud."
John Paul II said "The Holy Shroud is the most splendid relic of the Passion and Resurrection [of Our Lord Jesus Christ]. People say: `Who will make us see happiness? Raise the light of Thy Face over us!' We become what we contemplate... Why don't we contemplate the Icon of Icons: The Holy Face of Jesus!" Instead of icons made by man, let us venerate the greatest icon of all: The Holy Face of Jesus!
Saint Peter Chrysologus, Father of the Church, tells us: "A love that desires to see God may not have reasonableness on its side, but it is the evidence of filial love. It gave Moses the temerity to say: 'If I have found favor in Thine eyes, show me Thy face'. It inspired the psalmist to make the same prayer: 'Show me Thy Face'. Even the pagans made their images for this purpose; they wanted to see what they mistakenly revered."
Great Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus and of The Holy Face, one of the greatest saints of our modern time, Patroness of Missions with St. Francis Xavier, was also one of the greatest apostles of the Holy Face. Let us all be apostles of the Holy Face of Jesus. Let us speak up and write on the Holy Face. Let us stop doubting like St. Thomas, but believe, venerate, and distribute copies and show the world the Holy Face of Jesus.
I think and I really hope that one day the Holy Face of Jesus will be seen in all Catholic churches. The Holy Face of Jesus is already in many Catholic cathedrals and churches in Montréal, Quebec City and elsewhere.
What should Catholics think and do about the devotion to the Holy Face? Why not have a nice, large, beautiful Holy Face picture in your living room, your bedroom, in your Bible, Breviary and in your spiritual books? Like St. Paul, you will be thinking and talking only of Jesus.
To encourage the faithful to honor the Holy Face of Jesus, Jesus made wonderful promises, just as He did with the twelve promises for those who practice the devotion to His Sacred Heart.
2. None of these persons shall ever be separated from Me.
3. In offering My Face to My Father they will appease His anger and they will purchase as with celestial coin pardon for poor sinners.
4. I will open My Mouth to plead with My Father to grant all the petitions that they will present to Me.
5. I will illuminate them with My light, I will consume them with My love, I will render them fruitful in good works.
6. They will, as the pious Veronica, wipe My adorable Face outraged by sin, and I will imprint My Divine Features in their souls.
7. At their death, I will renew in them the image of God effaced by sin.
8. By resemblance to My Face, they will shine more than many others in eternal life and the brilliancy of My Face will fill them with joy.
These priceless promises are drawn from the works of St. Gertrude, of St. Mechtilde and from the writings of Sister Maria de Saint-Pierre, a Carmelite, who died at Tours, in the odor of sanctity.