The Holy Face Novena is a deep devotion that leads us into Lent. We will finish the Novena on The Feast of the Holy Face on February 13th –“Shrove Tuesday” — the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.
The devotion was first spread by the efforts of Venerable Leo Dupont (also known as the Apostle of the Holy Face) who prayed for the establishment of the devotion for 30 years, burning a lamp before a painted image of Jesus. Pope Leo XIII approved of the devotion in 1885. [The Holy Face of Jesus devotion started in 1844 with an apparition of Our Lord to Sister Pierina.}
DuPont began this devotion privately and miracles began to occur attributed to the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. Eventually, it was investigated by the Church and approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1885.
Get the PDF of the Holy Face Novena Here!
St. Therese of Lisieux and The Holy Face
It is no surprise that another Carmelite nun, St. Therese of Lisieux, would also promote the devotion. Her belief in the Holy Face led her to take it as part of her religious name. She was known as St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.
Saint Therese, also a Doctor of the Church, was introduced to the devotion by Sister Agnes of Jesus. She studied it in a personal way, using the texts of Isaiah. She signed her name for the first time as “Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face” the day she received the habit on January 10, 1889. Before her death on September 30, 1897, after she was taken to her infirmary bed, she “pinned her favorite holy pictures on the brown curtains surrounding her bed, one of them was The Holy Face of Jesus.
The Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus is on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday each year. We will say the last prayer to the Holy Face at our King Cake Party that features: Catholic Stuff You Should Know. Fr. Byrd will be speaking on Devotions on Feb. 13. We will have dinner and the special King Cake Tradition.