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IMAGES OF HOLY FACE RELICS


The Holy Face of Jesus from the image of Veronica's veil
(The veil is kept in St. Peters Basilica, Rome.)

 

For your convenience we have created this page to provide you with an overview of Holy Face relics, and a variety of different images of the Holy Face of Jesus that you can download and use. Below we provide links to high resolution images of a relic of the Holy Face that we own, and images of other relics from other visitors to our site.


OVERVIEW

First we will provide a quick overview of what we know about the Holy Face relics. These relics are images that were actually created and touched to Veronica's veil in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. From what we've been able to gather,  since the miracle in 1849 in the Vatican, where Veronica's veil became very vivid and glowed in front of all present while on display, it became a custom in the Vatican to display Veronica's veil every year afterward on Passion Sunday for veneration to the public. Each year, effigies/drawings were created of Veronica's veil (usually about 15" x 12"), then touched to the original veil, to a relic of the true cross, and to the spear that pierced Christ's side. From there, a text description was placed at the bottom (or on the back) of the relic, and the Pope imprinted a wax seal on each. At some point thereafter, the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face in Tours added their stamp to the relic, and from there the relics were sent abroad. From what we've been able to gather, this practice was continued for about 50 years.

These relics are quite rare and the majority of the ones we have seen have the words, "VERA EFFIGIES SACRI VULTUS DOMINI NOSTRI JESU CHRISTI, QUAE ROMAE IN SACROSANCTA BASILICA S.PETRI IN VATICANO RELIGIOSISSIME ASSERVATUR ET COLITUR" which translates to, "True image of the face of Our Lord Jesus Christ venerated in Rome in the Most Holy Basilica of St. Peter". The stamp from the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face in Tours, France reads, "ORATOIRE DE LA SAINTE FACE - TOURS". We have also seen a few relics of the Holy Face that, instead of having a red wax seal, have a round stamp that contains the words, "SS. PATRIARCHALIS BASILICA VATICANA" which is obviously a stamp/seal from the Vatican. We are still researching the difference between the wax seal and stamp, and will update this page as we find out more.

Most other relics have additional text on either the bottom-front, or the back of the relic, which reads as follows:

SACROSANCTAE BASILICAE
PRINCIPIS APOSTOLORUM DE URBE
CANONICUS
Universis praesentes litteras inspecturis fidem facio, ac testor me Imaginem Vultus DOMINI NOSTRI JESU CHRISTI ad instar Sanctissimi Sudarii Veronicoe in tela ......albi coloris impressam, altitudinis hunc......latitudinis hunc.....reverenter applicasse eidem Sudario. nec non Ligno vivificae Crucis et Lanceae Domini cuspidi, quae n praedicta nostra Basilica religiosissime, ac pluribus Summorum Pontificum Diplomatibus, maximaque populorum veneratione celebrantur. In quorum fidem praedictam Imaginem et has praesentes litteras meo sigillo obsignavi et subscripsi. Datum ex aedibus meis Die. (handwritten date here)

Anno Domini MDCCCXXXVII (or other year in Roman numerals here)
XIV Indictione Pontificatus SS mi D. N. Leonis XIII (or other Pope's name here)
Pont. Max. anno XXIV. (or other year here)
 

An approximate translation of this text to English is as follows:

TRUE COPY OF THE SACRED FACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
HERE IN ROME AS IN ST PETER'S RENOWNED AND VENERATED BASILICA IN ROME A STATEMENT FROM THE FIRST HOLY BASILICA OF THE CHIEF APOSTLE. BY THIS LETTER I HAVE DECLARED AS A WITNESS AND I TESTIFY THAT THIS IMAGE
OF THE FACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO BE VERY SIMILAR TO THAT ON THE TOWEL OF VERONICA, EXPRESSED IN WHITE COLOUR, OF THE SAME HEIGHT AND BREADTH, AND (it has been) REVERENTLY APPLIED TO THE SAME TOWEL; AND INDEED TO THE WOOD OF THE CROSS AND THE POINT OF THE SPEAR OF THE LORD, WHICH IN IS OUR AFORESAID BASILICA (kept with) MOST REVERENT PIETY, AND (preserved) BY MANY OF THE HOLY SEE'S DOCUMENTS, AND CELEBRATED WITH GREAT VENERATION BY SO MANY PEOPLE. IN THE BELIEF OF THIS AFORESAID IMAGE I HAVE SIGNED THIS LETTER WITH THE
SEAL.
THE YEAR OF 1905 (year varies) in the pontificate of Pope Pius X (Pope's name varies).

If you have any further information on these relics, we would appreciate if you could please send it to us. Thank you!


IMAGES OF HOLY FACE RELICS

The images of the relics themselves are below. You may print any of these to aid you in practicing the Holy Face Devotion, or you may otherwise distribute them freely. We recommend having the unframed image directly below printed on 11x17 glossy card stock at a local printer. It comes out beautiful and is the next best thing to owning your own Holy Face relic.

Here are the links to high resolution framed and unframed photos of our Holy Face relic. First click an image to make it large on your screen, then right click the larger image and select "Save Image As" to save it to your computer.

Here are links to high resolution photos of the Holy Face picture inside the front cover of the "Manual of the Arch confraternity of the Holy Face" from 1887.

Here are links to some images of Holy Face relics owned by other visitors to this website, or images of relics we otherwise located elsewhere.


In addition, here is a high resolution photo of the Holy Face picture we use throughout this website, which comes from the book on the life of Leo Dupont, "The Holy Man of Tours".


If you have an original relic of the Holy Face and would like to share a photo of it for others to see on this page, please send us a message by clicking here, and if you are able, please attach a high resolution photo of your relic to the message. Thank you!