ST. THERESE'S DEVOTION TO THE HOLY FACE
Although St. Theresa is known with the added title “of the
Child Jesus”, it was on the day that she received the Habit that she herself
added the title “and of the Holy Face”. It is known that it was her older
sister, her “little Mother” Pauline (Mother Agnes of Jesus) who introduced St.
Theresa to this devotion. We read this in St. Theresa’s own words in “Story Of A
Soul”, page 152:
While lying sick in the infirmary on August 5, 1897, with the picture of the Holy Face hung upon the curtains of her bed, St. Theresa said to Mother Agnes:
“These words of Isaias: “Who has believed our report?…There is no beauty in Him, no comeliness, etc.,” have made the whole foundation of my devotion to the Holy Face, or to express it better, the foundation of all my piety.” (See Is. 53:1-3 & 63:1-3)
And earlier on the same day she 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!”
O Jesus, who in Thy bitter Passion didst become “the most abject of men, a man of sorrows”, I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon there once did shine the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured feature, I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men. The tears that thou hast shed so abundantly appear to me as so many precious pearls that I Love together up, in order to purchase the souls of poor sinners by means of their infinite value. O Jesus, whose adorable Face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy divine Image, to set me on fire with Thy Love, and to make me worthy to contemplate in Heaven Thy glorious Face. Amen.