of the Rosary
VERONICAS VEIL - 1620
National Gallery of Art - Washington DC
We are grateful for each and every person who wrote requesting we use the Holy Face Cross (see below) on their rosary instead of a crucifix. We are grateful for those who have promoted its devotion through the wearing of this cross (see on rosaries below) and medal along with those who are teaching others the importance of this devotion.
AND FOR FR MARK DANIEL KIRBY O.Cst
We especially thank Fr. Mark Daniel Kirby, O.Cist. from the Abbey of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Rome), who has graciously shared a few of his homilies on the Feast of the Holy Face (Shrove Tuesday) These homilies open up this devotion of the Holy Face of Jesus in a special way and invite us to ponder and enter into His Face, more deeply. See his sharings below:
~ 2006 HOMILY ~
of the MOST HOLY FACE OF JESUS - 2006
February 28, 2006 - shrove tuesday
Monastery of the Glorious Cross, O.S.B.
NOTE: THE ROSARY WORKSHOP IS IN THE DIOCESE OF MARQUETTE MI AND WE THANK FATHER FOR MENTIONING OUR NEW BISHOP SAMPLE, THE YOUNGEST BISHOP IN THE US
AND HIS MOTTO:
THE FACE OF CHRIST
It is a sign of the times that the youngest bishop in the United States, and the first to be born in < are you ready? > the 1960s - should have chosen for his episcopal motto the phrase, Vultum Christi contemplari, 'To contemplate the Face of Christ.' Bishop Alex Sample, ordained for the diocese of Marquette, Michigan last January 25th chose a motto that echoes the repeated and insistent invitations of the Servant of God Pope John Paul II to contemplate the Face of Christ. This was his vision for the Church of the new millennium. 'Our gaze,' he said, 'is more than ever firmly set on the face of the Lord' (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 16).
A MESSAGE OF HOPE
Bishop Sample¹s motto is a message of hope. The time has Come for a wounded Church and a disheartened priesthood to turn away from the self-absorption that leads to despondency and to contemplate the Face of Christ, radiant with healing mercy and resplendent with joy. Mother Marie des Douleurs wrote in 1934: 'We have need of relief and we find it in the contemplation of the beloved Face.' The mystery of the Face of Christ is placed like a seal on the Church of the new millennium. Contemplation of the Face of Christ is the healing of past wounds and the promise of future mercies.
GAZE OF CHRIST
It is another sign of the times that the Holy Father¹s Lenten Message for 2006 should focus on 'the gaze of Christ.' Here we discern a wonderful continuity with the teaching of Pope John Paul II on the Face of the Lord. Pope Benedict XVI presents this Lent as 'a time of pilgrimage towards Him who is the fount of mercy.' 'The compassionate gaze of Christ,' he says, 'continues to fall upon individuals and peoples' (Message for Lent
REVEALS OUR SINS
AND HEALS THEM
We who pray with the psalmist, 'Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy face' (Ps 89:8), must also pray, 'Lift up the light of thy face upon us, O Lord!' (Ps 4:6). The same divine gaze that reveals our sins heals them. There is no brokenness that cannot be repaired, no sorrow that cannot be changed into joy, in the light of the Face of Christ. 'If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land' (2 Chr 7:14).
THE HEART OF GOD
Lent is a pilgrimage like that of the Jews of old to theTemple in Jerusalem. The Temple was the dwelling of the Name of God, the place where the thrice-holy God, the invisible God, revealed his Face to those who came on pilgrimage seeking it. 'I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there for all time' (2 Chr 7:16). One desire burned in the hearts of those going up to the Temple: the desire to gaze upon the face of God. Whosoever gazes on the face of God discovers the heart of God. 'My soul is thirsting for God, the strong and living God. When shall I enter and see the face of God' (Ps 41:2).
THE HUMAN FACE OF GOD
Israel¹s burning desire to behold the Face of God is fulfilled in the Church¹s contemplation of the Holy Face of Christ. 'For it is the God who said,
(Let light shine out of the darkness,) who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ' (2 Cor 4:6).
Christ is the human
Face of God, 'the icon of the invisible God' (Col 1:15). To
Philip who asked for nothing less than to be shown the Father, Jesus replied,
'He who has seen me has seen the Father' (Jn 14:9). The Face
of Christ fulfills the yearning that Moses expressed when he said, 'I
pray thee, show me thy glory' (Ex 34:18). The first antiphon of the
First Vespers of Christmas sings of this mystery: the appearing of the
human Face of God in earthly space and time. 'The King of Peace is magnified,
he whose face all the earth desires to see.'
he was still speaking the cock crowed. And the Lord turned and looked
at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said
to him, 'Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.' And
he went out and wept bitterly' (Lk 22:60-62).
~ 2005 HOMILY ~
of the MOST HOLY FACE OF JESUS - 2005
NOT MADE BY HAND - 1677-78
interpreted by Ushakov Nerukotvorniy
PRAYER OF REPARATION
The last century saw, here and there, like so many points of light in the Church, men and women drawn by the Holy Spirit to the contemplation of the Face of Christ. In many cases this attraction to the Face of Christ was characterized by the prayer of reparation.
The spiritual impulse to make reparation emerged in the aftermath of the French Revolution and, in the twentieth century, became in some way a response to the horrors of two World Wars. Violence, terrorism, and war continue to inspire a prayer of reparation that looks to the Face of Christ. We are most affected by acts of violence that disfigure the human face. We heard Isaiah¹s prophecy of the Servant:
appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that
of the sons of men. . . . He was despised and rejected by men; a
man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hide
their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not' (Is 52: 14;
~ 2004 HOMILY ~
of the MOST HOLY FACE OF JESUS - 2004
THE SUDARIUM OF ST VERONICA - 1649
The image is a single spiral starting at the nose.
(New York Public Library)
A GRAND SPIRITUAL THEME
When the history of the pontificate of John Paul II is written by a generation to come, there is no doubt that his insistent and consistent focus on the Face of Christ will emerge as a grand spiritual theme, a recurrent motif, and, a spiritual gift to the Church. Over the years, John Paul II¹s personal fascination with the Face of Christ has become a pastoral imperative. Already in 2001, he drew the eyes of the Church to the Face of Christ. At the closing of the Holy Door on January 6th of that year he said: 'Christianity is born, and continually draws new life from this contemplation of the glory of God shining on the face of Christ.'
OF CENTRAL IMPORTANCE
THE WHOLE OF CHRISTIAN
DESIRES OF THE HEART
THE CALL TO HOLINESS
'Of you my heart has spoken: Seek his face.' It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face' (Ps 26:8-9). 'The Holy Face,' she says, 'is the face of the Word Incarnate. . . . He has chosen us to live with our eyes fixed on him. . . . with all the boldness of love, with all that love dares, with the fidelity of love, we must discover on his Face the revelation of the secrets of his Heart.'
IT IS YOUR FACE,
~ 2003 HOMILY ~
of the MOST HOLY FACE OF JESUS - 2003
VERONICA HOLDING HER VEIL
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
JOHN PAUL II's INVITATION
Astute observers of Pope John Paul II¹s persistent and Consistent emphasis on the Holy Face of Christ have remarked that it flows logically from his personalist philosophy. The notions of person and face are intrinsically related. When he was still Archbishop of Cracow, Karol Wojtyla wrote to his friend, Father de Lubac,
'I devote my very rare free moments to a work that is close to my heart and is devoted to the metaphysical sense and mystery of the person. The evil of our times consists in the first place in a kind of degradation, indeed in a pulverization, of the fundamental uniqueness of each human person.'
The Greek prosopon
means person as well as face and countenance. A personal relationship
is always, at some level, an encounter face to face. The Holy Father¹s
repeated invitations to contemplate the Face of Christ are, in fact, invitations
to know Christ in the most deeply personal way. In the 'new civilization
of love,' the restoration of the sacredness and dignity of the human
person begins with the contemplation of the Face of Christ.
'All the Sisters will honour the Most Holy Face of Jesus with a special veneration. . . . A true spouse of Jesus Crucified should have a profound, sincere, and efficacious devotion to the Holy Face. This devotion is not for us a devotion added on to others. . . . It is of such central importance and so vital for us that we cannot live without it.'
Strong words flowing
from the pen of a young woman. The accent is deeply personal and
experiential, expressed with utter conviction.
'Of you my heart has spoken: Seek his face.' It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face' (Ps 26:8-9). '
The Holy Face,'
says, 'is the face of the Word Incarnate. . . . He has chosen us to
live with our eyes fixed on him. . . . with all the boldness of love,
with all that love dares, with the fidelity of love, we must discover on
his Face the revelation of the secrets of his Heart.'
There is in this
focus on the Holy Face of Christ something that is distinctively Benedictine.
Saint Benedict would have the newcomer to the monastery tested to see if
he 'sincerely seeks God' (RB LVIII:7). The search for God begins
and ends in the mystery of the Holy Face of Christ.
face of Christ is the face of light that tears open the obscure mystery
of death: it is the proclamation and pledge of our glory, because it is
the face of the Crucified and Risen One. On it, the Church his Bride,
contemplates her treasure and her joy'
'Hearken, O Lord, to my voice, when I call upon you, alleluia. You speak within my heart and say, 'Seek my face.' Your face, O Lord, I will seek; hide not your face from me, alleluia, alleluia' (Ps 26:7-9).
The text is almost
identical to that of August 6th, apart from the opening plea, 'Hearken
to me,' and the cascade of alleluias that illuminate it with the paschal
glory that shines in the face of the ascended Christ. Mother Foundress
Her vision of the
Holy Face is personal, paschal, and eschatological. Like that of JohnPaul
II, it encompasses the whole mystery of Christ.
the human face of the Son of Mary we recognize the Word made flesh in the
fullness of his divinity and humanity. The greatest artists < of East
and West > have striven to capture the mystery of that Face.
But it is the Spirit, the divine Œiconographer¹ who etches that Face
in the hearts of all who contemplate him and love him.'
Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
For more information
on the Holy Face, contact
~ EUCHARISTIC FACE OF CHRIST ~
EUCHARISTIC FACE OF CHRIST
Forward by Father Mark Daniel Kirby, O.Cist.
On John Paul IIs encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia
OLDEST ICON OF
CHRIST PANTOCRATOR 6c
St Catherine's Monastery - Mt Sinai
Encaustic on panel
ON JPII ENCYCLICAL
ECCLESIA de EUCHARISTIA
In his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Pope John Paul II drew the eyes of the Church to the Face of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist. He coined a new phrase, one not encountered before in his writings or in the teachings of his predecessors, “the Eucharistic Face of Christ.” Thus did Pope John Paul II share with the Church his own experience of seeking, finding, and adoring the Face of Christ in the Eucharist.
'To contemplate the face of Christ, and to contemplate it with Mary, is the “programme” which I have set before the Church at the dawn of the third millennium, summoning her to put out into the deep on the sea of history with the enthusiasm of the new evangelization. To contemplate Christ involves being able to recognize him wherever he manifests himself, in his many forms of presence, but above all in the living sacrament of his Body and Blood. The Church draws her life from Christ in the Eucharist; by him she is fed and by him she is enlightened. The Eucharist is both a mystery of faith and a “mystery of light.” Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the faithful can in some way relive the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: “their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (Lk 24:31). . . . I cannot let this Holy Thursday 2003 pass without halting before the “Eucharistic face” of Christ and pointing out with new force to the Church the centrality of the Eucharist.
(John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, art. 6 and 7.)
The experience of the disciples on the road to Emmaus culminated in their eyes being opened to see the Eucharistic Face of Christ.
“When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight” (Lk 24:30-31).
Christ vanished from the sight of the disciples, leaving in their hearts a mysterious burning (cf. Lk 24:32), and the broken Bread that at once conceals and reveals his Eucharistic Face. In the Eucharist the Face of Christ is turned toward us. The Eucharistic Face of Christ waits to meet the gaze of our faith, waits to be sought and recognized, adored and implored.
“We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known” (1 Cor 13:12).
Sanctissima Facies Iesu, sub sacramento abscondita, respice in nos et miserere nostri. (“Most Holy Face of Jesus, hidden beneath the sacramental veils, look upon us and have mercy.” Litany of the Holy Face of the Congregation of the Benedictines of Jesus Crucified.)
The Face of Christ shines through the veil of the Sacred Species to illumine those who seek it there. The radiance of the Eucharistic Face of Christ heals and repairs the disfiguration of sin; it restores beauty to the face of the soul and likeness to the image of God obscured by sin. It is in the Eucharist that the prayer of the psalmist is wonderfully fulfilled:
“The light of your face, O Lord, is signed upon us: you have given gladness in my heart” (Ps 4:7).
Again, it is the psalmist who says,
“Look to him and be radiant, and your faces shall not be put to shame” (Ps 33:6).
The adorer who seeks the Eucharistic Face will experience that in its light there is the healing of brokenness and the beginning of transfiguration.
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:18).
The Eucharistic Face of Christ is veiled beneath the humble species of bread lest we be blinded by its glory. “His face,” says Saint John, “was like the sun shining in full strength” (Rev 1:16). The rays of that Sun reach us nonetheless through the appearance of bread that conceals it; its healing effects are not in any way diminished, nor is the splendour of its glory.
“We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen” (2 Cor 4:18). “For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the Eucharistic face of Christ” (cf. 2 Cor 4:6).
The sentiments of every human heart find expression on the face even before they are communicated in words. So too are the secrets of the Sacred Heart revealed on the Face of the Word made Flesh and communicated to those who seek that Face in the mystery of the Eucharist. One who seeks the Face of Christ will be led surely, inexorably, to the inexhaustible riches of his Heart.
The Face of Christ is “the brightness of the Father’s glory and the figure of his substance” (cf. Heb 1:3). To Philip wanting to see the Father, Jesus replied, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?” (Jn 14:9-10).
The Face of Christ, “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14), reveals the Father. Those who seek the Eucharistic Face of Christ can in truth say with Saint John,
“We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (Jn 1:14), and again, “No one has ever seen God; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known” (Jn 1:18).
He who is from all eternity “in the bosom of the Father” (Jn 1:18) is also, “in these last days” (Heb 1:2), sacramentally present in the heart of the Church, abiding there as “the living Bread which came down from heaven” (Jn 6:51). It is in adoring him there that we become “the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob” (Ps 23:6).
Pope John Paul II’s legacy includes the discovery in “adoring silence” (John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Orientale Lumen (2 May 1995), art. 16.) of the Eucharistic Face of Christ. The Sacred Liturgy itself and the corollary practices of lectio divina and Eucharistic adoration are the primary and indispensable places of seeking after the Face of Christ, of finding it, and of adoring. Nonetheless, it pleases the Holy Spirit by means of the repetition of invocations drawn from the liturgy or from the Scriptures, to “help us in our weakness, for we know not how to pray as we ought” (Rom 8:26). The following prayer emerged in the Year of the Eucharist on the feast of Corpus Christi as a fruit of the teaching of Pope John Paul II. It may be used by anyone who feels the need to anchor his “adoring silence” in a simple formula of words repeated from the heart. It may also be prayed in intercession for others, especially for priests, or in a spirit of reparation, asking the Eucharistic Face of Jesus to repair and heal persons and situations disfigured and wounded by sin.
~ LINKS ~
Our vision is to provide the finest handmade rosaries, chaplets and other fine religious art forms for personal worship we can make using the best supplies available. The Guild believes the work of our hands should give visual Glory to God, therefore for us, the best for you is very, very important.
follow these links for great information
FATHER MARK'S 4 HOMILIES - CHAPLET PRAYERS
visit Fr Mark Daniels blog (VULTUS CHRISTI) daily for great information.
Also visit these site for more information on the devotion
TRUE DEVOTION OF THE HOLY FACE
HOLY FACE ASSOCIATION
also see the following
CHAPLET OF THE HOLY FACE
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