“No one gives me a kiss of love on My face to make amends for the kiss of Judas”
“I firmly wish that My face reflecting the intimate pains of my soul, the suffering and love of my heart, be more honoured! Whoever gazes upon me already consoles me.” -Our Lord Jesus to Sister Maria Pierina
Maria Pierina de Micheli was born on September 11 1890, in Milan, Italy and she was baptized at St. Peter in Sala’s church on the same day, with the name of Giuseppina.
Suffering came early for Maria Pierina as she had not yet turned two when her father died, leaving the family without his fatherly love and affection along with the sufferings of losing their main breadwinner.
Early visions of Jesus
At age 7 on May 3, 1898 she received Jesus in her First Communion. Recalling that day with holy joy many years later in 1943 she wrote- “I saw the baby Jesus in the host. Heaven on earth! Today, only by faith, I know he loves me.”
Then began a lifetime of heavenly graces and visions, along with many sufferings in union with Jesus. One day while she was praying in St. Peter in Sala’s church (her local parish), Jesus on the Crucifix came alive and spoke to her. On another occasion at the age of twelve, when she was again in her Parish Church during the 3pm Good Friday service, she heard a Voice saying quite distinctly:
“No one gives me a kiss of love on My Face to make amends for the Kiss of Judas.”
In her childlike simplicity, she believed that the voice was heard by everyone and was pained to see that only the wounds were kissed but not the face. In her heart exclaiming, “Have patience, dear Jesus, I will give you a kiss of love”, and when her turn came she lovingly and devoutly imprinted a kiss on His Face. And later as a novice, she was permitted to do night adoration and on the night between Holy Thursday and Good Friday, and while she was praying before Jesus upon the Crucifix, she heard Him say: “Kiss Me.”
Sister Maria Pierina immediately obeyed and her lips felt not the contact with the plaster figure but contact with the living flesh of the Face of Jesus.
Becomes a religious sister as a Daughter of the Immaculate Conception of Buenos Aires
From a young age Giuseppina (Maria Pierina) felt called to be a religious Sister—a bride of Christ. In 1912, the Daughters of the Immaculate Conception came from Buenos Aires, Argentina and settled in Milan, not far from the house of the De Micheli’s family. On October 15, 1913, at the age of 23, Giuseppina was accepted by the founder of the Congregation, Servant of God Mother Mary Euphrasia laconis, and joined the Daughters of the Immaculate Conception as a Novice. On May 16, 1916 she made her profession and was clothed in the habit, taking the name of Sister Maria Pierina.
In 1919 Sister Maria Pierina was sent to the Mother House in Buenos Aires. On April 12 1920, when she was complaining to Jesus of one of her sorrows, He appeared to her covered with bloodstains and with a sorrowful and affectionate expression (which I shall never forget – she writes) telling her:
“And what have I done?”
Sister Maria Pierina understood and from that time the Holy Face of Jesus became her meditation book and the door to His Heart. She returned to Milan in 1921 and Jesus continued to grant her many favors, along with various sufferings that are always the lot of true Mystics.
In 1928, Mother Estanislada Tognoni was elected Superior General, but had to return to Buenos Aires. In the same year, Mother Pierina was appointed Superior of the Community of Milan, and then she was later re-elected in 1932 and 1936, and in September 1939, she was elected Superior of the Community of Rome.
Pierina recieves visions of Jesus requesting devotion to His Holy Face
As years went by, Jesus often showed Himself to her sometimes sad and other times bleeding, asking her for reparation, thus increasing her desire to suffer and to sacrifice herself for the salvation of souls. During the night adoration of the First Friday in Lent in 1936, Jesus, after letting her share in His spiritual sorrow of the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, with His Face covered with blood and profoundly sad, Jesus told her:
“I wish that my Face, which reflects the intimate sorrow of my soul, and the suffering and love of my Heart, be better honoured. He who contemplates me consoles me.”
On the Tuesday following Passion Sunday, Jesus returned to her and said:
“Each time my Face is contemplated I will pour my love into hearts and through my Holy Face the salvation of many souls will be obtained.”
On the first Tuesday of 1937, while she was at prayer, the Lord Jesus instructed her on the devotion to His Holy Face and, in the end, told her:
“Perhaps some souls fear that the devotion to my Holy Face may diminish that to my Sacred Heart. Tell them that, on the contrary, it will complete and increase it. Contemplating my Face, souls will share my sorrows and will feel the need for love and reparation. Is this not the true devotion to my Heart?”.
The Blessed Virgin Mary appears to Pierina requesting the Scapular-Medal of the Holy Face
These manifestations became more and more frequent and in May 1938, while Pierina was at prayer in the Community Chapel, a beautiful Lady, which she knew to be the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on the altar step in a beam of light, holding a Scapular made of two small pieces of flannel joined by a cord. One of these pieces bore the image of the Holy Face of Jesus with the words “Iliumina Domine Vultum Tuum Super Nos” (May the light of Thy Face, 0 Lord, shine upon us) and the other, a Host surrounded by rays and the words “Mane Nobiscum Domine” (Stay with us, 0 Lord).
Gently the Lady approached and said:
“Listen carefully and refer everything to Father (her priest confessor); This Scapular is an armour of defence, a shield of strength, a pledge of mercy which Jesus wishes to give to the world in these times of lust and hatred against God and His Church. There are very few true apostles. A divine remedy is necessary, and this remedy is the Holy Face of Jesus. All who shall wear a Scapular like this and make, if possible, a visit to the Blessed Sacrament every Tuesday in reparation for the outrages that the Holy Face of my Son Jesus received during His Passion and is still receiving in the Holy Eucharist every day,
– will be strengthened in the Faith, and will be made ready to defend it,
– will overcome all difficulties, internal and external
– and they will have a peaceful death under the loving gaze of my Divine Son”.
The request of Our Lady was increasingly pressing but Mother Pierina replied that it was not in her power to put it into execution. The permission of the one who guided her spiritual life and funds were necessary. The same year Jesus appeared again covered with blood and very sadly said to her:
“Do you see how I suffer? Yet, very few understand me. Those who say they love me are very ungrateful! I have given my heart as the sensible object of my great love to men and I give My Face as the sensible object of my sorrow for all the sins of men. I wish that it be venerated by a special feast on Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. I wish that the feast be preceded by a novena in which the faithful make reparation with me, joining together and sharing in my sorrow.”
In 1939 Jesus said again:
“I wish that My Holy Face be honored in a particular manner on Tuesdays”.
Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli felt the desire of Our Blessed Lady more and more fervent. She obtained permission from her spiritual Director and although she did not have any financial means, she set about the task, as requested by Jesus and Mary. She obtained the permission of the photographer Bruner to take copies of the Holy Shroud as reproduced by him, and she received the permission to do so by the Archdiocese of Milan on the August 9, 1940.
Attacks by the Devil
Financial means were still wanting, but the faith of the Reverend Mother made up for it. One morning she saw on a little table an envelope: she opened it to find 11,200 Italian liras. Our Blessed Lady had seen to it. The devil, maddened at this, fell upon this soul to frighten it and prevent the distribution of the medals: he threw her down in the corridor and down the steps, he tore the images and pictures of the Holy Face, but she bore up everything. She tolerated and sacrificed all so that the Holy Face may be honored.
In the beginnning she was worried because she got medals made instead of the cloth scapulars because she felt called to do so. She turned to Our Blessed Lady to obtain peace of mind in the matter. On April 17, 1943 the Blessed Virgin appeared to her and said:
“My daughter, rest assured, the Scapular is replaced by the medal with the same promises and favours – it only has to be spread widely Now my heart is on the feast of the Face of my Divine Son. Tell the Pope that I desire this.”
She blessed her and then departed.
Thus began the spread of the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus and also the spread of the medal in its honor. Since then the devotion and the medal have been spread worldwide with much enthusiasm, accompanied all the while by wonderful graces, conversions and cures as a testament and heavenly sign of God’s institution and approval of both.
Her holy death
Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli’s motto was: “Give to Jesus; give everything; give always.”
Having given herself and her life completely to Jesus, at the age of 54 surrounded by her spiritual daughters, Mother Pierina joined the One Whom she loved on July 26, 1945, at Centonara d’ Arto (Verbania) at the house of the Holy Face.
“I felt a deep longing to live always united with Jesus; to love Him intensely because my death can only be a transport of love with my Spouse, Jesus.” -Words from the diary of Blessed Maria Pierina de Micheli on July 19, 1941.
Sister Pierina was beatified on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome- the first beatification ever held within its walls.
Invocation-Prayer to the Holy Face of Jesus:
Oh Holy Face of my sweet Jesus, by that tenderness of love and unspeakable grief with which the Blessed Virgin Mary beheld Thee in Thy painful Passion, grant that our souls may share in that great love and great sorrow, and fulfill more perfectly the Holy Will of God. Amen.
-Imprimatur in Curia Arch. Mediolani on Jan. 25, 1941 -Mons. Cavezzali Pro Vic. Gen
More from her Diary: Her words, and some of Jesus replies:
“Do not deny anything to Jesus.”
“I want what God wants.”
‘Jesus I am yours, do what you want of me.”
Jesus said to me: “Only a few souls let me act with full freedom, so I cannot grant many graces.”
“This morning I asked Jesus His Heart to love it of His own love, and Jesus told me: “If you knew how I love you, you would die from joy.”
I said to Jesus: “Do you believe, oh Jesus, that I love you?” And Jesus replied: “Yes, I do. And do you know when I believe it the most? When you think I have abandoned you, because it is then that you most show your loyalty.”
“O, my sweet Jesus, for your Holy Face bathed with tears, may your Eucharistic Reign triumphs in the sanctity of your priests.”
“O, my sweet Jesus, for the divine light emanating from your Holy Face, dispel the darkness of ignorance and mistake and be the light of sanctity for your priests.”
“O my sweet Jesus, for your Divine Face bathed in a sweat of blood in the agony of Gethsemane, enlighten and strengthen the souls consecrated to you.”
“What matters is to love Jesus” -Words of Blessed Maria Pierina De Micheli