Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus 

“Rejoice, My Daughter; because the hour approaches when the most beautiful work under the sun will be born.”~Our Lord To Sister Mary of St. Peter~

In Tours, France during the 1840’s a young Carmelite nun received a series of revelations from Our Lord about a powerful devotion He wished to be established worldwide—–he devotion to His Holy Face. The express purpose of this devotion was to make reparation for the blasphemies and outrages of “Revolutionary men” [the Communists]—– through whom God is allowing the world to be chastised for its unbelief—–as well as for the blasphemies of atheists and freethinkers and others, plus, for blasphemy and the profanation of Sundays by Christians. Specifically, this devotion is the Divine tool given by God to defeat Communism, but it is also an instrument given to the individual devotee as a seemingly unfailing method of appealing to God in prayer—–through adoration of His Holy Face and Name.

Our Lord gave Sister Mary a short but powerful prayer called’ ‘The Golden Arrow,” by which a person can “shoot directly into the Heart of God” to heal the wounds inflicted on it by the malice of sinners. Of the 9 promises connected with this devotion, the first three are 1) “By My Holy Face you will work miracles;” 2) “By My Face you will obtain the conversion of many sinners;” and 3) “Nothing you ask in making this offering will be refused to you.” This devotion brought St. Therese to her great sanctity. Anyone who is searching for a spiritual method for fighting atheism, socialism, materialism and paganism and its programs and/or who is searching for a virtually infallible method of prayer will be delighted with The Golden Arrow devotions.

“Just as in an earthly kingdom money which is stamped with the picture of the sovereign or ruling executive of the country procures whatever one desires to purchase, so likewise in the Kingdom of Heaven, you shall obtain all that you desire by offering the coin of My precious Humanity which is My adorable Face.”~Our Lord To Sr. Mary of St. Peter~

THE “GOLDEN ARROW” PRAYER

MAY the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.  

  After receiving this prayer, Sister Mary of St. Peter was given a vision in which she saw the Sacred Heart of Jesus delightfully wounded by this “Golden Arrow” as torrents of graces streamed from It for the conversion of sinners.

The aim of this little presentation is to revive devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus as a means of Reparation to God for the crimes committed against His Divine Majesty. The question may be asked, was not this Devotion of Reparation universally practiced in the Church some years ago? The answer is, yes, it was widespread for many years after the Brief of Pope Leo XIII canonically established the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face in 1885. Unfortunately, however, it was neglected and forgotten in the years immediately prior to the First World War in 1914. Was it not perhaps due to our failure to continue this Reparation, as demanded by Our Divine Lord in His revelations to the holy Carmelite of Tours, that God allowed the “malice of wicked men” to precipitate us into two world conflicts, with all their indescribable horrors?

And now, when we live daily on the verge of a Third World War, which threatens total destruction because of atomic weapons presently in the hands of our enemies, shall we at last embrace this reparation demanded by Our Lord? The “revolutionary men,” designated by Our Lord Himself as Communists [a state of political mind and intent apart from a specific organization: “Communism is not dead” as has bee stated by the pundits among us, but is being revived in the new anti-God one world, one religion (pagan movement)], have so engulfed the world in turmoil that humanity faces destruction. This was the consensus of opinion from unimpeachable sources, including Pope Pius XII, who that there persists a general world condition which explode at any moment.”

Addressing Himself mystically to the pious Carmelite nun, Our Lord told her that especially to His priests He promises He will defend them before His Father in Heaven and give them His kingdom if they, through words, prayers or writings, defend His cause in this work of “reparation.” Pastors, therefore, and priests who desire to answer this call should endeavor, through regular procedure, to establish the Confraternity of the Holy Face in their parishes. 

PROMISES OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN FAVOR OF THOSE WHO HONOR HIS HOLY FACE

   1. All those who honor My Face in a spirit of reparation will by so doing perform the office of the pious Veronica. According to the care they take in making reparation to My Face, disfigured by blasphemers, so will I take care of their souls which have been disfigured by sin. My Face is the seal of the Divinity, which has the virtue of reproducing in souls the image of God. 

   2. Those who by words, prayers or writing defend My cause in this Work of Reparation I will defend before My Father, and will give them My Kingdom. 

   3. By offering My Face to My Eternal Father, nothing will be refused, and the conversion of many sinners will be obtained. 

   4. By My Holy Face, they will work wonders, appease the anger of God and draw down mercy on sinners. 

   5. As in a kingdom they can procure all that is desired with a coin stamped with the King’s effigy, so in the Kingdom of Heaven they will obtain all they desire with the precious coin of My Holy Face. 

   6. Those who on earth contemplate the wounds of My Face shall in Heaven behold it radiant with glory. 

   7. They will receive in their souls a bright and constant irradiation of My Divinity, that by their likeness to My Face they shall shine with particular splendor in Heaven. 

   8. I will defend them, I will preserve them and I assure them of Final Perseverance. 

This prayer was dictated by our Lord Himself to Sister Mary of St. Peter. Opening His Heart to her, our Savior complained of blasphemy, saying that this frightful sin wounds His Divine Heart more grievously than all other sins, for it was like “a poisoned arrow.”

   After that, our Savior dictated the prayer, which He called “The Golden Arrow,” saying that those who would recite this prayer would pierce Him delightfully, and also heal those other wounds inflicted on Him by the malice of sinners. This prayer published above and on page two of the Golden Arrow segment of the Holy Face Devotion, is regarded as the very basis of the Work of Reparation. It is recommended for recitation on each of the thirty-three beads of the Holy Face Chaplet. 

REVELATION OF OCTOBER 30, 1845

In this revelation our Lord imparts a most sublime instruction, showing the position of the Holy Face in relation to the Adorable Trinity Itself.

REMEMBER, Oh, my soul, the holy instruction which your Divine Spouse imparted to you today concerning His adorable Face. Remember that this Divine Head represents the Eternal Father Who is unbegotten, that the mouth of this Holy Face represents the Divine Word, begotten of the Father, and that the two eyes of this adorable Face are the symbol of the reciprocal love of the Father and the Son, for these two eyes possess only one light, and one identical knowledge between them both, and they produce the one same love, which represents the Holy Ghost.

   Contemplate in His locks of hair the infinite number of the adorable perfections of the Blessed Trinity. Behold in this majestic Head that precious portion of the Humanity of the Savior which is the very Image of the Oneness of God.

   Now it is this adorable Savior’s Face brimming with ineffable mysteries which blasphemers cover with disgrace, renewing the bitter sufferings of His Passion, each time they assail the Divinity, for the Holy Face is the very Image of God!

   In this exquisite communication, our Lord enders all His merits to Sister Mary of St. Peter, as He tells her to pay with them the debts incurred by the sins of the nation. He encourages her zeal by disclosing to her that the Work of Reparation will ultimately be established.

OUR LORD continues to press me urgently to suffer for our country. He said to me: 

    “Just as I have taken on myself the sins of the whole world, so I now desire that you assume those of your nation. I Myself will suffer in you in order to appease the anger of My Father and I will give you all My merits by which you can pay the debts incurred by the sins of your country.”

I accepted our Lord’s proposal and then it was that I beheld myself as though covered with all the sins of the nation and I begged God’s forgiveness for these sins with the same shame as though I had committed these crimes myself. On another day when our Lord had insisted again that I make reparation for our whole country, I hesitated, hardly daring to believe that He could wish to make use of so common an instrument as myself for so great a task. He then said to me by way of comparison:

As in the order of My Providence, in temporal affairs I give a particular ruler to a particular nation to be its sovereign, cannot I also, in the order of grace, assign a particular country to the care of a special individual in order that she should take charge of that country’s spiritual welfare? That is the reason why I now assign this particular nation to your special care and I urge you to pray and to sacrifice yourself in its behalf.”

After that our Lord declared:

I again give you My Sacred Head so that you may offer it to My Father to appease His justice. Oh, if you but knew the power and the virtue that reside therein! And the reason why My Head possesses this power and virtue is because I have taken upon My Head all the sins of mankind so that My Members may be spared. Therefore, offer My Face to My Eternal Father for this is the means by which to appease Him.”

He then added:

“I desire this Work of Reparation. Although the fruits which you bear have not yet ripened be assured that finally the time will come when the Work shall be established.

REVELATION OF NOVEMBER 22, 1846

Placing no bounds to the efficacy of the Devotion to the Holy Face, our Savior informs Sister Mary of St. Peter that the treasure of His Face is of such tremendous value that through It ALL matters can be settled! HERE IS the substance of a new revelation which our Lord gave me relative to the Holy Face:

“My daughter,” He said, “I take you today for my stewardess. I place My Holy Face in your hands that you may offer it unceasingly to My Father for the salvation of your country. Turn this Divine gift to good profit, for the treasure of My Holy Face in itself possesses such tremendous value that through It all the affairs of My household can readily be settled. Through this Holy Face you will obtain the conversion of many sinners. Nothing that you ask in virtue of the Holy Face will be refused you. Oh, if you only knew how pleasing is the sight of My Face to My Father!” 

   Although Sister Mary was until now apparently in fair health, following all the religious exercises prescribed by the Holy Rule, and performing all her duties as Portress Sister, she suddenly developed certain alarming symptoms, and after being examined by a physician, she was found to be mortally ill. Besides suffering from severe pulmonary tuberculosis, she also developed an ulcerated throat which fittingly symbolized her role in life, as that of a victim repairing especially for blasphemies uttered by the tongues of guilty men. For two and a half months she was unable to take any solid food whatever and subsisted only on a small quantity of liquids. Enduring her pains with resignation, and even joy, she almost constantly for the salvation of souls, while she to exchange this world for the next.

Shortly before she died she was asked about the to the Holy Face, to which she answered:

   “I have the greatest hopes. The plans of the wicked will be foiled! It was to accomplish this that the Work of Reparation to the Holy Face was revealed. Now that this is done my career is ended for it was for this Work that God had placed me on earth, as our Lord has made known to me. Oh how true it is that God has means of satisfying His justice which are unknown known to men.”

   Once when she was asked to apply certain of her sufferings for a special intention, she replied:

   “I do not know whether I am free to do so because I am entirely consecrated as a victim to the cause of the Work of Reparation.”

She died in the odor of sanctity on July 8, 1848, in the thirty-third year of her life, less than four months after the interview she had held with the Secretary who told her that while she was allowed to apply herself to the Work of Reparation, she was never again to ask for the establishment of the Work in the diocese. At the time this seemed, indeed, a difficult order to fulfill for one who was by Divine Providence selected as an apostle to work for the propagation of the Cult of the Holy Face as her particular mission in life . . .

After her death, Reparation through the Devotion to the Holy Face was chiefly kept up through the fervor of a wealthy retired lawyer of Tours, a devoted friend of the nun, Leo Dupont. Having procured a picture of the Holy Face, which was touched to the true relic of the veil of Veronica at the Vatican. this exemplary Christian hung it on a prominent wall of his drawing room before which he kept a lamp burning, as a token of veneration.

So many extraordinary favors were granted to those who prayed before this picture that the residence of Mons. Dupont became a private place of pilgrimage. For the next thirty years, to the end of his life [he died in 1876], Leo Dupont kept the flame of Reparation alive in his home for the benefit of all who wished to intercede to God before it. Three months after his saintly death, his home was transformed into a public chapel. Soon afterwards the Work of Reparation was referred to the decision of the Supreme Pontiff, Leo XIII, who wholeheartedly approved the Devotion, through the formality of a Papal Brief.

So was erected in perpetuity the Archconfraternity of Reparation in the Oratory of Leo Dupont, in 1885, where until the present day priests still carry out the mission of Sr. Mary of St. Peter, to whom our Lord revealed a hundred years ago ago the real weapon that is destined to overthrow Communism.

This weapon is Devotion to the Holy Face as a means of Reparation for the outrageous crimes of blasphemy, atheism, the crimes of modern freethinkers, and the profaners of the Lord’s Day, which are the evils that more than any other cry to heaven for vengeance and that today bring us face to face with the threat of nuclear war and which consequence would admittedly be the destruction of all civilization as we know it.

SOURCE: 

THE GOLDEN ARROW, The Revelations of Sr. Mary of St. Peter, TAN Books and Publishers, Ed., Dorothy Scallon with Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat 1954.

St.Gabriel Possenti 

The eleventh of thirteen children of Sante Possenti, a lawyer and the Governor of Assisi, Italy, he was born in 1838 and was Baptized Francis, then later educated at the Jesuit college at Spoleto. His mother died when the young Saint was a small boy.
He joined the Jesuits when he was seventeen after he had vowed to do so if cured of an almost fatal illness, but delayed entering the novitiate. His father, who misunderstood the meaning of worth of a religious vocation did much to try to dissuade his son. But Francis was devoted to the Sorrowful Heart of Mary. It was Our Lady who helped him to bear up during this trial.

This handsome, intelligent and personable young man, while still in his teens, set his heart on that which transcends anything of this world. Answering the call of his Crucified Lord, he joined the Passionist Congregation in his 18th year, taking the name Br. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows [or the Sorrowful Virgin]. The heart of his spirituality was to study and imitate the virtues of our Suffering Savior as mirrored in the heart of the Sorrowful Virgin Mary. He led an exemplary life as a religious, filled with penances and self-effacement, was stricken with tuberculosis before he could be ordained, and died at Isola di Gran Sasso in the Abruzzi on February 27, 1862: he was not yet twenty-four. Yet, he had attained such remarkable sanctity in that short time he was a Passionist that he was canonized a Saint by the Church in 1920. Only five years later, weekly devotions in his honor were begun in St. Michael Church, Union City, N. J. For over 55 years, thousands of favors—–some of a most extraordinary nature—–have been granted and are attributed to his powerful intercession with Christ Crucified and the Sorrowful Mother Mary.

St.Margaret of Cortona 








Margaret of Cortona, penitent, was born in Loviana in Tuscany in 1247. Her father was a small farmer. Margaret’s mother died when she was seven years old. Her stepmother had little care for her high-spirited daughter. Rejected at home, Margaret eloped with a youth from Montepulciano and bore him a son out of wedlock. After nine years, her lover was murdered without warning. Margaret left Montpulciano and returned as a penitent to her father’s house. When her father refused to accept her and her son, she went to the Friars Minor at Cortona where she received asylum. Yet Maragaret had difficulty overcoming temptations of the flesh. One Sunday she returned to Loviana with a cord around her neck. At Mass, she asked pardon for her past scandal. She attempted to mutilate her face, but was restrained by Friar Giunta. Margaret earned a living by nursing sick ladies. Later she gave this up to serve the sick poor without recompense, subsisting only on alms. Evenually, she joined the Third Order of St. Francis, and her son also joined the Franciscans a few years later. Margaret advanced rapidly in prayer and was said to be in direct contact with Jesus, as exemplified by frequent ecstacies. Friar Giunta recorded some of the messages she received from God. Not all related to herself, and she courageously presented messages to others. In 1286, Margaret was granted a charter allowing her to work for the sick poor on a permanent basis. Others joined with personal help, and some with financial assistance. Margaret formed her group into tertiaries, and later they were given special status as a congregation which was called The Poverelle (“Poor Ones”). She also founded a hospital at Cortona and the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy. Some in Cortona turned on Margaret, even accusing her of illicit relations with Friar Giunta. All the while, Margaret continued to preach against vice and many, through her, returned to the sacraments. She also showed extraordinary love for the mysteries of the Eucharist and the Passion of Jesus Christ. Divinely warned of the day and hour of her death, she died on February 22, 1297, having spent twenty-nine years performing acts of penance. She was canonized in 1728. Her feast day is February 22nd.

Revelations to Blessed Jacinta Marto from Our Lady of Fatima 

On war, sin and peace:

To Lucia: 

“Tell everybody that God grants us His graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that they should ask her for them, that the Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be honored along with Him, that they should ask the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace because God has placed it in her keeping.”

“You know, Our Lord is very sad because Our Lady told us He should not be offended anymore because He was already much offended, but nobody paid attention. People continue to commit the same sins.”

“Wars are nothing but punishments for the sins of the world.”

“Our Lady can no longer hold back the arm of her beloved Son from the world. It is necessary to do penance. If people change their ways, Our Lord will still avail the world; but if they do not, the chastisement will come.”

“If men do not change their ways, Our Lady will send the world a punishment the like of which has never been seen. It will fall first . . . upon Spain.”

Jacinta also spoke of “great world events that would take place around 1940.”

 

On priests and rulers:

When Jacinta was moved to Lisbon to be treated at Dona Estefania Hospital, she was lodged at an orphanage in the care of Mother Maria Godinho who carefully took down the seer’s words.

To Mother Godinho: 

“… pray much for sinners! Pray much for priests! Pray much for religious! Priests should only occupy themselves with the affairs of the Church. Priests should be pure, very pure. The disobedience of priests and religious to their superiors and to the Holy Father greatly offends Our Lord.”

“My godmother, pray much for those who govern! Woe to those who persecute the religion of Our Lord! If the government left the Church in peace and gave freedom to the holy Faith, it would be blessed by God.”

 

On sin, fashions and marriage:

To Mother Godinho:

“The sins that lead more souls to hell are the sins of the flesh.”

“Fashions that will greatly offend Our Lord will appear. People who serve God should not follow fashions. The Church has no fashions. Our Lord is always the same.”

“The sins of the world are very great.”

“If men knew what eternity is, they would do everything to change their lives.”

“Men are lost because they do not think of the death of Our Lord and do not do penance.”

“Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord, and they are not of God.”

 

On Christian virtue:

To Mother Godinho:

“…do not walk in the midst of luxury. Flee from riches. Be very fond of holy poverty and silence.”

“Have much charity even for those who are bad. Speak ill of no one and flee from those who do so. Be very patient, for patience leads us to heaven. Mortification and sacrifices greatly please Our Lord.”

“Confession is a sacrament of mercy. Therefore, one must approach the confessional with confidence and joy. Without confession there is no salvation.”

 

On Fashions:

To Mother Godinho: 

“The sins which cause most souls to go to hell are the sins of the flesh.” Directly enlightened from above, this perfectly innocent, barely ten-year-old girl repeats what Saint Alphonsus Liguori says, that it is sins against chastity “that fill hell with souls.”

When Mother Godinho asked Jacinta if she understood what it meant to be “pure,” she answered, “I do. To be pure in body is to keep chastity. To be pure in soul is not to commit sins, not to look at what one should not see . . .”

The other, rather prophetic statement of Jacinta, is: “Fashions will much offend Our Lord.”

It is well to recall here that modesty is the outer defense of chastity, the walls that defend the castle, as well as the gardens that adorn the palace.

The correct question, when it comes to fashion, is not what is the extreme limit at which one is allowed to arrive, but how can one’s attire more clearly manifest love of modesty and of the virtue of purity.

Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto 

Francisco and Jacinta Marto, brother and sister, were born in the tiny town of Aljustrel, Portugal, two years apart in a family of ten siblings.

Francisco was a handsome boy with light hair and dark eyes and a retiring disposition. Jacinta was a beautiful girl, also light haired and dark eyed but of a spritely temperament. With their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, brother and sister pastured their families’ sheep.

In 1916 their calm, rural life was changed forever by the apparition of an angel in a field near Aljustrel. The angel, calling himself “The Angel of Portugal”, prepared them spiritually for a series of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On May 13, 1917 the Mother of God appeared to the three children atop of a holm oak near the village of Fatima. The Virgin asked the children to return another five times and promised to work a miracle at the last apparition so that all would believe, which she did by making the sun “dance” before 70,000 in October of 1917. At that time she also called herself, “Lady of the Rosary.”


Throughout the apparitions, the Mother of God made prophecies about the advent of Communism and its spread throughout the world, about the coming of World War II, spoke of the sinfulness of the humanity, and asked for prayer (specially the daily recitation of the Rosary), penance and conversion of life as a means of obtaining peace for the world.

She also asked the children if they were willing to pray and sacrifice to help save the souls of poor sinners. She assured Francisco and Jacinta that she would take them soon to heaven but that Lucia would stay on earth longer.

Francisco and Jacinta convinced that they were not long for this world, and interiorly transformed by great mystical graces as well as a terrifying vision of hell, accepted a type of “spiritual victimhood” for the sake of offering reparation to God and saving the souls of sinners.

Francisco spent hours on end in prayer, and contemplation even giving up his games and play time. Jacinta embarked on a life of prayer and penance, offering many small sacrifices for the salvation of sinners.

In 1918 both fell victims to the influenza ripping through Portugal, gladly embracing their illness and all its suffering.

Francisco died with a smile on his face on April 3, 1919 at his home in Aljustrel. And Jacinta died in a hospital in Lisbon on February 20, 1920 which day she had predicted.

 

Brother and sister were beatified in Fatima by Pope John Paul II on May 13, 2000.

Blessed Fra Angelo

Bl. Fra Angelico (1387-1455) was born Guido di Pietro in Tuscany, Italy. Little is known of his early life, but he became a famous early Italian Renaissance master painter. Fra Angelico would pray earnestly before he painted, being convinced that in order to paint Christ perfectly, one must also be Christlike. His paintings then became tools for contemplating the theological mysteries hidden in the biblical events he depicted. He joined the Dominican Order in 1407 and was given the name Brother John, often called “Angelic Brother John”, or Fra Angelico (Angelic Friar) because of his holiness. He lived and worked in several friaries until moving to the Friary of San Marco in Florence. While in Florence he was surrounded by an artistic community, and, due to his great talent, gained the patronage of the famous Medici family. In 1445 he was summoned to Rome to work on St. Peter’s Basilica in various chapels. From 1449 until shortly before his death, Fra Angelico was also prior of the convent in Fiesole. He passed away while working again in Rome and is buried in the Dominican church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. Fra Angelico was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II and he is the patron saint of Catholic artists. His feast day is February 18.

Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

St. Manettus (d. 1268), also known as St. Benedict dell’Antella, was one of the Seven Founders of the Order of Servites. Between 1225 and 1227 in the city of Florence, Italy, seven cloth merchants from the city’s prominent families joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They desired to live a penitential life dedicated to her title of Mother of Sorrows. Our Lady appeared to the seven men on the feast of the Assumption in 1233, asking them to live a life of seclusion and prayer. They obeyed and lived an austere life for many years. Mary appeared to the seven again in 1240, giving them a black habit and a scroll titled “Servants of Mary,” and asking them to found a religious order following the Rule of St. Augustine. The Servites became one of the five original mendicant religious orders. Their special charism is devotion to the Passion of Jesus and the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Only one of the seven founders lived to see the order formally approved by Rome in 1304. It has since spread throughout the world and remains active to this day. The feast day of its Seven Holy Founders of the Order of Servites (Servants of Mary) is February 17.

St.Claude de la Colombiere~Apostle of the Sacred Heart

St. Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682) was born to a noble family in France and became a Jesuit priest. He was known for his solid and serious sermons and his dedication to observing the rule of his Order with exactness. He became the rector of a Jesuit house next to the Monastery of the Visitation where St. Margaret Mary Alacoque lived, who was given special revelations from Jesus of His Sacred Heart. Claude became St. Margaret Mary’s spiritual director, and, like her, became a zealous promoter of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1676 he was sent to England to attend the wife of the future King James II, serving at court as preacher and confessor. When anti-Catholic persecutions broke out, Claude was falsely accused of being involved in a ‘papist plot’ and was thrown into prison. While there his health suffered due to mistreatment. He was preserved from execution and instead banished from England by royal decree. He returned to his native France, where his fragile health continued to deteriorate until he died a few years later. The day after his death, St. Margaret Mary received supernatural assurance that he needed no prayers, as he was already in heaven. His feast day is February 15.

St Catherine De Ricci 


St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her baptismal name was Alexandrina, but she took the name of Catherine upon entering religion. From her earliest infancy she manifested a great love of prayer, and in her sixth year, her father placed her in the convent of Monticelli in Florence, where her aunt, Louisa de Ricci, was a nun. After a brief return home, she entered the convent of the Dominican nuns at Prat in Tuscany, in her fourteenth year. While very young, she was chosen Mistress of Novices, then subprioress, and at twenty-five years of age she became perpetual prioress. The reputation of her sanctity drew to her side many illustrious personages, among whom three later sat in the chair of Peter, namely Cerveni, Alexander de Medicis, and Aldo Brandini, and afterward Marcellus II, Clement VIII, and Leo XI respectively. She corresponded with St. Philip Neri and, while still living, she appeared to him in Rome in a miraculous manner.She is famous for the “Ecstacy of the Passion” which she experienced every Thursday from noon until Friday at 4:00 p.m. for twelve years. After a long illness she passed away in 1589. Her feast day is February 13

St.Brigid of Ireland 

Saint Brigid was born Brigit, and shares a name with a Celtic goddess from whom many legends and folk customs are associated.

There is much debate over her birthparents, but it is widely believed her mother was Brocca, a Christian baptized by Saint Patrick, and her father was Dubthach, a Leinster chieftain. Brocca was a slave, therefore Brigid was born into slavery.

When Dubthach’s wife discovered Brocca was pregnant, she was sold to a Druid landowner. It is not clear if Brocca was unable to produce milk or was not present to care for Brigid, but legend states Brigid vomited any food the druid attempted to feed her, as he was impure, so a white cow with red ears sustained her instead.

Many stories of Brigid’s purity followed her childhood. She was unable to keep from feeding the poor and healing them.

One story says Brigid once gave her mother’s entire store of butter, that was later replenished after Brigid prayed.

When she was about ten-years-old, Brigid was returned to her father’s home, as he was her legal master. Her charity did not end when she left her mother, and she donated his possessions to anyone who asked.

Eventually, Dubthach became tired of her charitably nature and took her to the king of Leinster, with the intention of selling her. As he spoke to the king, Brigid gave his jeweled sword to a beggar so he could barter it for food for his family. When the king, who was a Christian, saw this, he recognized her heart and convinced Dubthach to grant her freedom by saying, “Her merit before God is greater than ours.”

After being freed, Brigid returned to the Druid and her mother, who was in charge of the Druid’s dairy. Brigid took over and often gave away milk, but the dairy prospered despite the charitable practice, and the Druid eventually freed Brocca.

Brigid then returned to Dubthach, who had arranged for her to marry a bard. She refused and made a vow to always be chaste.

Legend has it Brigid prayed that her beauty be taken so no one would want to marry her, and the prayer was granted. It was not until after she made her final vows that her beauty was restored.

Another tale says that when Saint Patrick heard her final vows, he accidentally used the form for ordaining priests. When the error was brought to his attention, he simply replied, “So be it, my son, she is destined for great things.”

Little is known about Saint Brigid’s life after she entered the Church, but in 40 she founded a monastery in Kildare, called the Church of the Oak. It was built above a pagan shrine to the Celtic goddess Brigid, which was beneath a large oak tree.

Brigid and seven friends organized communal consecrated religious life for women in Ireland and she founded two monastic institutions, one for men and one for women. Brigid invited a hermit called Conleth to help her in Kildare as a spiritual pastor.

Her biographer reported that Brigid chose Saint Conleth “to govern the church along with herself.”

She later founded a school of art that included metalwork and illumination, which Conleth led as well. It was at this school that the Book of Kildare, which the Gerald of Wales praised as “the work of angelic, and not human skill,” was beautifully illuminated, but was lost three centuries ago.

There is evidence that Brigid was a good friend of Saint Patrick’s and that the Trias Thaumaturga claimed, “Between St. Patrick and Brigid, the pillars of the Irish people, there was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind. Through him and through her Christ performed many great works.”

Saint Brigid helped many people in her lifetime, but on February 1 525, she passed away of natural causes. Her body was initially kept to the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral, with a tomb “adorned with gems and precious stones and crowns of gold and silver,” but in 878, during the Scandinavian raids, her relics were moved to the tomb of Patrick and Columba.

In 1185, John de Courcy had her remains relocated in Down Cathedral. Today, Saint Brigid’s skull can be found in the Church of St. John the Baptist in Lumiar, Portugal. The tomb in which it is kept bears the inscription, “Here in these three tombs lie the three Irish knights who brought the head of St. Brigid, Virgin, a native of Ireland, whose relic is preserved in this chapel. In memory of which, the officials of the Altar of the same Saint caused this to be done in January AD 1283.”

A portion of the skull was relocated to St. Bridget’s Church and another was sent to the Bishop of Lisbon in St. Brigid’s church in Killester.

Saint Brigid’s likeness is often depicted holding a reed cross, a crozier, or a lamp.

Brigid of the Mantle, encompass us,

Lady of the Lambs, protect us,

Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us.

Beneath your mantle, gather us,

And restore us to memory.

Mothers of our mother, Foremothers strong.

Guide our hands in yours,

Remind us how to kindle the hearth.

To keep it bright, to preserve the flame.

Your hands upon ours, Our hands within yours,

To kindle the light, Both day and night.

The Mantle of Brigid about us,

The Memory of Brigid within us,

The Protection of Brigid keeping us

From harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness.

This day and night,

From dawn till dark, From dark till dawn.