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Sister Marie of St Peter (1816 - †1848) was a Carmelite nun who lived in Tours, France. She is best known for starting the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus which is now one of the approved Catholic devotions.

Sister Marie of St Peter with the Golden Arrow. The three rings symbolize the Holy Trinity

From 1844 to 1847 Sister Marie of St Peter reported that she had visions of Jesus and Mary. She said that in 1844 she had a vision in which Jesus told her: "Those who will contemplate the wounds on My Face here on earth, shall contemplate it radiant in heaven."

She reported that in her vision, she saw Saint Veronica wiping away the spit and mud from the face of Jesus with her veil on the way to Calvary. She said that sacrilegious and blasphemous acts today are adding to the spit and mud that Saint Veronica wiped away that day. According to Sister Marie of St Peter, in her visions Jesus told her that He desired devotion to His Holy Face in reparation for sacrilege and blasphemy, which He described as being like a "poisoned arrow." She wrote The Golden Arrow Holy Face Devotion (Prayer) which she said was dictated to her by Jesus. This prayer is now a well known Act of Reparation to Jesus Christ.

She wrote that Jesus told her: "Those who will contemplate the wounds on My Face here on earth, shall contemplate it radiant in heaven.” She also quoted Jesus as saying in her visions: “Oh if you only knew what great merit you acquire by saying even once, Admirable is the Name of God, in a spirit of reparation for blasphemy."

The devotion that she started was promoted by the Venerable Leo Dupont who later came to be known as the “Holy Man of Tours”. Dupont prayed for and promoted the case for a devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus for around 30 years. But the documents pertaining to the life of sister Marie of St. Peter and the devotion were kept by the Church and not released. Eventually, in 1874 Charles-Théodore Colet was appointed as the new Archbishop of Tours. Archbishop Colet examined the documents and in 1876 gave permission for them to be published and the devotion encouraged. The Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus was eventually approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1885.

Almost 50 years later, another French Carmelite nun, Saint Therese of Lisieux wrote a number of poems and prayers in the 1890s that also helped spread the devotion to the Holy Face. In the 1930s, an Italian nun, Sister Maria Pierina De Micheli associated the image of the Holy Face of Jesus from the Shroud of Turin with the devotion and made the first Holy Face Medal. Sister Marie of St Peter had written that Jesus told her:

"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."[1]

The first Holy Face Medal was offered to Pope Pius XII who accepted it and approved the devotion in 1958 and declared the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus as Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) for all Roman Catholics.

Her autobiography and reported revelations are published in the book “The Golden Arrow”.

See also


  • Dorothy Scallan, Emeric B Scallan, 1994 The Life & Revelations of Sr. Mary of St. Peter ISBN 0895553899
  • Joan Carroll Cruz, OCDS. Saintly Men of Modern Times. (2003) ISBN 1931709777
  • Dorothy Scallan. The Holy Man of Tours. (1990) ISBN 0895553902

External links

The Holy Face Association:

The Holy Face at the Catholic Tradition:

Holy Face Devotion in the UK: Archdiocese of Tours: [1]



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