By Mrs. Kathleen Heckenkamp
Almost one hundred and eighty years ago, Our Lord appeared to a humble cloistered sister of the Carmelite community of Tours, France, Sister Marie St. Peter. This convent was specifically chosen by God to spread devotion to the Holy Face since the Reverend Mother had made a special vow promising God that for a whole year two of the religious in her community would offer their Communions for the special intention that the designs of the Sacred Heart should be accomplished. Through Sr. Marie St. Peter, the world would one day come to know that the designs of the Sacred Heart were to be accomplished through “The Work of Reparation.”
What is meant by “The Work of Reparation”?
On August 26, 1843, a terrible storm raged outside of Sr. Marie St. Peter’s monastery. She could not help but think that God was showing His anger for the sins of the world. She asked God if she was imagining this feeling or that in fact, she was feeling His wrath. She began to pray asking for God’s mercy. In her prayer, she offered Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Heavenly Father in expiation for her sins and the needs of the Church -reminding Him of His sacrifice for us.
Heaven answered her question in this way. Our Lord spoke to her interiorly: “My Name is everywhere blasphemed! There are even children who blaspheme!” Our Lord said, as well, that only Reparation could disarm the Justice of God because the guilt of men had provoked His anger.
Sr. Marie St. Peter writes in her autobiography about the remedy for blasphemy, “The Golden Arrow”:
“Our Lord made me visualize the act of blasphemy as a poisoned arrow continually wounding His Divine Heart. After that He revealed to me that He wanted to give me a ‘Golden Arrow’ which would have the power of wounding Him delightfully, and which would also heal those other wounds inflicted by the malice of sinners. The following is the formula of the ‘Golden Arrow’ which is an Act of Praise that our Lord Himself dictated to me, notwithstanding my unworthiness, for the reparation of blasphemy against His Holy Name.”
The Golden Arrow Prayer
(To be recited before the Blessed Sacrament or an image of the Holy Face)
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be forever 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.
Over the course of several years Our Lord would speak to Sr. Marie and educate her on the many ways He has been offended. Blasphemy was mentioned first, however, the profanation of Sundays and feast days was next on the list. This grieved Him very much! Reparation was therefore needed for all types of the attacks against the Catholic Faith and the Holy Church, since these also constitute a form of blasphemy.” It appears Heaven was asking through this “Work of Reparation” restitution for heretical attacks against the Church which are so numerous and vicious in these times.
On February 2, 1844, Our Lord asked that a militia be formed, of which He would be the commander-in-chief, to fight with the arms of His cross against the enemies of the Holy Name of God. This militia would be known as “The Defenders of God’s Holy Name.” Our Lord lamented:
“…my friends and my faithful children! Behold if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow! My Divine Father and My cherished spouse, the Holy Church, are despised, outraged by my enemies. Will no one rise up to revenge me by defending them against those enemies? I can no longer remain in the midst of an ungrateful people: behold the torrents of tears that flow from my eyes! Can I find no one to dry them, by making reparation of honor to the glory of My Father, begging of Him the conversion of the guilty?”
In March 1844, Our Lord told Sister Marie, “Oh, if you only knew what great merit you acquire by saying even once, ‘Admirable is the name of God’, in the spirit of reparation of blasphemy!”
On October 27th, 1845, Our Lord spoke to Sr. Marie:
“I seek Veronicas to wipe and venerate My Divine Face which has but few adorers…To you I give My Holy Face as a recompense for the services you have performed for Me… I offer you this gift of My Holy Countenance …By My Holy Face you will work wonders!” Jesus made her understand that all those who devoted themselves to this work of Reparation, would perform the same office as Veronica.
On October 4th, 1846, Sr. Marie was given to know that in the future, “God’s justice would use as the instrument of punishment, ‘the malice of revolutionary men-that is the Communists’.” This was the first revelation from Heaven concerning Communism. It is interesting to note that Communism was still at its beginning stages at this time, and that Karl Marx had not even published his “Communist Manifesto” until 1848, and these Revolutionaries were not even calling themselves “Communists” in 1846. Our Lord ordered Sr. Marie to wage war against the enemies of the Church, the Communists, through prayers and devotion to His Holy Face and the instruments of His Passion which would be her only weapons against them and the devil himself. Thus, Devotion to the Holy Face is a sister devotion to Fatima.
On Holy Thursday, April 1848, Our Lord told Sr. Marie: ” … it is the Communists who have dragged me from my tabernacles, profaned and despoiled my sanctuaries, and have even dared to raise their hands against the anointed of the Lord, but their designs shall be frustrated. Have they not committed the crime of Judas! Have they not sold me for silver!”
Sr. Marie St. Peter was struck to the heart and all she could think of was making reparation for these sacrilegious outrages, which Christ had so forcibly reminded her. Some days after she wrote: ” I have entered the arena to combat the enemies of God… Today after Holy Communion, He encouraged me to the combat and pledged himself to give me a cross of honor, which would open Heaven to me, if I were faithful. …May His Holy Name be blessed!
Our Lord demonstrated to Sr. Marie that one of the most effective prayer verses from the Bible and one which also St. Athanasius said the devils hate more than any other verse “Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His Face…” This verse always induces the devil to take flight. It is so effective that it is used in the official exorcism prayers of the Church. This verse can be prayed in chaplet form.
Christ explained to this lowly Carmelite sister that she was to be given a new “mission of the Work of Reparation for Blasphemy.”
In closing let us study how this mission is meant to be understood with the words of Sr. Marie St. Peter: “Our Lord here means the work in reparation for blasphemy, to be offered through the merits of His dolorous Face….in our time, the spirit of evil, armed with pride and sensuality, has inflicted on society two wounds of such magnitude as have hitherto been unknown; deep-rooted impiety and absolute disbelief are the two loathsome wounds of modern society, [generated by Atheistic Communism] which corrode all that is most sacred. To combat this strange and satanical scourge and to expiate the abominations …[He] offers us His Holy Face, this portion of His Sacred Humanity in which are reflected, both the thoughts of His mind and the affections of His Heart… He demands, therefore, a new work whose object is to repair these crimes of modern society. The Reparation is intimately allied to the great Work of the Redemption and is in reality the most noble and the most necessary work for our times.” It seems as though Our Lord Himself requested that this devotion be the definitive weapon to combat Communism!
PROMISES OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Revelations to Sr. Marie St. Peter, Discalced Carmelite Nun of Tours, France, in favor of those who honor His Holy Face. Details of these revelations are found in the book named The Golden Arrow (the autobiography of Sister Mary of St. Peter)
1. By offering My Face to My Eternal Father, nothing will be refused, and the conversion of many sinners will be obtained.
2. By My Holy Face, they will work wonders, appease the anger of God and draw down mercy on sinners.
3. All those who honor My Face in a spirit of reparation will by so doing perform the office of the pious Veronica.
4. 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.
5. Those who by words, prayers or writings defend My cause in the Work of Reparation, especially My priests, I will defend before My Father, and will give them My Kingdom.
6. 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.
7. Those who on earth contemplate the wounds of My Face shall in Heaven behold it radiant with glory.
8. 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.
9. I will defend them; I will preserve them, and I assure them of Final Perseverance.
To obtain more information – booklets, sacramentals and holy cards of the Holy Face Contact:
The Apostolate of Our Lady of Good Success
1288 Summit Ave Suite 107
Oconomowoc, WI. 53066