Marie of St Peter

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Marie of Saint Peter, O.C.D. (French: Marie de Saint Pierre) (1816–1848) was a Discalced 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 and for the Golden Arrow Prayer.[1][2] She also introduced the Little Sachet sacramental.[3]

Life[edit]

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

Marie was born on 4 October 1816 in Brittany to Peter and Frances Portier Eluere, and baptized in the Church of St. Germain in Rennes. As a child she was called Perrine. Her mother died when she was twelve and she was sent to learn dressmaking with two of her paternal aunts. On 13 November 1839 she entered the Carmel at Tours, a carmel that had a particular devotion to the Sacred Heart. Perrine had a special devotion to the Holy Infancy of Jesus. She was professed as a Carmelite nun under the name Sister Mary St. Peter of the Holy Family on 8 June 1841.[4]

A series of articles on
Catholic devotions to the
Holy Face of Jesus

Turin plasch.jpg


People
Marie of St PeterLeo DupontThérèse of LisieuxMaria PierinaMaria Pia MastenaGaetano Catanoso

Prayers & Sacramentals
Golden ArrowLittle SachetScapular of the Holy Face

Organizations
Sisters of ReparationSisters of the Holy FaceOratory of the Holy Face

On 8 August 1843 Pope Gregory XVI promulgated a papal brief for the erection of a confraternity under the patronage of St. Louis IX of France for the reparation of blasphemy against the Holy Name of God. On the 26 Leo Dupont, the "holy man of Tours", distributed among several of the communities of Tours, a prayer in honor of the Holy Name of God, through the intercession of King Louis of France. The prayers had been circulated among all the religious houses of the city, but despite being on friendly terms with the Carmelites, M. DuPont apparently forgotten them.[4]

Sister Mary reported that on the same day, while commencing her evening prayer Jesus made her to understand that he would give her a prayer of reparation, a "golden dagger" for blasphemy against his Holy Name. The heavenly communications of the sister were apparently frequent. She invariably declared that these "communications' were neither visions, nor apparitions; that the truths shown her were not exhibited under an eternal form, nor did she physically hear what she was commissioned to relate.[4]

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."[5]

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.[2][6]

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.

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[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ball, pp.209-210.
  2. ^ a b Cruz, Joan Carroll, OCDS, Saintly Men of Modern Times (2003) ISBN 1-931709-77-7 pages 194-197
  3. ^ Ball p.319.
  4. ^ a b c Janvier, Pierre Desire. The Life of Sister Mary St. Peter, Carmelite of Tours, 1884
  5. ^ Ball p.209.
  6. ^ Geoghegan, G.P., A collection of my Favorite Prayers (Dec 2, 2006) ISBN 1411694570 page 106

Sources[edit]

  • Ball, Ann. Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices 2003 ISBN 0-87973-910-X pages 209-210
  • The Golden Arrow: The Autobiography and Revelations of Sister Mary of St. Peter by Mary of St. Peter and Dorothy Scallan (May 1, 2009) ISBN 0895553899

External links[edit]

The Holy Face at the Catholic Tradition: http://www.catholictradition.org/Christ/holy-face.htm

Holy Face Devotion in the UK: http://www.holyface.org.uk Archdiocese of Tours: [1]