Marie of St Peter
Sister Marie of St Peter with the Golden Arrow. The three rings symbolize the Holy Trinity.
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. She also introduced the "Little Sachet" sacramental.
Marie was born on 4 October 1816 in Rennes, Brittany to Peter and Frances Portier Eluere, and baptized in the Church of St. Germain. 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.
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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. 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 forgot them.
Sister Mary reported that eighteen days later, 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. He told her that the devotion He was entrusting to her was to have as its aim not only reparation for blasphemy, but also reparation for the profanation of the Holy Day of the Lord. 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.
From 1844 to 1847 Sister Marie of St Peter reported that she had "communications" from Jesus about spreading devotion to His Most Holy Face. She reported that she experienced what her biographer, Janvier, terms "an interior vision". Repeatedly she describes that while at meditation "The Lord gave me to understand" particular insights. According to Sister Marie of St Peter, 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. Dupont prayed for and promoted the case for a devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus for around 30 years. Documents pertaining to the life of sister Marie of St. Peter and the devotion were kept by the Church. 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”.
The Little Sachet, or the Gospel of the Holy Name of Jesus, is a Roman Catholic devotion based on a sacramental that, according to tradition, was mystically revealed by Jesus Christ to Marie of St Peter in 1847, in a monastery in Tours, France.
It consists of a tiny leaflet on which are printed the short Gospel of the Circumcision, which mentions the giving of the name "Jesus"; a picture of Christ; the initials IHS representing the Holy Name of Jesus; and some invocation together with the lines, "When Jesus was named — Satan was disarmed." This leaflet is folded into a small square, enclosed in a small pouch, and distributed to the faithful, who are encouraged to frequently say: "Blessed be the Most Holy Name of Jesus without end" while wearing it.
- Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ
- Holy Face of Jesus
- Holy Name of Jesus
- Maria Pia Mastena
- Marie Martha Chambon
- Oratory of the Holy Face
- Sisters of the Reparation of the Holy Face
- Ball p.319.
- Janvier, Pierre Desire. The Life of Sister Mary St. Peter, Carmelite of Tours, 1884
- "Sr. Mary of St. Peter", Carmel of the Holy Face of Jesus
- Janvier p. 148.
- "Sr. Mary of St. Peter and the Work of Reparation", Discalced Carmelites of Sacramento
- Javier p. 116.
- Cruz, Joan Carroll, OCDS, Saintly Men of Modern Times (2003) ISBN 1-931709-77-7 pages 194-197
- Geoghegan, G.P., A collection of my Favorite Prayers (Dec 2, 2006) ISBN 1411694570 page 106
- Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 0-87973-910-X page 319
- Sr. Mary Of St Peter (2010). The Golden Arrow: The Autobiography and Revelations of Sister Mary of St. Peter (1816-1848) on Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. Tan Books & Pub. ISBN 978-0-89555-389-8.
- Ball, Ann (2005). The How-to Book of Sacramentals: Everything You Need to Know But No One Ever Taught You. Our Sunday Visitor. ISBN 978-1-59276-096-1.
- 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
- Dorothy Scallan. The Holy Man of Tours. (1990) ISBN 0-89555-390-2