Oratory of the Holy Face

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The Oratory of the Holy Face is a Roman Catholic prayer oratory in Tours France. It is the site where devotions to the Holy Face of Jesus started in Tours by Venerable Leo Dupont based on messages reported by Sister Marie of St. Peter. It receives many Catholic pilgrims every year.

The site (now at 8 rue Bernard Palissy, Tours) was originally the drawing room of Venerable Leo Dupont where he continuously burned a vigil lamp before an image of the Holy Face of Jesus based on a painting of the Veil of Veronica.[1] Dupont also used to invite people to pray in front of the image of the Holy Face of Jesus at the oratory. Dupont was inspired to pray to the Holy Face of Jesus based on the messages of the Carmelite nun Sister Marie of St. Peter.

When Leo Dupont died in 1876, his house on Rue St. Etienne in Tours was purchased by the Archdiocese of Tours and turned into a prayer oratory. Archbishop Charles-Théodore Colet of Tours then approved of an order of priests called the Priests of the Holy Face to administer the chapel. The order was canonically erected in 1876 and Father Peter Javier, a friend of Dupont, was appointed as its director.[2]

The oratory, and Dupont's prayers have been associated with a large number of reported cures. The Dublin Review of 1885 reported that Mgr. Paul Guerin testified to having himself seen over 6000 certificates of cures wrought by virtue of the miraculous oil from the lamp in the oratory.[3]

Pope Leo XIII who approved of the Holy Face devotions in 1885 also expressed a desire to establish a similar oratory in Rome.[4]This was eventually opened in the Via Pietro Cavallini in 1891 and administered by the Priests, but was demolished in subsequent redevelopment. [5]

A number of well known Catholics have prayed at the oratory, e.g. Saints Louis and Blessed Zelie Martin, the parents of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.[6] Saint Therese was introduced to the devotion by her blood sister Celine and was later called Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. The poems and prayers she wrote helped to spread the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Henry Charles Lea, 2002, A History of Auricular Confession and Indulgences in the Latin Church, Adamant Media Corp. ISBN 1-4021-6108-5 page 506
  2. ^ Catholic encyclopedia [1]
  3. ^ The Dublin review, 1885, page 101
  4. ^ The New Zealand Tablet, 1892, page 31 [2]
  5. ^ Mario Armellini: Chiese di Roma 1891 p.794
  6. ^ Paulinus Redmond, 1995 Louis and Zelie Martin: The Seed and the Root of the Little Flower Cimino Press ISBN 1-899163-08-5 page 257


  • Dorothy Scallan. "The Holy Man of Tours." (1990) ISBN 0-89555-390-2
  • Joan Carroll Cruz, "Saintly Men of Modern Times." (2003) ISBN 1-931709-77-7
  • Pierre Desire Janvier, "The Life Of Leon Papin-Dupont: The Holy Man Of Tours" Kessinger Publishing (2008) ISBN 1-4365-4333-9

External links[edit]

  • Tourism info on the oratory [3]