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The Holy Name of Jesus and the Holy Face

HolyFace-large.jpgDeus, qui unigenitum Filium tuum constituisti humani generis Salvatorem et Jesum vocari jussisti: concede propitius; ut, cujus sanctum nomen veneramur in terris, ejus quoque aspectu perfruamur in caelis.

O God, who didst constitute Thine only-begotten Son the Saviour of mankind, and didst command that He should be called Jesus: mercifully grant that we who venerate His Name on earth may also enjoy [the contemplation of] His countenance in heaven.

The Collect for the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus ingeniously brings together the Name of Jesus with a reference to His Holy Face. While the latin aspectus (used in the Collect above) can refer to one’s  sight or appearance, it can also refer to one’s countenance or to the expression of his face.

Friendship with Our Lord Jesus Christ
Nothing is more personal than one’s name and one’s face. Knowledge of another person is insignificant until we can put a name to his face, and a face to his name. So too, friendship with our Lord Jesus Christ is not significant until we have begun, by the grace of the Holy Ghost, to associate the Holy Name of Jesus with His adorable Face, and His adorable Face with His Holy Name.

This was the very grace given in superabundant measure to the Carmelite of Tours, France, Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre (1816-1848) and to her saintly friend in the world, the lawyer, Monsieur Léon Papin Dupont (1797-1876). How did the Carmel of Tours, and the salon of Monsieur Dupont become centres of devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus?

The Benedictine-Carmelite Connection
In the spring of 1851 the Benedictines of Perpetual Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Monastery of Arras, daughters of Mother Mectilde de Bar, already being devoted to the Holy Face through the influence of Saint Gertrude the Great, gave the Carmel of Tours several reproductions of the image of the Holy Face venerated in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. (From the Carmel of Tours the devotion would reach the Carmel of Lisieux where it became a profound influence on Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, Doctor of the Church.) This particular image of the Holy Face became famous after an astonishing miracle that took place in January 1849, during the exile of Blessed Pope Pius IX at Gaeta.

The Roman Miracle of the Holy Face: Epiphany 1849
It was customary on the feast of the Epiphany to expose for the veneration of the faithful the “Veronica’s Veil” preserved with other sacred relics in the Vatican Basilica. The “Veil” was darkened by age, and the features of Our Lord’s sacred countenance were no longer visible. On the third day of the exposition of the relic, before the eyes of numerous witnesses, the “Veil” took on vivid colours and, in the midst of an unearthly light, the Divine Countenance became clearly visible, and this for three hours. The expression on the Holy Face was one of profound sorrow and of love. Alerted to the prodigy, the Canons of Saint Peter’s ordered the bells rung, summoning the faithful to see the miraculous sign. A Notary Apostolic was called to take the depositions of the eyewitnesses; he drew up a document attesting to the miracle, which was then placed in the archives of the Vatican Basilica.

leon_dupont_1.jpgEnter Monsieur Dupont, the Holy Man of Tours
Once news of the miracle spread, people everywhere began requesting reproductions of the Sacred Countenance of Our Lord as seen on the Holy Veil of Saint Peter’s Basilica. A number of these were printed on silk and linen, marked with a red wax seal of authenticity, and distributed from Rome. Several of these reproductions were sent to the Benedictine nuns of Arras in France; they in turn sent some of them to the Carmel of Tours. On Palm Sunday 1851, the prioress of the Carmel of Tours gave two of the reproductions to Monsieur Léon Papin-Dupont. Without losing any time, the next day, Holy Monday, he entrusted the two images to a workman in order to have them suitably framed. He gave the more elegantly framed of the two to the Men’s Confraternity of Nocturnal Adoration in Tours; the other he kept for himself. On Holy Wednesday, Monsieur Dupont hung the framed image in a recess to the left of the chimney in his room. On a chest in front of it, he placed a burning oil lamp. Listen to Monsieur Dupont explain what happened:

After having had framed this terrible proof of the ravages of sin, I placed this Holy Face in my room, to the left of my chimney in the recess, just above a little chest suitable to receive a lamp. Several pious images found place there as well. It was Holy Wednesday. No sooner I had installed it, than I was struck interiorly by a sudden sentiment rising from the bottom of my heart. “Can this image of the Divine Face of the Saviour of men be exposed,” said I to myself, “in the house of a Christian during this great week of the Passion, without an outward sign of respect, adoration, and love being given to it? No, certainly not, it shall not be so.” And this is how I had, all of a sudden, the thought to light this lamp before the Holy Face, with the intention of leaving it burning only for the rest of Holy Week. Immediately I carried out my thought; but soon there came to me another. This room was the one in which I was accustomed to receive all those who came to visit me, or who needed to speak to me. It was there that I had installed my desk. “Everyone,” I thought, “will ask me why there should be a lamp burning in daylight. I will respond, it is to teach those who come to my house that when the affair for which they came has been addressed, they have only to withdraw or speak of God.” And I was of a mind to write these words as a kind of commentary on a card that I would place on my desk to show when the need would arise: “One is free in one’s own home. In my home, after treating of the affair for which one came, one must either leave or speak of the things of God.”

That day and the day after passed without anyone asking me a question. Some paid no attention. Others thought a very pious idea had befallen me. On Good Friday a traveling salesman, having forced my door to propose some Bordeaux wines, had my response, and was so surprised by it that I had to repeat to him twice. There was my opportunity to speak to him of religion. He stayed listening to me for over an hour. Having come into my house indifferent, at best, he left it, very nearly converted, taking away with faith some water from La Salette.

The next day, that is Holy Saturday, Our Lord began to make His intentions known, and this is how He did it. I received the visited of a very pious person whom I knew, a Miss X. She suffered from an affliction of the eyes; entering my room, she complained loudly of a lancing pain in her eyes due to the cold wind that was blowing and filling the air with dust. She was coming to see me about business. Being occupied in writing, I invited her to pray to the Holy Face while waiting to see me. She took advantage of the opportunity to ask for her healing. In a moment I had joined her. I knelt down and we prayed together. Upon getting up, it occurred to me to say to her, “Put a little of the oil of this lamp on your eyes.” She dipped her finger into the oil, rubbed her eyes with it and, taking a chair to sit down, said in astonishment, “My eyes no longer hurt me.”. At end of her visit, I had to give her a little oil from the lamp to take home because she was leaving for Richelieu, her usual place of residence.

Cures and Graces
From that day forward the life of Monsieur Dupont became an uninterrupted flow of miracles, healings, and graces attributed to the Holy Face of Jesus, and to the pious use of the oil that burned in the lamp before it. He recounts that on the following Easter Tuesday a young man of the town came on an errand; one of his legs was injured, he walked painfully and limped. Monsieur Dupont thought that if he applied some of the oil burning in the lamp, and prayed to the Holy Face of Jesus, the young man might obtain some relief. This he did. Immediately the young man was healed and began to run around the garden with the greatest ease.

The Lamp Burns On
Monsieur Dupont  originally intended to keep the oil lamp burning before the Holy Face only during Holy Week, but after these experiences, he couldn’t bring himself to remove it. Soon thereafter it was Our Blessed Lady’s month of May, another reason to keep the lamp burning. After that came June, the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and July, the month of the Most Precious Blood. Monsieur Dupont knew that it would not at all do to allow the lamp to go out during months dedicated to the mysteries of the Redemption. Graces and favours began to abound. More than twenty persons were healed after having prayed to the Holy Face of Jesus, and used oil from the lamp. A movement of devotion to the Holy Face was born. The faithful would gather in front of the image of the Holy Face, together with Monsieur Dupont, to recite the Litanies of the Holy Face composed by Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre, cloistered in the nearby Carmel.

In the Healing Radiance of the Holy Face
Prodigies began to multiply. Healings of all sorts took place: from cancers, from ulcers both external and internal, from deafness, from cataracts, and from sprains. By December 2, 1852 Monsieur Dupont had distributed more than eight-thousand little vials of oil from the lamp. Crowds began coming to his door. On certain Saturdays more than three-hundred people crowded into his reception room. The greatest wonder of all was that, for all of these people, their devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus was crowned by a good Confession and fervent Holy Communion. Miracles continued to abound. Until his death in 1876, Leon Papin-Dupont noted each miracle worked by the Holy Face of Jesus in a register kept for that purpose. To his great confusion, letters would sometimes arrive addressed “To the Wonderworker of Tours” or “To the Holy Man of Tours.” Like the Curé of Ars hiding behind the intercession of Saint Philomena, and like Saint André Bessette hiding behind that of Saint Joseph, Monsieur Dupont sought only to disappear into the glory of the Holy Face of Jesus. Today, Monsieur Dupont’s room, having been transformed into the Oratory of the Holy Face (8 rue Bernard Palissy, 37000 Tours, France) remains a place of pilgrimage and of prayer. Dominican Fathers of the Province of France, now living in the home of Monsieur Dupont, are charged with the pastoral care of pilgrims to the Oratory of the Holy Face.

A Devotion Confirmed by the Sacred Liturgy
For Monsieur Dupont and for Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre, devotion to the Holy Face was inseparable from love for, and faith in, the adorable Name of Jesus. The layman and the Carmelite demonstrated in their piety the very association made by the Church in the Collect for the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.

Apostle of the Holy Face of Jesus: St Gaetano Catanoso


The liturgical memorial of Saint Gaetano Catanoso occurs on September 20th. Pope Benedict XVI canonized him on October 23, 2005. In the homily of the Mass of Canonization, the Holy Father said:

Saint Gaetano Catanoso was a lover and apostle of the Holy Face of Jesus. “The Holy Face”, he affirmed, “is my life. He is my strength”. With joyful intuition he joined this devotion to Eucharistic piety. He would say: “If we wish to adore the real Face of Jesus…, we can find it in the divine Eucharist, where with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Face of Our Lord is hidden under the white veil of the Host”. Daily Mass and frequent adoration of the Sacrament of the Altar were the soul of his priesthood: with ardent and untiring pastoral charity he dedicated himself to preaching, catechesis, the ministry of confession, and to the poor, the sick and the care of priestly vocations. To the Congregation of the Daughters of St Veronica, Missionaries of the Holy Face, which he founded, he transmitted the spirit of charity, humility and sacrifice which enlivened his entire life.

Novena of the Holy Face of Jesus

Sexagesima Sunday
Today, February 19th, is Sexagesima Sunday. In Rome the stational church is the Basilica of Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls. This is reflected in the Collect for today’s Mass and Office:

O God, Who seest that that we put not our trust in anything we do of ourselves; mercifully grant that by the protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles we may be defended against all adversity.

Today also marks the beginning of the Novena in honour of the Most Holy Face of Jesus. The feast of the Holy Face is celebrated, in many places, on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.

Praying the Litany
Litanies are among the oldest forms of Christian prayer. They invite us, not to a mechanical and vain repetition of words, but to a prolonged contemplation of one or another of the mysteries of our faith, shot through with an insistent appeal for mercy. Pray the Litany of the Holy Face quietly and slowly. Allow each invocation to open the eyes of your soul to the adorable countenance of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Human Face of God.

The Litany of the Holy Face of Jesus
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven,
R. Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world.
R. Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
R. Have mercy on us.

Most Holy Face of Jesus, radiant splendour of the Father,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, spotless mirror of the majesty of God and image of His goodness,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, where radiates the consuming fire of the Holy Spirit,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, joy of the Virgin Mary,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Who allowed Thyself to be embraced by little children,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, covered with sadness at the departure of the rich young man,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose gaze converted the sinful woman
and transformed the heart of Peter,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, sought by all those who love Thee,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, light of all the upright of heart,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose radiant beauty is veiled to the proud,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, in Whose light our misery lies open,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose compassionate gaze wants to take away our bitterness,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose meekness is so sweet that it transforms souls,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, on which we read Thine infinite Charity,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose look of mercy enfolds the whole world,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, which will never be sufficiently honoured,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, covered with a sweat of blood,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, touched by the infamous traitor’s kiss,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, crowned with thorns,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, insulted by hatred, negligence, and infidelities,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, buffeted by servants, struck by soldiers, and bruised abusively by the crowd,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, stained with spittle, dust, and blood,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, despised by the powerful of this world,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, trembling with sorrow upon meeting Mary,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, tenderly wiped by Veronica,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, on which we can read all the traces of our sins,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, hidden in the Holy Sacrament,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, which the Angels so greatly desired to see and before which they can only be silent and adore,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose brightness will one day be the reward of the just and the most burning punishment of sinners,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, before which the elect cast their crowns in everlasting praise,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose radiance is all the beauty of holy souls,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, which will transfigure us from glory to glory,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

V. Behold, O God our protector.
R. And look upon the Face of Thy Christ.
Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, glory of the Heavenly Father
and light of souls,
we beseech Thee with confidence that,
as we make our way amidst the shadows of this world,
the splendour of Thy Face may shine upon us,
that in the light of Thy Countenance,
we may at length merit to contemplate the eternal light
in which Thou livest and reignest with God the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
forever and ever.
R. Amen.

Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus

volto-si-9.jpgReparation
The last century saw, here and there, like so many points of light in the Church, men and women drawn by the Holy Ghost to the contemplation of the Face of Christ. In many cases this attraction to the Holy Face of Jesus was characterized by the prayer of reparation. The spiritual impulse to make reparation emerged dramatically in the aftermath of the French Revolution and, in the twentieth century, became in some way a response to the horrors of two World Wars.

Violence, terrorism, and war continue to inspire a prayer of reparation that looks to the Face of Christ. We are most affected by acts of violence that disfigure the human face. Hear Isaiah’s prophecy of the Servant: “His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men. . . . He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaias 52: 14; 53:3).

Face and Person
Face and Person are synonomous, not only by reason of the Greek etymology, but even more because there is nothing more personal, nothing more precious, nothing dearer than the face of a loved one. The psalmist’s cry, “I long to see Thy face” (Psalm 26:8), is the cry of every lover to his beloved, the cry of child to parent, of parent to child, and of friend to friend. The most poignant moment in the rites of death and burial comes when the face of the deceased is covered for the last time. We cherish photographs of those we love, but what is a photograph without a face? The relationships that we call “heart to heart” never tire of the “face to face.”

Sins Against the Holy Face
The Holocaust that took place during the Second World War was, at the deepest level, an attempt to erase the dignity and uniqueness of each person, a sin against the Human Face of God, the Face of Christ mirrored in millions of Jewish faces. Every sin against the dignity of the human person is a sin against the Face of Christ. Every act of violence, irreverence, or scorn directed against the human person is a sin against the Face of Christ. The abortion that prevents a child’s face from seeing another human face in the light of day is a sin against the Face of Christ. Torture and cruel ridicule are sins against the Face of Christ. The hard, stony gaze that looks at a person without seeing him is a sin against the Face of Christ. The eyes that judge, the look that condemns, is a sin against the Face of Christ. The refusal to see Christ in the faces of the sick, the stranger, and the immigrant is a sin against His Holy Face.

Our Secret Sins in the Light of Thy Face
Reparation is the prayer that seeks to make whole what is fragmented by putting love where there is no love, by gazing with reverence upon what has been disdained, by allowing our eyes to rest on “One from whom men hide their faces” (Isaias 53:3). The extraordinary thing about the prayer of reparation is that it is healing not only for the one offended but for the offender as well. If by sin we offend the Face of Christ, by reparation to the Holy Face we are healed of our sins. “Thou has set our iniquities before thee,” says the psalmist, “our secret sins in the light of Thy face” (Psalm 89:8).

The Eucharistic Face of Christ
The prayer of reparation is most at home in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. The light that shines from the “Eucharistic Face of Christ” heals us sinners, and heals those against whom we have sinned. The love we bring to the Eucharistic Face of Christ reaches every human face. The prayer of reparation is the veil of Veronica lifted to the face of Christ in His Passion; it is the hand that seeks to wipe away every disfiguring stain of filth, of blood, and of tears.

Held in His Gaze
Mother Marie-Thérèse Bonnin, a French Benedictine of Jesus Crucified, remarked that nothing “repaired” her soul like the contemplation of the Holy Face. In 1940 she wrote, “I have need of prayer in the same way one has need of recuperating physically. Time passes quickly close to Him. It is not that I feel anything, it is enough to know that I am held in His gaze, enough to believe in His love.”

Reparation and Adoration
The beginning of Lent and today’s feast of the Holy Face of Jesus invite us to a prayer of reparation and of adoration. “Look to him and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed” (Psalm 33:6). The light that streams from the Face of Christ can make radiant every human face. Allow yourself to be held in His gaze. Believe in His love. Perseverance in the simple prayer of reparation means healing for ourselves and healing for the world.

Mass of the Holy Face

santovolto.jpgIn Rome and in other places, Shrove Tuesday is observed as the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus. In 2007 I had the privilege of concelebrating a Solemn Mass in honour of the Holy Face of Jesus at the Roman Church of Santo Spirito in Sassia with His Eminence, the late Fiorenzo Cardinal Angelini (1 August 1916 – 22 November 2014), a great apostle of the Holy Face of Jesus.

Masses in honour of the Holy Face appeared as early as the fourteenth century. In 1958 Pope Pius XII approved the observance of a feast of the Holy Face of Jesus on Shrove Tuesday. At Manoppello, the feast of the Holy Face is celebrated on August 6th, the Transfiguration of the Lord. The Benedictines of Jesus Crucified, founded in France in 1930, honoured the Holy Face with the Litanies sung in procession on the Sunday After Ascension. A Mass of the Holy Face of Jesus for Shrove Tuesday was approved by the Holy See in 1986. A flash of paschal glory before beginning Lent! Here are the Proper Mass texts of the Mass in English. The translation is my own.

Entrance Antiphon
MR
Of you my heart has spoken: “Seek his face.” It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face (Ps 26:8-9).
(Cf., Tibi dixit, GR 88)

Collect
O God, who willed that your only-begotten Son should become man, and show us in his human nature a perfect image of your divinity, grant, we beseech you, that by venerating the image of his Holy Face we may be united with him in the mysteries of his Passion and Death, and so come to contemplate forever his glorious Face in the joy of the resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

Proper Readings

First Reading
Isaiah 52:13 –53:12.
(Lectionary, Votive Mass of The Mystery of the Holy Cross, 4)

Responsorial Psalm
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.
Ps 27:1, 4, 5, 8-9abc, 11
(Lectionary, Mass for the Consecration of Virgins and Religious Profession, 2)

Alleluia Verse
He is the brightness of eternal light, the unspotted mirror,
and the image of his goodness (Wis 7:26)
Or:
God of hosts, bring us back;
let your face shine on us and we shall be saved (Ps 79:8).

Gospel
Mt 17:1-19
(Lectionary, August 6, Feast of the Transfiguration, Gospel A).

General Intercessions

That the Church, as she prepares to enter the Great Fast of Forty Days, may direct the gaze of all believers to the Face of the Crucified and Risen One, the proclamation and pledge of our glory,
to the Lord we pray, Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

That the leaders of nations may turn aside from every project of destruction and war, and, in the light of the Face of Christ, seek to build up “the civilization of love,”
to the Lord we pray, Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

That all who know weariness, humiliation, or suffering may lift their eyes to the holy Face of Christ;
and that those despised by the powerful of this world may recognize in the Face of Christ one like themselves,
to the Lord we pray, Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

That the sick and the dying may see on the Face of Christ all glory, all sorrow, and all love, in the greatest peace,
to the Lord we pray, Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

That we may keep the Holy Face of Jesus ever present before our eyes and discover there the revelation of the secrets of his Heart,
to the Lord we pray, Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

Collect at the General Intercessions

Almighty and ever-living God, whose splendour on Sinai was such that Moses was obliged to veil his face made radiant by the brightness of your holiness; remove the veil from our faces, and open our eyes to the knowledge of your glory shining in the face of Christ, that we, with the gaze of our hearts fixed on him, may, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be changed into his likeness and so praise you forever in the company of the saints in light. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Or:
O Lord Jesus Christ, beauty of the heavenly Father and light of souls, we beseech you with confidence that, as we advance in the darkness of this world, the splendour of your Face may shine upon us and that, in the light of your Countenance, we may one day merit to contemplate the eternal light in which you live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.

Prayer Over the Offerings
O God, the Father of lights, look upon us, we beseech you, and beholding the Face of Christ your Son who offered himself for us as a victim of reconciliation, grant that we, like him, may offer ourselves to you as a spiritual sacrifice to the praise of your glory. Through Christ our Lord.

Preface of the Transfiguration
Truly it is right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christ revealed his glory before chosen witnesses,
and filled with splendour
that human form in which he is one with us.
In this way he prepared the disciples
to bear the scandal of the Cross
and he, being the head of his body.
showed that in the Church
that same glory would be fulfilled
that shone upon his Face on the holy mountain.
And so, with all the choirs of angels,
we praise your glory, now and forever,
as with one voice we sing:

Communion Antiphon
MR
We have beheld his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth (Jn 1:14).
Or:
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted (Is 53:4).

Prayer After Communion
Let your Face, O Lord, shine graciously upon us, so that illumined by your word and nourished by the Bread of Life, we may walk in your presence until we reach the wonderful life of your kingdom. Through Christ our Lord.

Solemn Blessing
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
R. Amen.
May his Face shine upon you,
and show your mercy.
R. Amen.
May he turn his Face toward you,
and give you his peace.
R. Amen.
May the blessing of Almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
descend upon you and remain with you forever.
R. Amen.

Support the monks of Silverstream Priory:

Situated amidst pasture land and forest in the eastern reaches of County Meath, Silverstream Priory was founded in 2012 at the invitation of the Most Reverend Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, and canonically erected as an autonomous monastery of diocesan right on 25 February 2017. The property belonged, from the early 15th century, to the Preston family, premier Viscounts of Ireland and Lords of Gormanston. In 1843 Thomas Preston (1817-1903), son of Jenico Preston, the 12th Viscount (1775-1860), built what today is Silverstream Priory.

Silverstream Priory is a providential realisation of the cherished project of Abbot Celestino Maria Colombo, O.S.B. (1874–1935), who, following the impetus given by Catherine–Mectilde de Bar in the 17th century, sought to establish a house of Benedictine monks committed to ceaseless prayer before the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation. The community of Silverstream Priory holding to the use of Latin and Gregorian Chant, celebrate the Divine Office in its traditional Benedictine form and Holy Mass in the “Usus Antiquior” of the Roman Rite. Praying and working in the enclosure of the monastery, the monks of Silverstream keep at heart the sanctification of priests labouring in the vineyard of the Lord. They undertake various works compatible with their monastic vocation, notably the development of the land and gardens, hospitality to the clergy in need of a spiritual respite, scholarly work, and publishing.

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