With the world crumbling around us before the assaults of the Devil, many of us today are trying to find some refuge of stability and peace. It goes without saying that if we look for that peace solely within the confines of the world and its secular values, we will not find it. In fact, we cannot hope to find anything remotely resembling that perfect peace which proceeds from God alone.
The Guild of St. Peter ad Vincula, in its efforts to preserve and restore the Church’s true faith and liturgical traditions, recognizes the mayhem resulting from the almost universal apostasy of our Church leaders. We know and understand that those who remain loyal to tradition find themselves bereft of the holy comfort and sacred truths the Church is meant to be providing, and sadly we watch, as more and more of our fellow-Catholics fall away into the swamp of apostasy, sin, and despair. We know and understand what Catholics are feeling, and their need to cling to something which can give them stability and restore their hope and faith in this world gone mad.
For this reason, the Guild has sought out the most basic foundation of our spiritual life, and presents it here for your consideration, and then, hopefully, for your meditation and devotion. For where can we find a more direct vision of heaven and the supreme peace of that ultimate destiny with God than in the Divine Face of our Lord Jesus Christ? If, as St. Paul says, comparing the instability of this life with the peace of the next, “Now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face” (I Corinthians 13, 12), then what better way to dispel the dark hopelessness of our current world than by gazing “face to face” upon the Son of God himself?
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me (Ps. 22, 4). This dark path we tread with the Lord, our Shepherd, is the Way of the Cross that takes us to a second Crucifixion, a spiritual one in which it is the turn of our blessed Lord’s Mystical Body–the Church–to suffer the cruel tortures of apostasy, heresy and persecution. When Christ walked this same path to Golgotha, he bequeathed to the holy woman Veronica the image of his Holy Face on the veil with which she had wiped the blood and sweat from his face. This was not a miracle performed for St. Veronica alone. The Holy Face of Jesus imprinted on Veronica’s Veil looks out far beyond Calvary to this world in which we live today, a stark reminder that true peace is to be found in the very suffering from which we are trying to seek refuge. We will find our rest only in embracing the Cross we carry, a cross chosen by the good Lord who alone knows what is best for us.
For this reason, it is so very necessary to keep this image of the Holy Face ever before us. By adoring the Holy Face of Jesus, we make reparation for our sins and for the sins of the whole world; we merit the graces needed to endure our trials and misfortunes; and by sharing in our Lord’s Passion and in the very tribulations we endure, we participate in his act of redemption. If we seek peace in this world, it is here in this miraculous image of Christ’s own Holy Face that we shall surely find it.
Is it too much to hope, as we kneel before this image of the Holy Face of Jesus imprinted for all time on the Veil of Veronica, that our blessed Lord and Saviour might reach down to us and wipe the blood and sweat from our own brows? If we do receive any such consolations through our devotion to the Holy Face, it is certainly beyond what we deserve, and yet our good Lord in heaven seems to take delight in bestowing upon his children those extra gifts of love we’ve done nothing to earn. In any case, we may be certain that in Jesus’ Holy Face there is the image of the divine, the eternal peace of God, and we may certainly hope that, through our adoration of that divine Face, our own faces may indeed be wiped clean.
We welcome anyone who would like to join in our adoration of the Holy Face of Jesus through the Society of Veronica’s Veil. All we ask is that you regularly sacrifice a little of your time to venerate and adore our Lord’s most Holy Face. This can be done with the help of the prayers contained on this website and in the Manual of the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face, or even by simply meditating on our Lord’s Passion and Death before the sacred image. More details will be available as time goes by, but for now, please join us in praying that devotion to the Holy Face may increase in these troubled times and be the source of much needed graces for the Church and the world.
With my blessing,
Fr. Bernard G. Hall
Dean of Chapter
Guild of St. Peter ad Vincula