THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS

Face of Christ Painting based on Holy Shroud

Jesus' Face is the human Face of God

For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. -2 Corinthians 4:6 RSVCE


Hear the words of Bride Ecclesia praising the Face of her Bridegroom:
My beloved is all radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand.
His head is the finest gold; his locks are wavy, black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves beside springs of water, bathed in milk, fitly set.
His cheeks are like beds of spices, yielding fragrance.
His lips are lilies, distilling liquid myrrh...
His speech is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

-Song of Songs 5:10-13, 16 RSVCE

Thou hast said, "Seek ye my face." My heart says to thee, "Thy face, LORD, do I seek."(Ps 26:8 RSVCE)

The Face of the Man of Sorrows

"So marred was his look beyond that of man, and his appearance beyond that of mortals" -Isaiah 52:14 NAB

Suffering Face of Christ drawing based on Holy Shroud

O Sacred Head, surrounded
By crown of piercing thorn.
O Bleeding Head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn.
Our sins have marred the glory
Of Thy most Holy Face,
Yet angel hosts adore Thee
And tremble as they gaze

I see Thy strength and vigor
All fading in the strife,
and death with cruel rigor,
Bereaving Thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn Thy Face on me. (1)

Another Face of Christ based on Holy Shroud Prayer of Saint Therese to the Holy Face of Jesus

St. Therese of Lisieux, the "Little Flower", was known in religious life as "Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face".

O Jesus, who in Thy bitter Passion didst become "the most abject of men, a man of sorrows", I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon there once did shine the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured features, I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men.

The tears which well up abundantly in Thy sacred eyes appear to me as so many precious pearls that I love to gather up, in order to purchase the souls of poor sinners by means of their infinite value. O Jesus, whose adorable face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy divine image and to set me on fire with Thy Love, that I may be found worthy to come to the contemplation of Thy glorious Face in Heaven. Amen.

Christ's Face in Glory

"(I saw) one like a Son of man...his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire...and his face was like the sun shining in full strength" -Revelations 1:12-14, 16 RSVCE

Novena to the Holy Face

O Lord Jesus Christ, in presenting ourselves before Thine adorable Face, to ask of Thee the graces of which we stand in most need, we beseech Thee above all, to grant us that interior disposition of never refusing at any time to what Thou requirest of us by Thy holy commandments and divine inspirations. Amen.

O Good Jesus, who hadst said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you," grant us O Lord, that faith which obtains all, or supply in us what may be deficient; grant us, by the pure effect of Thy charity, and for Thine eternal glory, the graces which we need and which we look from Thine infinite mercy. Amen.

Be merciful to us, O my God, and reject not our prayers, when amid our afflictions, we call upon Thy Holy Name and seek with love and confidence Thine adorable Face. Amen.

O Almighty and Eternal God, look upon the Face of Thy Son Jesus. We present It to Thee with confidence to implore Thy pardon. The All-Merciful Advocate opens His mouth to plead our cause; hearken to His cries, behold His tears, O God, and through His infinite merits, hearken to Him when He intercedes for us poor miserable sinners. Amen.

Adorable Face of Jesus, my only love, my light, and my life, grant that I may know Thee, love Thee and serve Thee alone, that I may live with Thee, of Thee, by Thee and for Thee. Amen.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the adorable Face of Thy Beloved Son for the honor and glory of Thy Name, for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of the dying. O Divine Jesus, through Thy Face and Name, save us. Our Hope is in the virtue of Thy Holy Name! Amen.

Prayer of Mother Maria Pierina to the Holy Face
O Blessed Face of my kind Savior, by the tender love and piercing sorrow of Our Lady as she beheld you in your cruel Passion, grant us to share in this intense sorrow and love so as to fulfill the holy will of God to the utmost of our ability. Amen.

The LORD bless you and keep you: The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace (Num 6:24-26 RSVCE)


The pictures of the Holy Face on this page are all based on the image on the Holy Shroud of Turin. Other depictions based on the Shroud are available on the following pages:

I scanned these images myself from my private collection of holy cards. As far as I know, they are in the public domain. If anyone knows of a copyright on any of them, please email me!

Works Cited

  1. Hymn, O Sacred Head, Surrounded. Verse 1: Words(c)1961 "World Library Publications, Inc."; Verse 2: Translated by Henry W. Baker.
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