The Golden Arrow Prayer & Offering Christ’s Wounded Face to the Father

Our Lord related to Sister St. Pierre that “sores of leprosy” cover HIs Heart due to the sin of blasphemy; she was then made to recall that there were compassionate dogs who consoled poor Lazarus by licking his wounds. He invited her to render Him a similar service by every day glorifying the Holy Name of God. Our Lord also made her understand that “a multitude of souls will be saved if His designs are accomplished.” [1]

Earlier, Our Lord revealed to Sister St. Pierre that blasphemy is like a poisoned arrow which perpetually wounds His Divine Heart. To console His Heart, He wishes for the faithful to offer a “golden arrow,” which wounds Him with delight and love, healing the wounds of malice which sinners inflict upon Him, a form of reparation particularly adapted to the crime to be expiated, a formula of prayer to console his Sacred Heart and to appease his anger. The following is the prayer which Our Lord dictated to her for the reparation of blasphemy against His Holy Name. He offered it to her as a golden dagger or arrow, assuring her that every time it was said, it would wound his Heart most lovingly:

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God, be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored, and glorified, in heaven, on earth, and in hell,[2] by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.[3]

Our Lord, after having revealed this prayer to Sister St. Pierre, warned her that she should beware of how she appreciates this favor, for He will demand an account of it. At that moment, Sister St. Pierre beheld flowing from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, wounded by this golden dagger, torrents of grace for the conversion of sinners.[4] We can infer the immense responsibility for “those who have been given much” in the way of knowledge of God’s demand for reparation; we will answer for knowledge not put into the action of obtaining grace for sinners,[5] for this prayer in honor of the Holy Name of God was to be “communicated and spread among the faithful”[6] to obtain mercy for sinners.[7] The soul offering this Golden Arrow prayer draws down graces for himself and others to orient each away from pride, toward humility, and toward proper fear of God, bringing back an avowal of God’s Majesty, of the Holiness of His Name.

 Our Lord said that He would show mercy to the guilty, and that His Justice would be appeased, if He could find devoted souls to say the prayers in reparation for blasphemy:

On the one hand, we behold open revolts and scandalous outrages committed against the divinity of God; on the other lukewarmness, nay more, total indifference in the fulfilment of duty [of right reverence to God]. These provoke the wrath of the Most High, whose justice, though patient and long-suffering, is, nevertheless, inevitable; whose vengeance, though tardy, is certain, for God has no need to punish day by day; His power is eternal and not to be confounded with the justice of man, intimidated by the number of the guilty, and which beholding the multitude to be punished, lets the sword fall powerless from its hand. It is not thus when God wishes to punish [;] it is not the number of the guilty which arrests his hand [. H] e then counts but the just, and when these have disappeared from the face of the earth, his arm falls mercilessly.[11]

Sister St. Pierre understood that “in favor of the souls who would apply themselves to the reparation of blasphemy and the contempt against the Majesty of God, [Our Lord] would appease His justice and give grace to the guilty.”[12]God demands an account of this immense gift bestowed, for knowledge of the Devotion devolves responsibility upon us.

            God is infinitely more pleased by the Face of His most beloved Son than by man’s own, sinful face. We are to make reparation for others, albeit not by our own merits, but Christ’s. The offering of Christ’s wounded Face to God was revealed to Sister St. Pierre as the completion of His designs regarding reparation for the sins of blasphemy:

The Work of Reparation through the Holy Face was suddenly revealed to her. She was transported in spirit to the road leading to Calvary. ‘There…Our Lord gave me to behold in a most vivid manner, the pious Veronica, who, with her veil, wiped his adorable Face covered with spittle, dust, sweat and blood. My divine Savior gave me to understand that the wicked by their blasphemy renew all the outrages once offered to his divine Face; these blasphemies, poured forth against the Divinity, like…vile spittle…, disfigure the Face of Our Lord, who offered himself as a victim for sinners. Then he told me that I must imitate the zeal of the pious Veronica who so courageously passed through the crowd of rough soldiers to offer him some relief, and whom he gave me for my protectress and model. By endeavoring to offer reparation for blasphemy, we render Christ the same service as this heroic woman, and he looks upon those who act thus, with the same complaisance as if they had performed this act during his Passion.’[15]

Sister St. Pierre was led to understand that the Holy and August Face of Christ, offered to us for our adoration, is the mirror of the ineffable perfections comprised in the most Holy Name of God.[16] When we adore the Face of Christ, we are consoling Him anew by avowing God’s Majesty and the Holiness of His Name.

            St. Paul tells us in First Corinthians that “the head of Christ is God,”[17] which Sister St. Pierre recognizes as the essence of what was communicated to her: the August Head of Jesus Christ is the picture and the emblem of the Divine Majesty, and his Holy Face is the image and the glory of God.[18] The wounded Face of Our Lord is the sensible object offered for the adoration of the faithful to repair the outrages of blasphemers who attack the Divinity, of which it is the figure, the mirror and the image. “In virtue of this adorable Face, offered to the Eternal Father, we can appease his anger and obtain the conversion of blasphemers.”[19] The Church, His Spouse, is His mystical body and the doctrine of the Church is the face of this body. The Face of the Church is the Face of Jesus Christ.[20] In our times, the Face of Christ’s mystical body, the Church, is the “butt of all the outrages of God’s enemies.” Our Lord told Sister St. Pierre, “Behold if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow! My Divine Father and my cherished spouse, the Holy Church, are despised, outraged by my enemies. Will no one rise up to revenge me by defending them against those enemies?”[21] Our predicament of unprecedented decline in morals and the inability to recognize moral certitude revolves around an unwillingness to submit to—and even a scorning of—the teachings of Our Lord preserved within the Doctrine of the Catholic Church, beginning with those pertaining to the honor and fear due God’s Holy Name.

God is demanding a new effort whose object is to repair these most loathsome crimes of modern society, “deep rooted impiety and absolute incredulity”[22] toward His Doctrine. For this reason, Our Lord described this Work of Reparation to be “the most beautiful work that has yet appeared on the face of the earth.”[23] It is the most beautiful work because it is offered to the Father through the merits of Christ’s dolorous Face; it does not therefore “trump” the beauty of Christ’s Redemption, for it is an extension of it. Mankind is being given by God a more specific role in Redemption, however, given that “in no other time has iniquity reached such a degree.” The beauty of this work is that it is Christ who is giving us in mercy His Face to be offered by mankind to appease the wrath of God and to bring salvation to men. Pope Saint John Paul II wrote in his Salvifici Doloris:

The Redeemer suffered in place of man and for man. Every man has his own share in the Redemption. Each is also called to share in that suffering through which the Redemption was accomplished…. Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of Redemption. Thus each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ.”[24]

This co-redemption is man’s privileged contribution in the salvation of souls. The Work of Reparation, which is an extension of the great Work of Redemption, calls man to put his salvation in his own, collective hands, not by his own merits, but by offering in reparation those of the most holy and adorable Face of God’s Son. Our Lord wishes to make “an alliance between His Justice and His Mercy,” allowing for the conversion of sinners. Christ describes His Holy Face as an immense gift to us, which is to be offered to the Father “as the sole means of appeasing Him.”[25] It is the most noble and the most necessary work of our times.[26] Our Lord told Sister St. Pierre that [the wounded Face of Christ]was the greatest grace he could have given after that of the sacraments[27] and was to become the distinctive symbol of the projected work.

Earlier Our Lord warns that man should beware of how he appreciates this favor, for He will demand an account of it. Here He makes clear that man has been given an unprecedented gift of grace, save that of the sacraments. In addition, He states clearly that in no other time has iniquity reached such a degree and that this sin of blasphemy has mounted even to the throne of the Most High, arousing His wrath, which will burst forth over mankind in an impetuous torrent, if His justice be not appeased. What is one to conclude, other than that man is no less than demanded to make use of the dolorous Face of Christ to aid in the salvation of himself and his brethren in reclaiming our Church and times for Christ? Indeed, Our Lord gives Sister St. Pierre the ominous warning, “Woe to those who do not make reparation!”[28]         

[1] Sister Mary St. Peter, Life of Sister Mary St. Peter, ed. M. L’Abbe Janvier (France, 1884), 205.

[2] When Sr. St. Pierre seemed surprised at the use of the word “hell,” Our Lord indicated that His Justice was there glorified, meaning by “hell” not only the place where the wicked are punished, but also purgatory, where He is loved and glorified by the suffering souls. St. Paul also made use of this expression in an analogical sense, saying: “At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bend in heaven, on earth and in hell.” Sister Mary St. Peter, Life of Sister Mary St. Peter, ed. M. L’Abbe Janvier (France, 1884), 128.

[3] Ibid., 127.

[4] Ibid., 128-9.

[5] Ibid., 293.

[6] Ibid., 129.

[7] Ibid., 159. Our Lord told Sr. Marie St. Pierre that if she would place an obstacle on his designs, she would be responsible for the salvation of a multitude of souls. If, however, she was faithful in communicating his objective of reparation, those very souls would be “an ornament in [her] crown.”

[11] Sister Mary St. Peter, Life of Sister Mary St. Peter, ed. M. L’Abbe Janvier (France, 1884), 194.

[12] Ibid., 160.

[13] My emphasis. Job. 42:9.

[14] Janvier, Pierre Desire. The Holy Man of Tours: The Life of Leon Papin-dupont, Who Died at Tours in the Odor of Sanctity, March 18, 1876 (Baltimore: John Murphy, 1882), 207.

[15] Sister Mary St. Peter, Life of Sister Mary St. Peter, ed. M. L’Abbe Janvier (France, 1884), 138-9.

[16] Ibid., 242.

[17] 1 Cor. 11:3.

[18] Sister Mary St. Peter, Life of Sister Mary St. Peter, ed. M. L’Abbe Janvier (France, 1884), 243.

[19] Ibid., 244.

[20] Ibid., 244-5.

[21] Ibid., 185.

[22] Ibid., 311-12.

[23] Ibid., 311.

[24] Apostolic Letter of John Paul II: On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering (Boston: Pauline Books, 1984),  30-1.

[25] Sister Mary St. Peter, Life of Sister Mary St. Peter, ed. M. L’Abbe Janvier (France, 1884), 290.

[26] Ibid., 312.

[27] Ibid., 247.

[28] Ibid., 161.

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