ANTONY OF PADUA :
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH 1195-1231 AD
ANTONY’S BRIEF (Note, or Letter)
the Cross of the Lord!
Begone you enemy powers!
The lion of the tribe of Juda,
the root of David has conquered, Alleluia!”
are the words of ‘St. Antony’s Brief’, which Pope
Sixtus V had inscribed on the obelisk he erected in the quadrangle
in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Many people carry
the words with them, on a card, leaflet or scapluar, to obtain protection
against temptation by the devil.
custom of carrying and praying the ‘Brief’ is based
on the story of a woman in Portugal who was tempted by the devil
to commit suicide. Her life was in ruins, and she had made up her
mind to kill herself. On her way to throw herself into the river,
she stopped off at a roadside shrine to St.Francis to say a last
prayer before a statue of St. Antony. During her prayer she fell
asleep and saw St. Antony, who set her free from the despair the
devil had trapped her in.
she woke up she found a note (a 'brief') given to her by St. Antony
with the words quoted above written on it. The original note is
said to have been preserved with the crown jewels of Portugal.
practice also relates to Saint Antony’s own struggle with
the devil, who was trying to choke him. An early account of this,
by a contemporary Franciscan friar, relates that Saint Antony put
the devil to flight by invoking Mary’s help and making the
Sign of the Cross.
Marie Pierre and
Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus
has told us through Sister Marie Pierre that the Holy
Face of Jesus is a symbol of the Catholic Religion.
This is particularly meaningful for us today, because the loss
of Faith and weakening of doctrine that have affected the Church
in modern times have disfigured the 'face' of Catholicism itself.
is 'Marie Pierre'?
Marie de Saint-Pierre was a member of the religious community of
Carmelites in Tours, France in the mid-1800s. Our Lord appeared
several times to her to ask for reparation to be done to His Holy
Face. These revelations enjoy the full approval of the Catholic
On November 24, 1843, Our Lord spoke the following words her:
earth is covered with crimes. The violation of the first three
Commandments of God has offended My Father. The Holy Name of God
blasphemed, and the Holy Day of the Lord profaned, fills up the
measure in iniquities. These sins have risen unto the Throne of
God and provoked His wrath which will soon burst forth if His
justice be not appeased. At no time have these crimes reached
such a pitch."
1845 she again experienced a vision of Jesus, who repeated his request
for reparation to be made to his Holy Face, saying:
face of France has become hideous in the sight of My Father; it
provokes Him to justice; offer Him, therefore, the Face of His
Only Son in Whom He is well pleased, to draw His mercy down on
France, without which she will be chastised. Here is France's
salvation, that is to say, in the Face of the Saviour."
Devotion Spreads After Marie Pierre's death
Three years after the death of Sister Marie, devotion to the Holy
Face was brought miraculously to the attention of the French nation.
A gentleman of Tours, named Monsieur Dupont, received two copies
of the Veil of St Veronica, from the Prioress of the Carmelites
of Tours where Marie de Saint-Pierre had been a religious sister.
The veil became the subject of miraculous manifestations in 1849,
during the Pope's exile at Gaeta.
Dupont "the holy man of Tours" became the messenger of Marie
de Saint-Pierre's mystical message, by exhibiting a copy of the Roman
Holy Face, the "Veil of Veronica" in his study, soon to
be transformed into an oratory. Through anointings made with the oil
from the lamp burning in its presence, the "Veil of Veronica"
worked miracles; it attracted crowds of pilgrims, but above all, it
raised up "Veronicas" in accordance with the desire expressed
by Our Lord to Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre:
am looking for Veronicas to wipe and to honour my divine Face."
of these 'Veronicas' was St Therese of Lisieux. In 1885 the Bishop
of Tours approved the setting up of the Arch-confraternity of Reparation
to the Holy Face of Jesus. A certain Monsieur Martin and this three
daughters entered their names in the register of this new confraternity
- the youngest of whom was Thérèse. She was then 12
years old. She entered Carmel at the age of fifteen, and went on
to become Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the
Holy Face. She was, therefore, practising devotion to the Holy Face
even before her formal entry into religious life.
of Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sr. Marie
for those who honour and adore His Holy Face
By My Holy Face you will work "WONDERS," appease the
anger of God and draw down Mercy for the conversion of sinners.
2. NOTHING THAT YOU ASK
in virtue of this offering will be refused you! Ah! If you did
but know how pleasing is the sight of My Face to My Father!
3. In proportion to your
care in repairing the injuries My Face receives from Blasphemers,
will I take care of yours, which has been disfigured by sin;
I will restore it to My likeness, and render it as beautiful
as when it had just left the Baptismal Font.
Lord promised me that all those who defend His cause in this work
of reparation, by words, by prayers, or in writing, He will defend
them before His Father; at their death He will purify their souls
by effacing all the blots of sin and will restore to them their
primitive beauty." - Sister Marie Pierre
Golden Arrow Prayer
an act of Praise and Reparation dictated by Our Lord to Sister Marie:
the Most Holy, Most Sacred, Most
Adorable, Most incomprehensible and
unutterable Name of God be always praised,
blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in Heaven,
on earth, and under the earth, 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."
receiving this prayer, Sister Marie was given a vision in which she
saw the Sacred Heart of Jesus delightfully wounded by the "Golden
Arrow" as torrents of graces streamed from It for the conversion
to the Holy Face,
the writings of Marie Pierre
'O Lord Jesus Christ, in presenting ourselves before thy adorable
Face to ask of thee the graces of which we stand most in need, we
beseech thee, above all, to grant us that interior disposition of
never refusing at any time to do what thou requires of us by thy
holy commandments and divine inspirations.'
'Eternal Father, we offer thee the adorable Face of thy well-beloved
Son, for the honour and glory of thy Holy Name and for the salvation
of our country.'
'Eternal Father, I ask of thee as many souls as was the number of
the drops of Blood as thy Divine Son shed in His Passion.'
(She was given a vision of Hell and the multitude
of souls falling in, and was invited to pray for poor sinners. Dec.
'Eternal Father, I offer Thee Our Saviour, Jesus Christ for the
expiation of my sins and for the needs of Holy Church.'
Lord told Sister Marie St. Pierre on March 16, 1844:
if you only knew what great merit you acquire by saying
'Admirable is the Name of God,'
in the spirit of reparation for blasphemy."