Monday, 29 August 2016
"December 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin: On this occasion the Very Reverend Father Founder inaugurated in the chapel of the Crypt the devotion to the Holy Face of Our Lord, a devotion introduced and spread by Monsieur Dupont of Tours, whose extraordinary piety is known to all. This ceremony took place immediately after the religious profession of two ecclesiastical novices, Messrs. Martin and Dutour. Monsieur Dupont was present and he himself recited the Litanies of the Holy Face and the prayers following them, at the foot of the altar of the Crypt. All the boarding school pupils, the Community, and a number of outsiders assisted at the ceremony, and everybody was greatly edified at the sentiments of strong faith manifested by Monsieur Dupont on this occasion. Prayers were offered also for the intention of a young student whose eyes were seriously troubling him.” When Father Moreau left the Mother House in Le Mans, to make the Visitation of the American Houses of the Congregation, he sent to all the Houses pictures of the Holy Face, requesting that lights be kept burning before them and that special prayers be said daily to honor the Face of the Saviour. This request was happily answered, and the Holy Face still has its shrine and its light shining day and night in the Houses of Holy Cross. What it meant to the loving heart of the Father Founder is caught within a few lines of the Circular Letter he wrote home to Our Lady of Holy Cross from New York City on August ii, 1857:
"I seem to see you all reunited about me in our beautiful sanctuary— may it be soon!—all on our knees adoring. Again we shall be together in that underground chapel before the adorable Face with which I love to believe you often converse and before which you must keep the little lamp burning until my return, as a pledge of all our hopes and prayers for Our Lady of Holy Cross.”
Saturday, 27 August 2016
This adorable Face is as the seal of the Divinity, which has the power of reproducing in souls which apply to it, the image of God.”
Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre thought devotion to the Holy Face should be linked to the work of reparation for blasphemy and also for profanation of the Sabbath, which work God had inspired her to originate in August, 1843, and in promoting which she had been aided by Monsieur Dupont. On August 2 6 she told her prioress after Mass: "Our Lord has just commanded me to say, and induce others to say as often as possible, the following invocation respecting the great crime of blasphemy: 'May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible, most ineffable name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored, and glorified in Heaven, on earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.’ ”
This communication was made to her on the day after a widespread forty days’ devotion to St. Louis, which closed with the aspiration, "May Thy name, O Lord, be always and everywhere known and blessed.” Monsieur Dupont was chosen by the superiors of Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre, with the approval of the archbishop, to propagate this new devotion, and he soon became, as he said, the "peddler” of the pamphlet of St. Louis explaining the project. He also composed a Little Office of the Holy Name of God. Being thus associated with the Carmelite nun, he took a deep interest in her revelations concerning the Holy Face, the details of which he learned from her personally and from her superiors. Pope Pius IX gave his approbation to the Archconfraternity for the Reparation of Blasphemy on July 27, 1847, and, to show his interest, placed his name first on the roll of the association.
Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre died on July 8, 1848, and Monsieur Dupont felt himself chosen as her executor in the great work. He saw to the material care of her tomb and, seven years later, had her remains exhumed and restored to the monastery, obtaining the sanction of the authorities to deposit them within the chapter-hall of the enclosure.
Once while journeying to La Salette he met the Cure of Ars. Their meeting was remarkable. The crowds about the Saint made it impossible for Monsieur Dupont to reach him. But the Cure, who had never seen him, stopped in his progress down the path, went to the holy man of Tours, joined his hands, and cried: "O my dear friend, how sweet it will be for us to find ourselves in Heaven singing the praises of our God!” Monsieur Dupont said of this: C T needed nothing more. I withdrew content, preserving in my heart the words of the holy Cure.”
When Monsieur Dupont had gone to begin this heavenly task, his home was taken over by the Archbishop of Tours. The oratory was enlarged and converted into a public chapel and solemnly dedicated to the Holy Face on June 29, 1874, by the archbishop, who established there the Confraternity for the Reparation of Blasphemy and Devotion to the Holy Face, canonically affiliated to the Archconfraternity of Reparation of St. Dizier, erected in 1847, because of the revelations made to the Carmelite and the work of Monsieur Dupont. The chapel of the Holy Face at Tours is served by a society of priests living in community who carry on the work of Nocturnal Adoration established by the holy man at Tours in 1849, and propagate the use of St. Benedict’s medal after his example.
Monsieur Dupont is linked to the early history of the Holy Cross Congregation through his friendship with the founder, Father Basil Moreau. His combination of intense piety and practicality in business matters will be made clear by his aid rendered on two occasions to the missionary efforts of the young Congregation. When the first missionaries chosen for the American mission in Vincennes, Indiana, left the Mother House in Le Mans on August 5, 1841, Providence for their consolation gave them the favor of being escorted to Havre by the holy man of Tours. He put at Father Moreau’s disposition all the influence of his relations with the shipowners and merchants of Havre, took care of a difficulty about the passports and other conditions of travel and himself installed the colony in their quarters in the steerage. This kindness was repeated when the second colony embarked, for the holy man was apostolic in vision and America was then a missionary country. Father Moreau went with them to Havre and put their affairs into the hands of his trusted friend, who procured them lodgings while he took care of their sailing. He and Father Moreau got lumber and made two rooms of their section in the steerage, the one for the priests and Brothers, the other for the Sisters.
Monsieur Dupont had a share in the inauguration of the devotion to the Holy Face in the Congregation of the Holy Cross. In the original archives of Notre Dame de Sainte-Croix we read: "May 13, 1857: His Reverence (Father Moreau) informed us that he had obtained from the Holy See, thanks to the name of Our Lady of Holy Cross, a relic which is one of the most venerated and precious in existence. It is called the 'Holy Tear’ because, according to documents whose authenticity seems well established, it contains a little of the sweat that flowed from the adorable Face of Our Lord and that was gathered on the veil of St. Veronica, a relic on which are impressed the features of the divine Master. This relic will be placed in the altar of the Crypt, and once a year will be exposed to public veneration.”