Sister Maria Pierina De Micheli

Venerable Maria Pierina De Micheli (1900 - †1945) was a Roman Catholic nun who was born near Milan Italy. She is best known for her association with the Holy Face of Jesus (one of the Catholic devotions) and for introducing a medal bearing an image from the Shroud of Turin as part of this devotion.

In April 2009 Pope Benedict XVI advanced her beatification process by formally recognizing a miracle attributed to her.[1][2]

Early years

She was born Giuseppina De Micheli and took the name Sister Maria Pierina when she took a nun’s habit in 1916. Sister Maria Pierina did not initiate the Holy Face of Jesus devotion, for it had already been started almost 100 years earlier by a French nun also named after Saint Mary, Sister Marie of St Peter from Tours France. Both nuns claimed visions of Jesus and Mary as part of their motivation for following the devotion.

She had been aware of the Holy Face of Jesus devotion since an early age. From 1919 to 1921 she was sent to Argentina where her attachment to the Holy Face devotion grew stronger. After her return to Milan she was eventually elected as the mother superior of her house and began to spread the devotion.


On the first Friday in Lent 1936 she reported a vision of Christ in which Jesus appeared to her and said: “I will that My Face, which reflects the intimate pains of My Spirit, the suffering and the love of My Heart, be more honored. He who meditates upon Me, consoles Me”. Further reported visions of Jesus and Mary urged Sister Maria Pierina to make a medal with the Holy Face of Jesus.

Further reported visions of Jesus and Mary urged Sister Maria Pierina to make a medal with the Holy Face of Jesus. After some effort, she managed to obtain permission to reproduce the photograph of the Shroud of Turin and authorization from the Curia (Roman Catholic Church) in Milan to proceed with the medal in 1940. This became known as the Holy Face Medal.

On one side the medal bears a replica of the Holy Shroud of Turin and an inscription based on Psalm 66:2: "Illumina, Domine, vultum tuum super nos", i.e. "May, O Lord, the light of Thy countenance shine upon us". On the other side of the medal, there is an image of a radiant Sacred Host, the monogram of the Holy Name ("IHS"), and the inscription "Mane nobiscum, Domine" i.e. "Stay with us, O Lord".

Approval of the Holy Face medal

The first medal of the Holy Face was offered to Pope Pius XII who approved the devotion and the medal. She had also reported that Jesus wanted a special Feast on the day before Ash Wednesday in honor of His Holy Face, to be preceded by a Novena (9 days) of prayers. In 1958, Pope Pius XII declared the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus as Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) for all Roman Catholics.

Final years

In 1941 she wrote in her diary: "I feel a deep longing to live always united to Jesus, to love Him intensely because my death can only be a transport of love with my Spouse, Jesus." Sister Maria Pierina died in 1945 in Milan.

See also


  • The book Mother Maria Pierina by Maria Rigamonti: [3]
  • The Letters of Mother Pierina: [4]
  • Dorothy Scallan, Emeric B Scallan, 1994 The Life & Revelations of Sr. Mary of St. Peter ISBN 0895553899


External links

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