The Miracle of 1849 and Holy Face Blessings
Thank you for listening to WQPH 89.3 FM Shirley-Fitchburg, Queen of Perpetual Help and welcome to another edition of WQPHs Local Matters. On this week’s broadcast, we have a special interview from our very own Mary Anne Harold. She is interviewing Vicki Schreiner who is from Oklahoma City, and she has some fascinating stories about the miracle of 1849 and Holy Face blessings. Tune in.
MAH: Well, hello everyone . You’ve tuned in to another wonderful program of Local Matters on WQPH Radio. Our wonderful guest tonight is Vicki Schreiner from Oklahoma City, and she has been involved with the movement of the Holy Face and possesses in her custody a holy relic. So, Vicky, hello. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get involved with this apostolate?
VS: Well, I had never heard of it. I was raised a Catholic in a wonderful Catholic family. I had four sisters and a mom and dad. Grew up in Chicago. We were a very strong Catholic family, and my grandparents were strong Catholics, and I had never even heard of the Holy Face devotion and neither had my parents.
MAH: So, how did you come to find out about it?
VS: Well, five years ago, my aunt had to be put in a nursing home, and when we put her in the nursing home, my sister remembered, “where is that Jesus picture”, and Catherine always called it ‘that Jesus picture’. It was in an old ratty box, so it was falling apart. It was in terrible shape. We opened the box and took it out. The frame was all broken on the back. The image itself wasn’t even in the frame any longer, and we didn’t know what it was. We had never known. We knew my grandmother kept it around forever and that she got it from her mother and father, but nobody knew what it was. We knew it was important because it had a red wax seal on the front.
MAH: Oh my goodness!
VS: But we had no clue what it was.
MAH: How did you find out?
VS: After putting her in a home, I started doing extensive research on it because I knew it had to be something. And after doing the research, when I found out what it was, I just dropped down to my knees and cried.
MAH: So, tell us. You have us all at attention. What was it Vicky?
VS: It is one of the Holy Face images from the original images that came about from the miracle of 1849 in St. Peter’s Basilica. At that time, the Pope had fled Rome because of a revolution that was threatening Catholic France and threatening Rome itself. And when he had he ordered Veronica’s Veil to be put on exposition for three days so that people could venerate and pray to save Rome, and on the third day the image on the veil began to glow and became lifelike, and the eyes were deep sunken and wore an expression of really great pain. And this stayed that way. The glow and the image stayed that way for three hours, and they rang the bells of the basilica so hundreds of people came to see what was happening.
And so, they had a notary come in and notarize it and do all of that so that they could get it on record. But that same evening, the Pope had an artist come in and do engravings of what that image looked like, and they only did a certain amount of them, and each of these engravings were touched to the three instruments of Our Lord’s passion. They were touched to Veronica’s Veil, touched to the true wood of the cross, and touched to the spear that pierced Christ’s side. So, if you think about it, each of these instruments of Our Lord’s passion was soaked in His blood. But before these images were sent out into the world for veneration, they touched them to those, and the Certificates of Authenticity state that actual fact. And our family somehow was blessed with one of these images. This tradition continued every year oh till around 1910, where on the anniversary of this miracle, a certain number of images were made. Each one was touched to those three instruments of Our Lord’s passion and then sent out into the world. Now our family’s relic is actually from Pope St. Pius the 10th, the year 1905.
MAH: Wow! It’s so beautiful.
VS: It has the red wax seal on the front. It has the seal on the certificate of authenticity that verifies and actually states that it was touched to those three instruments for Our Lord’s passion but something that is so exciting about that that brings me to tears every time I think about it is, I always have people asking me what class of relic is this. And I spoke with a priest on one of the tours that I did up in Chicago with the relic. I spoke to a priest up there that specializes in holy relics and he told me that because these images were touched to the instruments of Our Lord’s passion that were drenched in His blood, these holy images are actually in a relic class of their own. They are considered living images of Jesus Christ and are to be venerated and treated as such because you know, you think about it, they actually touched Our Lord’s blood. And when you’re in front of these images, like I’m in front of mine right now, you can actually feel Our Lord here with me.
MAH: It’s so beautiful. You’re so blessed
VS: Truly, truly. And after discovering what it was that we had, I called a family meeting and had all my sisters come over and my sister that lives in Pennsylvania, we had her on zoom so that she could be part of the meeting. And at that time, mom and dad were still alive, and I told them what it was we had. And of course everybody was shocked and couldn’t believe it, but I asked them at that time if everyone was okay with me being guardian of the relic so that I could travel and teach the Holy Face devotion and share our family’s relic because just from all my research, I knew in my heart that I was supposed to share it–share it with others. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past five years.
MAH: That’s so beautiful. So beautiful. So, now let’s fast forward to the development of the Holy Face devotion in different ways. I know there’s the Holy Face Association in Montreal with Gordon Deery. We have here in the Massachusetts area, we have a great group of men that told me about you. If they didn’t tell me. So Mike Ferrigno was here, and Art Pina came, and they started talking about you. I said, “what I never heard of this this holy relic. We have to get you on the air Vicky so you can make this relevant for people listening”. How are you transmitting this charism to other people. Is it through the Chaplet of the Holy Face? Tell us what you do to share it with other people on a tangible…
VS: Well, usually under normal conditions, I traveled throughout the US to churches to teach the Holy Face devotion and share this devotion with people, so that they can venerate this relic because I hear from people all the time that have been to one of the presentations or have a Holy Face image now through me, a copy of this image, that what a difference it has made in their life and how it has touched their family or how it has healed someone or how their life has changed because of it. Because so many miracles are attributed to these Holy Face images and we’ve been blessed with so many miracles in our own family even before we knew we had the image. We’ve had so many healing miracles in our family. I actually had a miracle happen to myself.
MAH: Share that. Say that what happened.
VS: This was nine years ago. My husband and I were sitting in Applebee’s eating lunch and a Ford Explorer came through the wall and hit me, and I mean I thought the building exploded because that is the sound that stays in my head. When I close my eyes, I can still hear that sound. But the wall exploded, and I was airborne and when I was in the air, someone was wrapped around me holding me from the back. And I mean I I still feel them today. I mean like it happened yesterday. They were wrapped around me from the back, and they sat me down, on the other way, was probably about 12 feet or so over, they just sat me down on the floor. And when the paramedics came, the first responders, they thought I had just fallen off the chair over there. There was a chair right next to me, and I told them, I mean I was covered in glass, and I told them, “no I wasn’t sitting on that chair”. And he said, “well, where were you sitting”? I said, “see the front of that truck” and he’s like, “oh my Lord ” and he started getting busy. But I did not. When I got to the emergency room, they took me by ambulance and emergency and when I got there, I had not one cut. Not one scratch. They did MRIs because with what happened, the doctor was sure I’d have the internal injuries, but there was nothing. And the doctor came in shaking her head. She said, “I don’t understand it”. She said, “you shouldn’t be here after getting hit like that. I’ve never seen anybody walk away from something like that. Especially they should at least, at the minimum, have all kinds of internal injuries”. But I told her that somebody was holding me when I was airborne.
MAH: Who do you think that person or being was? Who was it? Do you ever think about who was holding you?
VS: Well I do think about that because after research, I never thought about it at the time, other than thinking that maybe it was St. Therese to because she was my patron saint, so I always thank her and my guardian angel, because somebody was there. Somebody was was holding me.
MAH: And you had work to do.
VS: And after doing the research for the Holy Face, I discovered that St. Therese, that this was her devotion. That she took it as part of her name even when she became a nun. That’s why she is St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face. And when I found that out, then it made me in my heart feel stronger that it was her holding me that day.
MAH: Very beautiful. So, here you have this mission, and you have a miraculous saving of yourself from what should have been your death, and you have uncovered your grandmother’s treasure, and you’re trying to share it. I’m just trying to make everyone understand what an incredible journey you’ve been on, and now you’re continuing it by making available those images that were attached to those relics of Jesus that are in their own first class that have nothing to compare with, correct?
VS: Right correct. Yeah, every image that goes out my door and every chaplet and every medal gets touched to the Holy Face relic first before it gets packaged.
MAH: Does that make what you send out a relic? A second or third class relic?
VS: It doesn’t make it a relic with a class attached to it, but it does make it holy.
MAH: Holy, yes. That’s a good way of putting a holy relic. So, you have eight by ten pictures that you’ve made copies of, is that correct?
VS: Yeah what I did when I when I took it to the framer before putting it back into the frame, I took a high-resolution scan of it so that I could get a crisp image of it that I could use for reproduction. And the framer even said he was totally shocked because it was so nice that while the image is out of the frame, you turn it over and you could see all the linen fibers. These edges were made on holy linen and you could see all the fibers on the back and he was shocked. He said, “this has to be a miracle that this is”. He said, “this is in pristine condition”. He said, “this is over a hundred years old. There is no way that fabric should last without disintegrating over all these years especially when it’s been sitting out of the frame for who knows how long.” So, that that was pretty amazing, but every eight by ten, every five by seven, every medal, every chaplet, all get touched to the Holy Face relic before they go out the door.
MAH: Well, we we certainly have an order for you. I think everybody listening might want to have this as part of their spiritual bounty that they treasure. Maybe when they have a little shrine in their own house with their special devotions. And then you you’ve been promoting devotion to the Holy Face, the Chaplet of the Holy Face. Tell us about that.
VA: Yes, but now the Holy Face Chaplet also comes from Sister Mary of St. Peter. Jesus revealed to her the Chaplet. She wrote the words for it but he revealed to her that he wanted this Chaplet to go with this devotion. It’s a beautiful chaplet. It has the prayer about the five senses of Jesus and what he suffered through those five senses on the day of His passion. And that’s what the chaplet is all about. Honoring Our Lord’s five senses. And the chaplet is to keep evil away, to keep the devil away. And it is used for the reparation of sin, for all the sins that offend God the most. And in this beautiful little chaplet, it only takes about 10 minutes to say it. It’s just a really nice little chaplet.
MAH: It does a lot of spiritual damage, too, to certain forces. Very good for this time if you have fear of lockdown or whatever is going on in our country. We pray God helps us, and I think doing reparation to God’s Holy Face is part of this wealth that everybody listening, I pray you are called to honor this Holy Face of Jesus which was on the shroud of Veronica, right?
VS: Yes absolutely, and the unique thing is people ask me all the time about, well is this the true Holy Face because the Shroud of Turin is the true Holy Face, and I tell them they are both the true Holy Face of Our Lord Jesus. Think how blessed we were on the day of His passion that He left his image for us twice. Once when He was still alive on Veronica’s Veil and again, after He died on the Shroud. I mean we are so blessed, and they say if you match up the image he left on Veronica’s Veil and the image on the Shroud, that they match exactly.
MAH: So your image is from the Shroud. Correct?
VS: No, from Veronica’s veil.
MAH: Okay, that’s what I thought. Okay, so let’s get that clarified. So, that’s huge. It can’t get any better than that.
VS: Oh, absolutely absolutely.
MAH: So, I’m thinking, if I were listening to this, would I have any questions to ask you. What is the question you usually get asked, Vicky, when you were doing your presentations and showing your holy relic? What kind of questions did you get asked? Do you remember?
VS: Oh so many questions, so many questions. A lot about the class of the relic, because people–I always allow veneration time after so that people can come up and touch their rosaries to it or their wedding rings or whatever, and people just for them they want whatever they’ve touched to it to be special and to be put into a relic class. So, therefore I explain to them that this is beyond a relic class, you know, because of what it touched. And that moves them just to tears, you know? I mean, it is so hard for me to get through a presentation because seeing faces, seeing so many faces crying, and I’m an emotional person, and then I cry, and it’s a very moving lovely presentation. It’s just wonderful but the history of it is what is so special to everybody, I think, because most of us Catholics have never heard about the miracle of 1849.
MAH: I never heard of it.
VS: Right. We had no clue. We had no clue about the Holy Face devotion, about the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face. I mean that’s what St. Therese and her family belong to the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face. The original one from 1885, and I had never heard of that growing up. And now I’m a member of it, and anyone can become a member of the Archconfratrernity of the Holy Face, the same original one in Tours, France that St. Therese belonged to. And I do have the email for that on my website .
MAH: Okay, what is your website Vicky?
VS: My website is holyfaceadoration.com; that is my actual holy face website .
MAH: holyfaceadoration.com. So, if they go on that…
VS: If they go on there, they will see all kinds of really interesting things. I have a timeline page on there that tells you about the sequence of events. How all these things happened all the way through from Sister Mary through to the Archconfraternity that was developed in 1885 and at the bottom of that section is the email of how to join the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face. And when you join, you will get a Holy Face crucifix from the Oratory of the Holy Face where Leo Dupont is actually buried there. Many people I’ve come across through the presentations have said that they’ve gone there to Tours, France and have seen the image that hung in Leo Dupont’s house that all these miracles took place from and have seen his grave and such, but it’s so moving to know that that Archconfraternity still exists and still is strong and and especially over these last few years has gotten much stronger.
MAH: Well, this is something we really need to all discern and it would be a great Divine Mercy movement for us to all belong to that Archconfraternity, and I think also we would have the special protection of the Little Flower.
VS: Oh, absolutely! Yes, yes, I just feel her with me every day helping me with this .
MAH: So, on your website you also show people how to get the chaplet beads that you have and touch. Talk about this chaplet beads.
VS: The website has all the different prayers that you can have. It has information about our family’s holy relic and information about our family because as far back as we can trace. our holy relic comes from my great grandparents who immigrated to Chicago from Trier, Germany back in 1908. Unfortunately, that’s as far as we can trace it. We don’t know how they got it. I would love to know. I would love to do one of those jump back in time kind of things and find out. But there’s also a link on there to get to. Because of Covid, I opened an Etsy shop that has a Holy Face tab where all this Holy Face items are available to the public. They are minimal prices for the different items and that is, every transaction is considered a donation because I make no profit on any Holy Face items, I have never wanted to, and I never will. The money that comes in from the Holy Face items goes directly back into supplies for shipping, printing packaging supplies, materials to make the chaplets, because they’re very nice chaplets with glass beads and Holy Face centerpieces, so they’re very nice chaplets.
MAH: And also the holy card that comes in it, too. I think I have one of yours here. The Chaplet of the Holy Face. How to say it. Right?
VS: Yes, every item that goes out the door, whether it be an image or a chaplet or a medal, I always include the pamphlets of the prayers so that you know how to say the prayers , when to say them and what you’re supposed to do. So each one gets a Holy Face pamphlet, a St. Therese pamphlet, so you can learn about what this meant to her and each one gets another informational card about the chaplet. So I try to cover all of your needs concerning the Holy Face so that you have the materials that you need.
MAH: Very good. Well, we’re coming to the close of our program now. I feel like I could talk to you for hours. Just a wealth of information and and beauty of promoting this Holy Face. Once again, let’s give your web address, and we will also invite you to come back and do another program down the road, and if you’re ever able to go back out, we would love to have you come to Boston.
VS: I would love to do that.
MAH: Yes, so let’s plan on that if it’s God’s will. I’d love to meet you and I know everybody would.
MAH: Alrighty, let’s say a closing prayer.
VS: And that’s where you can get all the different Holy Face materials .
MAH: Okay and I’m going to say for our closing prayer what’s on the Holy Face medal. O God, our protector, look upon us and look upon the face of thy Christ. Amen. Arise O Lord and let thy enemies be scattered and let them that hate thee flee before thy face.
VS: Flee from before thy face.
MAH: Isn’t that beautiful?
VS: It is. And that is the prayer of the chaplet, too. When you get the instructions that’s what is said on each decade over and over. It’s beautiful.
MAH: Well, thank you for joining us tonight, Vicky. I look forward to meeting you.
VS: Thank you so much for having me.
MAH: God bless you. Beautiful work.
VS: Thank you so much
Thank you for listening to another edition of WQPH’s Local Matters. We hope you enjoyed the broadcast and hope you have a blessed week.