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Oratory of the Holy Face

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Title: Oratory of the Holy Face  
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Subject: Tours, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tours, Oratory (worship), Holy Face of Jesus, Marie of St Peter, Maria Pierina, Leo Dupont, Scapular of the Holy Face
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Oratory of the Holy Face

The Oratory of the Holy Face is a Roman Catholic prayer oratory in Tours France. It is the site where devotions to the Holy Face of Jesus started in Tours by Venerable Leo Dupont based on messages reported by Sister Marie of St. Peter. It receives many Catholic pilgrims every year.

The site (now at 8 rue Bernard Palissy, Tours) was originally the drawing room of Venerable Leo Dupont where he continuously burned a vigil lamp before an image of the Holy Face of Jesus based on a painting of the Veil of Veronica.[1] Dupont also used to invite people to pray in front of the image of the Holy Face of Jesus at the oratory. Dupont was inspired to pray to the Holy Face of Jesus based on the messages of the Carmelite nun Sister Marie of St. Peter.

When Leo Dupont died in 1876, his house on Rue St. Etienne in Tours was purchased by the Archdiocese of Tours and turned into a prayer oratory. Archbishop Charles-Théodore Colet of Tours then approved of an order of priests called the Priests of the Holy Face to administer the chapel. The order was canonically erected in 1876 and Father Peter Javier, a friend of Dupont, was appointed as its director.[2]

The oratory, and Dupont's prayers have been associated with a large number of reported cures. The Dublin Review of 1885 reported that Mgr. Paul Guerin testified to having himself seen over 6000 certificates of cures wrought by virtue of the miraculous oil from the lamp in the oratory.[3]

Pope Leo XIII who approved of the Holy Face devotions in 1885 also expressed a desire to establish a similar oratory in Rome.[4]

A number of well known Catholics have prayed at the oratory, e.g. Blessed Louis and Blessed Zelie Martin, the parents of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.[5] Saint Therese was introduced to the devotion by her blood sister Celine and was later called Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. The poems and prayers she wrote helped to spread the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus.

See also



  • Dorothy Scallan. "The Holy Man of Tours." (1990) ISBN 0-89555-390-2
  • Joan Carroll Cruz, "Saintly Men of Modern Times." (2003) ISBN 1-931709-77-7
  • Pierre Desire Janvier, "The Life Of Leon Papin-Dupont: The Holy Man Of Tours" Kessinger Publishing (2008) ISBN 1-4365-4333-9

External links

  • Tourism info on the oratory [3]
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