Maria Pierina De Micheli was born on September 11, 1890 in Milan as Giuseppa Maria in a deeply religious family. At the age of 11 she experienced the first revelation – on Good Friday in her parish church she heard a voice: Will no one kiss me with love, to reward me for the kiss of Judas? Then the girl, not understanding much, kissed the cross with the greatest concern.
On October 15, 1913, Giuseppa joined the Congregation of Daughters of the Immaculate Conception, and on May 16, 1914, she received the habit and took the name Maria Pierina. A year later she made her religious vows. In 1919 she went to Argentina with several other Sisters. There, at the Congregational home in Buenos Aires, in 1921 she made her perpetual vows. As before, in Italy, she spent many hours meditating and adoring the Passion of the Lord, especially the Face of Jesus, which was the main source of her reflections and thoughts. In 1921 she returned to her homeland. In 1928 she became the superior of the house in Milan and then – the delegate of the Superior General for external affairs. Despite these administrative duties, she deeply lived the mystical experiences.
During the night of prayer at the beginning of Lent in 1936, she experienced the spiritual sufferings of the Lord from the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus told her then: I want that my Face, on which are reflected the deep wounds of my soul, the pain and love of my Heart, be more venerated. The one who contemplates me, comforts me. On Holy Tuesday of the same year she heard a similar call: Each time, the one who contemplates my Face, pours love into my Heart and through the help of my Face, will receive the salvation for many souls.
These voices and calls have been repeated many times.
In September 1939, Maria Pierina became the superior of the new house of the Congregation - the Institute of the Holy Spirit in Rome (on Aventine). On June 7, 1945, Sister left Rome and returned to Milan. She died on July 26 of the same year.
The beatification process of Sister Maria Pierina began in 1962. Eight years later, her mortal remains were solemnly transferred to the crypt of the Institute in Rome. She left a number of prayers and a diary from 1940-45. On May 30, 2010 in Rome Archbishop Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, raised her to the glory of the altars.
The history of the medal with the Face of Jesus
In June 1938, while Blessed Mother Pierina De Micheli was in the church for prayer, at some point she saw the altar disappearing and a white cloud appeared in its place. In a moment, it began to blur and at the steps of the altar The Gorgeous Lady appeared holding in her hand a small scapular, composed of two pieces of material, connected with each other by a cord. On one part of the scapular there was a visible image of the Face of Jesus with the signature: Illumina, Domine, Vultum tuum super nos, which means Enlighten, Lord, the light of Your Face upon us. On the second, there was the Holy Host with the inscription Mane nobiscum, Domine, that is, Stay with us, Lord.
The beautiful Lady approached Mother Pierina and talked to her about the Face of Jesus the Redeemer, hidden in the Most Holy Host for about three hours. She said many valuable things for souls that practice the devotion to the Holy Face.
During the vision, the Blessed Mother approached Mother Pierina and said: This scapular, or medal that replaces it, is a sign of love and mercy that Jesus wants to give the world in times of corruption and hatred towards the Church. ... The devil establishes networks to wrest faith from hearts. ... A Divine remedy is necessary. It is the Holy Face of Jesus. All those who will wear a scapular or a medal, and if possible, every Tuesday they will visit the Blessed Sacrament as reparation for insulting the Holy Face of my Son Jesus during His Passion and in the Sacrament of Eucharist:
- they will be strengthened in faith;
- they will have the courage to openly manifest their faith;
- they will receive help in the dangers of the soul and body;
- they will receive help in spiritual difficulties;
- in their serene death, they will be accompanied by the joyful look of my Divine Son.
The message of Mother Pierina turned out to be fascinating and valuable. However, during the its implementation there were difficulties. The Church law that was in force at the time forbade the extrusion of medals with the image of the Face of Jesus, and there was no money for the possible production of medals. Both these difficulties have been overcome in a providential way. Church authorities allowed for the production of a medal, and one morning, in Mother’s room on the table was found a sum of money needed to extrude the medals.
Thus, the Medal of the Holy Face was made with great care and presented to the Pope Pius XII. Since then, it began to spread. The Second World War continued. More and more testimonies confirmed the miraculous effectiveness of devotion to the Holy Face through the medal. Believers and non-believers, people of all ages and state, sick in body and spirit, children, adults, elderly people, soldiers, captives and prisoners, experienced special favors.