On the first Friday of Lent 1936, Mother Maria Pierina de Michelli (beatified 30th May 2010) reported a vision of Jesus.
In further visions she was urged to make a medal bearing the Holy Face of Jesus. She was given permission to reproduce the face of the Holy Shroud of Turin and authorisation by the Curia to proceed in 1940 with the medal.
One side has the image of the Holy Shroud of Turin and the words of Ps 66:2 "illumina Domine Vultum Tuum super nos" (may the light of your Face, O Lord, shine upon us).
On the other side the sacred host. The letters IHS and “Mane nobiscum Domine” (stay with us O Lord) Pope Pius XII approved the devotion and medal in 1958. She also reported Jesus’ desire of a special feast day on the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday each year (Shrove Tuesday), to be preceded by a 9 day novena of prayer.
The medal became famous for the miracles and spiritual favours associated with its use. In Our Blessed Mother’s own word, the medal is “a weapon for defense, a shield for courage, a token of love & mercy in these troubled days of lust, evil, loss of faith and hatred for God and for His Church.
Whoever wears this scapular (medal) and, if possible, pays a weekly visit to the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesdays in a spirit of reparation to the Holy Face will be granted the gift of a strong Faith and the grace to fly to its defence conquering if need be all interior and exterior difficulties. Moreover, they will meet their death peacefully, under the loving gaze of my divine son.” (from Biography of Blessed Pierina p33).
In 1958, Pope Pius XII declared the feast of the Holy Face of Jesus for all Roman Catholics to be the day before Ash Wednesday (Shrove Tuesday).