Sister Pierina was a holy nun who died in the odour of Sanctity in 1945, in her many visions she was urged by the Blessed Mother and Jesus Himself to spread devotion to the Holy Face, in reparation for the many insults Jesus suffered in His Passion, such as to be slapped, spit upon and kissed by Judas, as well as now being dishonored in many ways in the Blessed Sacrament by neglect, sacrileges and profanations.
She was given a medal which on one side bore a replica of the Holy Shroud and the inscription: "Illumina, Domine, vultum tuum super nos". (Ps. 66-1 "May, O Lord, the light of Thy countenance shine upon us".
On the reverse side was a radiant host with the words: "Mane nobiscum, Domine". - "Stay with us, O Lord".
After great difficulties, Sister Pierina obtained permission to have the medal cast. Even the expenses for the casting were miraculously met when she found on her desk an envelope with the exact amount of the bill - 11,200 lire.
The evil spirit showed his chagrin and rage at the medals by flinging them down and burning the pictures of the Sacred Face, and beating Sister Pierina savagely.
In 1940, when the Second World War had the world in a turmoil, Italy saw a wide distribution of this medal. Relatives, and friends saw that their soldiers, sailors, and aviators were provided with the replica of the Holy Face since the medal was already famous for its miracles and countless spiritual and temporal favors.
In Our Blessed Mother's own words, "The medal is a weapon for defense, a shield for courage, a token for love & mercy and which her Divine Son wished to give the world in these troubled days of lust and hatred for God and for His Church. Devilish snares have been set to rob the hearts of men of their faith while evil spreads the world over. Genuine apostles are few. A divine remedy to all these evils will be the adorable Face of her Son, Jesus".
Whoever wears this medal and, if possible pays a weekly visit to the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesday in a spirit of reparation for the outrages received by the Holy Face of Our Blessed Savior during His Passion and those bestowed on Him everyday in The Sacrament of His divine love, will be granted the gift of a strong Faith and the grace to fly to its defense conquering if need be all interior and exterior difficulties. Furthermore, they will have a happy death under the loving gaze of my divine Son.”
The very first medal of the Holy Face was offered to our glorious Pontiff, Pope Pius XII; then the whole wide world got acquainted with this special object of favors and devotion. It is to be found on land and sea. Never has it been heard that a prisoner of war wearing this badge of salvation has been executed.
Our Blessed Lord also requested that a special feast be instituted to honor His Holy Face on Shrove Tuesday.