The purpose of the Crown or Chaplet of the Holy Face is to honor the Five Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and to ask of God the triumph of His holy Church.
This chaplet is composed of a cross and thirty-nine beads; of these six are large beads and thirty-three small ones; to this chaplet is attached a medal of the Holy Face.
On the Cross, which reminds us of the mystery of our redemption, we begin the chaplet by saying the words: Incline unto my aid, O God; O Lord make haste to help me. Glory be.
The thirty-three small beads represent the thirty-three years of the mortal life of our Divine Lord. The first thirty beads recall to us the thirty years of His hidden life, and are divided into five parts of six beads each, in honor of the senses of touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste of Jesus, and, as they were situated principally in His holy Face, to render reparative homage for all the sufferings which our Lord has endured in His Face through each of these senses.
Each six beads are preceded by a large bead, followed by a Glory be to recall the sense we wish to honor. The three other beads mark the three years of the public life of our Lord, and have for their intention to honor all the wounds of His adorable Face; these are also preceded by a large bead, to be followed by a Glory be for the same intention. On each large bead is said: My Jesus Mercy. On the small beads is said: Arise, O Lord! and let Thy enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Thee fly before Thy Face.
The Glory be is recited seven times in honor of the seven last words of Jesus upon the cross, and the Seven Dolors of the Immaculate Virgin. The chaplet is concluded by saying on the medal: God, our Protector, look down upon us and cast Thine eyes upon the Face of Thy Christ.
This chaplet was composed by Sister Saint-Pierre, a Carmelite of Tours. Saint Athanasius relates that the devils, on being asked what verse in the whole Scripture they feared the most, replied: “That with which the sixty-seventh Psalm commences: Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered; let them that hate Him flee from before His Face.” They added that this always compelled them to take flight.