Canticle to the Holy Face

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by St. Therese of Lisieux

Jesus! Thy dear and Holy Face Is the bright star that guides my way;

Thy gentle glance, so full of grace, Is my true heaven on earth, today.

My love finds out the holy charm Of Thy dear eyes with tear-drops wet;

Through mine own tears I smile at Thee, And in Thy griefs my pains forget.

Oh! I would gladly live unknown, Thus to console Thy aching heart.

Thy veiled beauty, it is shown To those who live from earth apart.

Fain would I fly to Thee alone!

Thy Face it is my fatherland; It is the sunshine of my days;

My realm of love, my sunlit land, Where through the hours I sing Thy praise;

It is the lily of the vale, Whose mystic perfume, freely given,

Brings comfort, when I faint and fail, And makes me taste the peace of heaven.

Thy face, in its unearthly grace, Is like the divinest myrrh to me,

That on my heart I gladly place; It is my lyre of melody;

My rest—my comfort—is Thy Face. My only wealth, Lord is thy Face;

Naught ask I more than this from Thee; Hidden in the secret of Thy Face,

The more I shall resemble Thee!

Leave on me the divine impress Of Thy sweet, patient Face of love,

And soon I shall become a saint, And draw men’s hearts to Thee above.

So, in the secret of Thy Face, Oh! Hide me, hide me, Jesus blest!

There let me find its hidden grace, Its holy fires, and, in heaven’s rest,

Its rapturous kiss, in Thy embrace!