Archconfraternity of the Holy Face

The Holy Face of Jesus from the image of Veronica's veil
(The veil is kept in St. Peters Basilica, Rome.)

Brief of his Holiness Pope Leo XIII



Leo XIII Pope.

For a perpetual remembrance.

According to the usages of Roman Pontiffs, our predecessors, we are accustomed to decorate and enrich with special honors and privileges the pious associations instituted for the practice of works of piety and charity. Our beloved sons, the directors and associates of the pious Confraternity known as that of the Holy Face, canonically established in the sanctuary of the same name, in the town of Tours, and enriched by us and the holy See with numerous privileges, have expressed to us the desire, that making use of the plenitude of our apostolic power, we should honor his association with the title of Archconfraternity and with the preeminence which is it's due.

Desirous of giving to each and all of those in whose favor these letters are delivered a special mark of our benevolence, and only as regards the present case, considering them has absolved, and to be absolved from all sentences of excommunication and interdict, and from all the censures and ecclesiastical penalties which they may have incurred and which may have been inflicted on them in any manner or for any cause whatsoever, we, by our apostolical authority, in virtue of these presents, establish and constitute as a perpetual Archconfraternity, with the accustomed privileges, the so-called Confraternity of the Holy Face, established in the town of Tours. And by the same our authority, in virtue of these letters, we concede in grant in perpetuity, to the directors and colleagues present and future of the Archconfraternity, the power, validly and lawfully, to aggregate to itself, throughout the whole world, excepting in our glorious city, all the other Confraternities existing in the same name and having the same object, observing always the form prescribed by the Constitution of Pope Clement VIII, our predecessor of happy memory, and the other apostolical ordinances drawn up on the subject, as well as to communicate to all and each the Indulgences, remissions of sins and dispensations of penance, which have been granted by the holy apostolical See to the association so erected by us into an Archconfraternity, and which are susceptible of being communicated to others.

We decree that are present letters shall be, for the present and the future, fixed, valid and efficacious; that they shall obtain and possess their full and entire effects, that they shall fully favor all and for all, whom they concern and shall concern hereafter in accordance with what has been previously enumerated, and shall be judged and defined by ordinary judges and delegates, whoever they may be, even the auditors of the suits of the apostolic Palace, the Nuncios of the holy See, the Cardinals of the holy Roman Church, even legates a latere and all other personages, whatever their dignity and their power may be; entire power and authority to judge and interpret otherwise being withdrawn from them in general and in particular, so that if any one, whatever be the authority with which he is invested, attacks any of these clauses knowingly or through ignorance, his act shall be null and void.

And this notwithstanding the Constitutions and Apostolic ordinances, and, in as far as is necessary, the statutes, customs and uses contrary to the above named Confraternity and all others soever, even when they have been confirmed by apostolic oath or any other decision whatever.

Given at Rome, near St. Peter, under the ring of the fisherman, the 1st day of October 1885, being the 8th year of our Pontificate.

Place of the seal.

Cardinal Ledochowski.


We command its execution and use


Archbishop of Tours.

Place of the seal.

Source: Manual of the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face, 1887