ORIGIN OF THE DEVOTION
Monsieur Dupont received two of these veils from the Prioress of the Carmelites of Tours, who had obtained them from Rome through the Prioress of the Benedictines of Arras. He received them on Palm Sunday and immediately had them framed. One he gave to the Work of the Nocturnal Adoration; the other he used as he tells us himself:
"I placed it in my room on the left side of the chimney-piece, above a small chest of drawers upon which I could easily set a lamp, and with it, several small holy pictures. It was Wednesday in Holy Week (1851). I had scarcely arranged things when my heart was touched by a sudden emotion which made me think: 'Can a Christian expose in his house this image of the divine Face of the Saviour of men without offering it some exterior mark of respect, adoration, and love? Surely not.’ I then thought of burning a lamp before the Holy Face. At the time I intended to do so only for the remainder of Holy Week. I lit the lamp at once.
"I had exposed the picture of the Holy Face in my business office. It occurred to me that my visitors would wonder why I was burning a lamp in the daytime. I thought of how I might answer their likely questions, and soon hit on what I considered a satisfactory reply. I decided to answer anyone who asked me why the lamp was burning: 'I am burning it to teach those who enter this room that when their business with me is ended, they must either speak of God or withdraw . I then decided to write the following words on a card, which I put on my desk so that I could refer to it as occasion might require: 'Everyone is free to do as he pleases in his own house. In my house, visitors must either leave after finishing their business with me, or speak of the things of God .
"That day and the next passed, and no one made the inquiry I had anticipated. Some of my visitors did not appear to notice the burning lamp; others evidently understood and considered it as a pious idea. On Good Friday, a traveling agent forced his way into my apartment, to solicit an order for Bordeaux wine. When he questioned me about the lamp, I made the prepared answer, and he was so surprised that I had to repeat it a second time. This gave me an opening to speak to him of religion. He remained listening to me for over an hour, and, though he had entered my room careless as to religion, he left me almost converted, taking with him some of the water from La Salette. I do not know what became of him.
"On the following day, Holy Saturday, Our Lord began to make known His intentions. I received a visit from a very pious person, Miss X—, with whom I was acquainted, and who was suffering from her eyes. On entering my room, she complained of the sharp pain in them, increased by the dust and a piercing wind. She wished to see me on business. As I was at the moment engaged in writing, I asked her to pray before the Holy Face till I had finished. She profited by the opportunity to ask Our Lord for her cure. Soon I joined her, kneeling by her side, and we said some prayers together. On rising I said to her: 'Put some oil from the lamp upon your eyes.’ She dipped her finger into the oil and rubbed it on her eyes. As she turned to take a chair, she exclaimed in amazement: 'My eyes no longer pain me!’ When she left, she took with her a little of the oil, because she was returning to Richelieu, her home.”