The Radiance of Her Face

A Triptych in Honor of Mary Immaculate

Dom Xavier Perrin

Foreword by Dom Benedict Hardy

“The longing to gaze upon the Immaculate Virgin,” writes Dom Xavier Perrin, “is not a matter of superficial devotion … but rather a genuine requirement of Christian contemplation.” In this book, he shows us the necessity of Mary in the life of every Christian.

Alive to the role of material beauty in strengthening our perception of the invisible, Dom Perrin uses the visual language of the “Triptych” to assist us in our understanding of Mary’s role in the divine plan. Those who already rejoice in fervent devotion to Mary will find their love for her here nourished, stirred, refreshed, confirmed, given new impetus. For those who have lacked the confidence to turn to Mary, who feel they do not really understand how we can pray to her, or relate to her, these pages may prove truly liberating, inviting entry into a prayer life that is deeper, more confident, and more effective.

A contemplative gaze at Mary Immaculate has the power to change us, to convert us, to soften our hard hearts, to open us up to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Here then is a book to be savored, to be read slowly and repeatedly, to be passed on to others. May it be a blessing for all who encounter it.

Praise for The Radiance of Her Face

“The drama of redemption’s great reversal was to use an innocent young girl to overthrow the dark pride and eternal ambition of Satan. The drama began with God’s grace-filled intervention at Mary’s conception. Dom Xavier Perrin combines a Benedictine love of beauty, the innocence of French spirituality, and profound theological insights to lead the reader into a deep experience of the immaculate beauty of Mary in God’s eternal plan.”

— FR. DWIGHT JOSEPH LONGENECKER, author of Our Lady?—A Catholic Evangelical Debate

The Radiance of Her Face invites the reader to turn the eye of the heart to Mary Immaculate, to the one who is ‘youth itself’ and ‘radiant with the gifts of God,’ offering renewal of life, a spiritual rebirth. Abbot Xavier’s meditation is firmly rooted in Scripture, the tradition and teaching of the Church, and the testimony of the saints: those who knew Mary through direct encounter and those who knew her through their devotion. It is a summons to allow divine love to take possession of the heart.”

— LUKE BELL, O.S.B., author of The Meaning of Blue

“What a delight to read this work by Dom Xavier Perrin. The concrete focus on the mystery of the Immaculate Conception, the serene acceptance of the Church’s integral tradition, the lucid and direct insight into spiritual realities—all of these serve to give joy to the heart of readers thirsty for the richness of an unapologetic Catholicity, and even more for the spiritual beauty and inner peace that faith imparts when conveyed as it is here.”

— FR. HUGH BARBOUR, O.Praem., St. Michael’s Abbey of the Norbertine Fathers

“Catholics believe, as John Henry Newman put it, that ‘nothing is too high for her to whom God owes His human life; no exuberance of grace, no excess of glory. . . .’ We know this, and yet we long to know it more deeply, more livingly. The Radiance of Her Face is the answer to this wish. Abbot Xavier paints a fresh and vivid portrait of the Blessed Virgin’s share in God’s redeeming work, unfolds the wonderfully consistent development of Marian doctrine, and rekindles the devotion to Mary Immaculate that is our birthright in the faith.”

— CAROL ZALESKI, Professor of World Religions, Smith College

About the Author

Dom Xavier Perrin

Dom Xavier Perrin OSB was born in Tours in 1958. He studied French Literature in Rennes, and the History of Art at the Sorbonne. In 1980, he entered the Abbey Sainte Anne de Kergonan in Brittany, where he was ordained in 1989, having studied theology at Solesmes, Fribourg, and Munich. At Ste Anne he served as guestmaster, organist, novice master, and prior, and taught dogmatic theology. He has written books and articles about the history of the Solesmes Congregation, liturgy and spirituality, and has been involved in the promotion of Gregorian chant. He was appointed Prior Administrator of the Abbey of Our Lady of Quarr on the Isle of Wight in April 2013, and elected abbot in May 2016.