Book of Hours

Prayer Salve sancta facies

Texts and Images

Particularly popular in 15th-century Flemish Books of Hours, the prayer Salve sancta facies nostri redemptoris (‘Hail, O holy face of our redeemer’) promises admission to heaven at the end of time. It was believed to be most effective in reducing one’s ordeal in Purgatory by thousands of years if recited while looking at an image of Christ’s face. The full-page frontispiece of Christ’s image on the left (fol. 13v) faces the beginning of the text surrounded by a full border of peacock feathers on the right (fol. 14r). This, the first double opening, provides a grand entrance into the volume.