The sufferings of our Lord, which reached their highest point in His sorrowful death upon the Cross, have always been an object of Christian devotion. When, in the twelfth century, the Holy Land became the goal of the Crusaders, devotions to the Passion flourished among the faithful and they are popular in our own day.
IN MEMORY OF THE PASSION AND DEATH
0 Jesus, who by reason of Thy burning love for us hast willed to be crucified and to shed Thy most Precious Blood for the redemption and salvation of our souls, look down upon us here gathered together in remembrance of Thy most sor- rowful Passion and Death, fully trusting in Thy mercy; cleanse us from sin by Thy grace, sanctify our toil, give unto us and unto all those who are dear to us our daily bread, sweeten our sufferings, bless our families, and to the nations so sorely af- flicted, grant Thy peace, which is the only true peace, so that by obeying Thy commandments we may come at last to the glory of heaven. Amen.
The faithful, who recite this prayer with devotion on Good Friday at three o'clock, the hour when our Lord Jesus Christ expired on the Cross, are granted: an indulgence of 500 days. (214)
PRAYER BEFORE A CRUCIFIX
Behold, 0 good and sweetest Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight, and with the most fervent desire of my soul I pray and beseech Thee to impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, true repentance for my sins, and a most firm purpose of amendment: whilst with deep affection and grief of soul I consider within myself and men- tally contemplate Thy five most precious wounds, having be- fore my eyes that which David, the prophet, long ago spoke in Thine own person concerning Thee, my Jesus: "They have pierced my hands and my feet; they have numbered all my bones."
The faithful who recite this prayer devoutly before an image of Jesus Christ Crucified, may gain: an indulgence of 10 years; a plenary indulgence if, moreover, they go to confession, receive Holy Communion and pray for the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff. (201)
FOR STRENGTH FROM THE PASSION
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who in our many troubles fail because of our weakness, may with the Passion of Thine only-begotten Son pleading for us, take heart anew.
A PRAYER OF ADORATION
We adore Thee, 0 Christ, and we bless Thee, because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. We adore Thy cross, 0 Lord, we commemorate Thy glorious Passion. Have mercy on us, 0 Lord, who didst suffer for us. 0 blessed cross, none other was worthy to carry the Lord and King of heaven.
IN HONOR OF THE SUFFERING CHRIST
0 my Jesus, by that humility which Thou didst practice in washing the feet of Thy disciples, I pray Thee to bestow upon me the grace of true humility, that I may humble myself to all, especially to such as treat me with contempt. My Jesus, by that sorrow which Thou didst suffer in the Garden, sufficient, as it was, to cause Thy death, I pray Thee to deliver me from the pains of hell, and from living for evermore at a distance from Thee, without the power of ever loving Thee again. My Jesus, by that horror which Thou hadst of my sins, which were then present to Thy sight, give me a true sorrow for all the offenses which I have committed against Thee. My Jesus, by that pain which Thou didst experience in seeing Thyself betrayed by Judas with a kiss, give me the grace to be ever faithful unto Thee, and never more to betray Thee, as I have done in times past. My Jesus, by that pain which Thou didst feel at seeing Thy- self bound like a culprit to be taken before Thy judges, I pray Thee to bind me to Thyself by the sweet chains of holy love, so that I may never more see myself separated from Thee, my only Good. My Jesus, by all those insults, bufferings, and spittings which Thou didst on that night suffer in the house of Caiphas, give me the strength to suffer in peace, for love of Thee, all the affronts which I shall meet with from men. My Jesus, by that ridicule which Thou didst receive from Herod in being treated as a fool, give me the grace to endure with patience all that men shall say of me, treating me as base, senseless, or wicked. My Jesus, by that outrage which Thou didst receive from the Jews in seeing Thyself placed after Barabbas, give me the grace to suffer with patience the dishonor of seeing myself placed after others. My Jesus, by that pain which Thou didst suffer in Thy most holy body when Thou wast so cruelly scourged, give me the grace to suffer with patience all the pains of sickness, and especially those of my death. My Jesus, by that pain which Thou didst suffer in Thy most sacred head when it was pierced with the thorns, give me the grace never to consent to thoughts displeasing unto Thee. My Jesus, by that act of Thine by which Thou didst ac- cept the death of the Cross, to which Pilate condemned Thee, give ffle the grace to accept my death with resignation, to- gether with all the pains which accompany it. My Jesus, by the pain which Thou didst suffer in carrying Thy Cross to Calvary, give me the grace to suffer with pa- tience all the crosses of this life. My Jesus, by that pain which Thou didst suffer in having the nails driven through Thy hands and feet, I pray Thee to nail my will to Thy feet, that so I may will nothing save that which Thou dost will. My Jesus, by the affliction which Thou didst suffer in hav- ing gall given Thee to drink, give me the grace not to offend Thee by intemperance in eating and drinking. My Jesus, by that pain which Thou didst experience in tak- ing leave of Thy holy mother upon the Cross, deliver me from an inordinate love of my relatives, or of any other creature, that so my heart may be wholly and always Thine. My Jesus, by that desolation which Thou didst suffer in Thy death in seeing Thyself abandoned by Thine Eternal Father, give me the grace to suffer all my desolation with patience, without ever losing confidence in Thy goodness. My Jesus, by those three hours of affliction and agony which Thou didst suffer when dying upon the Cross, give me the grace to suffer with resignation, for love of Thee, the pains of my agony at the hour of death. My Jesus, by that great pain which Thou didst feel when Thy most holy soul, on Thy expiring, separated itself from Thy most sacred body, give me the grace to breathe forth my soul in the hour of my death, offering to Thee my pains, with an act of perfect love, so that I may go to love Thee in heaven, face to face, with all my strength, and for all eternity. Most holy Virgin, and my Mother Mary, by that sword which pierced thy heart when thou didst behold thy Son bow down His Head and expire, I pray thee to assist me in the hour of my death, so that I may come to praise thee and to thank thee in Paradise for all the graces which thou hast obtained for me from God. Amen.