Our Lady of the Passion’s Feast Day is September 15th.
DEVOTION TO THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST
To enter into the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ is to contemplate the unfathomable love that the Most Holy Trinity has for mankind. We are each called individually from the moment we are conceived to come to learn of this great love that gives us our very life. This is the reason we are created, and our journey on earth is meant to unfold this mystery, that we may come to embrace it beyond death and through all of eternity. There is no greater sign of love than the sacrifice made by Our Heavenly Father to offer His Son up to brutal torture and death on a Cross to save us from eternal damnation. This love can only be paralleled by the love of Our Lord Jesus for the Father, and for all of His wayward children. He displayed this by coming down from the Paradise of Heaven to take on human flesh and suffer and die for every sin that had been or would ever be committed on earth. The Love of Jesus is very intimate as He reaches out to those who are suffering, because He offers the love and compassion that can only come from One who has experienced similar and more excruciating pains.
The infinite depth of the Love of God continues to be revealed on earth in the third Person of the Most Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. This Spirit emanates from the exchange of Love between the Father and the Son, and is the gift which is sent to us by Them to wash us clean from our sins and transform us into the likeness of Christ. We are called through Baptism to once again live as sons and daughters of God. As fallen human beings though we continue to sin through our fleshly weakness. Through the Sacred Wounds and Most Precious Blood shed by Jesus in His Passion, we are offered continual forgiveness for our sins and strength in our weakness, so long as we continue to repent and attempt to amend our lives by His grace.
That We May Love
It is only in His Passion that we can be strengthened spiritually to overcome our human weaknesses. It is in His Passion that we are invited to swim in His ocean of Divine Mercy and drink of His boundless Love. And being refreshed by the power of His Holy Spirit we are able to enter into this Love Mystery and reciprocate His Mercy by sharing forgiveness and love with our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is not only in our own agonies, sufferings and crosses that we unite mystically in heart with Jesus in His Passion, but we are also called to help others carry their crosses. By immersing ourselves in the mercy flowing from the Passion of Christ, we can become vessels of grace and compassion to those around us who are broken and wounded in so many different ways.
Before we can truly help others endure their sufferings with love, we must lead by example and learn how to enter the Passion of Our Lord. We do this by uniting our own sufferings with His, dying to our selfish will, and rising to new life in Christ through humility and obedience to His Will. Our greatest example to follow would be the one who walked this path most perfectly, Our Blessed Mother. There is no one who entered His Passion more completely, experienced His wounds more deeply, agonized more bitterly or suffered more grievously with Him than His Mother. After Jesus, there is no one on earth who has or will ever sacrifice more for the salvation of mankind, than the one who gave up her Son and her God to the most brutal violence and death on our behalf. If we follow Mary to the foot of the Cross and take her as our Mother and Teacher, we will come to learn most perfectly how to unite with Jesus in His Passion, adore and compassionate Him in His pains, and receive the infinite love and mercy that He offers us. Church History teaches us through the lives of the greatest Saints, that all who draw close to Jesus in His Passion through Mary attain the highest degree of holiness and Christian perfection.
DEVOTION TO OUR LADY OF THE PASSION
This Message was confided by Our Lord to Berthe Petit, a humble Franciscan Tertiary, born on January 23, 1870, at Enghien, Belgium:
“Teach souls to love the Heart of My Mother, pierced by the very sorrows which pierced Mine.” (December 25, 1909)
At the Holy Hour (March 25, 1912), the Blessed Virgin spoke thus: “I have called myself the Immaculate Conception. To you I call myself Mother of the Sorrowful Heart. This title, willed by my Son, is dear to me above all others. Accordingly, as it is spread everywhere, there will be granted graces of mercy, spiritual renewal and salvation.”
- The Pieta Prayer Book
THE SAINTS AND DEVOTION TO THE PASSION
Our Lord once said to St. Veronica of Binasco: “My daughter, the tears which you shed in compassion for My sufferings are pleasing to Me, but bear in mind that on account of My infinite love for My Mother, the tears you shed in compassion for her sufferings are still more precious.”
Our Lady of the Passion revealed to Blessed Alan de la Roche, that after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the most important as well as the living memorial of Our Blessed Lord's Passion there could not possibly be a finer devotion or one of greater merit than that of the Holy Rosary, which is like a second memorial and representation of the life and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Saint Maria Faustina, through whom Our Lord founded the Divine Mercy Chaplet, recorded in her Diary of Divine Mercy an important reason for us to contemplate Our Lord’s Passion. “Jesus told me that I please Him best by meditating on His Sorrowful Passion and by such meditation much light falls upon my soul. He who wants to learn true humility should reflect upon the Passion of Jesus” (Diary, 267). Jesus also suggested, “When it seems to you that your suffering exceeds your strength, contemplate My wounds.” (Diary, 1184, 1512)