JESUS CRUCIFIED.

25. VISIT TO THE “SCALA SANTA” (THE SACRED STAIRS).

The Scala Santa is one of the sacred memorials of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ; and it is worthy of our reverence and devotion, for upon its steps our blessed Saviour trod, and that more than once, and it was consecrated by His Precious Blood, shed there in the last hours of His life on earth.  This hallowed relic was brought from Jerusalem to Rome by the Empress Saint Helena, about the year 326, and deposited near the patriarchal basilica of St. John Lateran; afterwards Sixtus V., in the year 1580, set it up with much magnificent decoration in front of the famous chapel called the Sancta Sanctorum.  It has always been, and still is, a devotional practice of the faithful of every rank and condition to mount it devoutly in a kneeling posture.  In order to give a greater impulse to this devout and appropriate spiritual exercise, the Sovereign Pontiff Leo IV. about the year 850, and Paschal II. by his Bull of Aug. 5, 1100 (the original of which is kept in the far-famed basilica of St. John Lateran), granted the indulgence of nine years for each of the twenty-eight steps of the said Scala Santa, to all the faithful, every time they shall ascend them with a contrite heart and on their knees, praying and meditating on the Passion of their Lord.


26.  VISIT TO THE “VIA CRUCIS,” OR WAY OF THE CROSS.

Among those devotional exercises which help us to meditate upon the Passion, Cross, and Deaths of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (the sovereign medicine for the conversion of sinners, for the renovation of the tepid, and for the sanctification of the just), one of the chief has ever been the exercise of the Way of Calvary, commonly called the Via Crucis.(1)  This devotion, continued in an unbroken tradition from the time Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, (2) arose first in Jerusalem amongst the Christians who dwelt there, out of veneration for those sacred spots which were sanctified by the sufferings of our Divine Redeemer; and from the very times of the Gospel, as we learn from St. Jerome, (3) Christians were wont to visit the holy places in crowds; and the gathering of all persons, he says, even from the farthest corners of thee earth, to visit the holy places, continued to his own times.

From Jerusalem this devout exercise was introduced into Europe by various pious and holy persons, who had travelled to the Holy Land to satisfy their devotion.  Amongst others we read of the blessed Alvarez of the order of Friars Preachers, (4) who, after he returned to his own convent of St. Dominic in Cordova, built several little chapels, to serve as so many separate stations, in which he had painted the principal events which took place on our Lord’s way to Mount Calvary.  Afterwards, more formally, the Fathers Minorite Observants of the Order of St. Francis, as soon as ever, on the foundation of their order, they were introduced into the Holy Land, and more especially from the time that, in the year 1542, they had their house in Jerusalem, and the custody of the sacred places, began both in Italy and elsewhere, in short, throughout the whole Catholic world, to spread the devotion of the Via Crucis.  This they did by erecting in all their own churches fourteen separate stations, in visiting which, it was said that “the faithful, like the devout pilgrims who go in person to visit the holy places in Jerusalem, do themselves also make this journey in spirit, whilst they meditate on all that our Lord Jesus Christ vouchsafed to suffer for our eternal salvation at those holy places in the last hours of His life.” (5)

This wholesome devotion has met with the repeated approvals of the Holy Church: in the Constitutions, for instance, of the venerable pontiff Innocent XI., of Innocent XII., (6) of the two Benedicts XIII. and XIV., (7) and of Clement XII.(8)  By this last Pope it was extended to the whole Catholic world; and it is now in constant use with persons of every quality, being moreover enriched with most generous indulgences.  For instance, those who perform devoutly the Via Crucis may gain all the Indulgences which have ever been granted by Popes to the faithful who visit in person the sacred places in Jerusalem.  All, however, who wish to gain these Indulgences by means of this devotion, must bear in mind, that it is indispensably required of them to meditate, according to their abilities, on the Passion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and to go from one station to the other so far as the number of persons engaged in the devotion, and the space where the fourteen stations are erected, will admit.  So much is evident from the Apostolical Constitutions above named.  This, then, is all that is required for the Indulgences, and so the words V. Adoramus te, Christe,& c., the Pater noster, the Ave Maria, with the V. Miserere nostri, Domine, &c., are nothing more than a pious and praiseworthy custom introduced by devout persons into the devotion of the Via Crucis.   This the S. Congr. of Indulgences itself declared in their Instructions for performing the exercise of the Via Crucis, Nos. VI. and IX., published by order of, and with the approbation of Popes Clement XII., April 3, 1731, and Benedict XIV., May 10, 1742.  These instructions, by the way, prohibit all catechists, preachers, and others, from specifying the indulgences which may be gained by the devotion of the Via Crucis, and bid them conform themselves in this respect to whatever the before-named Popes have declared and confirmed on this subject.

All, however, who are sick, all who are in prison, or at sea, or in partibus infidelium, or prevented in any other way from visiting the stations of the Via Crucis erected in churches or public oratories, may gain the said Indulgences by reciting fourteen Pater noster’s and fourteen Ave Maria’s, and at the end of these five Pater noster’s and five Ave Maria’s, and five times Gloria Patri, and one Pater, Ave, and Gloria besides for the Pope, “holding in their hands the while a brass crucifix” which has been blessed by the Most reverend the Father-General of the entire order of the Friars Minor Observants at the Convent of Ara Coeli, or else by the Father-Provincial, or any Father Guardian, subject of the said Father-General.  This favour was granted by Pope Clement XIV., Jan. 26, 1773, at the prayer of the Reformed Minorites of the Retreat of St. Bonaventure here in Rome, who keep this decree in their Archivium.  It is also to be observed, that these crucifixes, so indulgenced, after they have been blessed, cannot be sold or given away, or lent to any one for the purpose of enabling them to gain the Indulgences of the Via Crucis, as appears from repeated decrees to this effect of the S. Congr. of Indulgences above named.

NOTES.

(1) Benedict XIV., in the brief Cum tanta, dated Aug. 30, 1741.
(2) Apology for the Via Crucis. By F. Irenaeus Affo, Minorite Observant. Parma, 1783, page 14, and following.  Vid. also the work of F. Flaminius da Latera, Min. Obs. cap. iii. &c.
(3) St. Jerome, epist. 46, alias 17.
(4) In the Office of the B. Alvarez, of the order of Preachers, Feb. 21, lect. ii. noct.
(5) Benedict XIII., in the Bull Inter plurima et maxima, March 3, 1726, § 1.
(6) The Ven. Innocent XI., brief Sept. 5, 1686.  Innocent XII, brief Ad ea per quae, Dcc. 24, 1692; and another, Sua nobis, Dec. 26, 1695.
(7) Brief above named, in the notes 1 and 5.
(8) Clement XII., in the brief Exponi nobis, Jan. 16, 1731, in which he confirmed the above-named brief of Benedict XIII.

DEVOTIONS WHICH MAY BE USED FOR THE VIA CRUCIS

[The pious reader may use any other devotions which are more to his mind.]

Begin with an act of contrition.

STATION I.

Jesus is condemned to death.

V. Adoramus Te Christe, et benedicimus Tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redimisti mundum.

My Jesus, oft have I signed Thy death-warrant by my sins; save me by Thy death from that death eternal I deserve.

Pater, Ave, &c.

V. Miserere nostri, Domine.
R. Miserere nostri.

STATION II.

Jesus is laden with the cross.

V. Adoramus, &c.

My Jesus, who by Thine own will didst take on Thee the heavy cross which I made for Thee by my sins; O make me know the weight of them, and sorrow for them ever while I live.

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

STATION III.

Jesus falls the first time beneath the cross.

V. Adoramus, &c.

My Jesus, the heavy burden of my sins has made Thee fall down beneath the cross.  My Jesus, I loathe them, I detest them, I beseech Thee to pardon them; aided by Thy grace I will never commit them more.

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

STATION IV.

Jesus meets His Mother.

V. Adoramus, &c.

Jesus most suffering! Mary, Mother most sorrowful! if for the past by sin I have caused you pain and sorrow, yet by divine grace it shall be so no more, but I will love you faithfully until death.

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

STATION V.

Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross.

V. Adoramus, &c.

My Jesus, happy was that man of Cyrene who aided Thee to bear the cross.  Happy shall I be, if I too aid Thee to bear the cross, by suffering with patience and good-will the crosses Thou shalt send me during life.  My Jesus, give me grace to do so.

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

STATION VI.

Jesus and Veronica.

V. Adoramus, &c.

Jesus most compassionate, who didst deign to print Thy sacred countenance upon the cloth with which Veronica wiped the sweat from off Thy brows; print in my soul deep, I pray Thee, the lasting memory of Thy most bitter pains.

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

STATION VII.

Jesus falls a second time.

V. Adoramus, &c.

My Jesus, oft have I sinned, and by sin often made Thee fall beneath the cross.  Help me to use such efficacious means of grace, that I may never fall again into Sin.

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

STATION VIII.

Jesus comforts the women of Jerusalem.

V. Adoramus, &c.

My Jesus, who didst comfort the pious women of Jerusalem, who wept to see Thee so tormented; comfort my soul with Thy mercy, for in Thy mercy alone is my sole trust; O may I never frustrate it!

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

STATION IX.

Again a third time Jesus falls.

V. Adoramus, &c.

My Jesus, by all Thy bitter woes Thou didst endure, when a third time Thou didst fall beneath the heavy cross, O never, never let me fall away; but rather let me die than ever mortally sin again!

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

STATION X.

Jesus stripped and drenched with gall.

V. Adoramus, &c.

My Jesus, who wast stripped of Thy clothes, and drenched with gall, strip me of love for things of earth, and make me loathe all that savours of the world and sin.

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

STATION XI.

Jesus nailed to the cross.

V. Adoramus, &c.

My Jesus, by those agonising pains Thou didst endure when the hated nails pierced Thy tender hands and feet, and fixed them to the cross, O make me ever crucify my flesh with the spirit of true Christian penance.

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

STATION XII.

Jesus dies upon the cross.

V. Adoramus, &c.

My Jesus, three hours didst Thou hang in agony upon the cross, and then didst die for me; let me die before I sin again, and if I live, may I live to love Thee and to serve Thee faithfully.

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

STATION XIII.

Jesus taken from the cross and laid in Mary’s bosom.

Mary, Mother most sorrowful, the sword of grief went through thy soul when thou didst see thy dear Son Jesus lying lifeless in thy bosom; ask for me hatred of sin, which was the cause of His death, and made thee suffer so much; and then obtain for me grace to live a true Christian life, and save my soul.

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

STATION XIV.

Jesus laid in the tomb.

V. Adoramus, &c.

My Jesus, with Thee in the tomb I desire that I may ever remain as one dead; and if I live, I wish to live only to Thee, that so one day I may come with Thee to taste the bliss of heaven, the fruit of Thy Passion and most painful death. Amen.

Pater, &c.  V. Miserere &c.

Oremus.
Deus, qui Unigeniti Filii tui pretioso sanguine vivificae crucis vexillum sanctificare voluisti; concede quaesumus, eos, qui ejusdem sanctae crucis gaudent honore, tua quoque ubique protectione gaudere.  Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum.

Let us pray.
God, who by the Precious Blood of Thy only-begotten Son didst sanctify the standard of the cross; grant, we beseech Thee, that those whose joy is in the glory of the same Holy Cross, may rejoice also everywhere in Thy protection.  Through the same Christ our Lord.

End with one Pater, Ave, and Gloria, for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.


27.  FIVE PATER NOSTER’S AND FIVE AVE MARIA’S ON FRIDAYS AT THREE O’CLOCK, ETC.

In the Second Provincial Council held by St. Charles Borromeo, archbishop of Milan, it was decreed (decr. x.) that in all the churches of the Archdiocese the church-bell should ring every Friday at Nones, to remind the faithful of the Passion of Jesus Christ at that hour, and Forty days’ Indulgence was granted to every one who should then say three Pater noster’s and three Ave Maria’s.
This pious and appropriate devotion on the day and hour when our Lord suffered for us was afterwards introduced into other places; and Pope Benedict XIV. was desirous of extending the usage uniformly and for ever to the whole Catholic world.  Accordingly, on the 23rd of Dec. 1740, in his brief, Ad Passionis, he commanded all superiors of churches, in virtue of holy obedience, to have the bells of their churches rung every Friday at three o’clock in the afternoon; and he granted –
The indulgence of 100 days to every one of the faithful who should then kneel down and say five Pater noster’s and five Ave Maria’s in memory of the Passion and Agony of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, with the intention of praying according to the mind of his Holiness, and for the conversion of sinners.  The same Pope Benedict XIV. caused a special notice to be issued of this Indulgence; and it was confirmed afresh by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated Sept. 24, 1838.


28. DEVOTION IN MEMORY OF THE AGONY OF JESUS.

Pops Pius VII., by a Rescript of August 26, 1814, issued through his Eminence the Cardinal-Prefect of the S. Congr. of Rites, gave his approbation to the following devotion in memory of the Agony of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; granting at the same time an indulgence of 300 days to all the faithful every time they devoutly say it.
This original Rescript is preserved amongst the acts of the S. Congr. of Rites, and an authentic copy of it is kept in the Segretaria of the S. Congr. of Indulgences.

THE DEVOTION.

V. Deus in adjutorium meum intende.
R. Domine ad adjuvandum me festina.
V. Gloria Patri, &c.

WORDS OF JESUS ON THE CROSS.

FIRST WORD.

Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

V. Adoramus Te Christe, et benedicimus Tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redimisti mundum.

Jesus, my Love! who for love of me didst hang in agony upon the cross, there by Thy pains to pay the penalty of my sins, and didst open Thy divine mouth to obtain for me the pardon of them from Eternal Justice; O Jesus, pity all the faithful who are now in their last agony, and pity me when I too shall be in mine.  By the merits of Thy most Precious Blood shed for our salvation, vouchsafe unto us all such lively sorrow for our sins, that when we have sent forth our last breath we may at once repose in the bosom of Thy infinite mercy.

Three Gloria Patri’s, &c.

Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope, Thou art my love.  I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

SECOND WORD.

This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

V. Adoramus, &c.

Jesus, my Love! who for love of me didst hang in agony upon the cross, and with such readiness and bounty didst meet the faith of the good thief, when in Thy humiliations he acknowledged Thee to be the Son of God, and didst make him sure of the paradise prepared for him; O, pity all the faithful who are in their last agony, and pity me when I too shall be in mine.  By the merit of Thy most Precious Blood, stir up in our souls such firm and steadfast faith as shall never waver under any suggestion of the evil one; that so we also may obtain the blessed prize of Paradise.

Three Gloria Patri’s, &c.

Miserere, &c.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope, Thou art my love.  I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

THIRD WORD.

Behold thy Mother! Behold thy Son!

V. Adoramus, &c.

Jesus, my Love! who for love of me didst hang in agony upon the cross, and unmindful of Thine own sorrows didst leave us Thy own most holy Mother as the pledge of Thy love, that through her intercession we might seek Thee with confidence in our greatest straits; have pity on all the faithful who are in their last agony, and pity me when I too shall be in mine.  By the inward martyrdom of Thy dear Mother, quicken in our hearts a firm hope in the infinite merits of Thine own most Precious Blood, that so we may escape the sentence of eternal death, which we know we well merit for our sins.

Three Gloria Patri’s, &c.

V. Miserere, &c.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope, Thou art my love.  I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

FOURTH WORD.

My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?

V. Adoramus, &c.

Jesus, my Love! who for love of me didst hang in agony upon the cross, and, whilst suffering after suffering was heaped upon Thee, didst bear with infinite patience the most afflicting desolation of spirit in addition to the pain of body, being forsaken by Thine Eternal Father; pity all the faithful who are in their last agony, and pity me when I too shall be in mine.  By the merits of Thy most Precious Blood, grant us all Thy grace that we may suffer with patience every pain and anguish of our agony, that so joining our pains with Thine, we too may be made partakers of Thy glory in Paradise.

Three Gloria Patri’s, &c.

V. Miserere, &c.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope, Thou art my love.  I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

FIFTH WORD.

I thirst.

V. Adoramus, &c.

Jesus, my Love! who for love of me didst hang in agony upon the cross, and who, insatiable in Thy thirst for insults and sufferings, didst will yet more and more to suffer, that all men might be saved, showing thereby that all the torrent of Thy Passion was not enough to quench the thirst of Thy most loving Heart; pity all the faithful who are in their last agony, and pity me when I too shall be in mine.  By the merits of Thy most Precious Blood, so kindle in our hearts the fire of charity that they may desire exceedingly to be united with Thee for all eternity.

Three Gloria Patri’s, &c.

V. Miserere, &c.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope, Thou art my love.  I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

SIXTH WORD.

It is finished.

V. Adoramus, &c.

Jesus, my Love! who for love of me didst hang in agony upon the cross, and from that pulpit of truth didst announce that the work of our redemption was finished, that work through which, from children of wrath and perdition we became God’s children and the heirs of heaven; pity all the faithful who are in their last agony, and pity me when I too shall be in mine.  By the merits of Thy most Precious Blood, detach us wholly from the world and from ourselves, and at the moment of our agony grant us grace to offer Thee with all our hearts the sacrifice of our life, in expiation for our sins.

Three Gloria Patri’s, &c.

V. Miserere, &c.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope, Thou art my love. I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

SEVENTH WORD.

Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.

V. Adoramus, &c.

Jesus, my Love! who for love of me didst hang in agony upon the cross, and who in accomplishment of the great sacrifice didst accept the will of Thine Eternal Father, commending Thy spirit into His hands, and so didst bow Thy head and die; pity all the faithful who are in their agony, and pity me when I too shall be in mine.  By the merits of Thy most Precious Blood, give us in our agony an entire conformity to Thy divine will, that, ready to live or die as it please Thee, we may desire nothing but that Thine adorable will may ever find its full accomplishment in us.

Three Gloria Patri’s, &c.

V. Miserere, &c.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope, Thou art my love.  I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

PRAYER TO THE HOLY VIRGIN, MOTHER OF SORROWS.

Most Holy Mother of sorrows, by that intense martyrdom which thou didst suffer at the foot of the cross during the three hours of the agony of Jesus; deign to aid us all, who are the children of thy sorrows, in our last agony, that by thy prayers we may pass from our bed of death to adorn thy crown in Paradise.

Three Ave Maria’s, &c.

Maria mater gratiae,
Mater misericordiae,
Tu nos ab hoste protege,
Et mortis hora suscipe.

V. A subitanea et improvisa morte,
R. Libera nos, Domine.
V. Ab insidiis diaboli,
R. Libera nos, Domine.
V. A morte perpetua,
R. Libera nos, Domine.

Oremus.

Deus, qui ad humani generis salutem in dolorosissima Filii tui morte, exemplum et subsidium constituisti: concede, quaesumus, ut in extremo mortis nostrae periculo tantae charitatis effectum consequi, et ipsius Redemptoris gloriae consociari mereamur.  Per eumdem Christum, etc.  R. Amen.

Mother of mercy, Mother of grace,
Mary, help a fallen race.
Shield us when the foe is nigh,
And receive us when we die.

V. From sudden and unprepared death,
R. Deliver us, O Lord.
V. From the snares of the devil,
R. Deliver us, O Lord.
V. From everlasting death,
R. Deliver us, O Lord.

Let us pray.
God, who for the salvation of the human race hast, in the most bitter death of Thy Son, made for us both an example and a refuge; grant, we beseech Thee, that in the last peril, at the hour of our death, we may be made worthy to experience the effect of this great charity, and so to be associated in the glory of the Redeemer Himself.  Through the same Jesus Christ Thy Son.

End with the three ejaculations,

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I offer you my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, may I breath forth my soul with you in peace.


29.  DEVOTION FOR THE SEVEN FRIDAYS IN LENT AND THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.

Pope Pius VII., of holy memory, by a Rescript given through the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated April 6, 1816, the original of which is in the Segretaria of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, grants to all the faithful who, on the seven Fridays in Lent (on which days we specially call to mind the Passion and Death of our divine Lord Jesus Christ), shall use certain devotional exercises collected in the little book first published in Rome in the year 1816, by Michael Puccinelli –
i. An indulgence of 300 days, for each Friday in Lent.
ii. A plenary indulgence once on any of one these Fridays, provided that, after Confession and Communion, they shall pray for our holy mother the Church, &c.
iii. An indulgence of 300 days to every one who shall make use of these devotions on any other Friday in the year.
iv. A plenary indulgence, if he shall practise them on seven consecutive Fridays at any time in the year; to be gained on any one of those Fridays under the above-named condition.
This little book is a collection of affectionate colloquies for each of the seven Fridays, addressed to Jesus in His Passion, calling to the mind all He suffered for love of us, from His agony in the garden of Gethsemane to His death on Mount Calvary.  To these colloquies are added the virtues to be practised on each of these Fridays, as well as certain ejaculatory prayers.
N.B. Those who cannot read, or who have not in their possession the above-named book, may supply the want of it by visiting any church or public oratory on any one of the aforesaid Fridays, and praying for the intention of the Pope, and devoutly reciting seven times Pater noster, Ave Maria, and Gloria Patri, before any image or picture of Jesus crucified, in memory of all that He suffered for our redemption.  This grant was made by Gregory XVI., of holy memory, by a Rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated August 4, 1837, in which Rescript he also confirmed afresh the above-named Indulgences.


30.  THE THREE HOURS’ AGONY ON GOOD FRIDAY AND ANY OTHER FRIDAY.

In order to animate all faithful Christians to a grateful correspondence with the love of Jesus, who for our redemption suffered three hours of most bitter agony upon the cross, and to renew in our minds the memory of that day and those very hours on which He suffered for love of us; the servant of God, Father Alphonsus Messia, of the Company of Jesus, who died on January 4, 1732, in the city of Lima in Peru, many years before his death devised and practised this devotion in those cities, beginning it on Good Friday at midday, and continuing it on for the three following hours, up to that moment when we make the yearly remembrance of the death of our Divine Redeemer.  This tender devotion was introduced into Rome about the year 1788, and is now spread over the whole Catholic world.  The more to increase this devotion, with the greatest fruit to the souls of the faithful, Pope Pius VII., motu proprio, by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated Feb. 14, 1815, granted for ever –
i. The plenary indulgence to all the faithful who, being truly penitent, having Confessed and Communicated on Holy Thursday, or intending to Communicate in Easter week, praying also for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff, shall, either in public or private, alone or in company with others, under the direction of a priest or sacred minister, or with the aid of some book approved for this purpose, practise this devotional exercise on Good Friday for three hours together either by meditating according to their abilities on the sufferings of Jesus Christ, during the three hours He hung on the cross, and on the seven words He then uttered, or else, instead of meditation, by reciting certain psalms, hymns, or other prayers.
ii. The indulgence of 200 days, any Friday in the year, to every one who, in remembrance of, and out of devotion to, the agony of our Blessed Lord, shall spend some time in prayer in a church, praying as above.
iii. The plenary indulgence once every month to every one who, having meditated and prayed every previous Friday in the month, in the way just mentioned, shall, after Confession and Communion, * renew on the last Friday this devotion of the Three Hours’ Agony of Jesus Christ in the way already indicated for Good Friday.
(* This Communion may be made in the following week.)


31.  PRAYERS TO THE MOST HOLY WOUNDS.

Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of time S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated Sept. 29, 1807, granted –
i. The indulgence of 100 days, daily, to all the faithful who shall devoutly recite the following prayers to the Five Sacred Wounds of Jesus Christ.
ii. The plenary indulgence, besides the above partial Indulgence, twice a year, – that is, on the two feasts, first, that of the Invention (May 3), and, secondly, that of the Exaltation, of the holy Cross (Sept. 14), – to all who shall say these prayers at least ten times a month, if, after having Confessed and Communicated on the above-named feast, they shall visit a church, and pray there according to the mind of the Sovereign Pontiff.
iii. The indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines, daily, to those who say these prayers from Passion Sunday to Holy Saturday, inclusive.  Plenary on Easter Day, if, after Confession and Communion on that day, they should visit and pray as aforesaid.

THE PRAYERS.

Act of Contrition.

As I kneel before Thee on the cross, most loving Saviour of my soul, my conscience reproaches me with having nailed Thee to that cross with these hands of mine, as often as I have fallen into mortal sin, wearying Thee with my monstrous ingratitude.  My God, my chief and most perfect Good, worthy of all my love, for the many blessings Thou hast ever bestowed upon me; I cannot now undo my misdeeds as I would most willingly; but I will loathe them, grieving greatly for having offended Thee who art Infinite Goodness!  And now, kneeling at Thy feet, I will try at least to compassionate Thee, to give Thee thanks, to ask of Thee pardon and contrition; wherefore with heart and lips I say:

To the first Wound, of the Left Foot.
Holy wound of the Left Foot of my Jesus!  I adore Thee, I compassionate Thee for the most bitter pain which Thou didst suffer.  I thank Thee for the love whereby Thou wast wearied in overtaking me on the way to ruin, and didst bleed amid the thorns and brambles of my sins.  I offer to the Eternal Father the pain and love of Thy most holy humanity, in atonement for my sins, all which I detest with sincere and bitter contrition.

Pater noster. Ave Maria. Gloria Patri.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified.

To the Second Wound, of the Right Foot.
Holy wound of the Right Foot of my Jesus!  I adore Thee, I compassionate Thee for the bitter pain which Thou didst suffer.  I thank Thee for that love which pierced Thee with such torture and shedding of blood in order to punish my wanderings and the guilty pleasures I have granted to my unbridled passions.  I offer the Eternal Father all the pain and love of Thy most holy humanity, and I pray unto Thee for grace to weep over my transgressions with burning tears, and to enable me to persevere in the good which I have begun, without ever swerving again from my obedience to the commandments of my God.

Pater noster. Ave Maria. Gloria Patri.

Holy Mother, &c.

To the Third Wound, of the Left hand.
Holy wound of the Left Hand of my Jesus!  I adore Thee, I compassionate Thee for the bitter pain which Thou didst suffer.  I thank Thee for having, in Thy love, spared me the scourges and eternal damnation which my sins had merited.  I offer to the Eternal Father the pain and love of Thy most holy humanity, and I pray Thee to teach me how to turn to good account my span of life, and bring forth in it worthy fruits of penance, and so disarm the justice of God, which I have provoked.

Pater noster. Ave Maria. Gloria Patri.

Holy Mother, &c.

To the Fourth Wound, of the Right Hand.
Holy wound of the Right Hand of my Jesus!  I adore Thee, I compassionate Thee for the bitter pain which Thou didst suffer.  I thank Thee for Thy graces lavished on me with such love, in spite of all my most perverse obstinacy.  I offer to the Eternal Father all the pain and love of Thy most holy humanity, and I pray Thee to change my heart and its affections, and make me do all my actions in accordance with the will of God.

Pater noster. Ave Maria. Gloria Patri.

Holy Mother, &c.

To the Fifth Wound, of the Sacred Side.
Holy wound in the side of my Jesus!  I adore Thee, I compassionate Thee for the cruel insult Thou didst suffer.  I thank Thee, my Jesus, for the love which suffered Thy side and heart to be pierced, that so the last drops of blood and water might issue forth, making my redemption to abound.  I offer to the Eternal Father this outrage, and the love of Thy most holy Humanity, that my soul may enter once for all into that most loving Heart, eager and ready to receive the greatest sinners, and never more depart.

Pater noster. Ave Maria. Gloria Patri.

Holy Mother, &c.

TO THE MOST HOLY VIRGIN, MOTHER OF SORROWS.

Mary, Virgin Mother of God, Martyr of love and sorrow, in witnessing the pains and torments of Jesus: truly didst thou concur in the great work of my redemption, first by thy innumerable afflictions, and then by the offering thou didst make to the Eternal Father of His and thy Only-begotten for a holocaust and victim of propitiation for my sins.  I compassionate thee for the bitter pain which thou didst suffer, I thank thee for that love, well-nigh infinite, through which thou didst bereave thyself of the fruit of thy womb, very God and very Man, to save me, a sinner; let thy intercession, which never returneth to thee void, be ever interposed with the Father and the Son for me; that I may steadily amend my evil ways, and never, by further faults, crucify afresh my loving Saviour; that so, persevering in His grace until death, I may obtain eternal life, through the merits of His dolorous Passion and Death upon the cross.

Three Ave Maria’s.

Oremus.
Domine Jesu Christe, qui hora sexta pro redemptione mundi crucis patibulum ascendisti, et Sanguinem tuum pretiosum in remissionem peccatorum effudisti: te humiliter deprecamur, ut post obitum nostrum Paradisi januas nos gaudenter introire concedas.

Interveniat pro nobis, quaesumus Domino Jesu Christe, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae apud tuam clementiam Beata Virgo Maria Mater tua, cujus sacratissimam animam in hora tuae Passionis doloris gladius pertransivit. Per te, Jesu Christe Salvator mundi, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. R. Amen.

TRANSLATION.

Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who at the sixth hour of the day didst, for the redemption of the world, mount the gibbet of the cross, and shed Thy Precious Blood for the remission of sins; we humbly beseech Thee to grant us, after our deaths, a joyful entrance into the gates of Paradise.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that now, and at the hour of our death, blessed Mary ever Virgin, Thy Mother, may intercede for us, through whose most holy soul the sword passed in the hour of Thy Passion.  Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest for ever and ever.  Amen.


32.  CHAPLET OF THE FIVE WOUNDS.

At the prayer of the Congregation of Discalced Clerks of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ here in Rome, in the Retreat of SS. John and Paul, Pope Leo XII, of holy memory, by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated Dec. 20, 1823, granted the following Indulgences to all the faithful who, being contrite of heart, shall say with devotion the Chaplet of the Five Wounds of our Divine Redeemer, Jesus Christ, at the same time meditating upon them.
i. An indulgence of one year, to be gained once a day by saying this chaplet.
ii. A plenary indulgence (besides the above partial Indulgence) three times a year, that is on any one Friday in March, on the Feast of the Invention, and of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, or on any one day in the octave of these feasts, to all who shall have practised the devotion of saying this Chaplet at least ten times each month provided that on the aforesaid day, being truly penitent, having confessed and received the Holy Communion, they shall pray according to the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.
The Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX., by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated August 11, 1851, extended this Plenary Indulgence to the feasts of this Nativity, Circumcision, and Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ, the feasts of His Most Holy Name, Easter Sunday, the Ascension, Corpus Christi, and the Transfiguration, or any one day in the octaves of these feasts, on the same conditions as above.
iii. An indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines to all who shall say this Chaplet from Passion Sunday to holy Saturday inclusive; and the plenary indulgence, when they fulfil the Paschal precept.
The condition of gaining all these Indulgences is, that the Chaplet used should be blessed by the most reverend the Father-General of the said Congregation, or by some other priest of the Congregation to whom the General has communicated the faculty received by him in virtue of the above-named decree; after they have been blessed, they cannot be sold or lent, or given away to others, &c., for the purpose of communicating to them the Indulgences, according to the general decrees of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated Feb. 6, 1657, June 5, 1721, and Feb. 9, 1820.  This chaplet consists of five sets, of five beads each; and at each one of these beads, in memory of the Five Wounds of Jesus Christ, one Gloria Patri is to be said; and at the end of each set of five, one Ave Maria is added in devotion to our Lady’s sorrows.


33.  THE PRAYER, “DEUS QUI PRO REDEMPTIONE“, ETC., WITH FIVE “PATER NOSTER’S” “AVE MARIA’S” AND “GLORIA PATRI’S.”

Pope Pius VII., by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated Aug. 25, 1820, granted to all the faithful who should say with contrition the above-named prayer, composed by St. Augustine, with five Pater noster’s, five Ave Maria’s, and five Gloria Patri’s, in memory of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ –
i. An indulgence of 300 days, once a day.
ii. A plenary indulgence to all who shall have said it every day for a month to be granted on any one of the three last days of the month, when, after Confession and Communion, they shall pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.
The prayer, which may also be said for a soul in its agony, is to be found above; to it are to be added five Pater noster’s, five Ave Maria’s, and five Gloria Patri’s.


34.  PRAYER, “EN EGO,” ETC., BEFORE A CRUCIFIX.

Pope Pius VII., by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated April 10, 1821, granted –
A plenary indulgence to all who shall devoutly say the following prayer before any representation of Jesus crucified, with contrite hearts, praying for the wants of Holy Church, after Confession and Communion.

En ego, O bone et dulcissime Jesu, ante conspectum tuum genibus me provolvo ac maximo animi ardore te oro atque obtestor ut meum in cor vividos fidei, spei, et charitatis sensus, atque veram peccatorum meorum poenitentiam, eaque emendandi firmissimam voluntatem velis imprimere: dum magno animi affectu et dolore, tua quinque Vulnera mecum ipse considero, ac mente contemplor, illud prae oculis habens, quod jam in ore ponebat suo David Propheta de Te, O bone Jesu: “Foderunt manus Meas et pedes Meos; dinumeraverunt omnia ossa Mea.”

O good and sweetest Jesus, before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with all fervour of soul I pray and beseech Thee to vouchsafe to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a most firm purpose of amendment; whilst I contemplate with great sorrow and love Thy five Wounds, and ponder them over in my mind, having before my eyes the words which, long ago, David the prophet spoke in his own person concerning Thee, my Jesus: “Foderunt manus Meas et pedes Meos; dinumeraverunt omnia ossa Mea,” – They digged My hands and My feet; they numbered all My bones.” Ps. xxi. 17,18.


APPENDIX

170. VISIT TO THE TWO STAIRS PLACED RESIDE THE SCALA SANTA OR HOLY STAIRCASE.

By a Brief of December 9, 1856, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX. grants to all the faithful who, after Confession and Communion, shall, on the Feast of All Saints, and on any day during the Octave of the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, or on any day from Christmas Day to the Feast of the Epiphany inclusive, as well as during the whole time of Lent, mount upon their knees the stairs placed on either side of the said Holy Staircase, and who, whilst doing so, shall pray according to custom, or meditate on the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the same Indulgences, collectively and individually, as would be gained if they actually ascended the Holy Staircase itself on their knees. See above.


171. PRAYER OF ST. PIUS V., “O MY LORD JESUS CHRIST CRUCIFIED,” ETC.

His Holiness Pope Pius IX., by a Rescript of May 24, 1859, which is preserved in the Secretary’s Office of the Holy Congregation of Indulgences, vouchsafed to grant –
The indulgence of 60 days to all the faithful every time that, with contrite heart and devotion, they shall say the following prayers, composed by the Holy Pontiff Pius V., and which he was accustomed to say at the time of his labours and business of importance: provided that the faithful when they say these prayers (known commonly as the Five Credo’s of St. Pius V.) intend to apply them to peace and concord amongst Christian princes, to the extirpation of heresies, and the exaltation of our holy Mother the Church, &c.  Moreover, to those who for a month together shall have said them every day he granted –
The plenary indulgence, to be gained on that day when, having Confessed and Communicated, they shall apply them as above directed.

THE PRAYERS.

i. O my Lord Jesus Christ crucified, Son of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, open Thy ears, and listen to me as Thou didst listen to Thy eternal Father upon Mount Tabor.
Say then a Credo.

ii. O my Lord Jesus Christ crucified, Son of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, open Thine eyes, and look upon me as Thou didst look from the tree of the Cross upon Thy dear Mother sorrowing and afflicted.
Credo.

iii. O my Lord Jesus Christ crucified, Son of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, open Thy blessed mouth, and speak as Thou didst speak to St. John when Thou gavest him for son to Thine own most beloved Mother.
Credo.

iv. O my Lord Jesus Christ crucified, Son of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, open Thine arms, and embrace me as Thou didst open them upon the Cross to embrace the whole human race.
Credo.

v. O my Lord Jesus Christ crucified, Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, open Thy Heart, and receive therein my heart, and hear me in all that I ask of Thee, if so be it be agreeable to Thy most holy will.
Credo.

 

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