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ST FAUSTINA’S STATIONS OF THE CROSS

Begin each station with:

“Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for my sins and those of the whole world.”

• FIRST STATION
Jesus is condemned to death

My Jesus, so meek and uncomplaining, teach me resignation in trials. Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• SECOND STATION
Jesus carries His Cross

My Jesus, this Cross should be mine, not Yours: my sins crucified You. Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• THIRD STATION
Our Lord falls for the first time

My Jesus, by this first fall, never let me fall into mortal sin. Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• FOURTH STATION
Jesus meets His Mother

My Jesus, may no human tie, however dear, keep me from following the road of the Cross. Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• FIFTH STATION
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry His Cross

Simon unwillingly assisted You; may I with patience suffer all for You. Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• SIXTH STATION
Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus

My Jesus, You did imprint Your Sacred features upon Veronica’s veil; stamp them indelibly upon my heart. Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• SEVENTH STATION
The second fall of Jesus

By Your second fall, preserve me, dear Lord, from relapse into sin. Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• EIGHTH STATION
Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem

My greatest consolation would be to hear You say: “Many sins are forgiven You, because You have loved so much.” Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• NINTH STATION
Third fall of Jesus

O Jesus, when weary upon life’s long journey, be my strength and my perseverance. Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• TENTH STATION
Jesus is stripped of His garments

My soul has been robbed of its robe of innocence; clothe me, dear Jesus, with the garb of penance and contrition. Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• ELEVENTH STATION
Jesus is nailed to the Cross

You forgave Your enemies; my God, teach me to forgive mine. Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• TWELFTH STATION
Jesus dies on the Cross

You are dying, my Jesus, but Your Sacred Heart still throbs with love for Your sinful children. Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• THIRTEENTH STATION
Jesus is taken down from the Cross

Receive me into your arms, O Sorrowful Mother; and obtain for me perfect contrition for my sins. Ask your Son to have mercy on me and on the whole world.

• FOURTEENTH STATION
Jesus is laid in the Sepulchre

When I receive You into my heart in Holy Communion, O Jesus, make it a fit and abiding place for Your Adorable Body. Have mercy on me and on the whole world.

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2015 in Devotions

 

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SHORT MEDITATIONS ON THE WAY OF THE CROSS

THE 14 “CONSIDER…” MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST

(These reflections can be used as Stations of the Cross. In this case, pray at each station: “We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.” The following act of contrition may be used: “I love You, Jesus, my love above all things. I repent with my whole heart of having offended You. Never permit me to separate myself from You again. Grant that I may love You always and then do with me what You will.”)

I. JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH
Consider how Jesus, after having been scourged and crowned with thorns, was unjustly condemned by Pilate to die on the Cross.
(Our Father; Hail Mary; Glory be; to be repeated after each meditation.)

II. JESUS RECEIVES THE CROSS
Consider how Jesus, in making this journey with the Cross on his shoulders, thought of us, and offered for us to his Father the death he was about to undergo.

III. JESUS FALLS FOR THE FIRST TIME
Consider the first fall of Jesus under his Cross. His flesh was torn by the scourges, his head was crowned with thorns; he had lost a great quantity of blood. So weakened he could scarcely walk, he yet had to carry this great load upon his shoulders. The soldiers struck him rudely, and he fell several times.

IV. JESUS IS MET BY HIS BLESSED MOTHER
Consider this meeting of the Son and the Mother, which took place on this journey. Their looks became like so many arrows to wound those hearts which loved each other so tenderly.

V. THE CROSS IS LAID UPON SIMON OF CYRENE
Consider how his cruel tormentors, seeing that Jesus was on the point of expiring, and fearing he would die on the way, whereas they wished him to die the shameful death of the Cross, constrained Simon of Cyrene to carry the Cross behind our Lord.

VI. VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS
Consider how the holy woman named Veronica, seeing Jesus so ill-used, and bathed in sweat and blood, wiped his face with a towel, on which he left the impression of his holy countenance.

VII. JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME
Consider the second fall of Jesus under the Cross; a fall which renews the pain of all the wounds in his head and members.

VIII. THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM MOURN FOR OUR LORD
Consider how these women wept with compassion at seeing Jesus in such a pitiable state, streaming with blood, as he walked along. ‘Daughters of Jerusalem’, said he, ‘weep not for me, but for yourselves and for your children’.

IX. JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME
Consider the third fall of Jesus Christ. His weakness was extreme, and the cruelty of his executioners excessive, who tried to hasten his steps when he could scarcely move.

X. JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS
Consider the violence with which Jesus was stripped by the executioners. His inner garments adhered to his torn flesh, and they dragged them off so roughly that the skin came with them. Take pity on your Saviour thus cruelly treated.

XI. JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS
Consider how Jesus, having been placed upon the Cross, extended his hands, and offered to his Eternal Father the sacrifice of his life for our salvation. Those barbarians fastened him with nails, and then, securing the Cross, allowed him to die with anguish on this infamous gibbet.

XII. JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS
Consider how Jesus, being consumed with anguish after three hours’ agony on the Cross, abandoned himself to the weight of his body, bowed his head and died.

XIII. JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS
Consider how, after our Lord had expired, two of his disciples, Joseph and Nicodemus, took him down from the Cross and placed him in the arms of his afflicted Mother, who received him with unutterable tenderness, and pressed him to her bosom.

XIV. JESUS IS PLACED IN THE SEPULCHRE
Consider how the disciples, accompanied by his holy Mother, carried the body of Jesus to bury it. They closed the tomb, and all came sorrowfully away.

 

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“I DO NOTICE PEOPLE STILL GOING AROUND THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS…”

QUESTION: “…I do nontice people still going around the Stations of the Cross… When did the devotion of doing the Stations of the Cross begin? … Would you recommend it as a practice for Lent?

ANSWER: The answer to your second question is that I would certainly recommend it as a devotional practice for Lent. Lent is a time of prayer and penance in preparation for Easter – for Christ’s death and Resurrection. The Stations of the Cross, prayed at home or in the church, with their focus on the suffering of Christ as he made his way to Calvary is an ideal prayer and practice for Lent.

When did this devotion begin? The devotion to the passion of Christ actually began with the Crucifixion but it developed into its present form through the efforts of Franciscan Friars in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Franciscan preachers and writers began spreading the devotion worldwide, publicising the spiritual richness of the devotion.”
– This article was published in “Saint Martin Magazine” issue March 2004. For subscriptions please visit http://www.stmartin.ie (external link).

 

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SHORT MEDITATIONS ON OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S WAY OF THE CROSS

CONTEMPLATING THE LORD’S SUFFERINGS – A WAY OF THE CROSS

Give yourself up contemplating, imitating, and tenderly pitying the all-holy life, sufferings and death of our Saviour Jesus Christ… Leave all that perishes and gather that which is eternal… There is no knowledge half so momentous as the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His mysteries, nothing which is of more immediate and practical use to men.

THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS

(Before each station, please pray: “We adore You, O Christ, and we bless You. Because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.” After the suggested Bible reading and stated prayer, please pray for each station: “Lord, by Your Cross and Resurrection You have set us free. You are the Saviour of the world.”)

The Stations can be prayed in any Catholic church; every church has the images of the 14 Stations displayed. Alternatively, you can meditate on the Stations at home, reading the Bible passages, praying, reflecting, meditating on each Station – preferably for at least half an hour every day.

FIRST STATION

Jesus is condemned to death

Reading: Jn 19:4-16

Lord Jesus, if I have to judge, let me do so with justice, mercy and selflessness.

SECOND STATION

Jesus takes up His Cross

Reading: Mat 11:29-30

Lord Jesus, I wish to take up my cross with you daily. Help me to bear patiently whatever comes my way.

THIRD STATION

Jesus falls for the first time

Reading: Is 53:6-12

Lord Jesus, may the suffering You endured restore hope to a fallen world, bringing healing and comfort to those who suffer.

FOURTH STATION

Jesus meets His Mother

Reading: Lk 2:22-35

Lord Jesus, You willed that Your Mother should be with You on Your way to Calvary: give me an undaunted spirit to face life’s trials as Mary Your Mother did.

FIFTH STATION

Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry His Cross

Reading: Is 52:14

Lord Jesus, give me a generous heart to accept my duties and responsibilities even when they seem too heavy to bear.

SIXTH STATION

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Reading: Is 53:2-5

Lord Jesus, imprint on me Your virtues of compassion, kindness, love, meekness, patience and forgiveness.

SEVENTH STATION

Jesus falls for the second time

Reading: Heb 5:7-10

Lord Jesus, when all my efforts seem to fail, help me to trust in Your help.

EIGHTH STATION

The women of Jerusalem mourn for Jesus

Reading: Lk 23:27-32

Lord Jesus, You found the strength to console the women of Jerusalem despite Your own sufferings; give me strength to bring comfort to those in sorrow.

NINTH STATION

Jesus falls the third time

Reading: Rom 7:15-25

Lord Jesus, when anxiety and fear cause me to lose heart, give me support that I may walk steadily in Your way.

TENTH STATION

Jesus is stripped of his garments Reading: Jn 19:2-24 Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to detach my heart from all sinful vanities, so that I may seek only You, my supreme and eternal happiness.

ELEVENTH STATION

Jesus is nailed to the Cross

Reading: Lk 23:33-43

Lord Jesus, help me to heal the wounds caused by hate and to witness to Your love that did not count the cost.

TWELFTH STATION

Jesus dies on the Cross

Reading: Lk 24:44-49

Lord Jesus, Your death brought life into the world. Grant that my life may be a source of joy to those whose paths cross mine.

THIRTEENTH STATION

Jesus is taken down from the Cross

Reading: Mt 27:55-58

Lord Jesus, help me to approach death unafraid, confident that I have tried to do Your will.

FOURTEENTH STATION

Jesus is placed in the tomb

Reading: Mk 15:42-47

Lord Jesus, give us strength to endure our daily frustrations and sufferings, and make us understand that You give meaning even to our death. Amen.

 

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SHE GAVE UP HER OWN BED FOR A DISABLED WIDOW TO SLEEP IN – ST JEANNE JUGAN

“Jeanne Jugan was born on October 25, 1792, in the midst of the French Revolution, in the little village of Petites Croix, near Cancale (Ille-et-Vilaine), as the sixth child of a poor fisherman. At the age of only six years she lost her father, who never returned from a fishing expedition at sea. Twice the young girl received marriage proposals. Each time she declined. With regard to a sailor who asked for her hand in 1816, she explained to her mother: ‘God wants me for himself. He wants me for a work that has not yet been started.’

In 1817 Jeanne Jugan began to work in the Hospital Rosais in Saint-Servan, caring for the sick. In this connection she accepted the invitation of a certain Mademoiselle Lecoq to live at her house, not really as a domestic servant but rather as a friend and co-worker. With this pious lady she would call on the sick, day after day, for fifteen years and assist them. During this time Jeanne Jugan became a member of the Third Order of Saint Eudes in the Society of the Heart of the Admirable Mother (Societe du Coeur de la Mere admirable).

After the death of Mademoiselle Lecoq, Jeanne Jugan, together with her friend Francoise Aubert, rented a simple house in Saint-Servan; this served not only as their home, from which they went out to visit poor sick people, but also as a place where they took them in to care for them. The first woman they took in – and Jeanne Jugan gave up her own bed for her – was the blind, half-lame Widow Harraux.

BEGINNINGS OF THE CONGREATION OF THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR

This laid the cornerstone for the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor, which was founded later. Gradually, as the poor sick people who were cared for in the house were joined by still other poor, old individuals, additional helpers, notably the eighteen-year-old orphan Virginie Tredaniel and her friend Marie Jamet, came also to care for the sick, and, together with Jeanne Jugan and Francoise Aubert, they formed the foundation of the future community of Sisters. So as to provide the necessary support for this little community of Sisters, they began collecting alms. This was to become and remain a characteristic feature of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

In 1842 Jeanne Jugan was elected superior of the little community, which more and more was assuming the form of a religious order. On this occasion two priests stood by her side, namely, the secretary (later the provincial) of the Hospitaller order of Saint John of God, Father Felix Massot, who instilled much of his order’s spirituality into the women’s community as it was being formed; and the chaplain in Saint-Servan, Father Augustin Le Pailleur, who indeed was a great help to the Sisters but who began to falsify the history of their congregation, in that he eventually presented himself as its founder and allowed himself too much influence over its direction. When Jeanne Jugan was reelected the superior of the small community in 1843, he considered the election invalid and appointed Marie Jamet as superior, though she was only twenty-three years old, whereas Jeanne Jugan, at age fifty-one, was assigned merely to collect alms, and she was prevented from having any part in the direction of the institute she had founded. In 1852 she had to go back to the novitiate house, which was located first in Rennes, then in La Tour Saint-Joseph (Saint-Pern). Here Sister Jeanne Jugan, who after professing vows had taken the religious name Sister Marie of the Cross, was sentenced to apparent inactivity for twenty-seven years, until her death on August 29, 1879. During all these years, however, she was for the novices of the growing congregation of nuns the embodiment of the ideal of the Little Sisters of the Poor and the living rule of this institute.

Jeanne Jugan was endowed with heroic humility; in 1879; when she fell asleep in the Lord, the community of the Little Sisters of the Poor – which had been approved definitely on March 1, 1879, by Pope Leo XIII – numbered 2,400 Sisters in 177 houses, and these were not only in France but had spread beyond Europe and America. At the beatification of Sister Jeanne Jugan on October 3, 1982, Pope John Paul II charcterised her as follows:

‘AND HE LIFTED UP THE LOWLY!’

Et exultavit humiles! And he lifted up the lowly! These well-known words of the Magnificat fill my spirit and heart with the feeling of joy since I have just declared the humble foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor one of the Blessed…[A] close reading of the Position on the virtues of Jeanne Jugan, as well as of recent biographies about her and her evangelical charity, inclines me to say that God could glorify no more humble a servant than her. Dear pilgrims, I have no fears about encouraging you to read or re-read these works which speak so well of the heroic humility of Blessed Jeanne Jugan as well as of that wondrous divine wisdom which so carefully arranges events destined to help a vocation to flower and a new order to blossom, an order which is at once ecclesial and social.

Having said this, I would like to meditate with you and for you on the reality of the spiritual message of the new Blessed Jeanne. Jeanne invites all of us, and I quote here from the Rule of the Little Sisters, ‘to share in the bliss of spiritual poverty which leads to total abandonment and lifts the soul to God.’ She invites us to this much more by her life than by those few words of hers which have been recorded and which are so marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit such as these: ‘It is so beautiful to be poor, to have nothing, to wait simply on the good God.’ Joyfully aware of her poverty, she depends completely on Divine Providence which she saw in her own life’s work and that of others.

LIVING THE GOSPEL

Still, this absolute confidence did not make her inactive. With the courage and faith that characterises the woman of her native land, she did not hesitate to beg on behalf of the poor whom she cared for. She saw herself as their sister, their ‘Little Sister’. She wanted to identify with all of the elderly who were often so sickly and even abandoned. Is this not the Gospel in its pure form? (cf. Mt 25:34-41). Is this not the way which the Third Order of St John Eudes had taught her, ‘…to have one life, one heart, one soul, one will with Jesus,’ to join together all those whom Jesus singled out, the little ones, and the poor? Thanks to her daily exercises of piety – long periods of silent prayer, participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice and reception of Holy Communion more frequently than was the custom at that time, thoughtful recitation of the Rosary which she never stopped, and fervently kneeling as she made the Stations of the Cross – the soul of Jeanne was steeped in the mystery of Christ the Redeemer, especially in his passion and his cross. Her name in religion, Sister Mary of the Cross, is a real and moving symbol of this. From her native village of Petites-Croix (in English, Little Crosses – was this a coincidence or a sign?) until her departure from this world on 29 August 1879, this foundress’ life can be compared to a long and fruitful Way of the Cross, lived in the joyful peace of the Gospel.

SIMPLICITY AND HUMILITY

Must we not recall here that four years after the foundation of the Order she was exposed to the abusive and public meddling of some of her first companions? She allowed herself to be stripped of the office of superior, and a little later she went back to the Motherhouse for a retreat which was to last twenty-seven years, without the slightest complaint. Saint John Eudes, her spiritual [father], used to say, ‘The real measure of sanctity is humility’. Speaking to the Little Sisters, she would often say, ‘Be little, stay little! If we begin to consider ourselves as something, we would no longer be praising God, and we would collapse!’ Jeanne really surrendered herself to the spiritual life. In her long retreat at the Tour Saint-Joseph, many novices and Little Sisters came under her decisive influence and she left on her Congregation the stamp of her spirit by the quiet but eloquent radiance of her life.

In our day, pride, the search for success, and temptation to power all run rampant, and sometimes, unfortunately, even in the Church. They become an obstacle to the coming of the Kingdom of God. This is why the spirituality of Jeanne Jugan can attract followers of Christ and fill their hearts with simplicity and humility, filled with hope and the joy of the Gospel, strengthened by God and by forgetfulness of self. Her spiritual message can lead all those baptised and confirmed to a rediscovery and a practice of that realistic chaity which is stunningly effective in the life of a Little Sister, or of a lay person whenever the God of mercy and hope reigns over her completely.

A GREAT HUMAN FAMILY

Likewise, Jeanne Jugan has left us an apostolic lesson in reality. You could say that she received the Spirit as a kind of prophetic intuition born of the needs and deep desires of the elderly: their desire to be respected, esteemed and loved; their fear of loneliness and at the same time their wish for independence and intimacy; the sadness of feeling no longer useful; and very often, a desire to deepen their life of faith and to live it all the more. I would even add that, never having read the beautiful words of Gaudium et Spes, Jeanne already secretly agreed with what they say about establishing a great human family where all men are treated as brothers (n. 24) sharing the world’s goods according to the law of justice (n. 69) which is inseparable from the law of charity. Though the structures of the social security system have done away which much of the misery of Jeanne Jugan’s time, still her daughters come across the misery of the elderly in many different countries today. And even where these structures do exist, they often do not provide the kind of home atmosphere the elderly so deeply desire and need for their physical and spiritual well-being. You can see it today: in a world where the number of older people is constantly growing…, the timeliness of the apostolic message of Jeanne Jugan cannot be disputed. From the start, the foundress wanted her Congregation not to limit itself to the West of France, but to become a real network of family homes where each person would be received, honoured and even, to the extent possible, brought to a new widening of his or her existence.

THE LITTLE SISTERS TODAY

The timeliness of the apostolate undertaken by this foundress can be seen from the fact that there are today constant requests to be admitted to these homes and to found new ones. When she died, two thousand four hundred Little Sisters were ministering to the needs of the poor and aged in ten countries. Today, there are four thousand and four hundred of them in thirty nations and on six continents. The whole Church and society itself must admire and applaud the amazing growth of this little seed of the Gospel, sown in the soil of Brittany, and here, a hundred and fifty years later, so poor in possessions but rich in faith.

May the beatification of their dear Foundress bring to the Little Sisters new strength to be faithful to the charism of their mother. May this event have the effect of drawing more and more young girls throughout the world into the ranks of the Little Sisters. May the glorification of their fellow country-woman be a vigorous call to the parishioners of Cancale and the whole Diocese of Rennes to the faith and love of the Gospel. Finally, may this beatification be a source of joyous hope for all the aged of the world, thanks to the great witness of that lady who loved all of them so much in the name of Jesus Christ and of his Church!”
– “Example of Courage and Humility for Today’s World”, L’Osservatore romano, October 18, 1982

 

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