Postcards from the Class of 2015

June 8, 2015

FOR THE SAKE OF HIS SORROWFUL PASSION… PART II
May 31- June 6, 2015
by Jeff Stegbauer (Archdiocese of Cincinnati)

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Rome has helped to draw me into the meaning of this prayer in ways that I never imagined. This is through the Saints who are buried in Rome. Well, it all began with the Saints we visited in France—St. Colombiere, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney. But since being in Rome, you walk in a church just to discover a Saint is buried there or that a substantial relic is there. We have been able to pray before, and ask their intercession, Saints Peter, Paul, John Paul the Great, Simon, Jude, John Chrysostom, Cyril, Methodius, John XXIII, Pius X, Gregory the Great, Leo the Great, Gregory of Nazianzen, Jerome, Pius V, Prassede, Pudentiana, Cecilia, Agnes (her skull), Philip Neri, Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier (his hand), Catherine of Sienna, Andrew (not the Apostle), and Josemaria Escriva. We also had the opportunity to visit the catacombs of St. Calixtus, where many martyrs were originally buried and where the early Christians rested after they gave witness to the faith through the sacrifice of their lives. It was humbling to have Mass near their graves.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

As incredible as that list all ready is, there are plenty more Saints to pray before while here in Rome. What do all of these Saints have in common? They all lived their lives—for the sake of is sorrowful Passion. They desired with an unbelievable passion to love Christ alone. They yearned to follow Christ to Calvary. They understood that only through Christ can we achieve mercy as sinners. They are perfect models for what it means to rely upon the mercy of Christ for the forgiveness of sin. We pray that we may love Christ as they loved Him and have the courage and strength to follow Christ to His Passion.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

At the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, there are many relics of our Lord’s Passion that St. Helena, the mother of Constantine, brought back from the Holy Land. They include large pieces of the True Cross, two thorns from His Crown, a nail, and the sign that proclaimed His crime as King of the Jews. In St. Prassede is the the pillar upon which our Lord was scourged. In the Church of the Scala Santa, we find the Holy Steps that our Lord climbed to face the judgment of Pontius Pilate. Christ’s Passion becomes much more real as you pray before the relics of His Passion. You consider the weight of your sins. The suffering that Christ endured for your sake and the sake of your salvation. As you climb the Scala Santa on your knees your focus is drawn to a beautiful image of Christ on the Cross. This reminds us that our suffering is minimal to that of Christ’s sacrifice. We pray that we may never forget His Passion that he endured for us. We pray that we may never abandon Him and His love. We pray that we may follow the model of the Saints and follow Christ and His will with fervor. We offer our lives to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We do this for the sake of His sorrowful Passion that we might have eternal life.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.