Every Passionist takes a special vow, a solemn promise, to spend his energies in promoting remembrance of the sufferings of Jesus. This vow defines the purpose of the Passionist community. We pledge to keep deep in our hearts the memory of the cross and to do what is in our power to remind others of it.
Why promise to do something like this? The answer lies with the meaning of the cross and death of Jesus Christ for the world. First, the death of Jesus was no mere brutal execution of an extraordinary Jewish teacher and prophet long ago. His death was an event that changed human history. Jesus died that others might live. God so loved the world that he allowed his only Son to give his very life for us. The cross becomes the symbol telling us God’s love is stronger than death. Passionists want to tell the world about that love.
But there are other reasons for the Passionist vow. Jesus’ death on the cross was a death in the cause of justice. He was executed because he challenged accepted values. He sided with the poor and the outcasts. He condemned oppressive structures. Jesus was a prophet and prophets meet strong opposition.
His cross reminds us that Christians must listen to the cries of the poor. We are in solidarity with those whom society may forget or even exploit. The cross is a sign of justice. To remind the world about the cross is to challenge the world for its injustice and neglect. Passionists are pledged to that challenge.
Finally, remembering the cross means remembering those in the world who bear the cross today: the disabled, the sick, the dying, the grieving, those isolated and alone — all who bear the burden of pain.Jesus identified himself with the “least”. He shared their burdens and brought them hope. He, too, bore the cross.
Christians who believe in Jesus find strength in the memory of his Passion. Jesus knew pain and death. He also tasted the victory of everlasting life. Death is not the final word for those who believe. This, too, is part of the Resurrection message Passionists proclaim to the world.
The special sign we wear is meant to symbolize a solemn commitment to proclaim God’s great love made known through the cross of Jesus. We nourish that memory in our hearts through prayer. We share that good news with all the world. We proclaim it through preaching, in our parishes, rehabilitaion center and retreat centers.
By:Fr. Don Senior, C.P. Passionist Community
Our founder, St. Paul of the Cross dreamt then, and ours now, was that the Passion of Christ be remembered by all.
The special insignia of every Passionist is the ‘sign’, it catches, in a image, the meaning of Passionist life. In the middle of the emblem are the words, JESU XPI PASSIO, means, the Passion of Jesus Christ. The three nails at the bottom and the Cross at the top remind us symbolically of His suffering and death
Passionists are vowed members of the Congregation of the Passion.Passionists are Lay Missioners.Passionists are a Community of Partners.
Passionists are scholars, preachers, spiritual directors, retreat masters, teachers, chaplains, authors, musicians, artists, researchers, gardeners, poets, ministers to the suffering people of the world.Passionists are true companions on the journey through life because the Passionist charism embraces suffering and connects with God in the midst of pain.
St. Paul the Apostle writes in his first letter to the Corinthians, how He preaches Christ and him Crucified. Today, 2000 years later, we Passionists see the Passion of Christ in the suffering of the world.
We Passionists make the Paschal Mystery the center of our lives.
Our Commitment to Jesus Crucified
This entails a loving commitment to follow Jesus crucified, in a generous resolve to proclaim his passion and death with faith and love. His passion and death are no mere historical events. They are ever-present realities to people in the world of today, “crucified” as they are by injustice, by the lack of a deep respect for human life, and by a hungry yearning for peace, truth, and the fulness of human existence.
There are more than two thousand Passionists in 58 nations in the five continents. They are led by the superior general who is elected every six years. He is assisted in the government of the congregation by four consultors from the various geographic regions.
The Passionists are a world wide religious community within the Catholic Church. Vowed Passionists are active contemplatives, priests and brothers who, in a creative way, unite contemplation and an active pastoral life.
Our vocation as Passionists promotes us to familiarize ourselves thoroughly with the passion of Christ, both in history and in the lives of people today. For the passion of Christ and the sufferings of his mystical body from one mystery of salvation. Then we may hope to guide the faithful to a deeper awareness and understanding of this mystery, and so bring them to a closer union with God, a greater knowledge of themselves, and more sensitive response to the needs of their neighbors.