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Friday in Passion Week


Martyrology - 31st of March

Upon the 31st day of March, were born into the better life:

At Tekoa, in Palestine, the holy Prophet Amos, who was often-times scourged by the priest Amaziah, and pierced in the temples with a bar by his son Oziah. He was afterward borne back half dead into his own country, and there gave up the ghost, and is buried with his fathers, [785 B.C.]

In Africa, the holy martyrs Theodulus, Anesius, Felix, Cornelia, and their Companions.

In Persia, under King Isdegerd, the holy martyr Benjamin the Deacon. Because he would not cease from preaching the word of God, sharp reeds were forced under his nails, and a thorny stake thrust into his bowels, and so he finished his testimony, [in the year 401.]

At Rome, the holy virgin Balbina, the daughter of the blessed martyr Quirinus. She was baptized by holy Pope Alexander, and after she had overcome the world, [in the year 169,] she was buried on the Appian Way, by her father's side.

And elsewhere many other Holy Martyrs, Confessors and Holy virgins.

R. Thanks be to God


Morning Prayer

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Place Yourself in the Presence of God, and adore His holy Name.

Most holy and adorable Trinity, one God in three Persons, I believe that Thou art here present: I adore Thee with the deepest humility, and render to Thee, with my whole heart, the homage which is due to Thy sovereign majesty.

An Act of Faith

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

An Act of Hope

O my God, relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

An Act of Love

O my God, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbour as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

Thank God for All Favours and Offer Yourself to Him.

O my God, I most humbly thank Thee for all the favours Thou hast bestowed upon me up to the present moment. I give Thee thanks from the bottom of my heart that Thou hast created me after Thine own image and likeness, that Thou hast redeemed me by the precious blood of Thy dear Son, and that Thou hast preserved me and brought me safe to the beginning of another day. I offer to Thee, O Lord, my whole being, and in particular all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings of this day. I consecrate them all to the glory of Thy name, beseeching Thee that through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour they may all find acceptance in Thy sight. May Thy divine love animate them, and may they all tend to Thy greater glory.

Resolve to Avoid Sin and to Practice Virtue.

Adorable Jesus, my Saviour and Master, model of all perfection, I resolve and will endeavour this day to imitate Thy example, to be, like Thee, mild, humble, chaste, zealous, charitable, and resigned. I will redouble my efforts that I may not fall this day into any of those sins which I have heretofore committed (here name any besetting sin), and which I sincerely desire to forsake.

Ask God for the Necessary Graces.

O my God, Thou knowest my poverty and weakness, and that I am unable to do anything good without Thee; deny me not, O God, the help of Thy grace; proportion it to my necessities; give me strength to avoid anything evil which Thou forbiddest, and to practise the good which Thou hast commanded; and enable me to bear patiently all the trials which it may please Thee to send me.

The Lord’s Prayer...

The Hail Mary...

The Apostles’ Creed...

At this point, please go to the relevant text of Fr Hamon’s Meditation. Once I have read and meditated on the text, and its various points . I complete my meditation by saying:

Evening Prayer


Friday in Passion Week: The Compassion of the Blessed Virgin

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate tomorrow: first, on the sufferings which Mary experienced at the foot of the cross; second, on the virtues which she practised there; third, on the words addressed to her by Jesus. We will then make the resolution: first, often to honour the compassion of the Blessed Virgin by pious aspirations; second, to imitate today, by some special act, the patience, the humility, and the spirit of sacrifice of which she offers us an example in this mastery; third, to offer great thanks to Our Lord for having given us Mary to be our mother. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of the Church: “Mary, abyss of love, make me feel thy sorrows; make me to weep with thee.

Meditation for the Morning

Let us transport ourselves in spirit to the holy mountain of Calvary, to the foot of the cross, be side Mary. Let us salute this mother of dolours as the queen of martyrs, for she will not allow herself to be called by any other name in this mystery. “Call me not Noemi (that is, beautiful), but call me Mara (that is, bitter), for the Almighty hath quite filled me with bitterness” (Ruth i:20).

The sufferings which Mary endured at the foot of the cross

All the most cruel torments which the martyrs endured are as nothing in comparison with the anguish which Mary suffered. The martyrs suffered at least only in their bodies, and besides the unction of grace softened and charmed their torments to such a degree that they were seen to triumph joyfully amidst the most cruel tortures; but in Mary it was her very soul which was transpierced with the sword of grief, without the alleviation of any consolation (Luke ii:35). And what suffering, O my God! If a mother who sees her son expiring before her eyes suffers indescribable agony, what must Mary have felt, she who felt for Jesus a love which nature and grace elevated to the highest degree; nature in showing her in Jesus the most amiable of sons, the most holy, the most perfect, the most accomplished of men; grace in revealing to her in Him a God infinitely good and infinitely amiable (Hymn, Stabat Mater); and this beloved Son she was forced to see dragged through the streets of Jerusalem, to the priests, to Pilate, to Herod, everywhere insulted, scoffed at, despised; she was forced to behold Him scourged, crowned with thorns, proclaimed by the people to be worthy of death, and worse than the thief and assassin Barabbas; she was forced to accompany Him to Calvary, ascending the mountain beneath the weight of the cross, exhausted from loss of strength and of blood, covered with wounds and spittle; and she could not give Him any aid! For a mother like Mary, what a martyrdom! She was forced to see Him stretched upon the cross, to hear the blows of the hammers driving the nails into His feet and His hands, to contemplate Him, with all His wounds, lifted up between heaven and earth, agonising during three hours; she was forced to hear His last farewell, receive His last sigh, without being able to die with Him (Ibid.).

And, what was worse still, she suffered the sorrows which she herself caused her Son by her extreme affliction; and all those other quite inexpressible tortures which the heart of her Son suffered at the sight of all the sins committed by the men who are determined to damn themselves in spite of all the means of salvation offered to them. O daughter of Jerusalem! to what can we compare the extremity of thy affliction? It is as great as the sea (Lam. ii:14). Obtain for me grace to compassionate thy sorrows, O my mother! (Hymn, Stabat Mater) It is my duty: first, because a son ought to share in the sufferings of his mother (Ibid.); second, because he could not love Jesus who could be insensible to His sufferings (Ibid.); third, because my sins are at once both the cause and the object of the sufferings of thy Son, and of thine, O afflicted mother! (Ibid.)

The virtues practised by Mary at the foot of the cross

First, she practises there an unalterable patience. She stands up in the midst of the horrible tempest like a rock surrounded by waves, which beat against it without causing it to fall. Neither the abyss into which she is plunged by her grief, nor the spectacle of death, nor the fury of man, nor the rage of demons is able to cast her down. Her demeanour is full of resolution and courage. Without allowing a complaint to escape her, she adores the designs of God in silence and submits to them. Let us look at ourselves in this beautiful mirror of patience, and let us be confounded. It requires so little to cast us down, to make us lose heart, to excite complaints and murmurings!

Second, the humility of Mary is here equal to her patience. A mother whose son is suffering capital punishment is ashamed to show herself; she is afraid lest the ignominy of her son should rebound upon her, and she hides herself; but Mary shows herself and shows herself even at the foot of the cross (John xix:25). It is there she awaits all the contempt, all the insults that can be heaped upon her, and is happy to be able to taste with Jesus the chalice of humiliation and to drink it down to the dregs. What a lesson for us!

Third, Mary teaches us the spirit of sacrifice. Knowing that the design of God is that Jesus should die to save the world, she enters with her whole soul into the divine decrees. Heavenly Father, she says, take Thy sword, strike the Victim, tear my entrails, wrench out my heart by taking from me my beloved Son. I resign myself to it for the sake of Thy glory and the salvation of the world. What a sublime example of the spirit of sacrifice!

The words spoken by Jesus to Mary

Whilst Mary was suffering such great sorrows, and practising such lofty virtues, Jesus, turning His eyes towards St John, and seeing in him, state the Fathers, the representative of all the faithful, Woman, He says to Mary, behold thy son; I substitute him to fill My place (John xix:26). Blessed words, by which Jesus gives us His mother to be our mother, He who had already given us His Father to be our Father, that we might be His brethren, having the same Father and mother! Words which ought to fill our hearts with confidence, with consolation, and with happiness! O Mary, thou art my mother! I no longer fear, I am happy and I hope!

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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