Confraternity of the Passion International
May The Passion of Jesus be always in Your Heart!
And May His Face Shine on You!
It remained for the Holy Father, Benedict XV, who had a singular devotion to St. Paul of the Cross, to bestow one more special privilege on the Confraternity. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the canonization of the Founder of the Passionists, His Holiness, by a brief "Probe Novimus" of February 16th, 1918, at the request of the Superior-General of the Congregation, graciously granted that the Confraternity, at the "Scala Sancta" ("Holy Stairs") be raised to the dignity of an Archconfraternity, and at the same time approved a new summary of indulgences for members of the Confraternity.
On the twenty-second of September, 1861, Pope Pius IX, of blessed memory, by a brief "Curavit Nobis" granted to the Superior-General of the Passionists the privilege of erecting the Confraternity throughout the world, and of communicating to the members all the indulgences and spiritual favors already granted by the Holy See to the Passionist Congregation. Moreover, the Confraternity members participate in all the good works performed, and in the Masses offered for the living and dead in the same Congregation.
By a Rescript dated July 20th, 1863, the Holy See granted the faculty of investing the members of the Confraternity in the Black Scapular, especially approved for the Congregation of the Passionists. These signal favors helped considerably to increase the membership of the Confraternity. Branches were established in France, England, Ireland, Spain, Australia and America. The spiritual seed so happily sown by St. Paul of the Cross had taken firm root and now began to grow with vigor.
Among the many pious societies in the Church of God, the Confraternity of the Passion International holds a prominent position. It owes its origin to St. Paul of the Cross, who was born in Ovada, Italy, January,3 1694. This Saint was not content to establish a Congregation of men whose purpose in life would be to unite contemplation of the Passion of Christ with the preaching of the glories and ignominies of the Cross. Nor was the scope of his Apostolate finished when he founded a group of Religious Women who were to meditate day and night on the Sufferings of Christ, and who by their life of prayer and penance would make atonement for the coldness and ingratitude of men. St. Paul of the Cross further desired to enroll persons living in the world into societies who would recall to mind the sufferings of their Redeemer.
The object St. Paul of the cross had in mind was that through this salutary devotion, men and women of the world would lead lives conformable to Him who Died for them on the Cross. The Confraternity had the privilege of receiving its rule from the Saint himself. This Confraternity of the Passion International still preserves the Holy Founder's aim and spirit. Rules similar to those compiled by the saintly Founder, are offered to the members of the Confraternity as a help to free their hearts from sinful attachments; to concentrate their affection on the love of Jesus Crucified, and to lead them to the imitation of His Virtues in which solid piety and true holiness consist.
As a further mark of approbation of the good work done by the Confraternity, the same Pius IX, committed to the Passionist Congregation, the custody of the Pontifical Sanctuary of the "Holy Stairs" annexed to the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, which he made the principal centre of the Confraternity.
Members of the Confraternity can give much assistance in this great work. By observing the Rules of the Society, by meditating upon the sufferings of Jesus Christ, by living in union with Him, they can show by their lives that Christ Crucified is still the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.