The many faces of St. Francis from the Basilica

Devotions to Our Precious Lord, Jesus Christ, Perfect God and Perfect Man

St. Theresa of Avila is credited with this prayer, "From silly devotions and sour faced saints, Good Lord, deliver us!"

None of the devotions we present to you are in the least silly. And we, being called-- as all baptized persons are-- to be saints, have no cause at all to be sour faced. The Joy of the Lord is our strength. We invite you to find strength in Jesus.

Each of these devotions focuses in one way or another on Our Lord, Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, the Redeemer of the World, King of Glory, and best lover of our souls. Each of them seek to bring us closer to Him.

The Stations of the Cross, The Via Delorosa, The Way of the Cross, The Via Crucis, all these titles refer both to a series of fourteen representations of events on Christís journey to the Cross and the popular devotion of passing before them in meditation on Christís sacrifice.

The devotion reflects the practice of pilgrims to Jerusalem who, from earliest times to the current day, have followed the way of the Cross from the house of Pilate to Calvary and wished to re-enact this journey on their return home. The traditional pilgrimage route in Jerusalem starts at the site of Pilateís Judgement Hall in the Antonia and follows the Via Dolorosa through the narrow streets of Old Jerusalem to come to the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre on Calvary Hill.

When the Franciscans received custody of the holy places in medieval times, they encouraged the erection of tableaux in their own churches depicting the sacrificial journey. The custom spread widely to other churches.

The content and number of the stations has varied widely throughout the ages, but the number was settled as fourteen under Clement XII in the 18th century. Eight of the stations directly reflect incidents recorded in the Gospels; the remaining six are based on inferences from the Gospel or from pious legend.

There have never been any prescribed prayers for this devotion, only that one take the time to prayerfully reflect on the events of the passion of Our Lord.

We are pleased to be able to offer for your devotional use a number of different forms of this way of meditating on the great acts of God in the Redemption of the World.

A Scriptural Way of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross with Meditations by John Henry Newman

The Way of the Cross from the Book of Occassional Services 1991

May God touch your heart and lead you ever closer to Him as you reflect on the Passion of Our Precious Lord in this very Franciscan devotion.

The Office of the Passion (also known as The Office of the Cross) is a collection of psalms, composed by Saint Francis. He carefully chose texts from Scripture, in order to celebrate the main mysteries of Christ's birth, public life, death and resurrection. The Office of the Passion is really a celebration of the mysteries of Christ's life. As such, we recommend it to your use. This never substitutes for the Hours of the Daily Office, which Francis prayed even when he was weak. It is an additional devotion.

The Office of the Passion is divided into five parts, to be said at different times of the year: (1) the Sacred Triduum and ferial days during the year; (2) Eastertide; (3) Sundays and principal feasts; (4) Advent; (5) Christmas and Epiphany.

St. Clare and her sisters recited this Office. The Legend of St. Clare, 30, states that "she learned the Office of the Cross as Francis, a lover of the Cross, had established it and recited it with similar affection".

So, here it is, St. Francis' Office of the Passion

Litanies of Our Lord. These are responsive prayers to help us meditate and to draw us through vocal and mental prayer ever closer to Jesus.
Each of these liturgical prayers focus in one way or another on Our Lord, Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.

Litany of the Love of God
The Divine Praises
The Anima Christi of Elizabeth Seton
Litany of the Holy Childhood of Jesus
Litany of the Passion
Litany of the Blessed Sacrament
Litany of Christ the King
Litany of Jesus, King of Nations
Litany of the Jesus, Priest and Victim

Novenas, have been prayed from the very beginning of the Christian Era. The word is derived from "novem", nine in Latin. In Acts 1, we see that Mary and the Apostles prayed for nine days between Ascension and Pentecost. St. Jerome wrote that "the number nine in Holy Writ is indicative of suffering and grief." So, novenas, series of prayers prayed nine times during a day or over nine days have become often devotions that have about them a sense of urgency.
The ones we present here focus on the praise of God and on spiritual growth.

Novena in preparation for Christmas
Novena of the Holy Name
Novena in Preparation for Easter
Novena in Preparation for Ascension Thursday
Novena to the Holy Spirit in Preparation for Pentecost
Novena to receive the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Novena of Christ the King

We also offer a variety of chaplets for your devotional use. A chaplet is a devotion, usually prayed with the prayers counted off on beads. These particular chaplets focus on our Lord. Like all chaplets, they are a joining of mental and vocal prayers.

Chaplet of Divine Mercy
Chaplet of the Holy Face of Jesus
Blessed Sacrament Chaplet
Holy Trinity Chaplet

Additionally, we recommend the following free e-books for devotional reading to encourage growth in the love of God:

Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, in pdf format from Sister's Bookshelf
The Practice of the Presence of God, By Brother Lawrence, in pdf from Sister's Bookshelf
On Loving God by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, in pdf from Sister's Bookshelf
The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Anna Catherine Emmerich, from Project Gutenberg
Baltimore Catechism #4--a review of the faith from Baptism to the Last Judgment, from Project Gutenberg

We will add additional devotions from time to time.
For now, there is a wealth of opportunity for spiritual growth in these.

May God touch your heart and lead you ever closer to Him.

Take a moment to pray
© 2006 The Franciscan Order of the Divine Compassion. All rights reserved.