O Loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of Thy Shoulder on which Thou didst bear Thy heavy Cross, which so tore Thy flesh and laid bare Thy Bones as to inflict on Thee an anguish greater than any other wound of Thy Most Blessed Body. I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify Thee, and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful Wound, beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain, and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy Cross to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins, and to lead me on towards Heaven along the Way of Thy Cross. Amen.
Imprimatur: Thomas D. Beven, Bishop of Springfield
It is related in the annals of Clairvaux that St. Bernard asked our Lord which was His greatest unrecorded suffering, and Our Lord answered: "I had on My Shoulder, while I bore My Cross on the Way of Sorrows, a grievous Wound, which was more painful than the others, and which is not recorded by men. Honor this wound with thy devotion, and I will grant thee whatsoever thou dost ask through its virtue and merit. And in regard to all those who shall venerate this Wound, I will remit to them all their venial sins, and will no longer remember their mortal sins."
DEVOTION TO THE HOLY WOUNDS OF CHRIST
Eternal Father I offer Thee the Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the wounds of our souls. My Jesus, pardon and mercy through the merits of Thy Sacred Wounds.
Here are some statements Jesus is said to have made to Sr. Mary Martha about this devotion:
- "Come to My Wounds with hearts burning with love, and make the aspirations with great fervor that you may obtain the graces and favors you desire. Come to this wound in My Side; it is the Wound of Love from which issue flames of fire"
- "You must pray that the knowledge of My Sacred Wounds may spread in the world". (As He said these words, Sr. Mary Martha saw five luminous rays of glory issue from the Wounds of Christ, and envelop the globe.)
- "My Holy Wounds sanctify souls and insure their spiritual advancement...Offer Me your actions united to My Sacred Wounds, and even the smallest will have an incomprehensible value"
- "Offer them often to Me for sinners because I thirst for souls. At each word of the invocation that you utter, I will let a drop of My Blood fall upon the soul of a sinner."
- "When you offer My Holy Wounds for sinners, you must not forget to do so for the souls in Purgatory, as there are but few who think of their relief. The Holy Wounds are the treasure of treasures for the souls in Purgatory."
Nihil obstat: John A. Schulien, Censor Librorum; Milwaukee, WI, 2 May 1956. Imprimatur: +Albertus G. Meyer, Archbishop of Milwaukee, 1 May 1956.
The following are promises by Jesus to Sr. Mary Martha Chambon:
1. I will grant all that is solicited from Me through the invocation of my holy Wounds. This devotion must be spread.
2. In truth, this devotion comes not from earth but from heaven. It can obtain everything.
3. My holy Wounds support the world... ask me to like them constantly, for they are the source of graces. One must invoke them often, attract others to them and instill this devotion in the souls.
4. When you suffer sorrows, promptly confide them to my Wounds and they will be alleviated.
5. he following aspirations must be repeated often to sick persons: "My Jesus, pardon and mercy, for the merits of Your Holy Wounds.". This prayer will soothe both body and soul.
6. And the sinner who will say: "Eternal Father, I offer You the Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ to save our souls." will obtain conversion.
7. My Wounds shall heal yours.
8. There shall be no death for the souls who will pass out in my Wounds. They give the true life.
9. For each word of the Chaplet of Mercy that you will pronounce, I will allow a drop of my Blood to fall upon the soul of a sinner.
10. The soul who will have honoured my holy Wounds and will have offered them to the Eternal Father for the souls in Purgatory shall be accompanied by the Blessed Virgin and the Angels at the hour of their death and I, in my radiant glory, will receive them and crown them.
11. The holy Wounds are the treasure of treasures for the souls in Purgatory.
12. The Devotion to my Wounds is the remedy in these times of iniquity.
13. Fruits of sanctity pour out of my Wounds. By meditating upon them you shall acquire new food for love.
14. My child, if you dip your actions in my holy Wounds, they shall acquire value; your smallest actions covered with my Blood shall satisfy my Heart.
15. My holy Wounds must be offered to my Eternal Father. Through them the Church shall triumph, being helped by my Immaculate Mother.
What are the seven wounds or scars of Christ?
God’s love for sinners led Him to give all for their salvation (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ bore the chastisement necessary to give guilty humans peace with God. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Our Savior shed His blood to save humanity from eternal death (Romans 6:23). He did this because, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins” (Leviticus 17:11, 14; Hebrew 9:22). Every animal sacrifice pointed forward to the ultimate sacrifice of the “Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Therefore, “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
The Bible records the following seven wounds or scars of Jesus:
1-The wounds on His head
Matthew wrote, “And plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it on His head… (ch. 27:9, also John 19:5). The type of thorns that were grown in Jerusalem were called the Arabian Nebulae. This plant had sharp thorns that were up to 4 inches long. It is estimated that the cruel crown had over 100 spicules or thorns. This crown was pushed into Jesus’ head causing deep wounds.
The prophecy given to Ezekiel appears to apply not only to him in his day, but also of Jesus. “And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day… And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 2:3, 6).
In addition, Jesus received blows on his face on two different occasions. This could have caused additional wounds or scars. Matthew wrote, “Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands” (Matthew 26:67; John 18:22). This was a fulfillment to the Old Testament prophecy. “I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).
2-The wounds on His back
“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus and scourged Him” (Matthew 27:20; John 19:1). The Romans used the brutal cat-of-nine tails whip to scourge prisoners. At the tips of the whip were nine strands of leather which had sharp bones or metal balls attached with nails. As the whip was lashed on the back of the prisoners, it would tear out the flesh causing intense bleeding. According to the law, victims could be whipped up to 40 times. However, the punishment would frequently end at 39 lashes because the effects were often fatal.
This was a fulfillment of several Old Testament prophecies to the wounds or scars of Jesus. “The plowers plowed on my back; they made their furrows long” (Psalms 129:3). “I gave My back to the smiters” (Isaiah 50:6). Also, “They shall smite the Judge of Israel with a rod” (Micah 5:1). Jesus indeed endured suffering and pain for those whom He loves.
3 and 4-The wounds on His two hands
Perhaps the most notable scars or wounds of Jesus are those on His hands from the crucifixion. “So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified” (Mark 15:15 also Matthew 27:26, 35; John 19:1, 17).
The nailing of Jesus’ hands was a fulfillment to a Messianic Psalm. “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16).
Also, the prophet Zechariah foretold of the Messiah’s pierced hands. “And one shall say unto Him, what are these wounds in Thine hands?…” (ch. 13:6). He also added, “They shall look upon Him Whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10).
After the resurrection, Jesus invited Thomas “the doubter” to see and touch His nail-pierced hands for himself. “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands… Do not be unbelieving, but believing” (John 20:27).
5 and 6- The wounds on His two feet
The New Testament records that Jesus was crucified by nailing His feet. “And when they were come… to Calvary, there they crucified Jesus” (Luke 23:33; John 19:16-18). This was a fulfillment to the Old Testament prophecy that stated, “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16). Also, “They shall look upon Him Whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10).
The piercing of the feet was an important part of the crucifixion. When the victim was nailed in the feet to the cross, this was essential to them being able to breathe. As they hung with arms extended, breathing was very difficult and the person would have to push up with their legs onto their nail-pierced feet in order to inhale. It caused excruciating pain with every breath, but it was how the victim temporarily survived. This is why the guards would break the legs of the victim in order for the person to expire. However, it was prophesied of Jesus that none of His bones would be broken. “He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken” (Psalm 34:20).
“The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away… But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs… For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken” (John 19:31, 33, 36).
7- The wound on His side
In order to verify Jesus’ death, “one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water” (John 19:34). This fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy that stated, “They shall look upon Him Whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10). After the resurrection, Jesus invited Thomas “the doubter” to put his hand also into His side saying, “Reach your finger here…and put it into My side…” (John 20:27).
This final piercing of Jesus showed the state of His heart. The fact that both water and blood came out demonstrates the extreme stress and trauma He was under. It was so intense that it brought about a condition known as pericardial effusion. This is where fluid builds around the heart and can be fatal. It is often said that this event shows that Jesus died of a broken heart.
Jesus’ wounds of love
God demonstrated inexplicable love for the lost race in enduring this sacrifice for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
The scars or wounds on Christ’s glorified body will remain throughout eternity to testify to the Creator’s infinite love for humanity. “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends” (Zechariah 13:6).
In His service,
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