Spiritual Rosaries

By Mattia da Salò

Translated by Patrick Colbourne OFM Cap

From I Fratti Cappuccini. Documenti e testimonianze del primo secolo, Vol. III/1 pp. 768-805. Ed. Costanzo Cargnoni.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Constanzo Cargnoni OFM Cap

Mattia da Salò genuinely lived what he wrote. If his other works appear to be more sophisticated because their style is scholarly, heavy, meditative and wide ranging, the little work that is presented here represents a more personal summary of the substance of his method of prayer, reduced as one might say today, to the simplest little crumbs.

In a letter dated 4th January 1595 that was addressed to Orazio Mancini, the author himself speaks about this work. (I Frati Cappuccini part II pp. 984-986). In his book La Filotea (part ii, ch 1) recommended it immediately next to the writings of St Bonaventure. His Brother, Giovanni da Salò, who was the editor of this small pocket edition, explained the whole history of the work and how it was used by the author and famous people such as St Charles Borromeo and the great influence that it exercised in the Order both for the formation of young novices and students and how it was used by St Serafino da Montegranaro who “being inspired by God, – as his most ancient biographer reported – memorised certain Rosaries composed by Father Mattia da Salò a very devout Capuchin religious, and had many copies made of them, which he distributed to many devout souls… To the great astonishment of all he had memorised these lengthy passages of various meditations so well that he was able to recite them unflinchingly without the slightest error.” (Cf. AO 18 [1900] 238a in the note).

It might be well to let Giovanni da Salò speak as he has faithfully and accurately documented all the important facts in the Prologue:

“St Charles of happy memory, asked Father Matthia, who is the author of this little book, for a devout work on prayer (concerning which he knew that he was well versed and in whom he had great trust) and he sent back his Practices of Mental Prayer. The Saint replied that he held the Practices in esteem (indeed during one of his Councils he had exhorted fathers of families to read them to their servants on feast days) but that he was looking for something more brief, easy and lively because of the many, weighty activities which distracted and tired his mind and which did not permit him to enter into long meditation to be stirred by them. The author replied: “I have written some Rosaries to keep the mind on the path: perhaps they will serve your purpose”. He sent them to him. The Saint told him subsequently that he was very pleased with them and had derived great profit from them. In addition to this Giussanti alludes to them in Book VIII chapter 5 of his History of the Saint stating that he frequently meditated on the Passion of Our Lord, for which he had a special devotion, breaking it up into various points, and that he had made a book with illustrated pages of the mystery of the Passion, to have them at hand to look at as a help to his memory concerning the things on which he wanted to meditate. At the time of his death several volumes were found containing points such as these.

A similar exchange took place between the author and Cardinal Morosini, Bishop of Brescia, who appreciated the Rosaries, which he copied with his own hand. He said later on that he did not uses more than twelve points during an exercise, keeping them close at hand to keep his mind recollected, attentive and on the subject and ready to continue the act of prayer with relish.

When the Bishop of Ascoli was gathering information concerning the sanctity and reputed miracles of Brother Serafino da Montegranaro, a Capuchin, when the city of Ascoli was requesting the Pope to beatify him, he found that the Brother held the Rosaries in such esteem and practiced them so much that he knew them off by heart (for he could not read) and that he carried them around so that he could give them to people as the occasion arose.

Various young Capuchins were content to perform them, to such an extent that they knew where a particular point was when they were suddenly asked for it. For example: that the fourth point of the third decade of the sixth Rosary dealt with the love out of which the Saviour freely sent the Spirit from God to us. They stated that they spent three hours each night in fasting and praying without being distracted and that this made them feel delighted and that they would have spent more time if obedience had permitted. They were translated into Latin for the novices in Bohemia.

Likewise, they were also fruitfully communicated to other religious Prelates and secular friends who had asked the author for advice as to how to pray easily and well.

It would seem that he only communicated them in writing to satisfy those who were devout and that when this happened they regarded them as more valuable and put them into practice with more passion and profit. He never wanted them to be printed. Now that he is dead here they are in print for the common good after they had already been reviewed and updated by him a few years ago.

With respect to the author, whether he was ill or involved in work, in seventy years of religious life he was never known to have omitted to perform the two hours of mental prayer that the Capuchin Order laid down for each day. During these periods, for example at Easter and Christmas and on other Solemnities he meditated (often easily in tears) on the Lord’s Passion and Birth, chewing over the points using the beads of the Rosaries as they were gleaned from the texts of the Gospels. Desiring that the entire world should meditate on them he was never satisfied with preaching them using the voice, print or the pen. We know from those in whom he confided that he always remained steady to such an extent that he dealt with existing external duties with a mind that was agile, detached and active, and that he also practiced the method of the Preparation for Mass which he had suggested to others (which God willing will be printed and can soon be seen in Practices 66 and 67 in part four) according to which he accompanied Christ and the Church Triumphant and Militant and the mystical members of the Church, who are the saints, in continually offering the Passion of Christ Himself to the divine Majesty for the glory of God.

He held this exercise of prayer in regard for another reason: and he used to say that the matters that he treated with God in prayer were so important that he did not want the foolishness of children (this is how he used to refer to external matters no matter how serious they were) to take precedence over the cross. In fact in the Order he always joyfully carried his cross of austerity, toil, government or sickness etc., which was clear proof that he frequently meditated on the Passion and indicative of outstanding purity and a Christian frame of mind.

Much might be said concerning the origin and utility of this little work, which at first sight might appear to be dry, by way of a brief introduction, but it needs to be read right through and put into practice, keeping in mind that habitual usage makes it easier to overcome many obstacles, that individuals have different tastes so that each one should be led by the Holy Spirit; bearing in mind what our Father St Francis taught that anyone who takes any subject other than Christ the Saviour as the object of their prayer is exposed to the deceptions of the devil and to falling. Above all try to discipline yourself and place yourself on the cross if you wish to acquire a suitable taste for contemplation.” (Spiritual Rosaries, 6-12).

Spiritual Rosaries for Consideration when Contemplating the Passion of the Saviour

How to make use of them

4454 The reason why what follows is very useful is because the greatest difficulty encountered when praying is keeping our attention focused. When we ponder on the divine mysteries they become deposited in our mind in a marvellous manner stirring and arousing holy emotions within us that raise us up to the acts of virtue, such as love of God, reverence for Him, thanksgiving, the resolve to serve Him perfectly, to obey Him and to endure any suffering or labour for Him, that are fitting for a Christian, thus enabling us to imitate the loving Jesus who has set us an example of infinite perfection.

When we wander off into other thoughts we forfeit this advantage and waste time. No matter how often we come back to good thoughts, if we do not retain them steadily, or allow ourselves to be drawn away once again by distractions, we shall become cold, exhausted, upset and having little desire to return to this very noble exercise of mental prayer.[1]

4455 To achieve this we propose this very important method for maintaining attention, because dividing the mysteries into little pieces keeps the mind fixed on a chain with many associations. Although you may have little taste for this at the beginning because the contact is short and there is effort involved in considering so many little pieces, yet when following this method you will not have gone far when you will begin to feel holy unction, and that will move you further on to proceeding more gradually, not worrying about covering all the mysteries, but developing a taste for them and deriving fruit from them.[2]

The way to do this is to take rosary beads into your hand and on each bead consider a mystery which you divide into three parts: in the first part consider the mystery; in the second part identify and acknowledge that it was undertaken for our sake, with the exception of the initial mysteries that praise God as He is in Himself, in the third part thank God from the depths of your heart. Just as when we are giving thanks we speak to God, it is also good and very helpful, to speak to God when we are thinking of the mystery and when we are considering how it was done for us by saying: “You did that for my welfare, Oh my Good. I thank You etc.”

At the end of each of these rosaries a person could ask God for whatever is appropriate or suitable to his work or needs, and is in line with his personal situation. To do this he may have some particular points on hand to be mentioned when he is ready even though this goes beyond the rosary and exceeds a specific number as this is not obligatory for anyone but is simply offered as a help for those who need it.

MONDAY

Jesus prays in the garden and sweats blood

Practices for the first Rosary

4456 1. Praise[3] the Majesty of our Lord God because of His infinite perfections, namely power, wisdom, goodness, treasures and glory.

Thank Him for all the good that He has done, does and will do for His creatures, if they do not place obstacles.

Thank Him for all the good He has done to you by His actions and by the decrees of His divine will.

For the most holy mystery of the Incarnation.

For all the honours given to the most holy Virgin because of this.

For Christ’s most holy life and its many circumstances that were beneficial to us.

For His Passion in general.

For its special cause which was the love He bears for us.

For the most excellent perfection of all the virtues which He exercised and showed us during His Passion.

For the main outcome of His Passion which was that it was most highly pleasing to God.

For the secondary result of His Passion which was that is made satisfaction for our sins, and so obtained God’s forgiveness and grace.

 

4457 2. For the onset of mental anxiety that He felt and showed when He entered the city on Palm Sunday.

For the manner in which He prearranged the betrayal planning the time and opportunity for it to happen.

For the anxiety that He experienced during the supper and what it meant that one who was amongst His dearest friends betrayed Him.[4]

For the torment which that also caused His other disciples.

For the benevolent discourse that He delivered to them in the Cenacle.

For the tearful farewell He received from them and from His Mother[5] wherever she was.

For His departure from the city to which He would return bound and for every step that He took at that time.

For His great desolation after He arrived in the garden.

For showing this to His disciples saying my soul is sorrowful unto death and for displaying great concern on His face.[6]

For the warning that he gave them to pray[7] when in such great need.

For the sorrow that gripped the hearts of the Apostles in seeing their Master who was so seriously distressed.

4458 3. For the causes of such great sadness and first of all for the pain endured by His blessed senses when he saw clearly and distinctly in His mind all that he had to suffer.

For having His mind upset by the consciousness of the anxiety which He endured this was going to increase.

For the hurt in His intellect itself which was aware of the disgrace He was about to suffer and the pain that was to come and would overflow into His body.

For the pain that he felt at seeing such a grave offence committed against His Father, whose most beloved Son was about to be so badly maltreated.

For the affront that was about to be committed against His Person, which although in fact divine, still suffered from the injuries and pain inflicted by sinful people.

For His compassion towards His Mother.

For His compassion for His disciples and other friends for the suffering which they had to suffer then and afterwards because of the Passion.

For the pain that he felt in His soul when He foresaw the joy and anger of His enemies who were happy that He was suffering.

For the loss of Judas which troubled His loving heart.

For the fruitlessness of His Passion in spite of which many would still be lost.

For our ingratitude, which He could foresee, and which distressed Him greatly, as he could do little or nothing to prevent it in those whom He held in such high regard and who had cost Him so much.[8]

4459 4. Thank the Lord again for this most bitter punishment which has come from so many quarters for He has endured it for you.

For the steps that He took and the thoughts that crossed His mind as He took leave of His disciples to go to the place of prayer.[9]

For kneeling down bowing His head and thoughts to God.[10]

For the profound heartbreak that He experienced while He knelt there, and it took over His heart,[11] when He had set aside time for such demanding prayer and such perfect obedience.

For praying to His Father that the chalice, which left such a bitter taste in His soul, would pass Him by.[12]

For the way in which he felt abandoned in His human nature by His divine nature and the glorified part of His mind, with regard to help and comfort, an abandonment that was greater than He could endure, so that He would have fainted and died if doing the will of His Father had not given Him the courage to revive.

For the help and support of an Angel who was sent to Him[13] for this reason. By his presence and strength this Angel relieved the weakness of the senses of Jesus which had been completely abandoned.

For the Angel’s sweet exhortations to suffer.

For Our Lord’s incomparable humility through which He showed that He really needed the assistance of His servant.

For abandoning Himself to His Father’s will[14] after He had been comforted by the Angel.

For sweating blood abundantly,[15] when afflicted by such penetrating sadness and conflict between His senses, which instinctively turn away from and abhor suffering, and His intellect which followed His Father will in everything.

4460 5. For the fatherly and pastoral concern which He showed for His Apostles, whom He woke and sweetly reprimanded.[16]

For the steps that He took when returning to prayer.[17]

For the most humble manner in which He prostrated Himself before His Father with heart and body.[18]

For the bitter sorrow He endured when He forced open the door of His mind.

For His humble request to be freed from that hour and His Passion.

For the loving offering He made of Himself to the Father being prepared to undergo any punishment for the sake of His will.[19]

For the charity that motivated Him to visit, rouse and warn His Apostles once again.[20]

For the last steps that he took in returning to prayer.

For the very reverent appearance of His body and the most profound submission of His mind in coming to pray and in continuing with it to the end.

For the very humble petition that He made for the third time in giving up His will completely to the will of the Father.[21]

For the harsh exhaustion which He suffered by remaining on His knees on the bear earth and imploring His Father so strongly and doing such violence to His senses that He shed vast amounts of blood.

4461 6. For the most holy and deliberate resolution to undergo suffering[22] that was taken at that time as the solid foundation of the heavenly building of the Passion.

For coming purposively to His disciples.

Thank Him for everything in this painful and exhausting work that was undertaken for us sinners.

Ask God by virtue of such suffering and the holy sweating of blood to forgive all your sins, which were its cause.

Ask Him to teach you to pray with great emotion like Christ.

Ask Him to give you the strength to overcome movements of the senses and of the flesh, which always rebel against reason.

Ask Him to give you the grace to be subject to the will of Him who as a most loving Father always and in everything provides what is good for His children.

Ask that He will never let you forget the needs of the poor, knowing that to remember them with feelings of charity is the wealth that ascends above and what makes our sacrifice pleasing.[23]

Pray that He will grant you constancy in toil and trouble so that you may always persevere in submission to His most just and kind pleasure.

Pray that He will support you in temporal tribulations and temporal needs especially when they are good for the soul.

Pray that He will make you receptive to the warnings and comfort of His holy Angel whom He has assigned to you as guide and protector out of His goodness.

4462 7. Pray to Him for the Holy Church and all its ecclesiastical and secular ministers.

For all individuals in the world.

For the souls in Purgatory.

Thank Him for having given you the grace to pray like this.

TUESDAY

Jesus is arrested, mocked and scourged

Practices for the second Rosary

4463 1. Praise God for the excellence of His Divinity and holiness.

Thank him for all the good things He has bestowed on creatures.

Thank Him for all that He has given, is giving and will give to you if you do not place obstacles.

For the great benefit He conferred on the world when the Son took flesh.

For the unique greatness bestowed on Mary the Virgin.

For what she gained by means of her most holy life.

For our salvation which was brought about through His Passion.

For the entire mystery of the Passion and the holy prayer that He offered in the garden.

For the courageous and loving advance which He made towards His enemies knowing how they would treat Him.

For letting the traitor kiss Him and for what He said to him.[24]

For remaining alone in the hands of His enemies, abandoned by His friends.[25]

4464 2. For the insulting manner of the arrest when He was bound,[26] dragged and reproached.

For the benefit which He conferred on His enemies when they made Him fall and get up again, when He reproved His disciples, when He cured the ear of Malchus, and admonished the Jews by showing that all this was happening because it was God’s will.[27]

For His journey to Jerusalem in so much suffering while bound.

For His being presented to Annas, a just person to a guilty person who was His enemy.

For His being presented to Caiphas, as an evil person, although He was innocent, holy and God.[28]

For the interrogation by the High priest and His response.[29]

For the slap on the cheek which he received so unjustly from the insolent servant, which He repaid with a loving correction.[30]

For the false accusations to which He made no response.[31]

For His reverence for the name of God when, under oath, He proclaimed His identity although He knew that He would be condemned because of that.[32]

For His being condemned to death for proclaiming the truth that was so necessary for the world, namely, that He was Christ and the Judge of all.[33]

For the injuries that H suffered after He was condemned and the most horrible treatment which He received.[34] Thank Him for all of this.

4465 3. Then come down to detail: that they blindfolded Him[35] and mocked Him a great deal.

One or the other slapped His face repeatedly,[36] something that is very painful and embarrassing.

They struck Him on various parts of His holy body, especially under the ribs, which caused Him most bitter pain.[37]

They made fun of Him saying prophesy who it was that struck You.[38]

They tore the skin under His beard and hair showing great disrespect and causing pain.

They spat on His sacred face.[39]

They uttered many more curses[40] which were not written down.

They threw Him to the ground, dragging and beating Him.

The sorrow He experienced in seeing Peter deny Him. The compassion and concern that He felt for him, when calling him back to penitence with His glance, with the crow of the cock and by means of inner encouragement.[41]

Abandoned by everyone He remained in the hands of these wicked servants and bullies until morning, while the High Priests went off to sleep.

The meekness which He always displayed, never offering resistance to the rudeness and torment which they inflicted on Him.

4466 4. For the edict issued in the morning confirming the condemnation of the previous night after which they led Him bound to Pilate so that He could pass the death sentence on one who had been condemned.[42]

For the journey which He made along the road where His Mother awaited Him with them both experiencing such sorrow; and for the embarrassment which He experienced because of the assembly of so many people who had come to see Him since knowledge of His arrest had spread.

For standing before Pilate, a pagan, when He who was Most High seemed so low.

For the patience He displayed while enduring being falsely accused, being silent and answering most humbly.[43]

For going to Herod with great embarrassment along the way, followed by Mary and His friends.

For His remaining silent during Herod’s interrogation and the accusations of His enemies in order not to obstruct His Passion.

For the disrespect and mockery shown Him by Herod. Clothing Him in a white garment, and offering Him many insults as if He was a foolish and mad man.[44]

For His return to Pilate followed by a incalculable crowd, His Mother and His enemies who offered various comments and insults to Himself and to His Mother.

For being brought before Pilate for a second time while remaining silent to the insults, accusations and questioning.[45]

For Pilate’s determination to scourge Him to arouse the compassion of the Jews and to set Him free.[46]

For being stripped offending His virginal shame.[47]

4467 5. For His being tightly bound by His hands to the column.

For the first lashes of the harsh scourges because of which His immaculate flesh felt so much pain.

For each one of these strokes individually, for which He gave thanks for each lash as it struck. Next come to details:

By thanking Him for the lashes on His chest and think how there were many for each part of His chest.

By thanking Him for those on His stomach of which there were also many.

For those on His holy thighs.

For those on His holy legs.

For those on His holy sides.

For those on His holy shoulders.

For those on His holy back and kidneys.

For His pitiful appearance because of those lashes that made Him look like a leper.[48]

4468 6. For the disrespect and shame that He suffered because of what happened to Him in public, outside the Palace in the square.[49]

For the pain that He suffered for all that had happened to Him as the scourging had taken skin off in many places, uncovering bone, leaving Him black and blue.

For the blood which He shed in great quantities, spreading over the pavement and staining the whips, the clothing and the hands of the servants.

For remaining with eyes cast down, while raising them from time to time in a pitiful glance at those who were scourging Him.[50]

For the fear in His most blessed feelings and flesh as from time to time He awaited the cruelest lashes.

For the constancy of mind with which He accepted everything out of love, offering everything to the Father to make up for our sins.

For the anxiety suffered by the merciful Virgin and for the intimate sadness that her loving Son suffered out of compassion for her.

Thank Him for all of this most sacred Mystery.

Ask Him to deign through this sacred mystery to pardon all your sins for which His great suffering has made satisfaction.

Ask Him to grant you the grace and strength to continue to support you in the scourging of the tribulations of life by following His example.

Ask Him also to grant you the favour of leading a life of obedience to His holy precepts, so that His precious blood might not have been shed in vain.

4469 Pray to Him for the Holy Church and for all who govern her so that just as there was not a part of the body of Jesus that was not in distress so His whole body might be sustained.

Pray fro individuals throughout the world so that each and every one of them may receive the help that they need as holy members of Christ who have all been scourged and wounded.

Pray for the souls of the departed while offering the expiatory sufferings of Jesus for them.

Offer heartfelt thanks at the end of this holy prayer which God enabled you to present.

WEDNESDAY

Jesus is crowned with thorns.

Practices for the third Rosary

4470 1. Praise the Most High for the incomprehensible strength and magnificence of His Being, which is an ocean of all perfection.

Thank Him for having made creatures out of His goodness, giving them such a variety of environments and accomplishments.

Thank Him for the gifts that He gave you which there are many and great.

Thank Him for the sweet reality of the holy Incarnation.

Thank Him for the exceptional prerogatives afforded to the Blessed Virgin.

Thank Him for the divine life which the Son of God led in the flesh.

Thank Him for the bitter end of that life which took place in His Passion and death on the cross.

Thank Him for the painful mystery of the scourging.

Thank Him for putting it into the minds of Pilate’s servants to crown Him with thorns and make fun of Him.

For arranging everything to pour scorn on Him to cause Him such affliction and embarrassment.

For having a mind that was ready to accept so much pain and shame for the honour of His Father and for our honour.

4471 2. For the crown of thorns that was placed on His head while He was mocked with words.[51]

For the injuries inflicted all over His sacred head which gave Him very painful wounds. Then come to details.

For those which pierced and injured His sacred forehead.’

For those on the right-hand side of His forehead.

For those on the left-hand side of His sacred head.

For those which were above His right ear.

For those on the right-hand side of the back of His head.

For those at the middle of the back of His head.

For those which pierced Him near that.

For those that pierced his head above the left ear.

For those which pierced His left forehead.

For the sacred blood that began to flow when the thorns first pierced His head.

4472 3. For the shabby purple with which the soldiers clothed Him to mock Him.[52]

For the pain that this caused in the fresh wounds, which were throughout His holy and pain racked body.

For the cane which was placed in His hand as a royal sceptre.[53]

For seating Him like a king to make Him more embarrassed.

For the mocking adoration which they offered Him while saying: “Hail, King of the Jews”.[54] Consider five points with regard to these while offering thanks:

Striking His face with the palms of their hands.[55]

Pulling His beard and hair and hurting Him while pushing Him here and there.

Spitting in His face in a very wretched manner.[56]

The many grave sufferings that such treatment caused Him.

The extreme shame and embarrassment that He endured through all of this.

4473 4. For the blows struck by a cane on the top of His head by the cruel soldiers,[57] to cause Him more suffering and make the thorns penetrate His head. Then go into detail.

For the incisions made by the thorns because of the force of the blows to the middle of His holy forehead.

To the right side of the forehead.

To the section above His right ear that hurt the ear as well.

To the right of the back of His head, where there may have easily been injury to His holy nerves.

To the right side in front of His other ear.

To His left ear.

To the left side of His holy forehead.

For the bitter pain caused by the thorns which wounded His head because of the force of the blows that came from one or other direction, with some thorns remaining intact and others breaking in His head and some others tearing out pieces of His holy skin.

For the amount of blood that ran down His forehead, from His eyes, His face and His neck.

4474 5. For the despicable appearance of His holy presence, because of such ridiculous trimmings, because of the blood and the spittle that covered His most holy face.

For the most holy love that enabled Him to endure all of this without showing any sign of disgust.

For the compassion that He demonstrated at this time for those very cruel men.

For offering all these sufferings one by one to the Father for love of us.

For Pilate being overcome by such an undignified spectacle and being moved with compassion at seeing Him so insulted considering whether he could persuade the Jews to have compassion.[58]

For Christ rising to His feet at Pilate’s command, which took a great effort because the wounds had cooled off and His back hurt and because all His nerves which had been injured and made painful by the blows.

For all the steps which He took in going back with infinite pain because the purple robe which had become stuck to His wounds now detached itself and moved over the wounds.

For the effort it took to move and come to His feet.

For the embarrassment that He felt in His heart as He went to show Himself to all of the people with such a shameful appearance.

For the divine obedience that made Him go wherever He was led without any resistance.

For Pilate’s vile presentation of the true Son of God and King of glory as he said: “Behold the man”.[59]

4475 6. For the anxiety experienced by His Mother and His friends, at seeing Him so belittled and despised, which increased the sorrow of Jesus.

For the anger of the Jews who became even crueler when they cried; “Crucify Him!”[60]

For the unmeasurable grief that this caused in the soul of Christ and of His Mother.

For the love with which the meek Lamb endured such shame for the honour of the Father and to free us from the ignominy of sin and of hell.

Offer thanks for all the vile, painful and wonderful mysteries of the crowning and parading of Christ.

Pray that by means of such a bitter and ignominious passion the loving God would deign to pardon your sins.

That He would grant you true humility, since the Most High was so humbled for us and enable you to endure every insult and injury for love of Him.

That you would be prepared to despise all honours dignities, pomp and vanity in dress, and in everything else, since Our Lord has condemned all such vile displays.

That you would be constant in enduring every disgrace and maltreatment from whoever may inflict it on you.

That you would forgive your detractors and persecutors causing their hearts to soften by your endurance.

Then even when they continue to be hard of heart you will persevere in endurance.

4476 7. To offer this sacred mystery to God for the Church and all her ministers whom good Jesus has chosen to beautify and sanctify from all ugliness.

Offer this to Him likewise especially for all men in the world, so that it will provide for all, so that God may deign to support each one of them in their spiritual and temporal needs.

For the poor souls of those who have died who are being purified of their sins in the fire of Purgatory, so that the Passion may free them from their sins.

Conclude with a devout and humble thanksgiving to good Jesus for the graces granted during this prayer, adding some vocal prayers.

THURSDAY

Jesus is condemned and carries His cross.

Practices for the fourth Rosary

4477 1. Praise God as He is in Himself, all worthy of praise and reverence.

Thank Him for what He has given and gives to creatures in creating them, preserving them and bringing them to perfection.

For the greatest thing of all, the Incarnation for their salvation.

For all that He has done through the Incarnation for that unique Lady whom He chose to be His Mother.

For what He achieved most splendidly through the holiness of her virtuous and exemplary life.

For the exceptional achievement of His bitter Passion and death.

For the most beautiful and dignified mystery of His most wretched crowning.

For the patience that He showed when He saw the anger of His enemies, who wanted Him to be crucified at any cost, to the extent that Pilate could find no way to pacify them.[61]

For the great insult offered to Him when they would prefer to save the murderer Barabbas than the author of life, and when the crowd was stirred up by the leaders of the people to say this.[62]

For the declaration of His innocence that was made by Pilate when he said repeatedly that he could find no reason for death and called Him a just man, while washing his hands and saying he had been forced to let Him die.[63]

4478 2. For Pilate’s decree that sentenced Him to death.[64]

For stripping the purple garment reopening of His wounds and shedding blood.

For clothing Him in His own clothes which caused more pain because His whole blessed body was lacerated.[65]

For the particular pain that He suffered in His head because of the crown which was lifted up and down when He changed His clothing.

For being paraded again before the tribunal when He was sentenced together with two thieves.

For His first glimpse of the cross when it was brought there and alarmed His holy senses.

For the spirit and love with which He embraced the cross as a sword to cut off the head of His enemy, the trophy of His victory and the banner of His soldiers.

For the anticipation that He felt with respect to the very iniquitous sentence, with a heart full of anguish, of love, and of complete submission to the Father and to death.

For the wicked sentence passed by the president.

For the most humble obedience with which He willingly accepted that sentence, not as imposed by Pilate, but as ordained by His heavenly Father.

For the joy it gave His enemies which tormented Him all the more.

4479 3. For the pain which His merciful Mother experienced over what had taken place and which increased the pain of her Son because He knew everything.

For receiving the heavy cross on his shoulder.[66]

For the pain the weight caused Him as His whole body was uneasy and spent.

For the first steps that He took with this burden in pain and stress.

For coming down the steps of the palace while encumbered by the weight and the restraints.

For the knocks which the cross imparted on the crown and on His body as He came down and which caused Him more torment.

For going out of the palace with the sentence and the implement of death.

For beginning to walk through the city in such a wretched and painful manner.

For the outcry of the people and the commotion that they made, that struck the heart of the Son and His mother.

For dragging Him by the rope with which He was bound.

For striking Him with rods so as to make Him walk.[67]

4480 4. For the injuries inflicted upon Him by the servants who made Him walk.

For the way they kicked Him with their feet.

For having to walk bent over because of His weakness and pain.

For the pain which the cross caused to His lacerated back.

For all the painful and laborious steps that He took.

For the groans which He uttered under the unbearable weight.

For the extreme exhaustion He experienced on that journey.

For the blood that He shed along the way.

For the times that He halted unable to go on.

For the prods, the knocks and the insults that were cast upon Him.

For falling under the cross increasing His martyrdom.

4481 5. For the increasing anger that was showered upon Him when He was dragged, struck and hurt.

For the extreme bodily pain that He suffered when straining to carry the cross so that the wounds became bigger and blood flowed more abundantly.

For the insults that were uttered by many people making out that He had deceived them by at first showing goodness and sanctity while He was now condemned to death because of His defects.

For His mother’s burning desire to approach Him.

For her going to meet Him and waiting where He was to pass.

For the first glimpse that she had of Him when seeing Him approaching between the thieves, with the cross on His shoulder, being dragged by a rope and struck by the soldiers, panting, appearing as if He could endure no more as indeed He could not.

For approaching Him and embracing Him firmly.

For the pain that they both experienced.

For what they pondered on in spirit without opening their mouths while yet communicating with one another.

For the way the servants pulled them apart with a new kind of martyrdom.

For imprinting His face on Veronica’s veil that she had offered Him to wipe His face that was covered with blood and sweat.[68]

4482 6. For the remaining part of the journey through the city as the effort and pain continued to increase debilitating Him because of this and the blood He was losing.

For the sympathy He showed to the women who were following Him weeping as He predicted the destruction that would give them cause to weep bitterly.[69]

For the bitterness that this caused to the most holy Virgin.

For the obscene manner in with the servants treated Him to make Him go ahead because they feared that He might rally the people with a word.

For the great abandonment that His venerable body suffered as His divinity left Him completely to His natural strength which faltered under the strain because so many parts of His body were afflicted.

For the last fall when He could no longer rise or walk under such a load.

For taking the cross from Him and giving it to Simon so that He could go to death more speedily.[70]

Thank Him for all the most bitter mysteries that He endured for our salvation.

Beg Him that by means of all that was included in His harsh sentence He would free you from the harsh sentence of eternal death by forgiving your sins that merited death.

May He give you the grace to carry your cross as He did.

And to use all your strength, as He used all His strength, to obey God.

4483 7. Beg Him that as during His passion He did not forget His mother so now in glory He will not forget our mother which is the Church but care for her and supply all her needs.

And as He favoured Simon of Cyrene with His cross, may He grant His help to all the people in the world and grant their every need.

Ask Him that the blood that fell to the ground as He went to death may, now that He reigns in heaven, reach the blessed souls beneath the earth who have been washed in Baptism, and extinguish the flames of Purgatory.

Finally thank Him for helping you to recite this spiritual Rosary for His glory and your salvation. Now add some vocal prayers.

FRIDAY

Jesus is fixed to the cross

Practices for the fifth Rosary.

4484 1. Praise God for His most worthy excellence by means of which He is infinitely worthy of always being praised and glorified by every creature.

Thank Him for the debt that all creatures owe Him because He has given them every good.

Thank Him for all the He has done and does for you and through you, for it is good and deserves gratitude.

Because by carrying out this mystery in a worthy manner He enlightened the Virgin to perform virtues and excellent works.

Because for thirty-three years He led a life for us on earth which meant drudgery for Him and treasure for us.

Because He wished to end that life in such a bitter and ignominious manner as was His passion.

During which He was condemned to death and carried the cross.

During the short journey which He made to the place of His death when He was burdened with the cross when He was hustled along with injuries and blows.[71]

When He was stripped naked after He arrived there and left deprived of everything temporal in utter poverty.

For the shame that He endured being naked before the world.

For the cold the He endured because it was the cold season, which was increased because He was bound, and, for the most part, deprived of strength and natural warmth.

4485 2. For accepting the cloth that was placed around Him, affording Him some modesty before the women who had gathered there.

For the way in which the Jews who were obliged to give Him wine that was meant to give Him comfort in His torment as was the custom and tradition, mixed it with gall[72], so that instead of being a relief it would make things more bitter.

For the way in which He wished to taste that bitter drink so as to endure further hardship.

For refusing to drink more to receive more support which wine mixed with gall would have afforded. He made such a refusal with the greatest humility, appearing to refuse it because of its bitterness, as if He did not know that it was wine.

For His gazing on the cross which was placed in a rock once they had arrived where He considered the very cruel torment that His body would endure.

4486 For wishing to be fixed to the cross in such a way that everyone could see Him which was to his greater shame and our comfort. For allowing them to place a notice above the cross on which He was crucified.

For waiting until everything was in place, not wasting time, but afflicting His blessed sensitivity by anticipating and making acts of love towards us, which always sparkle from the loving furnace of His heart.

For enthusiastically going up onto that stage, demonstrating to everyone that He went willingly to torture and death willingly.

For turning His back towards the cross and facing the people.

For the loving heartfelt offering of Himself that He made to His Father as a holocaust offered for all sinners and for accompanying that act by an inner offering of Himself so that the sacrifice might be achieved in body and in spirit.

For stretching out His arms and placing His hands on the cross in the place where the holes were made for the nails.

4487 3. Thank both the Father and the Son in a general way for the crucifixion which was so painful and shameful.[73]

For waiting for the blow to the right hand when the servant had both the nail and hammer in his hand and had placed the point of the nail in the palm of good Jesus, whose senses were trembling while his mind remained very constant.

For the first blow delivered by the servant breaking most of His hand.

For the second blow which pierced through the hand and drove the nail into the wood.

For the third blow which completely attached the hand to the wood.

For the pain caused by these blows which was ever harsh and increasing.

For the abundant blood that flowed for us.

For remaining deprived of His hand which had been nailed without being able to free it.

For His whole body being attached to the wood as a consequence.

For the way the pain went through the whole body travelling along all the nerves.

For dragging the other hand forcibly to the other hole in the cross with great pain going through the whole body, opening and renewing the wounds and torturing nerves which were already tingling with pain because of the first hand which also suffered more pain.

4488 4. For the pain that You felt in Your arm and left hand because of the rope that bound it tightly.

For Your hand being stretched out on the cross to be fixed to it by means of a rope that dragged it violently.

For anticipating the blow after the servant had placed the nail on Your hand and raised the hammer when Your saintly and blessed heart was full of fear and You longed for the death that You wished to suffer for us.

For the first blow that struck Your sacred hand.

For the second blow that penetrated everything and struck the nail into the cross.

For the third blow which fixed Your hand completely.

For the pain that You suffered while the blows were being struck and afterwards.

For the blood that flowed.

For also being deprived of this hand when Your body was totally attached to the cross.

For the conflict between Your hands which caused more pain as Your body was racked with increased violence.

For the pain that You felt when the second hand was nailed because You could not retract Your nerves because You were nailed. This increased You pain greatly and made it spread to the lower part of Your body.

4489 5. For the way the servants violently dragged Your sacred feet into place when they could not stretch any further because the nerves were strained in that part of Your body because Your hands had been nailed. The dragging caused more pain to Your whole body as well as to Your hands.

For anticipating the blow to Your sacred feet when the cruel servant raised the hammer.

For the first blow to the feet with such pain that they feel because they are filled with muscles and nerves.

For the second blow that drove the point of the nail into the other foot having already passed through the first foot.

For the third blow which distended the wound in the first foot as the nail was thick and almost passed through the other foot.

For the fourth blow which penetrated almost to the wood greatly distending the wounds to the feet.

For the fifth blow that also passed through the cross taking flesh and blood with it.

For the pain that those sacred feet felt at that time and continually afterwards.

For the large amount of blood that was shed.

For good Jesus being deprived of His feet and suffering throughout His whole body on the cross.

For the pain that was felt throughout His whole body because it was bound, and He could not move any part of it.

4490 6. For placing the crown of thorns on His head that was already in total pain because of the previous wounds, once again after He had been nailed thus causing agony to all the other parts of His wounded body and causing pain to spread everywhere.

For persevering in offering Himself to the Father in the midst of all this suffering.

For the joy His enemies experienced when the saw the cross being raised.

For the extreme sorrow of His Mother and His friends.

For the shame that He experienced in being placed among thieves on a gibbet made for thieves.[74]

For the amazing charity He showed that moved Him to pray to His Father for those who crucified Him.

For the whole of the crucifixion that was undergone for love of us by the Lord Jesus with such pain and shame.

Pray that our old man may be crucified so that sin may be destroyed in us for our forgiveness and redemption.

That this holy cross with the fruit of Jesus who hangs on it may be planted in our hearts by means of continuous meditation and our desire to be continually nailed to it.

May we offer ourselves devoutly as a sacrifice to God wishing to belong to Him and always do His will.

Let us pray for our enemies after the example of our heavenly Master when ever they obstinately continue to offend us.

4491 7. Offer this sacred mystery to God for all our spiritual and temporal needs and make the same offering for the Holy Church and her ministers.

Especially for everyone in the world so that they all may be blessed and assisted by the cross in their needs.

For the souls who in virtue of the cross are in God’s grace but are being purified in Purgatory so that the merits of the cross may sweeten the bitterness of the water of the lake where there is no water.

Make the same offer in thanksgiving for the grace that has now been given to you and for the grace of prayer and coming to the end of prayer.

Our Father and Hail Mary.

SATURDAY

Jesus dies and is buried

Practices for the Sixth Rosary.

4492 1. Praise the Most High and Great God for Who as He is in Himself since He is completely and infinitely worthy of praise.

Thank him for all that He has given and conceded to His creatures since everything is a gift from Him.

Thank Him for what He has done and is doing and is ready to do for you if you do not turn your back.

For the love that motivated Him to become a man like us.

For the grace that He conferred on His Mother by involving her in such a splendid and loving work.

For the fruit that His most holy and mysterious life produced.

For the incomprehensible benefit of His sacred Passion.

For His most bitter crucifixion.

For the pain that He suffered hanging on the cross, which was most bitter, given the weight that tore his hands and feet that were pierced with nails; given that He could not move Himself, or turn when all His joints were aching; given that His body was all battered, lacerated and exhausted; given the thorns in His glorious head and given the extreme affliction of His mind. The pain continues to increase even more and yet He had to consider this often and often give thanks as least as it is described here.

For the scorn that the Pharisees who were standing at the foot of the cross poured on Him, cursing and mocking Him; those who were passing by did the same as did the soldiers and the thieves who were crucified with Him who called on Him to free them as well as Himself if He were really the Christ.[75]

For the grace that He gave to one of them in making Him realise and in giving him the spirit to make a good confession while promising him glory on the same day.[76]

4493 2. For the pain that Your Mother suffered through all of this when she saw that You were punished so severely.

For the compassion that Your felt towards her when You saw that she was abandoned. That was why You gave her John and conferred such a privilege on him.[77]

For the unceasing pain that racked Your most sacred body and for which there was no remedy because You were hanging in such a way that was so painful, especially when Your side was opened, and Your left hand put pressure on it.

For Your great thirst in Your whole body which was dehydrated because You had lost so much blood, perspired and become exhausted and for the pain that consumed You Life’s strength.

For your most ardent spiritual thirst for our salvation and to suffer for this.

For Your cry: “I thirst”,[78] knowing what they would give You to drink and ready to accept it, not because it was wine but in order to experience the bitterness that went with it.

4494 For the vinegar that they had ready in order to hasten Your death so that they could leave quickly. As soon as You said; “I thirst” they gave it to You on a sponge.[79]

For the pain that You experienced both because it was a distasteful drink and because Your mouth and throat were already feeling pungent because of the gall and the bitter vinegar made it taste even more bitter, and also because You were racked with pain and every small disturbance was a great torment and this unpleasant drink was most displeasing.

For the very sour sensation throughout all Your nerves, which were irritated by the vinegar, since this is one effect of vinegar, and this greatly increased all Your suffering.

For the abandonment that Your Father allowed you to feel in Your human nature which had been plunged into a sea of suffering and left without any extra help without even a drop of water for Your great thirst.

For the humble and reverent cry that You raised to God in order to let us know how much You were suffering for us.[80]

4495 3. For the ever-greater pain of the cross.

For the cry that You uttered; “It is consummated,”[81] which was a declaration that what You had done and suffered was out of obedience to God, who had ordained this and expressed it in Scripture and You had carried out.

For the pain of the cross which had reached the extreme and which caused the loving Jesus indescribable suffering.

For the plea that He made in a loud voice to the Father from the depths of His spirit[82] to teach us that He had humbled Himself to appear like someone who needed special help at that moment.

For the ultimate and greatest pain and loss of all strength that separated soul from body.

For the love with which You willingly gave Your spirit to God for us.[83]

For Your most holy body remaining on the cross as a spectacle of the greatest mercy.

For the mortal wound that struck the Most Holy Virgin when she saw her Son was dead.

For the fruit of Your death in the Centurion and others who when they recognised and confessed that You were the Son of God left the place repentant.[84]

For the signs of compassion that lifeless bodies gave when the sun and the moon were darkened, the earth shook, and the rocks split as if they were moving us to have compassion.[85]

4496 4.For the perseverance of the Mother and the women with John at the foot of the cross with sorrow and sighs.[86]

For the arrival of the soldiers to break the legs of those who had been crucified,[87] which increased the Mother’s sorrow.

For the piercing of His side with a lance, when they saw that He was already dead, so that blood and water flowed out,[88] as a sign of the Sacraments from which the Church was formed, and a wound was formed in the Mother’s heart.

For Joseph and Nicodemus taking Him down from the cross after gaining permission from Pilate.[89]

For withdrawing the nails and holding Him with reverence as was necessary and bringing Him down.

For the desire filled with bitterness with which the most holy Virgin waited to be able to touch and kiss Him.

For the first touch and embrace that she was able to give Him as she was filled with infinite bitterness.

For laying Him out on the ground on the sheet.

For taking off the crown, removing all the thorns carefully and reverently.

For preserving everything, the crown, the thorns and the nails, carefully and with great honour.

For the way the blessed Virgin, who was absorbed in grief, gazed upon His face.[90]

4497 5. For the way she went over the divine body very attentively with her eye and hand.

For the strong manner in which she impressed the sacred image of the face upon her heart that it would never fade.

For the way she wept over the ungrateful people who had treated her Son so badly.

For Magdalene holding His sacred feet, washing them with her tears and seeing the hole that the nails had opened.

For the bitter lamentation that was uttered by the women and the friends who stood around watching with compassionate hearts, these included the hearts of sinners who were sorrow for their sins that had caused this death, thankful to Him for having reduced Himself to such a wretched end for them.

For anointing Him and devoutly wrapping Him in the shroud while weeping especially when they saw the Lord’s painful expression modify.

For carrying Him to the grave followed by the Virgin and all who were devoted to Him.

For placing him in the tomb and closing it with a large stone.[91]

For the adoration paid by all in front of the tomb before they left.

For the offering that Mary made to the Father taking with her the impression which was engraved on her heart by her holy Son.

For Mary returning home with all who were with her crying.

4498 6. For Mary withdrawing to a private place to gaze on the image of her Son that had been engraved on her heart and to go over the whole of His Passion, enacting and reviewing it again in her thoughts and emotions with indescribable sorrow.

For the bitter weeping that all of Christ’s friends throughout the night and the next day.

For thanking God with deep emotion for all of the most sorrowful mystery of Christ’s death and burial.

By means of all of this ask Him to forgive your sins, while giving you true penance as He did for the thief who was moved to defend His reputation and who commended himself to Him.

Ask Him to place you under the protection of His Mother, entrusting you to His merciful Mother as her unworthy child.

Ask Him to arouse within you a holy thirst for justice that is for perfection in virtue to slake which you will experience no increase of bitterness.

Ask Him to make you constant when you are abandoned by everyone and it seems to you that not even God cares.

Ask Him to make you obey His precepts in everything and to persevere in this until death.

Ask Him to intercede for you at the moment of your death so that when your spirit departs from your body He will take it into His hands.

Ask Him to let you receive abundantly through the Sacraments the fruits of His precious death under the sign of the blood and water that flowed from His side.

Ask Him to make your heart a holy tomb where the crucified Christ reposes and will never remove from your mind the living memory of how He died for you.

4499 7. Join with Christ and His Mother in offering God the most holy sacrifice of the Passion and death of the immaculate crucified Lamb who made this holy by His precious blood.

Apply this most effective sacrifice to everyone in the world to obtain the help that they need for all that they need.

With the sacred fire of love make this offering on the altar of the cross for the souls who are being purified by the fire of Purgatory.

Offer to God by means of the same oblation complete thanks for having been gifted with the sacred exercise of this meditation. Amen

Add some vocal prayer.

SUNDAY

General and special benefits

Practices for the seventh rosary

4500 1. Praise God for His greatness as He is in Himself.

By means of this praise Him as this appears in all His creatures.

By means of this praise Him as He is known by all His intelligent creatures especially the blessed, offering Him all the praise which all of them offer Him.

Thank Him for gifts that He has given to all His creatures through the existence and perfections that He has given them.

For having created intelligent creatures who can know, love and revere Him also in glory.

For the excellence of spirits who have the means and capacity to become blessed.

For the glory given to good spirits.

For the punishment that is justly given to those who are bad.

For the beautiful and excellent harmony given to mankind.

For original justice together with all the spiritual and bodily comforts of the earthly paradise that were given to the first man and through him to all his descendants.

For the most noble goal for which You designed him which is the eternal happiness that awaits us in heaven.

4501 2. For not having condemned him immediately and destroyed his hope after he sinned.

For having rediscovered and organised this admirable world in such a way as to save it by means of his Son.

For having designated a way of sending the Saviour so that He would be preceded by signs, prophesies, expectations and warnings, etc.

For when His arrival was near having enlightened the Virgin that she was to be His Mother and enjoy such virtue and privilege.

Thank Him for the incarnation itself that was so marvellous and sweet.

For having remained in the virginal womb for nine months.

For His glorious and illustrious birth.

For the revelation made to the shepherds, the Wise Men and to Simeon.

For the shedding of blood at the circumcision and the name that was then given.

For the persecution waged by Herod, for the discomforts that He and His parents endured in the flight into Egypt, their seven year stay and their return.

For the holiness of His life, His toil, example and prayer for thirty years.[92]

4502 3. For His appearance in the following years with all the graces given to mankind in His preaching, healing, praying and the persecutions that He endured.

For going to His Passion on Palm Sunday with signs and various indications of joy as if it was something He loved and desired.[93]

For the way He begun His Passion by washing the feet of His disciples including Judas.[94]

For the institution of the wonderful Sacrament of the Altar and the other excellent things that we find in it such as strength, wisdom and love.

For offering of Yourself to the Father in that Sacrament.

For leaving that Sacrament to Your spouse the Holy Church, by giving the Apostles the power to consecrate and offer it and ordain others giving them the same power.[95]

For the memorial of the Passion that was left to us in that Sacrament like liquor served up in a precious vessel.[96]

For giving Your body as food to the disciples including Judas.

For leaving it to the faithful as food till the end of the world.

For remaining with us in reality as You do in that Sacrament.

Thank Him in general for all that He has done and does since He deserves our thanksgiving.

5403 4. Thank Him in general for the whole of the Passion that He endured for us.

Thank Him the most joyful mystery of His Resurrection, with which He consoled His Mother and all His friends and revived their faith.

For His glorious Ascension by means of which He lifted up the hearts of His Apostles to heaven and opened paradise which had been closed for a long time and opened the place to His elect.

For sending the Holy Spirit in holy abundance and with great pomp thus giving honour to His Person and His disciples and drawing the whole world to the faith.

For placing the strength of His Passion in the most holy Sacraments so that it is so easily be used by us.

For the founding, the establishment and government of His Church which is so useful to each one of us.

For what He provided in her for us such as prelates, councils, sermons, temporal trials and assistance and an infinite number of graces.

For the excellence of her various ministers such as apostles, pastors, doctors, martyrs, virgins etc.

For the favour conferred upon her in giving her such saints as St Francis who enlightened and sustained her by such holiness of life, example, prayer and complete abandonment of the world and with the founding of a Religious Order which gave such renewal to the Holy Church.

For establishing this so that nothing could prevail against it and everything work towards its good so that it would last till the end of the world.

For the true information that we have concerning the end of the world, judgement, and all that will follow in renewing the world and establishing it in eternal glory or punishment.

5406 6. Ask pardon for past ingratitude and all of your sins stating Your infinite freedom as the reason for asking.

Ask for the grace to amend and for a rule for your whole life, for humility to recognise your own wretchedness and the desire to be despised by others.

For divine love and the perfect carrying out of His most holy will, fraternal charity and holy peace.

For fervent prayer that will never be interrupted for any reason.

For undertaking and performing present tasks or trials with patience.

Pray for your enemies and those who speak ill of you.

Pray for what is dear to you such as the Order.

Ask for all this through the intercession of the glorious Virgin and her merits.

Through the merits and prayers of St Michael and all other advocates one by one and of the Saint whose feast you are celebrating.

Then through all the other Saints in general.

4507 7. Pray to Him for the Holy Church and all her ministers great and small, ecclesiastical and secular.

For the souls in Purgatory.

For all the people in the world so that they may obtain whatever they need in body or soul.

Finally thank Him for having given you the grace of this spiritual exercise by then saying some vocal prayer.

THE END


Endnotes

  1. Here the author summarises certain teaching that were treated at length in the Practice of Mental Prayer. However, it is significant that he expresses a concept which is emphasised by modern writers on spirituality, namely, that praying implies first of all “concentrating”.
  2. This is the affective section of mental prayer which Bellintain calls “action” with the warning to “always follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit”. (Cf. The Practice of Mental Prayer, f. 43r).
  3. Note how the “practices” always begin with a prayer of praise. The author strongly insists on this, emphasising an important Patristic tradition, for example, in St Augustine and St Basil etc.
  4. Cf. Jn 13:21.
  5. Cf. Jn 13:33; 14:18; 16:5-7, 16. The farewell of His Mother is reported in the Pseudo-Bonaventurian Meditationes. It is often repeated in the devotional writings of the Capuchins.
  6. Cf. Mt 26:37-38.
  7. Cf. Mt 26:41.
  8. These are the famous “mental sufferings” which were powerful motives in the traditional Franciscan affective devotion. They were described in a classical and explicit manner in the writings of Blessed Battista Verano and splendidly analysed by Bellintani himself in his sermons on Christ’s Sufferings.
  9. The whole scene has been reconstructed using all the details contained in the Gospel. Cf. Lk 22:39; Mt 26:30; Mk 14:32 and especially Jn 18:1.
  10. Cf. Lk 22:41.
  11. Mt 26:37-38; Mk 14:33.
  12. Lk 22:42a.
  13. Lk 22:43.
  14. Lk 22:42b
  15. Lk 22:42b.
  16. Lk 22:45-46; Mt 26:40; Mk 14:37.
  17. Mt 26:42; Mk 14:39.
  18. Cf. Mt 26:39s; Mk 14:35.
  19. Mt 26:42; Mk 14:36.
  20. Mt 26:43; Mk 14:40.
  21. Cf. Mt 22:44; Mk 14:41.
  22. Cf. Mt 22:46; Mk 14:42.
  23. Love for the poor to which the Capuchins always gave testimony found its nourishment in meditation on Christ’s Passion.
  24. Cf. Lk 22:47-48; Mt 26:48-50.
  25. Mt 26:56; Mk 14:50.
  26. . Mt 26:50b; Mk 14:46; Jn 18:12
  27. Jn 18:6-11; Mt 2:51-56; Mk 14:47-49; Lk 27:49-53.
  28. Mt 26:57; Mk 14:53; Lk 22:54.
  29. Jn 18:19-23.
  30. Jn 18:22-23.
  31. Mt 26:59-63; Mk 14:55-61.
  32. Mt 26:63-64; Mk 14:61-62.
  33. Mt 26:65-66; Mk 14:63-64; Lk 22:66-71.
  34. Mt 26:67-68; Mk 14:65; Lk 22:63-75.
  35. Lk 22:64; Mk 14:65.
  36. Mt 26:67b; Mk 14:65b.
  37. Mt 26:67a; Mk 14:65b; Lk 22:63b.
  38. Mt 26:68; Mk 14:65b; Lk 22:64.
  39. Mt 26:67a; Mk 1:65a.
  40. Lk 22:65.
  41. Jn 18:15-18:25-27; Mt 26:69-75; Mk 14:66-72; Lk 22:55-62.
  42. Jn 18:28; Mt 27:2: Mk 15:1; Lk 23:1.
  43. Jn 18:29-37; Mt 27:11; Mk 15:2; Lk 23:3.
  44. Lk 22:6-11.
  45. Lk 22:11b; Mt 27:14; Mk 15:5.
  46. Jn 19:1; Mt 26:26; Mk 15:15.
  47. Mt 27:28a.
  48. At this pint the author makes room for a devout realistic reconstruction: of the scourging of Jesus, and later, of the crowning with thorns, which were mysteries that Capuchin piety treat with “fondness” and emotion.
  49. Mt 27:27; Mk 15:16.
  50. This is a pose that is reminiscent of some scenes and poses in baroque paintings and sculptures.
  51. Jn 19:2-3; Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17-18.
  52. Jn 19:2; Mt 27:28; Mk 15:17.
  53. Mt 27:29.
  54. Jn 19:3; Mt 27:29b; Mk 15:18.
  55. Jn 19:3b.
  56. Mt 27:30a; Mk 15:19b.
  57. Mt 27:30b; Mk 15:19a.
  58. Jn 19:6.
  59. Jn 19:5.
  60. Jn 19:6; Mt 27:23; Mk 15:13; Lk 23:21.
  61. Jn 19:12; Mt 27:22-23; Mk 15:14; Lk 23:20-22.
  62. Jn 18:40; Mt 27:15-18, 20-21; Mk 15:6-11; Lk 23:17-19.
  63. Mt 27:24.
  64. Jn 19:16; Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15; Lk 23:24-25.
  65. Mt 27:31; Mk 15:20.
  66. Jn 19:17.
  67. These dramatic details together with those that will be mentioned subsequently which are the constructs of pious fantasy could have doubtless inspired scenes in the sculptures and paintings of the day.
  68. These devout reconstructions are to be found in the Psudo-Bonaventurian Meditationes mentioned above.
  69. Lk 23:27-31.
  70. Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26.
  71. Mt 27:33; Mk 15:22.
  72. Mt 27:34a; Mk 15:23a.
  73. Jh 19:18; Lk 23:33. The reconstruction of the events in the crucifixion which the author makes in what follows immediately is an example of imaginative meditation.
  74. Mt 27:38; Mk 15:27; Lk 23:33.
  75. Mt 27:39-44; Mk 15:29-32; Lk 23:35-37.
  76. Lk 23:39-43.
  77. Jn 19:25-27.
  78. Jn 19:28.
  79. Jn 19:29; Mt 27:48; Mk 15:36.
  80. Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34.
  81. Jn 19:30.
  82. Lk 23:46.
  83. Lk 23:46b Mt 27:50; Mk 15:37; Jn 19:30b.
  84. Lk 23:47-48; Mt 27:54; Mk 15:39
  85. Mt 27:45, 51-53; Mk 15:33-38.
  86. Lk 23:49.
  87. Jn 19:31-32.
  88. Jn 19:34.
  89. Jn 19:38-39; Mt 27:57-59; Mk 15:42-45; Lk 23:50-52.
  90. It is easy to consider that here too this description would have inspired contemporary artists.
  91. Jn 19:40-42; Mt 27:59-60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53.
  92. This is a brief meditation on the life of Christ before His Passion and death in order to complete the meditations on the mysteries of His life.
  93. Jn 11:12-16; Mt 21:6-10; Mk 11:4-11; Lk 19:35-38.
  94. Jn 13:1-12.
  95. Mt 26:26-29; Mk 14:22-25; Lk 22:15-20.
  96. Lk 22:19.