The Passionists were founded in Italy by St. Paul of the Cross in 1747. At the time, Passionists were meant to be itinerant preachers, preaching parish missions and retreats. Today, the main theme of their preaching remains the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. Through this preaching, Passionists hope to keep alive the memory of the Passion of Jesus. Their motto is “May the Passion of Christ Be Always In Our Hearts.”
Every Passionist takes a special vow to spend his or her energies in promoting the remembrance of the sufferings of Jesus, the memory of the Cross, and reflection of the meaning of the Cross for the world. It is a commitment to proclaim God’s great love made known through the Cross of Jesus.
The Passionists work in 75 countries around the world. Parishioners are encouraged to pray for vocations so that the ministry of the Passionists will continue to enrich the life of the Church.
The Passion of Jesus
When we think of the Passion, we naturally think of the physical sufferings that Jesus experienced on the cross. With the immense misery and devastation inflicted by the Second World War, an insight was gained that the Passion of Jesus continues in the sufferings of humanity, especially among the least of our brothers and sisters. More recently, we grow to recognize the Passion of Jesus as we witness it in the Passion of the Earth – as we see planet Earth ravaged and pillaged by the way we humans live upon the earth. One of the intentions of the Passionists at St. Gabriel’s is to raise the awareness of this ‘Passion of the Earth’ for all in the parish community, as they struggle to live their lives as Christian men and women.
The Passionist insignia
The special insignia of every Passionist is the “Sign”, the heart-shaped emblem with the cross on top. It catches, in an image, the meaning of the Passionist life.
In the middle of the emblem are the words, JESU XPI PASSIO. Written in Greek and Latin, the languages of the early Church, these words mean “The Passion of Jesus the Christ”. The three nails at the bottom and the cross at the top remind us symbolically of Christ’s suffering and death.