The special insignia of the Passionists
is the "Sign", the heart-shaped emblem you see on this page. It catches,
in an image, the meaning of being Passionist.
In the middle of the emblem are the Words,
Jesu XPI Passio. Written in Greek and Latin, the languages of the early
Church, those words mean: "the Passion of Jesus Christ," (The three nails
at the bottom and the cross at the top remind us symbolically of His suffering
Passionists dedicate themselves to spending
their energies in promoting remembrance of the sufferings of Jesus. They
pledge to keep deep in their hearts the memory of the cross and to do what
is in their power to remind others of it.
Why do something like this? The answer
lies with the meaning of the cross and death of Jesus Christ for the world.
First, the death of Jesus was no mere brutal
execution of an extraordinary Jewish teacher and prophet long ago. His
death was an event that changed human history. Jesus died that others might
live. God so loved the world that he allowed his only Son to give his very
life for us. The cross becomes the symbol telling us God's love is stronger
than death. Passionists want to tell the world about that love.
But there are other reasons. Jesus' death
on the cross was a death in the cause of justice. He was executed because
he challenged accepted values. He sided with the poor and the outcasts.
He condemned oppressive structures. Jesus was a prophet and prophets meet
His cross reminds us that Christians must
listen to the cries of the poor. Passionists stand in solidarity with those
whom society may forget or even exploit. The cross is a sign of justice.
To remind the world about the cross is to challenge the world for its injustice
and neglect. Passionists are pledged to that challenge.
Finally, remembering the cross means remembering
those in the world who bear the cross today: the disabled, the sick, the
dying, the grieving, those isolated and alone -- all who bear the burden
of pain. Jesus identified himself with the "least". He shared their burdens
and brought them hope. He, too, bore the cross.
Christians who believe in Jesus find strength
in the memory of his Passion. Jesus knew pain and death. He also tasted
the victory of everlasting life. Death is not the final word for those
who believe. This, too, is part of the Resurrection message Passionists
proclaim to the world.
The special sign Passionists wear is meant
to symbolise their desire to proclaim God's great love made known through
the cross of Jesus. Passionists nourish that memory in their hearts through
prayer and Passionists share that good news with all the world.