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Way of the Cross

The young nun lived between 1876 and 1904. Her short life was devoted to the catechesis of young children. Her apostolate was rooted in her religious life which radiated union with Jesus and love in the little things. Her only desire was to give joy to the Beloved of her heart: “So long as Jesus is pleased”. She exhausted herself with work, but soon had to remain in bed due to tuberculosis. In the silence of the infirmary, a loving intimacy developed between Jesus and her. It could be said that she followed Jesus on the way to the Cross.

 

The quotations in italics come from her, and even more from the Heart of Jesus which poured itself into hers.

 Let us ask her to penetrate more deeply into Jesus’ sufferings, accepted and offered to God.

 

How to?

He who leads the prayer names the station and then says: “We worship you O Christ and bless you.”

 all say: “Because you redeemed the world with your holy Cross.”

At that moment, we can kneel for a short time…

1st STATION: Jesus is condemned to death

While Jesus was condemned to shed all his Blood, Providence was watching over the way the Cross was built. Regardless of its size or roughness, our Beloved Saviour received it with confidence from the hands of his Father.

Following Him, Blessed Eugénie used to say:

“Each of my crosses was carved by Jesus according to my size and strength, in the little workshop in Nazareth, under the eyes of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Jesus asked if this or that cross would not be too heavy for me. And the Blessed Virgin answered: ‘I will be her sweetness.’ Jesus said in his Heart: ‘This is because I love her that I would like to carve a bigger cross for her.’”

– Jesus, help us to accept the little and big crosses in our lives!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for those who are suffering!

2nd STATION: Jesus carries his Cross

Jesus, overwhelmed by the immensity of the suffering represented by the cross, entrusted himself totally and unceasingly to his Father.

Blessed Eugénie wanted to embrace the cross with generosity. So, she asked for the secret to be faithful in sorrow. The Lord replied: With the cross, I always grant sufficient and even superabundant grace to carry it. But if you want an effective way of being faithful in suffering, follow the practice of spiritual childhood. Be like a child with me in sorrow, in suffering, in struggle, in prayer, be little, obedient and let yourself be led, bearing everything with joy and love.”

– Jesus, teach us how to trust You!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for families!

3° STATION : Jesus falls the first time

Jesus’ only desire was to do his Father’s will by giving his life to save us. He was not afraid to leave the richness of his divine condition to embrace our weakness and know the exhaustion and humiliation of that first fall.

Wishing to imitate him, Blessed Eugénie cried out:

“I will give everything to Our Lord through obedience, I will renounce myself entirely, leaving the wealth of my own will and my own judgement without reserve. I know that it is difficult, but not impossible. Besides, everything becomes easy to those who love and, for the love of my Jesus, I want to be like Him on this point: obey until the complete death of myself.”

– Jesus, give us the great desire to do the Father’s will!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray so that the grace of God may lift up those who have fallen on the path of their lives!

4th STATION: Jesus meets his mother

Let us contemplate Mary meeting Jesus on the way to Calvary. Uniting her sorrow with his, she offered Jesus to the heavenly Father as a holy Host.

Blessed Eugenie wanted “to be in the heart of the Blessed Virgin from morning on, like a little host that lets itself be immolated without saying a word. Every day it reappears and then disappears, there is nothing left of it. I will be the little host and the Blessed Virgin will be the priest who offers it to Our Lord’s good pleasure. I shall let myself be sacrificed as He wills, in whatever He wills, so long as He is pleased.”

– Jesus, teach us to offer ourselves with You to the Father, through the hands of Mary!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for priests!

5th STATION: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the Cross

Simon of Cyrene was requisitioned to help Jesus carry his Cross. He could only lend him material help, whereas Our Lord’s Heart was so thirsty of love. And yet, in contact with Jesus, radiant with gentleness and charity, Simon discovered true Love.

“I don’t yet know what love is, said Blessed Eugénie. Jesus wants to teach me, He wants it, He asks me, He begs me with tears from His crib. He opens his Heart to me on the Cross: ‘Come, my child, it’s me, I speak to you, I am your God. Why do you still fear? Don’t you know I am always so loving, powerful, good, and merciful? Don’t be afraid. Heart to heart with Me purifies, revitalises and sanctifies. It is divine, it divinizes the soul, it makes it not only mine, but something of Me.’”

– Jesus, teach us to love other as you love them!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for those who are distressed!

6th STATION: Veronica wipes Jesus’ face

Jesus was unrecognisable. The face of man’s most beautiful child was disfigured by fatigue, fever and wounds. The free heart of Saint Veronica let itself be taken over and, in exchange for that virile gesture, Our Lord took greater possession of her soul.

“Forget yourself, turn your gaze towards abandonment, towards absolute purity, let yourself be ravished by my beauty and my love, Jesus said to Blessed Eugenie. If you truly love me, you will always be happy with my every will. Then I will reveal myself to your soul. I will come with the Father and the Holy Spirit and teach you how to find me in every place, how to love me in all things.”

– Jesus, keep our soul pure!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for vocations!

7th STATION: Jesus falls the second time

That second fall was even more painful for Our Lord than the first. His body was broken, but in his Heart dominated the peace and joy of doing his Father’s will.

Throughout her life marked by suffering, Blessed Eugénie fought to live that Gospel joy. “If the first movement is not one of joy, repress it immediately and resist as many times as it reappears.” Condemned to remain in bed, she wrote: “I am not doing anything, but in this health condition, there is much more humility. I do God’s will, and that is the best thing…

In fact, she led others to God through her joyful soul.

O Jesus, help us to radiate the joy that comes from You!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for sick people!

8th STATION: The women of Jerusalem weep over Jesus

Let us now contemplate Jesus approaching the women of Jerusalem… Devoured by the fever and thirst for souls, He forgot Himself in order to spiritually draw those souls along.

Blessed Eugénie was moved by this missionary spirit. As she could not go abroad, she was consoled one night by a dream in which she saw a nun who had saved a multitude of souls by her fidelity to the inner life, without leaving her community. Then a voice, loud enough to wake her up, said those words clearly:

“Through suffering, we can go and proclaim the reign of Jesus Christ to distant places, where missions cannot go.”

Then she explained:

“I got up, full of such great joy that I couldn’t contain it, and I shouted out loud, ‘Oh, how happy I am, if suffering comes, I know how to use it.’”

– O Jesus, help us to witness to our faith in our daily life!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for missionaries!

9th STATION: Jesus falls the third time

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, wanted to lower himself still further by embracing the humiliation and suffering of that third fall.

Blessed Eugénie wanted to be like Him: “If I am generous, if I love Our Lord, how many opportunities will there be for me to disappear among my sisters, to rejoice that they are esteemed and appreciated, to take pleasure in remaining hidden, seen only by Jesus… Have I done something wrong? I shall humiliate myself with my heart: what’s so surprising about that? In things in which I think I’ve succeeded and poured my heart into, I shall humiliate myself even more, make dung of it all.”

– Jesus, make us grow in humility!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for sinners!

10th STATION: Jesus is stripped of his garments

Without saying a word, Jesus let himself be stripped of his clothes. From rich he became poor, so that we may be enriched by his poverty (2 Co 8, 9).

“Who is the husband who, in order to win his wife’s heart, has done for her what I have done for you? Do you want this union I offer you? Do you want this intimacy? asked Jesus to Blessed Eugénie. If you want, I’ll give it to you every time you come close to me in suffering, humiliation and self-denial, every time you say thank you to me for all that… Every moment of my life, I embraced an ever greater poverty, my annihilation became ever deeper. Will you follow me in this path of my poverty, of my love?” 

– Jesus, help us not to get too attached to the things of the earth!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for consecrated people!

11th STATION: Jesus is nailed to the Cross

Like a lamb being led to the slaughter, Our Lord did not open his mouth. He let himself be nailed to the Cross out of love for us.

“I felt in my body my life go away, I felt in my soul the darkness, the ever greater emptiness, said Blessed Eugénie, then, tying my hands to resemble the divine Lamb, I leaned on the walls of the Santa Casa and said: ‘Fiat, thank you! I want to be small, a host in the Heart of the Blessed Virgin, so long as Jesus is pleased.’”

– In trials, Jesus, please show us how to lean on your Heart!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for the elderly and disabled people!

12th STATION: Jesus dies on the Cross

Jesus, tied to the Cross, underwent terrible suffering of body and soul, long hours of agony and abandonment.

“The most bitter sufferings are less those of the body than those of the soul… Above all, they make us be like Jesus on the cross, when he exclaimed: ‘My God, why have you forsaken me?’ Meditate a lot on the intimate passion of the Sacred Heart, taste it, savour it.”

 Blessed Eugénie concluded:

“My vocation is not only of apostolic life. It is above all of contemplative life. I ask Jesus to open the little wound of his Heart to me and give me the grace to enter a little more deeply into the intimacy of his sufferings.”

– Jesus, give us the grace to penetrate the loving secrets of your Heart!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for the dying!

13th STATION: Jesus is taken down from the Cross

Our Lord’s Heart was no longer beating. His sweet Mother, the Queen of Martyrs, received his Body in her arms.

As she contemplated Him, Blessed Eugénie wrote:

“Jesus Christ, stripped of everything on the Cross, was nevertheless clothed in a double garment: infinite purity and purple of love, purple of blood. He wished to clothe His Blessed Mother with this double garment: the Immaculate is, in fact, the Queen of Martyrs. Oh, how beautiful She is, adorned, like her Son, in this precious garment. And Mary, who has become our Mother in this hour of sorrow, has fashioned this double garment for each of her children.”

– Virgin Mary, clothe us with Jesus’ love!

– With you Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for persecuted Christians!

14th STATION: Jesus is placed in the sepulchre

Darkness was descending on the nascent Church gathered around the silent tomb. When everything led to discouragement, the persevering and constant prayer made the Sorrowful Heart of Mary the tabernacle of the Church’s faith and hope.

Everything in my heart is arid, unfit and cold, exclaimed Blessed Eugenie, discovering the spiritual night. She transcribed in her spiritual notes what Jesus said to her:

“My daughter, why do you find wrong what I find right? The prayer of suffering and sacrifice is more pleasing to Me than contemplation. If you are completely faithful to my will (…), I will lead you where I want you to go. I will teach you to suffer for the Sacred Heart, for souls. I will give you the grace to share in my sufferings; did I not perhaps give them to my Mother?

– Jesus, teach us how to pray!

– With you, Blessed Eugénie, let us pray for the Church!

Article paru dans le magazine l’épervier de novembre 2023