What does the 'Sign' or 'Badge'
of the Passionists signifify?
|St. Paul of the
Cross, founder of the Passionists described how, in a type of vision he
saw Mary, the Mother of Jesus dressed in black with a badge over her
heart. That badge was to develop into the Passionist ‘Sign’ as we
know it today.
The ‘Sign’ consists of a heart shape, the symbol of Love, surmounted by a white Cross, a reminder of the Suffering Love shown by Jesus for us on the Cross.
The words in the heart are:-
JESU – the name of Jesus in Hebrew
The text reads – ‘The Passion of Jesus Christ’ written in three languages Hebrew, Greek and Latin. The main languages in the time of Jesus.
Underneath the lettering are three nails – representing the nails used to fix Christ to the Cross.
Passionists wear the ‘Sign’ over the heart and in the recent past wore a second ‘Sign’ on a cloak covering the upper arm. It recalled the Bible text -
‘Set me like a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm. For Love is strong as death’. (cf. Song of Songs ch.6)