Passion of Jesus Christ


(1) A devotion paid to Christ in memory of His Passion through pious exercises commemorating His sufferings, such as the Way of the Cross; in several Masses of the Passion, in countless prayers; also through art, pictures and statues depicting various phases of the Passion; and through a vast literature, mostly ascetical and devotional in nature. This devotion is of ancient origin, though it did not flourish in the early Church as it does today. The devotion as it exists today dates from the time of Saint Bernard and Saint Francis of Assisi.

(2) A feast celebrated on the Tuesday after Sexagesima Sunday. Its object is to honor the sufferings Christ endured for the salvation of mankind. It originated in the 16th century, and was reintroduced by Saint Paul of the Cross. There are also other feasts commemorating special mysteries of the Passion.

(3) In the four Gospels, the Passion is so recorded that one account supplements the other. The Synoptic Gospels contain a brief narrative, in substance common to all. Matthew and Mark have additional passages in common. The further passages which are found separately in the three synoptists quite easily harmonize with the intention that particular narrator had in mind, and with the peculiarities elsewhere noted in the same narrator; this is likewise true of John’s account of the Passion. Both by the omission of mysteries recorded by the Synoptists, and by the narration of others omitted by them, the fourth Gospel is true to its traditional character as being of later date.

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Passion of Jesus Christ”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 1 December 2019. Web. 30 October 2020. <>