Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 24 April

Pictorial Lives of the Saints: The Most Holy Crown of Thorns of Our Lord Jesus ChristThe Holy Crown of Thorns

The holy Crown of Thorns was given to the King Saint Louis, in reward for services rendered by him to the Church and especially the crusades undertaken for the deliverance of the holy places. One of our Fathers, Father Bartholomew of Braganza, took it to him with great solemnity, and the King had built for its reception in Paris that masterpiece of Gothic art, the Sainte Chapelle. This crown is not only a pious souvenir of the exterior sufferings of Jesus – it is also an important symbol of the mystery of the Redemption.

(1) It is composed of thorns; indeed our human nature, under the curse of sin, has been condemned to bring forth of itself nothing but thorns and briars.

(2) Our Saviour takes upon Himself these thorns and frees our hearts from them; the pain does not cease, but it becomes fruitful of sweet gifts of grace.

(3) These thorns were in the form of a crown. For the enemies of Jesus it was a crown of derision. But without knowing what they do, they do what God wills. They proclaim that the Saviour by His love and sufferings, becomes by a new title our King, the conqueror of our souls, and in conquering He crowns the heads of each one of his subjects.

Prayer

O Jesus, crowned with thorns, I bless Thee for having freed me and I desire to serve Thee as my King!

Practice

Think how Our Lord has accepted the crown of thorns to expiate your thoughts of pride, of presumption and of selfishness and strive thoroughly to root out these vices.