The Passionist Sign
On a summer evening in Castellazzo, while on his way home after Mass, St. Paul of the Cross tells us,
“While walking I was recollected in prayer: when I turned the corner to go home I was raised up by God to the heights of recollection to the point of forgetting everything else and sensed an interior sweetness: it was at this moment that I saw myself, in spirit, vested in black from head to toe, with a white cross on my breast and under the cross the Most Holy name of Jesus in white letters.”
The special insignia of every Passionist is the “Sign,” the heart-shaped emblem you see above. It catches, in an image, the meaning of Passionist life.
In the middle of the emblem are the words, “Jesu XPI Passio.” Written in Greek and Latin, the languages of the early Church, these 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 and death.)
Every Passionist takes a special vow, a solemn promise, to spend his energies in promoting remembrance of the sufferings of Jesus. This vow defines the purpose of the Passionist community. We pledge to keep deep in our hearts the memory of the cross and to do what is in our power to remind others of it.