V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
From the Gospel according to Mark 15: 15b, 17-19
Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him. And they began to salute him, "Hail, King of the Jews!". And they struck his head with a reed and spat upon him, and they knelt down in homage to him.
Scourging as it was practised in those days was a terrible punishment. The dreadful flagellum used by the Romans tore the flesh to shreds. And the crown of thorns, apart from causing the most acute pain, was also a mockery of the divine Prisoner's kingship, as were the spitting and the blows.
Appalling forms of torture continue to emerge from the cruelty of the human heart - and psychological tortures are no less terrible than the physical variety; often the victims themselves become torturers in their turn. Are all these sufferings meaningless?
No, Jesus, you continue to gather together and sanctify suffering of all kinds: that of the sick, of those who die in hardship, of all who experience discrimination; but the sufferings which shine out over all others are those endured for your Name.
By the sufferings of the martyrs, bless your Church; may their blood become the seed of new Christians. We firmly believe that their sufferings, even if at the time they seem like total defeat, will bring true victory to your Church. Lord, grant constancy to our persecuted brethren!
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
Pro peccatis suae gentis
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