Love of the Cross
For By Your Holy Cross You Have Redeemed the World

As the Capuchins end Lauds (morning prayer) and Vespers (evening prayer) each day, they end with the following prayer, echoing the heartfelt love of St. Francis for the Crucified Christ:

We adore You, Lord Jesus Christ, in all Your churches throughout the whole world and we bless You because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

St. Francis of Assisi asked of God two things before he died: that he might experience the pain that Jesus experienced on the Cross and that he might experience the love with which Jesus gave His life for the world.

When St. Francis contemplated the Crucifixion he used to weep, lamenting that, “Love is not loved.” After his conversion, Francis modeled the friars’ habit according to the pattern of the Cross. Finally, near the end of his life, Francis himself was imprinted with the marks of the Cross, the stigmata, on his hands, feet and side.

St. Francis saw in the Cross the humble, self-emptying love of God for the sake of his creatures. Throughout his entire life, he never ceased to contemplate this marvelous mystery. He had one desire: in everything, to be conformed to the Cross of Jesus Christ.

The Capuchin Constitutions challenge the friars to live out this same spirituality in their day-to-day lives:

Burning with the love of Christ, we contemplate Him in the self-emptying of the Incarnation and the Cross in order to become more like Him
The Meaning of the Cross
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