Prayer before a Crucifix

This traditional Catholic prayer to Jesus is meant to be prayed in front of a crucifix so that we can gaze on it as we pray to Our Lord, but the prayer can be prayed anywhere. The Prayer before a Crucifix is a great prayer for the Fridays of Lent, as well as all Fridays, when we especially remember the passion and death of our dear Lord and Savior.

The Prayer before a Crucifix gives us the blessed opportunity to call to mind the depth of Christ’s love for all mankind and the evil of our sins. We pray for an increase in the virtues of faith, hope, and charity, for true sorrow for our sins, and for help to avoid sin in the future.

Jesus suffered and died on the cross on that first Good Friday for each and every one of us! He loves us more than we can ever comprehend. We can show our gratitude and our love by meditating on His passion and death and by thanking Him for His love and mercy.

The Wisdom of the Saints and Other Thoughts on the Cross of Christ

“The cross is the school of love” (St. Maximilian Kolbe).

“All the greatest pains become sweet for whoever looks at Jesus Christ on the Cross” (St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi).

“But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (St. Paul).

“This is the ‘folly’ of the cross: a folly capable of changing our sufferings into a declaration of love for God and mercy for our neighbor” (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI).

“If one were to consider how much Jesus has suffered, one would not commit the smallest sin” (St. Gianna Beretta Molla).

Below we offer two slightly different translations from the Latin of the beloved Prayer before a Crucifix.

Prayer before the Crucifix

Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus,
while before Thy face I humbly kneel and,
with burning soul,
pray and beseech Thee
to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments
of faith, hope and charity;
true contrition for my sins,
and a firm purpose of amendment.
While I contemplate,
with great love and tender pity,
Thy five most precious wounds,
pondering over them within me
and calling to mind the words which David,
Thy prophet, said of Thee, my Jesus:
“They have pierced My hands and My feet,
they have numbered all My bones.”

Alternate version:

Behold, O good and sweetest Jesus,
I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight,
and with the most fervent desire of my soul
I pray and beseech Thee to impress upon my heart
lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity,
with true repentance for my sins
and a most firm desire of amendment.
Whilst with deep affection and grief of soul
I consider within myself and mentally contemplate
Thy five most precious wounds,
having before mine eyes that which David,
the prophet, long ago spoke concerning Thee,
“They have pierced My hands and My feet,
they have numbered all My bones.”

Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be for the Holy Father’s intentions after the Prayer before a Crucifix.

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