Fifth Decade: The Crucifixion
Giotto di Bondone (1304-1306)
fresco, Large: approximately 6.5 feet high by 6 feet wide
Currently located in Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua, Italy
Let's just take this in. Take a deep breath in, nice and slow; breathe it out, nice and slow. Move your eyes over the painting. What do you see?
Giotto's painting is divided into three distinct scenes with Jesus on the Cross in the center.
Let's stop for a minute and use our eyes to re-trace our study. We started with the angels, then we looked at Jesus' feet and St. Mary Magdalen, then we looked at the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints with her, then we looked at Jesus' garment and the soldiers who are arguing. The complete image is below. Look at it one more time, paying attention to the shape your eyes are making: angels, feet, Virgin, soldiers. What shape did your eyes make? Isn't the artist Giotto clever? He helped you pray while you looked at this painting of a holy scene.
First Sorrowful Mystery: Agony in the Garden
Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging
Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning of Thorns
Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
Now, with The Crucifixion in our imagination, let us pray.
For families with very young children, or for families new to the Rosary, simplify by only praying the Sign of the Cross, the Lord's Prayer, and the Hail Mary. These prayers are inside the front and back covers of your child's workbook. Follow the graphic:
For families ready to push it forward, add in one new prayer each week until you have a complete decade. Follow the outline:
Hold the Crucifix in your right hand. Make the Sign of the Cross properly, using the right hand only.
Still holding the Crucifix, state what you believe as a Catholic by saying the Creed.
Move to the first bead. Pray one Our Father.
Move to the next beads. Pray the Hail Mary three times, once on each bead.
Move to the next bead and pray one Glory Be.
Stay on the same bead. Announce the Mystery by saying these words: The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery, The Crucifixion. For three hours our dear Lord hung on the cross. He was taking on Himself the punishment for our sins. After some time, He knew that God had forgiven our sins. Once more, we had the right to enter Heaven. So He dropped His head and died. God, His Father, allowed this punishment. We praise and thank Jesus and God our heavenly Father for the glorious victory the Christ gained for us through His death and resurrection: Father, although this glorious triumph was completed more than 2000 years ago, it is still as potent and powerful in the lives of believers today as it was when the angels declared, "He is not here - He is risen." Keep me ever looking to Jesus, knowing that this glorious victory has not lost any of its ancient power, but is the single means of overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil. I pray that I will run the race that is set before me looking to Jesus, and that I may finish the course that You have given to me, as I yield through word and deed to the working of the Holy Spirit within. This I ask in Jesus' name, Amen. (Source)
Stay on the same bead. Pray one Our Father.
Move through the next ten beads, praying the Hail Mary on each one.
Move to the next bead. Pray one Glory Be.
Stay on the same bead. Pray the Fatima Prayer.
Make the Sign of the Cross using the Crucifix. AMEN!
Dear holy families,
Through your meditations of the Sorrowful Mysteries over the past five weeks, you have encountered the Passion in the Scriptures several times. On Palm Sunday, we will participate in the Gospel reading that recounts the events of the Passion, Mark 14: 1 through Mark 15: 47.
Starting with Mark 15: 34, we are told that Jesus speaks while He hangs on the Cross. I invite you to use this resource to meditate on the Seven Last Words of Christ, words of great meaning that I want you to know. This devotion may be spread out over a week, commemorating one of the Seven Last Words each day (different links are available for each day), or you may pray it as a whole devotion in a single day. As always, you choose what is best for your family, but I encourage you to participate fully.
Please, bless your Lent with prayer and meditation.
In Christ's Love,
Mary Acevedo, Director of Religious Education
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