Happy Easter!

Dear Friends, I wish you a Blessed and Happy Easter! My time in Venice was very beautiful – and the community was very grateful for the assistance of my American priest friends – allowing Solemn liturgies to be celebrated during Holy Week.

In these days of Paschaltide, I will be taking a break from social media. I ask your prayers in this regard. A priest pointed out to me recently how Jesus appears individually to disciples after the Resurrection – he told me to let Jesus do the same to me, and to ask Him for what I need. I encourage the readers of Filii Passionis to not be afraid to be honest with Our Lord. Tell Him what you need, He knows already, but He likes to hear it from you. Be brutally honest with Jesus. Without this, you may not be being honest with yourself.

After Vespers and Benediciton with the Patriarch of Venice on Easter Sunday

Photo UPDATE: [AUDIO] Good Friday Tenebrae: Ss.ma Trinità dei Pellegrini

Tenebrae of Good Friday at the FSSP Parish of Rome (2018):

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Detail of the prep work for the Altar of Repose at the FSSP Omaha parish (2018), where the group of young adults never ceases to amaze in their love and devotion for Our Eucharistic Lord: (more to come after their liturgy)

The following photos from my dear friend Elizabeth Coffey, one of the organizers of this Altar of Repose (2018):

Christ, in the garden, we adore Thee!

[AUDIO] Maundy Thursday Tenebrae: Ss.ma Trinita dei Pellegrini

From the FSSP Parish in Rome, the recording of the Tenebrae of Maundy Thursday (2018):

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Photo by my dear friend, Agnese, you may know her as the “Roman Pilgrim,” visiting the station churches each day of Lent!

Wednesday in Holy Week


There is one more phase in Pilate’s weak struggle with his conscience and his sense of right. He thought that if he could have our Lord scourged somehow the mob would relent and settle for His release. So the scourging was initiated and carried out by Roman legionaries – brutalized instruments of a race noted for its absence of all tenderness. “Pilate, then, took Jesus and had Him scourged,” (Jn. 19:1) but St. Matthew was more reportorial, for he wrote:  

“Then the soldiers of the procurator took Jesus into the praetorium, and gathered together about Him the whole cohort. And they stripped Him and put on Him a scarlet cloak; and plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand; and bending knee before Him they mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spat on Him, and took the reed and kept striking Him on the head.” (Mt. 27: 27-30)


The Romans used various kinds of scourges. There was the stick (fustis), the rod (virga), and the whip (lorum) which was of leather-platted throngs and into the plats were woven iron spikes (scorpio) or knuckle bones of animals. Tradition has it that the latter was used by the soldiers to scourge Christ.

Behold your Savior bound to a low pillar with the six scourgers standing on a raised platform beside and above Him, and watch them, if you can, laying those cruel lashes on the bent back of our Lord! Let us go to His side and gaze into the pure eyes of Christ as He suffers in the scourging and acknowledge that it was our sins – yours and mine – that caused Him to endure such agony, and promise Him from this day on we shall never deliberately offend Him again.


There is another consideration I would have you ponder over in your mind. It concerns the reed placed in our Lord’s hand during the crowning with thorns as a mock gesture of a king’s scepter. Is it not worthy of note that the lowly reed should play such an important part in our Lord’s life? He began His public life by going to Cana of Galilee, to begin as it were the reconstruction and redemption of mankind with a man and his wife – since it was a man and his wife who had opened the sluice gates of sin and flooded this world with woe.  

“Cana,” you see, means “a place of reed.”


And now at the end of His public life the reed appears again and is placed in His hands in mockery of His royalty, and finally, it becomes an instrument of torture in itself – since the soldiers beat His thorn-crowned head with this same reed. I have always thought that the special sufferings inflicted on our Lord by the blows from the reed were in reparation for the mockery men and women make of marriage and the sins, such as divorce, abortion, desertion, and birth control committed by persons disdainful of God’s laws. Married persons will beg for the grace to fulfill the duty of their state and the unmarried will beg special graces for those to whom God has entrusted such awful responsibilities.

See how you can spread devotion to the Passion by assisting in the campaign to provide my publication of meditations on the Passion written by a Passionist priest for novices. May this little effort of ours bear much fruit in the reform of the Church, starting with our own souls and the souls of as many future priests we can reach! Find more information out at the BOOKS4SEMS campaign.

*From Reflections on the Passion by Father Doyle

Tuesday in Holy Week

It is strange how often a person who is too weak of character to do what he knows is right, will rack his brains for something to excuse him from doing his duty and thus will seize upon the first thing which comes to mind to relieve him of his dilemma. So it was with Pilate. He knew after he had questioned our Lord that He was guiltless, and that he should release Him. Then the thought struck him that perhaps if he offered to follow an ancient custom of releasing a prisoner on the eve of the great Jewish feast of Passover that he could manage, somehow, to have them choose Christ as against a murderer, and thus he would be rid of the problem. So he mentioned the custom to the Jews and the alternative to Christ, he chose Barabbas – a robber, a rioter, “one who in the riot had committed murder.” (Mk. 15:7)

Pilate said: “Which of the two do you wish that I release to you?’ And they said ‘Barabbas.’ Pilate said to them: ‘What then am I to do with Jesus Who is called Christ?’ They all said, ‘Let Him be crucified.’” (Mt. 27: 21, 22)


Never in the annals of human history has there been a greater example of criminal evasion of personal responsibility. Here was Pilate, who in his heart knew that Christ was innocent of any crime, and had said so in public, but now, in fact says to the mob, “you pick the victim and I’ll sentence Him whether he is guilty or not.” Many of us today, who decry the weakness of Pilate, get much the same way on many occasions. We often allow others to determine our duty. Have we not all at times said something like this:

“But every one does it”; or “Everyone else in the office tells off-color stories”; or “If my husband didn’t drink, I wouldn’t drink,” and so on.

 Let us beg of God the grace to do what we know to be right and just, and for the grace to manfully withstand those who would even suggest our making concessions to evil for fear of man.

The second point of this consideration is equally important. Pilate poses one of the most striking questions formulated when he asked: “What am I to do with Jesus Who is called Christ?” – a question Pilate and all of us are compelled to answer in the end. Jesus stands before each of us, as He stood before Pilate, demanding reception or rejection. The question may be postponed, but we cannot get it off our hands. Every soul must stand in judgment on Christ and give a decision.

Resolve to make a thorough examination of conscience daily on how you fulfill the duties of your state in life and to what extent you permit others to determine your duty. Ask yourself, too, this burning question:

“What have I done today with Christ?” The answer God expects us to give is: “I have loved Him; I have obeyed Him in all things; I have served Him faithfully.”


See how you can spread devotion to the Passion by assisting in the campaign to provide my publication of meditations on the Passion written by a Passionist priest for novices. May this little effort of ours bear much fruit in the reform of the Church, starting with our own souls and the souls of as many future priests we can reach! Find more information out at the BOOKS4SEMS campaign.

*From Reflections on the Passion by Father Doyle

Monday of Holy Week

The whole sordid story of Christ’s appearance before Pilate is one calculated to set the least of us to some deep thinking, It is frightening to ponder how close Pilate came to justification rather than to the depths of scorn earned by him for his weakness of character and the abuse of his authority. Every possible way consistent with the preservation of his free will was used to save him. 


Divine Providence was at work to spare the governor from consummating his guilt. First, there was the silence of Christ. The Savior Who had cringed under the weight of our sins in the Garden of Gethsemani now stands erect, composed and silent – a demeanor bespeaking supernatural dignity. This affected Pilate so much that St. Matthew says “the procurator wondered exceedingly.” (27:14) And even when Pilate had said the fateful words: “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him,” (Jn. 19:6) yet another appeal was made to his conscience, for the Jews replied: “We have a law, and according to that Law He must die, because He has made Himself the Son of God.” (Jn. 19:7) This open and pointed claim to the supernatural, superhuman rank, did for a moment startle the weak Pilate, for Scripture says: “Now when Pilate heard this statement he feared the more.” (Jn. 19:8)

Certainly, the involuntary awe that first came over him as he faced the Innocent Christ must have settled over him now with greater force. No one, no matter how sinful and callous, could ever look upon the face of Christ and not sense His deity. Hence came forth the earnest question: “Where art thou from?” (Jn.19:9) There was never a moment during that dread scene of judgment when Pilate was far from doing the right and noble thing – never a moment when he was far from salvation. But alas, he succumbed to criminal irresolution, he resisted impulses, he fled from the prods of conscience, he banished the warnings of his wife, and made instead a weak concession to the fear of man. When Pilate condemned the Son of God without evidence and against his own convictions, he prostituted his high office.


Not until we stand before Christ in judgment will we ever know how often and with what great effort Christ has tried to save each one of us. We shall be confused and confounded when we learn the amount of grace Christ showered upon us, often at the very moments when we were resisting the warnings of conscience, the pleading of parents, teachers, priests, and friends – bent upon doing our own will and seeking our own pleasures, albeit this involved the breaking of God’s Own laws.

Pilate had one golden opportunity, and he lost it. How much more culpable are we than Pilate, who, times, without number, have rejected God’s grace and resisted His agents, and been influenced to do evil through fear of what our fellow men would think or say?

Base and weak as Pilate was, he is in the record as having called Christ “A just Man.” When you have thought long and well on what Christ has done for you, the graces with which He has showered on you, I am sure you will be compelled to thank Him with all your soul because His mercy has outweighed His justice in your regard.

See how you can spread devotion to the Passion by assisting in the campaign to provide my publication of meditations on the Passion written by a Passionist priest for novices. May this little effort of ours bear much fruit in the reform of the Church, starting with our own souls and the souls of as many future priests we can reach! Find more information out at the BOOKS4SEMS campaign.

*From Reflections on the Passion by Father Doyle