We are an International Order founded
in Manchester, England in 1852 by a young English woman
named Elizabeth Prout.
You will find us England,
Ireland, Scotland, Wales, United States, Chile, Peru, Argentina,
Botswana, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Bosnia.
Our call is a daily
invitation to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of
the self emptying of Jesus and his life in the Spirit as
we witness to the hope of the resurrection.
In a true spirit of
compassion we grow in solidarity with the crucified of the
world sharing with them our conviction of the power of the
was born in Shrewsbury,
England, in 1820. Her parents baptised her in the Anglican
Church. In her early twenties she became a Catholic.
Elizabeth moved to Manchester
in 1849. There, touched by the misery and deprivation of
the poor, she and a few companions came together to form
a community to help the voiceless downtrodden workers in
the large industrial towns of nineteenth-century England.
The community was directed
and helped by two Passionists Father Gaudentius Rossi and
Father Ignatius Spencer. The rule was based on that of St.
Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionists. Elizabeth
recognised that the Passion of Jesus is the great sign of
Gods love reaching out to those in pain.
Now known as Mother
Mary Joseph, Elizabeth continued to meet the challenges
presented to her in her life of suffering, and to grow in
solidarity with the crucified of the world. She died on
11th January 1864 at Sutton, St. Helens, Lancashire. And
she lies there today.
This is the Passionist Sign,
the special emblem that expresses the meaning of our life.
In the middle of the emblem are the words, JESU XPI
PASSIO. The words are in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin,
just as the sign on the cross over Jesus head was
in three languages. The words mean, The Passion of
On the top of our emblem
is the cross. Remembering the cross means remembering those
in the world who bear the cross today: the sick, the disabled,
the dying, the grieving, the lonely, the unemployed, the
hungry and malnourished all who bear the burden of
pain. Jesus tasted pain and death. But he also tasted the
final victory. To proclaim the Passion is to proclaim hope.
At the bottom of our
emblem are three nails. The nails remind us of all those
who are bound by poverty and the lack of freedom, those
pierced by prejudice and unfair laws, those denied education
and health care, and those who are victims of unjust wars.
To proclaim the Passion is to challenge the world for its
injustice and neglect.
Finally, our emblem
is shaped like a heart. Jesus died that others might live.
The cross becomes the symbol telling us that Gods
love is stronger than death. Passionists want to proclaim
that love to all of the world.
If you want to know
Sister Anne Hammersley
at The Briery on 01943 607287