BY James Farrell | March 15 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Icon brings the Passion of Christ to St Mungo’s

An Icon travelling through 60 countries and across all continents made a stop in Glasgow last week to assist the city’s Passionists in their vocation.

The Icon of the Passion of Christ is being sent around the world this year visiting every Passionist congregation to help prepare for the celebration of the 300 anniversary of its founding by St Paul of the Cross in 1720.

The triptych style Icon, written by Greek Iconographer Loukas Seroglou, which visited St Mungo’s Church, Townhead from February 27 to March 6, is filled with meaning for the Passionists and helped the local community gather in prayer.

Fr Frank Keevins expressed what meaning the Icon had for the Passionists in Glasgow.

“It’s beautiful and it draws you into prayer as all Icons do. This Icon was written to draw you into the vocation of the Passionists which is to proclaim Gods Love through the Passion of Christ,” he said.

The central figure of the Icon is Christ Crucified with Our Lady Mother of sorrows, patroness of the Passionists, to his left and St Paul of the Cross on Christ’s right.

On the side panels are four Passionists: St Gemma Galgani, who represents the Passionist laity, St Gabriel Possenti, who represents Passionist students, Blessed Isidore de Loor, who represents the vocation of the Passionist Brother, and Blessed Dominic Barberi, who represents the Passionist missionary vocation.

Blessed Dominic, a missionary to England, is best known for receiving the soon to be canonised Blessed John Henry Newman into the Catholic Church.

“I have always been very taken by what each of them had to say about each other in that very famous incident,” Fr Keevins said, adding that he visits Blessed Dominic’s shrine in Sutton often.

The Icon provided the focal point during prayer services in a week filled with feasts in the Passionist calendar.

The Icon travelled from Paris and arrived in Glasgow on the Feast of St Gabriel Possenti the patron of Passionist vocations, allowing people to gather to pray during a vocations service.

The Friday before Ash Wednesday is the passionist feast of the solemn commemoration of the passion of Christ and St Mungo’s held an hours ‘passion prayer’ in front of the Icon.

Shrove Tuesday is the commemoration of the prayer of our Lord in the garden, and the Icon was moved to the alter of the Sacred Heart where the Passionists held a prayer service for the sick.

The week provided the opportunity for people to gather in the Church but many just visited in their own time to pray before the Icon said Fr Keevins said.

“Some looked upon it, gazed upon it and tried to find out more about each of the saints depicted.”

Fr Keevins described the timing as providential as the week tied in with so many saints.

“It really felt like it had a bit of providence about it. We didn’t have a choice in when we were going to receive the Icon and it meant that we had a very special week,” he said.

“It gave me an opportunity to enter more deeply into my own vocation as a Passionist and other members of the community were able to get a deeper appreciation of the call we have to proclaim God’s love through Christ’s passion.”

Describing his connection to the Icon, Fr Keevins explained that his Passionist vocation had offered him the opportunity to visit key places linked to all the saints in the Icon.

The Icon now continues its journey on to Ireland with Br Anthony Connelly of St Mungos accompanying it to Belfast. “It’s a great thing to be able to take the Icon down to our churches in Ireland,” he said.

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