Dear brothers of the Chapter,
Today we celebrate a great feast for us Passionists. Firstly, because we celebrate the one who was the first Passionist, since she remained faithful at the foot of the cross of her divine Son, Jesus, living and meditating upon the redemptive passion, and also because, when celebrating Our Lady of Sorrows at the foot of this of the Cross, we remember the day when we, as Passionists, were born in the heart and loving dreams of God, who wanted a congregation devoted to daily meditation of his great mystery of love and salvation.
The first reading presents us with Judith, a beautiful woman in appearance, character, strength and insight. She is to bring Israel victory against Nebuchadnezzar because of her courage in defeating the enemy, Holofernes, the Assyrian general. As the act performed by her, all the people of Israel takes courage to fight for their freedom. The people acclaim her as “the glory of Jerusalem, the renown of Israel, the great honor of our people … Be foreverblessed by the Lord” (Judith 15, 9-11).