Union with the Passion of Christ

The sacred liturgy provides man with the divinely inspired means to express his need in every situation, affliction, infirmity, and distress. If this is true at all times, it is especially true in the liturgy of Lent. The Propers of the Lenten Masses together with the antiphons and responsories of the Divine Office provide all who suffer with the means to lift their minds and hearts to God while uniting their afflictions to the Passion of Christ.
The Feast of the Sacred Crown of Thorns
Today’s devotional feast of the Sacred Crown of Thorns is a case in point. The feast in honour of the Crown of the Lord (Festum susceptionis coronae Domini) was instituted at Paris when, in 1239, Saint Louis IX of France received the relic of the Crown of Thorns. The sacred relic of the Crown was later enshrined in the Sainte Chapelle together with other precious relics of the Passion. The feast, observed on 11 August in theSainte Chapelle came, over time, to be celebrated in other places in France.
In the following century another festival of the Sacred Crown appeared in parts of Spain, Germany, and Scandinavia on May 4th, and was celebrated in conjunction with the Feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross. The Dominicans, until recently, kept the feast with a magnificent proper Office on April 24th.
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