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Devotion Card - Shoulder Wound of Christ
Question from Bill Burych on 5/13/2003:

Sir, I recently picked up a devotion card in my church. It is entitled "Prayer To The Shoulder Wound of Jesus". The text is as follows:

"It is related in the annals of Clairvaux that St. Bernard asked Our lord which was His greatest unrecorded suffering and Our Lord answered: 'I had on My Shoulder, while I bore My Cross on the Way of Sorrows, a grievous Wound, which was more painful than the others and which is not recorded by men. Honor this Wound with thy devotion and I will grant thee whatsoever thou dost ask through its virtue and merit. And in regard to all those who shall venerate this Wound, I will remit to them all their venial sins and will no longer remember their mortal sins.' This revelation and promise of Our Dear Savior is another proof of His unlimited mercy. You are urged to say these prayers daily and to distribute this card on a continuous basis, so that others may share in this blessing.

THE PRAYER O Loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I a miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of Thy Shoulder on which Thou didst bear Thy heavy Cross, which so tore Thy Flesh and laid bare Thy Bones as to inflict on Thee an anguish greater than any other Wound of Thy Most Blessed Body. I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify Thee and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful Wound, beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy Cross to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins, and to lead me towards Heaven along the Way of Thy Cross. Amen.

Imprimatur: Thomas D. Beven, Bishop of Springfield, Ma.

Pope Eugenius III, at the earnest request of St. Bernard, has granted three thousand years indulgence to all who with a contrite heart recite the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary 3 times, in honor of the Wound on the Shoulder of Our Blessed Redeemer."

My questions are: 1) Have you heard of this devotion ? 2) If so, Is it valid ? 3) The indulgence seems extreme -- is this a misprint ? should it be 3000 DAYS (8 years, plus) ?

Thank you.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 6/25/2003:

1.) Have you heard of this devotion? No, but after a few minutes of research with the search engine Google, I've found that the devotion is not unknown.

2.) Is it valid? There's nothing inherently wrong with a devotion to a particular wound of Christ, but it is not incumbent upon Catholics to take up such a devotion. If they do develop a particular devotion to Christ's shoulder wound (i.e., it helps them focus more clearly during meditation on the weight of the sins Christ bore for love of us), it is not necessary to use this particular prayer to express such devotion. Assuming the imprimatur is valid, they could use this prayer if they wanted to, but are not required to do so.

3.) The indulgence seems extreme -- is this a misprint? "Three thousand years" does sound like a misprint, but that is a question only the publisher could answer. For more information about indulgences, click here, and for answers to common myths about indulgences, click here.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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