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It was while researching information about St Bernard of Clairvaux that I came across a prayer attributed to the Cistercian monk which he composed in honour of the Shoulder Wound of Jesus.


Apparently, St Bernard asked Jesus what wound inflicted most pain on him during his passion. Jesus replied it was the wound on his shoulder suffered by carrying his cross.


Like all mothers, the Mother of Jesus was not immune from carrying her own cross because of her Child’s suffering. I discovered the truth of this when I visited Medjugorje last month and noticed how the light cast on the statue of Our Lady Queen of Peace presented an image which I could only associate as being representative of the face of Christ. Mary the Christ Bearer, shouldering her Cross, her Child, her Christ.


If nothing else, it serves as a reminder of the prayer and devotion to the Shoulder Wound of Jesus. It is said that Padre Pio also venerated the Saviour’s shoulder wound and suffered it himself as a stigmata.


This is the prayer attributed to St Bernard of Clairvaux


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 on towards Heaven along the Way of the Cross. Amen.

• The photograph was taken at 20.22 local time, October 10, 2018

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