Blessed Basile Moreau modeled Holy Cross on the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. His desire was for the Holy Cross priests, brothers, and sisters to be a family, rooted in the virtues found in the home at Nazareth, including humility, obedience, and chastity.
Moreau consecrated the priests to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the brothers to St. Joseph, and the sisters to Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows. He also put the entire Holy Cross family under the patronage of Our Lady of Sorrows, whose Feast Day we celebrate on September 15.
As Holy Cross priests, we find our model of priestly charity in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that heart pierced on the cross by the soldier’s lance in the final proof that Jesus offered all for us. In imitation of Him, we, too, seek to offer all in laying down our lives in service of the People of God. Especially through ministering the Sacraments, we hope that the blood and the water that flowed from the pierced Heart of Christ continue to give life to our world.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the chief source of the affections of Our Lord, and the center of the most perfect virtues which ever existed: a veritable treasure-house of sincerity, innocence, purity, meekness, patience, and humility. In a word, the Heart of Jesus is a living mirror of the most admirable human perfections and of the choicest gifts of grace. – Blessed Basile Moreau
As Holy Cross brothers, we go to St. Joseph as the model of a life humbly lived for God and for others in poverty, chastity, and obedience. In living out his vocation as the husband of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus, St. Joseph remained unwavering in his loyalty, faithful to his mission, and unselfishly open to the will of God. Following his example, we seek to offer our lives to God and to others with that same loyalty, faithfulness, and generosity.
“The religious spirit consists in the knowledge and love of the duties of one’s vocation and has as its effect to make us increase in the love of our vocation, fulfill its obligations with exactitude, and defend as we ought its honor and interests. The dispositions that I have just mentioned were never better illustrated than by our glorious patron, St. Joseph.” – Blessed Basile Moreau
The title of Mary as Our Lady of Sorrows comes from the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, during which the prophet Simeon says to Mary, "And you yourself a sword will pierce" (Luke 2:35). According to Tradition, Mary suffered seven sorrows in her life, beginning with the very prophecy of Simeon. The other six sorrows are the flight into Egypt, the loss of the child Jesus in the Temple, the encounter with Jesus carrying His Cross, the crucifixion, the reception of Jesus' body from the Cross, and the burial of Jesus in the tomb.
“There stood by the cross of Jesus his mother Mary, who knew grief and was a Lady of Sorrows. She is our special patroness, a woman who bore much she could not understand and who stood fast. To her many sons and daughters, whose devotions ought to bring them often to Her side, she tells much of this daily cross and its daily hope” – Constitutions, 8:120
Together, with the Holy Cross sisters, we look to Our Lady of Sorrows as the one who can instruct us and strengthen us in the core of our spirituality and our mission as Holy Cross religious: to proclaim the cross of Christ as our only hope – Ave Crux Spes Unica!