Although few Catholics have ever heard of the Pardon Crucifix, it certainly does not diminish the power it wields over Satan and his evil ones. In fact, it holds just as much power against evil as the Miraculous Medal and the St. Benedict Medal. Sadly, few have heard of it. Let’s take a look at what it is and why it has so much power over Satan and his attacks.
First of all, the crucifix causes the devil to shutter. St. Padre Pio, who is known for his battles with Satan, once wrote “the best way to avoid falling is to lean on the cross of Jesus. Never fear the tricks of Satan, because even though they might be vigorous they will never move a soul who keeps itself attached to the Cross. Imagine you have Jesus Christ crucified in your arms and on your breast and kissing his side, say: Behold my hope, behold the living source of my happiness, I will hold you close, O my Jesus, and I will not leave you until you have put me in a place of safety.”
Second, the Pardon Crucifix is an important sacramental, although mostly forgotten, which carries indulgences with it. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, an indulgence is “a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as a minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.” (CCC 1471)
In short, an indulgence can be gained to remove part of all of the temporal punishment due to sin if certain prayers are said or actions are done. Temporal punishment, according to the Catechism, is the result of an unhealthy attachment to creatures, resulting from venial sin, that must be purified on earth or after death. (CCC 1472-1473) The Church declares indulgences to certain acts and prescribes the criteria which must be met in order to receive the indulgence.
The Pardon Crucifix has rich indulgences attached to it from Pope Pius X. His Holiness issued two statements regarding the Pardon Crucifix. The first, his Pontifical Rescript of June 1905 and the second was Pontifical Rescript dated November 14, 1905. The first prescribes the conditions for the indulgences to be gained and the second denotes the indulgences can also be applied to souls in purgatory. It was introduced with great support from Cardinal Pierre-Hector Coullie’ (1829-1912), archbishop of Lyon in 1904 during the Marian Congress of Rome.
Description of the Pardon Crucifix: The front takes us back to Golgotha where Jesus was crucified. It portrays Jesus on the cross with the sign hung above his head reading “Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum.” (Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews) (Matthew 27:37)
The back of the crucifix is centered with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On the cross beam we see the words of Jesus which were echoed from the cross. “Father forgive them,” was one of the seven phrases Jesus said as he hung dying on the cross. (Luke 23:34) Forgiveness lies at the heart of God, flows from the blood of Christ on the cross, and ushers sinners into eternal life with God and the holy angels and saints.
On the vertical beam is the second phrase of the crucifix. These words take the individual back to an encounter St. Margaret Mary had with our Lord in 1675 when he spoke to her. “Behold this Heart which has so loved men,” were the words Jesus spoke to the French nun and mystic, resulting in her promoting and spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
At the bottom of the vertical beam, serving as the anchor, is a depiction of the Blessed Mother. It’s the symbol of Our Lady with a star overhead that sits at the foot of the cross. The one who tramples the head of the serpent and was pure from conception to her assumption stands at the foot of the crucifix.
A combination of the forgiveness of Jesus, His Sacred Heart, the sacrifice at Golgotha for the forgiveness of the world’s sins, and the Blessed Mother Mary at the foot: it’s no wonder the devil trembles and wants people to forget about the Pardon Crucifix.
The indulgences: In 1905 indulgences were declared upon the Pardon Crucifix by Pope St. Pius X. His Holiness granted the following:
1) Whoever carries on his person the Pardon Crucifix may thereby gain an indulgence.
2) For devoutly kissing the Crucifix, an indulgence is gained.
3) Whoever says one of the following invocations before this crucifix may gain each time an indulgence: “Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” “I beg the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray to the Lord our God for me.”
4) Whoever, habitually devout to this Crucifix, will fulfill the necessary conditions of Confession and Holy Communion, may gain a Plenary Indulgence on the following feasts: On the feasts of the Five Wounds of our Lord, the Invention of the Holy Cross, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Immaculate Conception, and the Seven Sorrows (Dolors) of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
5) Whoever, at the moment of death, fortified with the Sacraments of the Church, or contrite of heart, in the supposition of being unable to receive them, will kiss this Crucifix and ask pardon of God for his sins, and pardon his neighbor, will gain a Plenary Indulgence.
What Satan wants to bury and hide from the world may we bring to the light. Satan wants everyone to forget about the Pardon Crucifix. If he had it his way, everyone would forget about the crucifixion completely. However, let’s use the weapons God has given us and fight the evil one with the power that flows forth from the heavenly throne of God. Satan wants death, let’s give him life. He wants hatred and anger, let’s give him forgiveness. He wants division and resentment, let’s give him the Sacred Heart of Christ. He wants to be king, let’s give him the Real King.