Shoulder wound of Jesus

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The traditional prayer in honor of the shoulder wound of Jesus calls to mind the wound he is said to have received carrying his cross. It is variously attributed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux[1] or to St. Gertrude or St. Mechtilde.[2]

According to pious legend, St. Bernard asked Jesus which was his greatest unrecorded suffering and the wound that inflicted the most pain on him in Calvary and Jesus 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."[3]

Emily Jo Sargent observes that the shoulder wound did not inspire as significant a devotional following as the wound in the side "...with its direct access to Christ's heart."[4]


In English:

'"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 Thy Cross. Amen."

The modern version of the prayer bears the imprimatur of Bishop Thomas D. Bevan,[5] who was bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts from 1875 to 1920.

Revelation of Padre Pio[edit]

Padre Pio venerated the Shoulder wound of Jesus and suffered it himself as a stigmata.

According to Stefano Campanella, author of "Il papa e il frate" (The Pope and the Friar)[6], Pope John Paul II visited Padre Pio when he was still a priest and asked the question as to which was his most painful wound. Father Wojtyla expected that it was his chest wound, but the saint replied: "It is my shoulder wound, which no one knows about and has never been cured or treated".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Catholic Online - Prayers
  2. ^ Preces Gertrudianae sive vera et sincera medulla precum potissimum ex revelationibus BB. Gertrudis et Mechtildis excerptarum. Editio nova, accurate recognita et emendata a monacho ordinis S. Benedicti Congregationis Beuronensis, 1903
  3. ^ Ball, Ann. Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 2003, ISBN 9780879739102
  4. ^ Sargent, Emily Jo. "The Sacred Heart: Christian Symbolism", The Heart, (James Peto, ed.), Yale University Press, 2007, ISBN 9780300125108
  5. ^ Prayer to the Shoulder Wound of Jesus
  6. ^ Campanella, Stefano. Padre Pio da Pietrelcina, ed. Il papa e il frate.