The Nature and Purpose of this Apostolate and the Holy Mass Crucifix
We are the Apostles of the Holy Mass
About the Holy Mass Crucifix
The Holy Mass Crucifix is the Sacramental at the center of this Apostolate. Indeed, it is a 'Catechetical Crucifix' because it was designed to visually teach us about the Holy Mass, the Priesthood, the Christian life, as well as co-redemptive suffering and co-intercession in the Mystical Body of Christ.
Fundamental to the Holy Mass Crucifix are the graces imparted to those who avail themselves of this wonderful Sacramental. The graces will help the recipient live closer to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and serve as a Beacon of Light to those passying by in a world very much in need of our Eucharistic Lord.
There is also a theology designed into the Holy Mass Crucifix:
First - A crucifix should not merely represent an event that came and went 2,000 years ago. The reality of Calvary is present to all time and place and a crucifix should represent this fact. When you see the Holy Mass Crucifix you see the body of Christ on the cross, and at the same time you see the Eucharist, the body of Christ. Together they are visually inseparable so that when you see the Eucharist you see Christ on the cross, and when you see Christ on the cross you see Calvary within the Eucharist and the Blood of Christ in the Chalice. This visually tells you the substantial presence of the body and blood of the Lord are contained within the Sacred Host and Chalice.
Second: You see representations of wheat and grapes next to the hands of Jesus for 2 reasons:
1 - Wheat and grapes - Jesus said that wheat must die to itself to become bread, and we know that grapes must undergo the press to become wine, so the presence of wheat and grapes on this crucifix are indicative of Christ's passion where he dies for our sins. The wheat and grapes are also indicative of the Christian life where, in imitation of Christ, we die to self for the sake of His Body, the Church, as the Apostle Paul speaks calls us to do.
2- The Priesthood - Jesus takes these very elements of bread and wine which come from wheat and grapes in his Holy and Venerable Hands through the hands of the Priest and turns them into his body and blood which are seen in the Eucharist and Chalice on the Holy Mass Crucifix.
Third: Wearing the Holy Mass Crucifix Pendants. The Holy Mass Crucifix Pendants rest over the heart to:
Serve as a sign that the heart becomes the throne of the Eucharistic Lord when we receive Him in the Holy Mass. At the Last Supper Jesus said "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode in him." (John 14:23)
Wearing this Crucifix Pendant is a visible sign that by means of receiving the Holy Eucharist we are "Always carrying in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be manifest in our mortal flesh so that death is at work in us, but life in you. (2nd Corinthians 4:10 - 12)
Wearing the Holy Mass Crucifix Pendant also gives testimony to co-redemption and co-intercession in the Mystical Body of Christ so that we can say with St. Paul "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, the Church." (Colossians 1:24)
When you look at a Holy Mass Crucifix you are looking at visual sign that opens like a book because, all in one visual image it encompasses what the Church teaches about the reality of Calvary which is present to all time and place in the Holy Mass, the elements of wheat and grapes which are indicative of Christ’s suffering to redeem us, the Christian life where we die to self for the sake of others, the Priesthood and co-redemption in the Mystical Body of Christ, and the Saints.
Given that the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith it is no wonder the Holy Mass Crucifix opens the door to opportunities to discuss our faith with those who are still searching for the Lord.
Fourth: It is appropriate to have the Eucharist at the heart of the Holy Mass Crucifix which is why devotions to the Saints are at the bottom or on the back of the Holy Mass Crucifix. It is Lord who died for our sins on Calvary, not St. Benedict. It is Our Lord who is offered up in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, not St. Benedict or any other saint.. The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of all Christian life from which all the saints draw the grace which enabled them to live their life as a Saint.
That said, every Holy Mass Crucifix bears the St. Benedict Medal on the back, but something needs to be made clear.
Popular devotion and what comes from the Church are not the same thing. There is actually no such thing as a “St. Benedict Crucifix.” What most people do not realize is that the Papal indulgences granted to the St. Benedict Medal are imparted only to the St. Benedict Medal itself, and not to a crucifix. the St. Benedict Medal can be on a key chain, a sun visor clip, or a pocket medal, and the same indulgences are with the Medal itself. So, if the St. Benedict Medal were to be removed from the crucifix the indulgences imparted to the St. Benedict medal remain with the medal, not the crucifix.
As treasured as the St. Benedict Medal is because of the associated indulgences, it is not a Crucifix.
As such there is no St. Benedict Crucifix Apostolate because there is no St. Benedict Crucifix.
In the case of the Holy Mass Crucifix the Apostolic Blessing of 2 Pope are imparted to the actual Holy Mass Crucifix itself. And in addition to that the St. Benedict Medal has been molded into the back of the Holy Mass Crucifix itself to retain the indulgences associated with the St. Benedict medal once it has been blessed by a Priest.
Once the Holy Mass Crucifix is blessed by a Priest the Apostolic Blessings and Indulgences of 2 Popes are imparted to it:
The Norms on Indulgences from the Enchiridion of Indulgences issued on June 1968, #19 states: "The faithful, who devoutly use an article of devotion (crucifix or cross ...) that has been blessed by the Sovereign Pontiff ... the faithful, using it devoutly, can also gain a plenary indulgence on the feast of the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, provided they also make a profession of faith according to any legitimate formula." Once blessed these crucifixes will receive the Apostolic Blessings of 2 popes, so be certain to avail yourself of the Plenary Indulgence.
The Holy Mass Crucifix is also a historical crucifix. Not only is it the only Crucifix Apostolate in the Church, but it is the only crucifix which represents the true meaning of Calvary in the Mass, as well as the words spoken by Our Lord about His suffering for us, the Christian life as His followers, the Priesthood, the continuing suffering of Christ is His mystical body, and the wearing it over the heart which literally makes the heart become the Throne of God as promised by Christ at the Last Supper when He spoke of the indwelling. It is in one single image a summary of the Catholic faith.
Prayer for the Blessing of the St. Benedict Medal on the back of the Holy Mass Crucifix
Medals of St. Benedict may be blessed by any priest (Instr. Sept. 26, 1964). The following English form may be used.
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord. R. Who made heaven and earth.
In the name of God the Father + almighty, who made heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them, I exorcise these medals against the power and attacks of the evil one. May all who use these medals devoutly be blessed with health of soul and body. In the name of the Father + almighty, of his Son + Jesus Christ our Lord, and of the Holy + Spirit the Paraclete, and in the love of the same Lord Jesus Christ who will come on the last day to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.
Let us pray. Almighty God, the boundless source of all good things, we humbly, ask that, through the intercession of St. Benedict, you pour out your blessings + upon these medals. May those who use them devoutly and earnestly strive to perform good works be blessed by you with health of soul and body, the grace of a holy life, and remission of the temporal punishment due to sin. May they also, with the help of your merciful love, resist the temptations of the evil one and strive to exercise true charity and justice toward all, so that one day they may appear sinless and holy in your sight. This we ask through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.
The medals are then sprinkled with holy water.