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In one of the imperial hunts there was a deer of extraordinary size. A chain was placed around its neck with a plate bearing the words: “Do not kill me: I am the property of the emperor”, and no hunter would have dared to kill this animal.
When the Christian signs himself with the cross, it is as if he put on him the inscription: “Do not touch me, I belong to Christ”, and no demon will be able to take away the life of grace without our consent.
St. Anthony the hermit was exposed to terrible temptations from the devil in his desert, as was Our Lord Himself at the end of His forty days in the desert. The devil appeared to the Saint sometimes in the form of a snake, sometimes in the form of a ferocious beast: but at each apparition Saint Anthony made the sign of the cross, and at once Satan fled. So he advised his disciples to make the sign of the cross as soon as they were tempted.
As the dog fears the whip with which it has been chastised, so the devil is terrified by the image of this Cross by which he has been defeated.
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.
O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.
My Jesus, forgiveness and mercy!
By the merits of Thy holy Wounds and the sorrows of Thy Mother.