Guido Reni CrucifixionThe usual conditions of confession, Communion and detachment from even venial sin apply, but here is a great opportunity to gain a Plenary Indulgence for those who go to Mass on Fridays of Lent!

The Handbook of Indulgences has this:

22. Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus (En ego, o bone et dulcissime Iesu)

Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before your face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech you to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment, while I contemplate with great love and tender pity your five wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David, your prophet, said of you, my good Jesus: “They have pierced my hands and my feet; they have numbered all my bones” (Ps 21, 17-18).

A plenary indulgence is granted on each Friday of Lent and Passiontide to the faithful, who after Communion piously recite the above prayer before an image of Christ crucified; on other days of the year the indulgence is partial.

In Latin:

En ego o bone et dulcissime Iesu, ante conspectum tuum genibus me provolvo, ac maximo animi ardore te oro atque obtestor, ut meum in cor vividos fidei, spei et caritatis sensus, atque veram peccatorum meorum paenitentiam, eaque emendandi firmissimam voluntatem velis imprimere; dum magno animi affectu et dolore tua quinque vulnera mecum ipse considero ac mente contemplor, illud prae oculis habens, quod iam in ore ponebat tuo1 David propheta de te, o bone Iesu: Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos: dinumeraverunt omnia ossa mea. Amen.

In a more traditional translation:

Behold, o good and most sweet Jesus, I fall upon my knees before Thee, and with most fervent desire beg and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart a lively sense of faith, hope and charity, true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. And with deep affection and grief, I reflect upon Thy five wounds, having before my eyes that which Thy prophet David spoke about Thee, o good Jesus: “They have pierced my hands and feet, they have counted all my bones.” Amen.

Reverend Fathers, this prayer is usually included in breviaries.  If it isn’t in yours, print it out and keep it in your breviary or post it in your sacristy to pray after Mass.  Get the indulgence.  It’s a lazy curve right over the plate.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Priam1184 says:

    My 1962 Missal (Baronius Press) states that this prayer is eligible for a plenary indulgence, once a day under the usual conditions and if said facing a crucifix, any day of the year. Is that wrong?[It wasn’t then, but it is now. We all follow today’s legislation.]

  2. truthfinder says:

    I love this prayer, and it is in my old “Key of Heaven” prayer book. I have to ask, though, Father, if the church in which you received Communion does not have an actual crucifix (instead a resurrect-ifix), is the image in the book “enough” to satisfy the requirement of the indulgence?

  3. Boniface says:

    truthfinder, the Enchiridion of Indulgences says one must look at “an image of Christ crucified,” so it seems the picture counts.
    Priam, as Fr. Z said, the legislation now in force is the 1968 code of indulgences, promulgated by Blessed Paul VI, which greatly simplified things – in a good way, as I see it). It swept away the older grants, even while re-including a few, and allowed groups like the Rosary Confraternity to apply for their formerly granted plenary indulgences to be reinstated (which in that case, I’ve heard on good authority, they were).

  4. Midwest St. Michael says:

    I love this prayer, too. Pray it every morning before going to work.

    I told our parish DRE about this prayer some years ago. I told her how the faithful can merit a plenary indulgence saying this prayer in front of a crucifix on Fridays during Lent. (preferably after Holy Communion)

    She said to me, “You believe in indulgences and all of that. I don’t necessarily believe in that.”

    I replied, “It’s in the Catechism.” (p 1478, 98)

    It was not too much longer after this I was dis-invited to teach CCD. And so it goes.


  5. truthfinder says:

    Thanks Boniface – I assume it’s also why I’ve never seen this prayer printed without an accompanying picture of the crucifixion.

  6. blessedtolivenow says:

    Just this week I found “The Prayer Book” by Catholic Press (1954) in a local thrift store and have been reading all the prayers. Found the prayer listed above and planned on praying this tonight after Stations of the Cross. Thank you Fr. Z, for the Latin! I am learning Latin as we just started having the EF in our area, so whenever possible I work on stretching my heart and brain to learn prayers in Latin.

  7. Priam1184 says:

    Thank you Father. I need to contact Baronius Press then because this was printed in 2011 and uses the terms ‘plenary’ and ‘partial’ indulgences so I thought it was current.

    Stay with the Latin blessedtolivenow. I started doing that a couple of years ago. It is hard at first but when you begin to learn the words and what they mean and how to say them it is absolutely gorgeous how they all roll off the tongue.

  8. Pingback: Cool Stuff: Lenten Indulgences | The Scarlet Trad Cat

  9. Gregg the Obscure says:

    This seems to me to be one of the finest of all post-communion prayers, even without regard to the indulgence.

  10. Sandy says:

    I love this prayer and have said it since childhood, a looong time! Midwest St. Michael, I can hardly believe my eyes reading what your DRE said!! God help us, come Lord Jesus!

  11. gramma10 says:

    When I was an early teenager I went to a Catholic girls summer camp in New Hampshire for 3 years in a row.

    We all got up early and went first to the flag pole to raise the flag and do the pledge etc.
    Next we traversed to the chapel and had daily mass.

    I remember coming back to my pew after Communion every morning and in the seat back in front of me, I would always pray the prayer in the small booklet.

    I memorized it just because I prayed it daily.
    It was this “Prayer Before A Crucifix!”

  12. Nicolas Bellord says:

    The prayer appears on page 45 of “A Simple Prayer Book” published by the Catholic Truth Society. A superb publication that one can carry around in one’s pocket and I thoroughly recommend it to everyone. Published continuously since 1886 I have an updated edition from 2011. Thank God for the CTS.

  13. Scott W. says:

    Now that’s a prayer with which to detach yourself from sin! Thanks!

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