Meaning of the Habit
In the last post about our new habit I didn’t have the chance to explain the significance of each the parts. So here it is.
The habit itself looks like, and is meant to look like, a Tau Cross. The Tau, looks like a capital T, held great significance for St. Francis. It reminded him of the Cross on which Christ died. It also reminded him of Ezekiel, Chapter 9.
and the LORD said to him: Pass through the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and mark an X(tau) on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the abominations practiced within it. To the others he said in my hearing: Pass through the city after him and strike! Do not let your eyes spare; do not take pity. Old and young, male and female, women and children—wipe them out! But do not touch anyone marked with the X(tau). (Ezekiel 9: 4-6)
The scapular was used in early times in monastic life by the Benedictines as a working garment or apron. Because of its shape, it reminds us of the vertical beam of the cross and because it was the outer clothing of workers it became a symbol of “taking on the yoke of Christ.”
The rope-like cord was the belt of the poor, which Francis adopted. The three knots symbolize the three vows: chastity, poverty and obedience. Each knot has five coils to remind us of the five wounds of Christ.
The Franciscan Crown Rosary was given to a young Franciscan novice in the 1400s by the Blessed Virgin as a way to give her crown more pleasing to her than the crown of flowers he regularly made for her. There are seven decades one for each of her seven joys: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity of Christ, the Adoration by the Magi, the finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, the Beholding of Christ on Easter morning, and the Assumption and Coronation (taken as one).
The Crucifix, we receive on our First Profession. We respond, after receiving it, “As for me, God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is Crucified to me and I to the world.”
The veil reminds us that we are consecrated entirely to Christ and dedicated to the service of His Church.
When we receive our profession ring at our Perpetual Profession, the Bishop says, “Receive this ring, signed with a crucifix, for you are betrothed to the eternal King; keep faith with your Bridegroom so that you may come to the wedding feast of eternal joy.”
Note: The little clip-on microphone is not part of our new habit. 🙂