Jesuit Pupil Profile
Compassionate & Loving

Pupils in a Jesuit school are growing to be compassionate towards others, near and far, especially the less fortunate; and loving by their just actions and forgiving words.

Jesuit schools help their pupils grow by being compassionate and loving in the way pupils are treated, especially when a pupil is in trouble; and by opening pupils’ eyes to those who suffer poverty, injustice or violence.

Understanding the Virtues: Compassionate & Loving

The word compassion comes from two Latin words: cum meaning with and passio meaning to change, especially in the sense of suffering adverse change.

To be compassionate is to experience suffering or change alongside someone else – to listen to their cares and concerns and to share their joys and sorrows (The Characteristics of Jesuit Education n.43), to see the world through their eyes, to step into their shoes, to empathize.

Being able to empathize is a virtue very necessary for being a good human being.  To live successfully in a family, or a school community, or workplace, or in wider society, means being able to see, understand and feel things from other points of view, even ones to which I may not be particularly sympathetic.  In the Christian tradition, it is never enough simply to be attentive: we must allow ourselves to be moved by what we see, especially by the plight of those who suffer or are less fortunate than we are. 

Getting children to stop and notice how others are experiencing their lives, and how they feel, and why they say and believe what they do, is an important aspect of parenting and teaching.  Ultimately, it is what makes us kind and, at a deeper level, opens up the possibility of being loving through our just and merciful actions and forgiving words.

Jesus’ great commandment is “Love one another.” (John 13:34)  The more we love others, the more we are truly human and most truly ourselves.

Love is something that is learned not by being taught but by having first experienced it for ourselves.  Parents are the first and best teachers by what they say and do (Rite of Baptism n.77).  The most important lesson they teach their children is love.  It is by being loved that we learn to love.
Of course, it is easy to love those who love us.  In speaking about love, Jesus throws out the challenge to take love deeper:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.’” (Matthew 5:43-44)  This is where love becomes challenging.  To love in this way is to love as God loves.

Schools build on the foundations laid by parents.  By building up communities characterised by compassion and love, schools create the context in which children can learn and acquire these virtues for themselves.  Schools can also show children people, living and dead, who exemplify these virtues and, conversely, show situations where their opposites have done terrible damage to people and society.  In an educational context, we should take children to horizons of experience that may be very unfamiliar to them and give them perspectives which allow them to see the world as the compassionate and loving God sees it, “gazing down on the face and circuit of the earth and deciding to work the redemption of the human race.” (Spiritual Exercises n.106-7)


Parable of the Prodigal Son
Luke 15:11-32 (GNB)

Jesus said, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger one said to him, ‘Father, give me my share of the property now.’ So the man divided his property between his two sons. After a few days the younger son sold his part of the property and left home with the money. He went to a country far away, where he wasted his money in reckless living. He spent everything he had. Then a severe famine spread over that country, and he was left without a thing. So he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him out to his farm to take care of the pigs. He wished he could fill himself with the bean pods the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything to eat. At last he came to his senses and said, ‘All my father's hired workers have more than they can eat, and here I am about to starve! I will get up and go to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and started back to his father.

He was still a long way from home when his father saw him; his heart was filled with pity, and he ran, threw his arms around his son, and kissed him. ‘Father,’ the son said, ‘I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son.’ But the father called to his servants. ‘Hurry!’ he said. ‘Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Then go and get the prize calf and kill it, and let us celebrate with a feast! For this son of mine was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.’ And so the feasting began.

In the meantime the older son was out in the field. On his way back, when he came close to the house, he heard the music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him, ‘What's going on?’ ‘Your brother has come back home,’ the servant answered, ‘and your father has killed the prize calf, because he got him back safe and sound.’ The older brother was so angry that he would not go into the house; so his father came out and begged him to come in. But he spoke back to his father, ‘Look, all these years I have worked for you like a slave, and I have never disobeyed your orders. What have you given me? Not even a goat for me to have a feast with my friends! But this son of yours wasted all your property on prostitutes, and when he comes back home, you kill the prize calf for him!’ ‘My son,’ the father answered, ‘you are always here with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be happy, because your brother was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.’

The Prodigal Son - A Big Story with Participation (an instant drama with no rehearsal needed)

The Greatest Commandment
Matthew 22:36-39 (GNB)

“Teacher,” he asked, “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and the most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’


The New Commandment
John 13:34-35 (GNB)

Jesus said, "And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.”


God so loved the world
John 3:16 (NRSV)

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

Our Compassionate God
Psalm 146:1,3,6 (Grail)

Praise the Lord for he is good;
sing to the Lord for he is loving.
He heals the broken-hearted;
he binds up all their wounds.
The Lord raises the lowly.


When did we see you?
Matthew (24:3) 25:31-46 (NRSV)

When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to jesus and he taught them: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.

Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,* you did it to me.”

Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”

Feeding of the Five Thousand
Matthew 14:13-21 (NRSV)

Jesus withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’ Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’ They replied, ‘We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.’ And he said, ‘Bring them here to me.’ Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Parable of the Good Samaritan
Luke 10:25-37 (NRSV)

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus.* ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’

Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.”

Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’

The Good Samaritan (illustrations by Henry Martin)
The Good Samaritan (BBC animation 2m 15s)
The Bystander Effect (YouTube 3m 35s)

Blind Bartimaeus
Mark 10:46-52 (GNB)

They came to Jericho, and as Jesus was leaving with his disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!” Many of the people scolded him and told him to be quiet. But he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up!” they said. “Get up, he is calling you.”So he threw off his cloak, jumped up, and came to Jesus."What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. “Teacher,” the blind man answered, “I want to see again.” “Go,” Jesus told him, “your faith has made you well.” At once he was able to see and followed Jesus on the road.

Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus (Superbook video; 1m 22s)

Bartimaeus resources from the Scripture Union for under-5s



Without love
1 Corinthians 13:1-2 (JB)

Brothers. If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all.

Loving as he loved you
Ephesians 4:22-24, 4:31-5:2 (JB)

Brothers. You must give up your old way of life; you must put aside your old self, which gets corrupted by following illusory desires. Your mind must be renewed by a spiritual revolution so that you can put on the new self that has been created in God's way, in the goodness and holiness of the truth. Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness. Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ. Try, then, to imitate God as children of his that he lovesand follow Christ loving as he loved you.


For no reason except his own compassion
Titus 3:4-6 (JB)

When the kindness and love of God our saviour for mankind were revealed, it was not because he was concerned with any righteous actions we might have done ourselves; it was for no reason except his own compassion that he saved us, by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour.

JPP Resources for Compassionate & Loving

JPP tagcloud image

The JPP tagcloud/tree greyed-out with intentional and prophetic highlighted in green.

Tagcloud/tree compassionate & loving (png)

Staff briefing paper

This briefing paper aims to be a quick introduction to the virtues and the thinking and theology behind them. It designed to be distributed at the start of the half-term or left in people's mailboxes.

Compassionate & Loving briefing paper (pdf)


PowerPoint Animation

A PowerPoint animation in which the JPP tree/tagcloud reduces to the virtue pair Compassionate & Loving. This resouce could be the first slide in an assembly. If these animations are used regualrly, pupils get used to focusing on a pair of virtues.

Compassionate & Loving animation (ppt)


These posters are intended to draw attention to the JPP pair of virtues in focus this half-term.

All of these posters could be put up around the school for the half-term or new posters could be added each week.

These posters can be printed off at A3 or A4 size.

Compassionate 1: Compassion is . . .
Compassonate 2: Put yourself in their place
Compassionate 3: He saw him a long way off
Compassionate 4: Be clothed in compassion
Compassionate 5: Practice compassion
Compassionate 6: What seeds will you plant?
Compassionate 7: Stand in his shoes
Compassionate 8: Yours are the eyes
Compassionate 9: Be kind and compassionate
Compassionate 10: Noticing when others need you

Loving 1: Love is . . .
Loving 2: The new commandment
Loving 3: Small things with great love
Loving 4: But without love
Loving 5: What does love look like?


"God will not judge us on our earthly possessions and human successes but on how well we have loved."
St John of the Cross (1542-91)

"Hatred is not creative. Only love creates."
St Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941)



Some hymns which fit the theme Compassionate & Loving include:

How deep the Father's love for us (Townend) (performance)
I love you Jesus, deep down in my heart
Make me a channel of your peace
Servant King (From heaven you came)
We are one body, one body in Christ

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