blank'/> SHARING CATHOLIC TRUTH: FEBRUARY 9 - BLESSED ANNA KATHARINA EMMERICK - Mystic,visionary, stigmatist, prophetess - Lived the last 12 years of her life, on receiving the Holy Eucharist and water

Sunday, December 14, 2014

FEBRUARY 9 - BLESSED ANNA KATHARINA EMMERICK - Mystic,visionary, stigmatist, prophetess - Lived the last 12 years of her life, on receiving the Holy Eucharist and water





 
 



 
Augustinian nun - Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824)
 
The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (AUDIO)

OR
 


 (199 pages)
The Dolorous Passion of
Our Lord Jesus Christ

From the Meditations of
Anne Catherine Emmerich
 
Copyright Notice: This ebook was prepared from the 20th edition of this book, which was published in 1904 by Benziger Brothers in New York. The copyright for that edition is expired and the text is in the public domain.

This ebook is not copyrighted and is also in the public domain.


PREFACE TO THE FRENCH TRANSLATION.
BY THE ABBÉ DE CAZALÈS.
 
The writer of this Preface was travelling in Germany, when he chanced to meet with a
book, entitled, The History of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, from the Meditations of Anne
Catherine Emmerich, which appeared to him both interesting and edifying. Its style was
unpretending, its ideas simple, its tone unassuming, its sentiments unexaggerated, and its
every sentence expressive of the most complete and entire submission to the Church. Yet, at
the same time, it would have been difficult anywhere to meet with a more touching and lifelike
paraphrase of the Gospel narrative. He thought that a book possessing such qualities
deserved to be known on this side the Rhine, and that there could be no reason why it
should not be valued for its own sake, independent of the somewhat singular source whence
it emanated.
Still, the translator has by no means disguised to himself that this work is written, in the
first place, for Christians; that is to say, for men who have the right to be very diffident in
giving credence to particulars concerning facts which are articles of faith; and although he is
aware that St. Bonaventure and many others, in their paraphrases of the Gospel history,
have mixed up traditional details with those given in the sacred text, even these examples
have not wholly reassured him. St. Bonaventure professed only to give a paraphrase,
whereas these revelations appear to be something more. It is certain that the holy maiden
herself gave them no higher title than that of dreams, and that the transcriber of her
narratives treats as blasphemous the idea of regarding them in any degree as equivalent to a
fifth Gospel; still it is evident that the confessors who exhorted Sister Emmerich to relate
what she saw, the celebrated poet who passed four years near her couch, eagerly
transcribing all he heard her say, and the German Bishops, who encouraged the publication
of his book, considered it as something more than a paraphrase. Some explanations are
needful on this head.
The writings of many Saints introduce us into a new, and, if I may be allowed the
expression, a miraculous world. In all ages there have been revelations about the past, the
present, the future, and even concerning things absolutely inaccessible to the human
intellect. In the present day men are inclined to regard these revelations as simple
hallucinations, or as caused by a sickly condition of body.
The Church, according to the testimony of her most approved writers, recognises three
descriptions of ecstasy; of which the first is simply natural, and entirely brought about by
certain physical tendencies and a highly imaginative mind; the second divine or angelic,
arising from intercourse held with the supernatural world; and the third produced by
infernal agency. (See, on this head, the work of Cardinal Bona, De Discretione Spirituum.)
Lest we should here write a book instead of a preface, we will not enter into any
development of this doctrine, which appears to us highly philosophical, and without which
no satisfactory explanation can be given on the subject of the soul of man and its various
states.
The Church directs certain means to be employed to ascertain by what spirit these
ecstasies are produced, according to the maxim of St. John: ‘Try the spirits, if they be of
God.’ (1 Jn 4:1). When circumstances or events claiming to be supernatural have been
properly examined according to certain rules, the Church has in all ages made a selection
from them.
Many persons who have been habitually in a state of ecstasy have been canonised, and
their books approved. But this approbation has seldom amounted to more than a
declaration that these books contained nothing contrary to faith, and that they were likely to
promote a spirit of piety among the faithful. For the Church is only founded on the word of
Christ and on the revelations made to the Apostles. Whatever may since have been revealed
to certain saints possesses purely a relative value, the reality of which may even be disputed–
it being one of the admirable characteristics of the Church, that, though inflexibly one in
dogma, she allows entire liberty to the human mind in all besides. Thus, we may believe
private revelations, above all, when those persons to whom they were made have been
raised by the Church to the rank of Saints publicly honoured, invoked, and venerated; but,
even in these cases, we may, without ceasing to be perfectly orthodox, dispute their
authenticity and divine origin. It is the place of reason to dispute and to select as it sees best.
With regard to the rule for discerning between the good and the evil spirit, it is no other,
according to all theologians, than that of the Gospel. A fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos. By their
fruits you shall know them. It must be examined in the first place whether the person who
professes to have revelations mistrusts what passes within himself; whether he would prefer
a more common path; whether far from boasting of the extraordinary graces which he
receives, he seeks to hide them, and only makes them known through obedience; and,
finally, whether he is continually advancing in humility, mortification, and charity. Next,
the revelations themselves must be very closely examined into; it must be seen whether there
is anything in them contrary to faith; whether they are conformable to Scripture and
Apostolic tradition; and whether they are related in a headstrong spirit, or in a spirit of
entire submission to the Church.
Whoever reads the life of Anne Catherine Emmerich, and her book, will be satisfied that
no fault can be found in any of these respects either with herself or with her revelations. Her
book resembles in many points the writings of a great number of saints, and her life also
bears the most striking similitude to theirs. To be convinced of this fact, we need but study
the writings or what is related of Saints Francis of Assisi, Bernard, Bridget, Hildegard,
Catherine of Genoa, Catherine of Sienna, Ignatius, John of the Cross, Teresa, and an
immense number of other holy persons who are less known. So much being conceded, it is
clear that in considering Sister Emmerich to have been inspired by God’s Holy Spirit, we
are not ascribing more merit to her book than is allowed by the Church to all those of the
same class. They are all edifying, and may serve to promote piety, which is their sole object.
We must not exaggerate their importance by holding as an absolute fact that they proceed
from divine inspiration, a favour so great that its existence in any particular case should not
be credited save with the utmost circumspection.
With regard, however, to our present publication, it may be urged that, considering the
superior talents of the transcriber of Sister Emmerich’s narrations, the language and
expressions which he has made use of may not always have been identical with those which
she employed. We have no hesitation whatever in allowing the force of this argument. Most
fully do we believe in the entire sincerity of M. Clement Brentano, because we both know
and love him, and, besides, his exemplary piety and the retired life which he leads, secluded
from a world in which it would depend but on himself to hold the highest place, are
guarantees amply sufficient to satisfy any impartial mind of his sincerity. A poem such as he
might publish, if he only pleased, would cause him to be ranked at once among the most
eminent of the German poets, whereas the office which he has taken upon himself of
secretary to a poor visionary has brought him nothing but contemptuous raillery.
Nevertheless, we have no intention to assert that in giving the conversations and discourses
of Sister Emmerich that order and coherency in which they were greatly wanting, and
writing them down in his own way, he may not unwittingly have arranged, explained, and
embellished them. But this would not have the effect of destroying the originality of the
recital, or impugning either the sincerity of the nun, or that of the writer.
The translator professes to be unable to understand how any man can write for mere
writing’s sake, and without considering the probable effects which his work will produce.
This book, such as it is, appears to him to be at once unusually edifying, and highly poetical.
It is perfectly clear that it has, properly speaking, no literary pretensions whatever. Neither
the uneducated maiden whose visions are here relate, nor the excellent Christian writer who
had published them in so entire a spirit of literary disinterestedness, ever had the remotest
idea of such a thing. And yet there are not, in our opinion, many highly worked-up
compositions calculated to produce an effect in any degree comparable to that which will be
brought about by the perusal of this unpretending little work. It is our hope that it will make
a strong impression even upon worldlings, and that in many hearts it will prepare the way
for better ideas,—perhaps even for a lasting change of life.
In the next place, we are not sorry to call public attention in some degree to all that class
of phenomena which preceded the foundation of the Church, which has since been
perpetuated uninterruptedly, and which too many Christians are disposed to reject
altogether, either through ignorance and want of reflection, or purely through human
respect. This is a field which has hitherto been but little explored historically,
psychologically, and physiologically; and it would be well if reflecting minds were to bestow
upon it a careful and attentive investigation. To our Christian readers we must remark that
this work has received the approval of ecclesiastical authorities. It has been prepared for the
press under the superintendence of the two late Bishops of Ratisbonne, Sailer and Wittman.
These names are but little known in France; but in Germany they are identical with
learning, piety, ardent charity, and a life wholly devoted to the maintenance and
propagation of the Catholic faith. Many French priests have given their opinion that the
translation of a book of this character could not but tend to nourish piety, without, however,
countenancing that weakness of spirit which is disposed to lend more importance in some
respects to private than to general revelations, and consequently to substitute matters which
we are simply permitted to believe, in the place of those which are of faith.
We feel convinced that no one will take offence at certain details given on the subject of
the outrages which were suffered by our divine Lord during the course of his passion. Our
readers will remember the words of the psalmist: ‘I am a worm and no man; the reproach of
men, and the outcast of the people;’ (Ps 22:6) and those of the Apostle: ‘Tempted in all
things like as we are, without sin.’ (Heb 4:15). Did we stand in need of a precedent, we
should request our readers to remember how plainly and crudely Bossuet describes the same
scenes in the most eloquent of his four sermons on the Passion of our Lord. On the other
hand, there have been so many grand platonic or rhetorical sentences in the books published
of late years, concerning that abstract entity; on which the writers have been pleased to
bestow the Christian title of the Word, or Logos, that it may be eminently useful to show the
Man-God, the Word made flesh, in all the reality of his life on earth, of his humiliation, and
of his sufferings. It must be evident that the cause of truth, and still more that of edification,
will not be the losers.

INTRODUCTION.      pg 5 of 199

The following meditations will probably rank high among many similar works which the
contemplative love of Jesus has produced; but it is our duty here plainly to affirm that they
have no pretensions whatever to be regarded as history.1 They are but intended to take one of
the lowest places among those numerous representations of the Passion which have been
given us by pious writers and artists, and to be considered at the very utmost as the Lenten
meditations of a devout nun, related in all simplicity, and written down in the plainest and
most literal language, from her own dictation. To these meditations, she herself never
attached more than a mere human value, and never related them except through obedience,
and upon the repeated commands of the directors of her conscience.
The writer of the following pages was introduced to this holy religious by Count Leopold
de Stolberg. (The Count de Stolberg is one of the most eminent converts whom the Catholic
Church has made from Protestantism. He died in 1819.) Dean Bernard Overberg, her
director extraordinary, and Bishop Michael Sailer, who had often been her counsellor and
consoler, urged her to relate to us in detail all that she experienced; and the latter, who
survived her, took the deepest interest in the arrangement and publication of the notes taken
down from her dictation. (The Bishop of Ratisbonne, one of the most celebrated defenders
of the faith in Germany.) These illustrious and holy men, now dead, and whose memory is
blessed, were in continual communion of prayer with Anne Catherine, whom they loved
and respected, on account of the singular graces with which God had favoured her. The
editor of this book received equal encouragement, and met with no less sympathy in his
labours, from the late Bishop of Ratisbonne, Mgr. Wittman. (Mgr. Wittman was the worthy
successor of Sailer, and a man of eminent sanctity, whose memory is held in veneration by
all the Catholics of the south of Germany.) This holy Bishop, who was so deeply versed in
the ways of Divine grace, and so well acquainted with its effects on certain souls, both from
his private investigations of the subject, and his own experience, took the most lively interest
in all that concerned Anne Catherine, and on hearing of the work in which the editor of this
book was engaged, he strongly exhorted him to publish it. ‘These things have not been
communicated to you for nothing,’ would he often say; ‘God had his views in all. Publish
something at least of what you know, for you will thereby benefit many souls.’ He at the
same time brought forward various instances from his own experience and that of others,
showing the benefit which had been derived from the study of works of a similar character.
He delighted in calling such privileged souls as Anne Catherine the marrow of the bones of the
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1 Anne Catherine’s visions clearly fall in the category of private revelation. Sacred Scripture and Sacred
Tradition are infallible; private revelation is fallible. However, her visions are neither mere human meditations
nor pious fiction. Her account of events in the lives of Jesus and Mary were revealed to her by God. Although
God cannot err in anything He does, errors can be introduced into private revelation by a misunderstanding on
the part of the person who receives the revelation, or by an error made by the person who writes down or
transmits the revelation. Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are immune from these types of error; private
revelation is not. Anne Catherine’s visions come from God, but they are fallible because they come to us
through fallible human persons.
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pg 7 of 199

Church, according to the expression of St. John Chrysostom, medulla enim hujus mundi sunt,
and he encouraged the publication of their lives and writings as far as lay in his power.
The editor of this book being taken by a kind friend to the dying bed of the holy Bishop,
had no reason whatever to expect to be recognised, as he had only once in his life conversed
with him for a few minutes; nevertheless the dying saint knew him again, and after a few
most kind words blessed and exhorted him to continue his work for the glory of God.
Encouraged by the approbation of such men, we therefore yield to the wishes of many
virtuous friends in publishing the Meditations on the Passion, of this humble religious, to
whom God granted the favour of being at times simple, ingenuous, and ignorant as a child,
while at others she was clear sighted, sensible, possessed of a deep insight into the most
mysterious and hidden things, and consumed with burning and heroic zeal, but ever
forgetful of self, deriving her whole strength from Jesus alone, and steadfast in the most
perfect humility and entire self-abnegation.
We give our readers a slight sketch of her life, intending at some future day to publish her
biography more in full.

The Life Of Anne Catherine Emmerich,              pg 8 of 199
Religious Of The Order Of St. Augustine,
At The Convent Of Agnetenberg,
Dulmen, Westphalia.

Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich2 was born at Flamske, a village situated about a
mile and a half from Coesfeld, in the bishopric of Munster, on the 8th of September 1774,
and was baptised in the church of St. James at Coesfeld. Her parents, Bernard Emmerich
and Anne Hiller, were poor peasants, but distinguished for their piety and virtue.
The childhood of Anne Catherine bore a striking resemblance to that of the Venerable
Anne Garzias de St. Barthelemi, of Dominica del Paradiso, and of several other holy
persons born in the same rank of life as herself. Her angel-guardian used to appear to her as
a child; and when she was taking care of sheep in the fields, the Good Shepherd himself,
under the form of a young shepherd, would frequently come to her assistance. From
childhood she was accustomed to have divine knowledge imparted to her in visions of all
kinds, and was often favoured by visits from the Mother of God and Queen of Heaven,
who, under the form of a sweet, lovely, and majestic lady, would bring the Divine Child to
be, as it were, her companion, and would assure her that she loved and would ever protect
her. Many of the saints would also appear to her, and receive from her hands the garlands of
flowers which she had prepared in honour of their festivals. All these favours and visions
surprised the child less than if an earthly princess and the lords and ladies of her court had
come to visit her. Nor was she, later in life, more surprised at these celestial visits, for her
innocence caused her to feel far more at her ease with our Divine Lord, his Blessed Mother
and the Saints, than she could ever be with even the most kind and amiable of her earthly
companions. The names of Father, Mother, Brother, and Spouse, appeared to her
expressive of the real connections subsisting between God and man, since the Eternal word
had been pleased to be born of a woman, and so to become our Brother, and these sacred
titles were not mere words in her mouth.
While yet a child, she used to speak with innocent candour and simplicity of all that she
saw, and her listeners would be filled with admiration at the histories she would relate from
Holy Writ; but their questions and remarks having sometimes disturbed her peace of mind,
she determined to keep silence on such subjects for the future. In her innocence of heart, she
thought that it was not right to talk of things of this sort, that other persons never did so, and
that her speech should be only Yea, yea, and Nay, nay, or Praise be to Jesus Christ. The visions
with which she was favoured were so like realities, and appeared to her so sweet and
delightful, that she supposed all Christian children were favoured with the same; and she
concluded that those who never talked on such subjects were only more discreet and modest
than herself, so she resolved to keep silence also, to be like them.
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2 Her name in German, her native language, is Anna Katharina Emmerick. With the decree of April 24, 2001, the servant of God Anna Katharina Emmerick has been awarded the degree of heroic virtue (Decretum super virtutibus), with which she has been awarded by Church practice the title “Venerable.”
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pg 9 of 199

Almost from her cradle she possessed the gift of distinguishing what was good or evil,
holy or profane, blessed or accursed, in material as well as in spiritual things, thus
resembling St. Sibyllina of Pavia, Ida of Louvain, Ursula Benincasa, and some other holy
souls. In her earliest childhood she used to bring out of the fields useful herbs, which no one
had ever before discovered to be good for anything, and plant them near her father’s cottage,
or in some spot where she was accustomed to work and play; while on the other hand she
would root up all poisonous plants, and particularly those ever used for superstitious
practices or in dealings with the devil. Were she by chance in a place where some great
crime had been committed, she would hastily run away, or begin to pray and do penance.
She used also to perceive by intuition when she was in a consecrated spot, return thanks to
God, and be filled with a sweet feeling of peace. When a priest passed by with the Blessed
Sacrament, even at a great distance from her home or from the place where she was taking
care of her flock, she would feel a strong attraction in the direction whence he was coming,
run to meet him, and be kneeling in the road, adoring the Blessed Sacrament, long before he
could reach the spot.
She knew when any object was consecrated, and experienced a feeling of disgust and
repugnance when in the neighbourhood of old pagan cemeteries, whereas she was attracted
to the sacred remains of the saints as steel by the magnet. When relics were shown to her,
she knew what saints they had belonged to, and could give not only accounts of the
minutest and hitherto unknown particulars of their lives, but also histories of the relics
themselves, and of the places where they had been preserved. During her whole life she had
continual intercourse with the souls in purgatory; and all her actions and prayers were
offered for the relief of their sufferings. She was frequently called upon to assist them, and
even reminded in some miraculous manner, if she chanced to forget them. Often, while yet
very young, she used to be awakened out of her sleep by bands of suffering souls, and to
follow them on cold winter’s nights with bare feet, the whole length of the Way of the Cross
to Coesfeld, though the ground was covered with snow.
From her infancy to the day of her death she was indefatigable in relieving the sick, and
in dressing and curing wounds and ulcers, and she was accustomed to give to the poor every
farthing she possessed. So tender was her conscience, that the slightest sin she fell into
caused her such pain as to make her ill, and absolution then always restored her
immediately to health.
The extraordinary nature of the favours bestowed on her by Almighty God was no
hindrance in the way of her devoting herself to hard labour, like any other peasant-girl; and
we may also be allowed to observe that a certain degree of the spirit of prophecy is not
unusually to be found among her country men and women. She was taught in the school of
suffering and mortification, and there learned lessons of perfection. She allowed herself no
more sleep or food than was absolutely necessary; passed whole hours in prayer every night;
and in winter often knelt out of doors on the snow. She slept on the ground on planks
arranged in the form of a cross. Her food and drink consisted of what was rejected by others;
she always kept the best parts even of that for the poor and sick, and when she did not know
of anyone to give them to, she offered them to God in a spirit of child-like faith, begging
him to give them to some person who was more in need than herself. When there was
anything to be seen or heard which had no reference to God or religion, she found some
excuse for avoiding the spot to which others were hastening, or, if there, closed her eyes and
ears. She was accustomed to say that useless actions were sinful, and that when we denied
our bodily senses any gratification of this kind, we were amply repaid by the progress which
we made in the interior life, in the same manner as pruning renders vines and other fruittrees
more productive. From her early youth, and wherever she went, she had frequent
symbolical visions, which showed her in parables, as it were, the object of her existence, the
means of attaining it, and her future sufferings, together with the dangers and conflicts
which she would have to go through.
She was in her sixteenth year, when one day, whilst at work in the fields with her parents
and sisters, she heard the bell ringing at the Convent of the Sisters of the Annunciation, at
Coesfeld. This sound so inflamed her secret desire to become a nun, and had so great an
effect upon her, that she fainted away, and remained ill and weak for a long time after.
When in her eighteenth year she was apprenticed at Coesfeld to a dressmaker, with whom
she passed two years, and then returned to her parents. She asked to be received at the
Convents of the Augustinians at Borken, of the Trappists at Darfeld, and of the Poor Clares
at Munster; but her poverty, and that of these convents, always presented an insuperable
obstacle to her being received. At the age of twenty, having saved twenty thalers (about 3l.
English), which she had earned by her sewing, she went with this little sum—a perfect
fortune for a poor peasant-girl—to a pious organist of Coesfeld, whose daughter she had
known when she first lived in the town. Her hope was that, by learning to play on the organ,
she might succeed in obtaining admittance into a convent. But her irresistible desire to serve
the poor and give them everything she possessed left her no time to learn music, and before
long she had so completely stripped herself of everything, that her good mother was obliged
to bring her bread, milk, and eggs, for her own wants and those of the poor, with whom she
shared everything. Then her mother said: ‘Your desire to leave your father and myself, and
enter a convent, gives us much pain; but you are still my beloved child, and when I look at
your vacant seat at home, and reflect that you have given away all your savings, so as to be
now in want, my heart is filled with sorrow, and I have now brought you enough to keep
you for some time.’ Anne Catherine replied: ‘Yes, dear mother, it is true that I have nothing
at all left, because it was the holy will of God that others should be assisted by me; and since
I have given all to him, he will now take care of me, and bestow his divine assistance upon
us all.’ She remained some years at Coesfeld, employed in labour, good works, and prayer,
being always guided by the same inward inspirations. She was docile and submissive as a
child in the hands of her guardian-angel.
Although in this brief sketch of her life we are obliged to omit many interesting
circumstances, there is one which we must not pass over in silence. When about twenty-four
years of age, she received a favour from our Lord, which has been granted to many persons
devoted in an especial manner to meditation on his painful Passion; namely, to experience
the actual and visible sufferings of his sacred Head, when crowned with thorns. The
following is the account she herself has given of the circumstances under which so
mysterious a favour was bestowed upon her: ‘About four years previous to my admittance
into the convent, consequently in 1798, it happened that I was in the Jesuits’ Church at
Coesfeld, at about twelve o’clock in the day, kneeling before a crucifix and absorbed in
meditation, when all on a sudden I felt a strong but pleasant heat in my head, and I saw my
Divine Spouse, under the form of a young man clothed with light, come towards me from
the altar, where the Blessed Sacrament was preserved in the tabernacle. In his left hand he
held a crown of flowers, in his right hand a crown of thorns, and he bade me choose which I
would have. I chose the crown of thorns; he placed it on my head, and I pressed it down
with both hands. Then he disappeared, and I returned to myself, feeling, however, violent
pain around my head. I was obliged to leave the church, which was going to be closed. One
of my companions was kneeling by my side, and as I thought she might have seen what
happened to me, I asked her when we got home whether there was not a wound on my
forehead, and spoke to her in general terms of my vision, and of the violent pain which had
followed it. She could see nothing outwardly, but was not astonished at what I told her,
because she knew that I was sometimes in an extraordinary state, without her being able to
understand the cause. The next day my forehead and temples were very much swelled, and
I suffered terribly. This pain and swelling often returned, and sometimes lasted whole days
and nights. I did not remark that there was blood on my head until my companions told me
I had better put on a clean cap, because mine was covered with red spots. I let them think
whatever they liked about it, only taking care to arrange my head dress so as to hide the
blood which flowed from my head, and I continued to observe the same precaution even
after I entered the convent, where only one person perceived the blood, and she never
betrayed my secret.’
Several other contemplative persons, especially devoted to the passion of our Lord, have
been admitted to the privilege of suffering the torture inflicted by the crown of thorns, after
having seen a vision in which the two crowns were offered them to choose between, for
instance, among others, St. Catherine of Sienna, and Pasithea of Crogis, a Poor Clare of the
same town, who died in 1617.
The writer of these pages may here be allowed to remark that he himself has, in full
daylight, several times seen blood flow down the forehead and face, and even beyond the
linen wrapped round the neck of Anne Catherine. Her desire to embrace a religious life was
at length gratified. The parents of a young person whom the Augustinian nuns of Dulmen
wished to receive into their order, declared that they would not give their consent except on
condition that Anne Catherine was taken at the same time. The nuns yielded their assent,
though somewhat reluctantly, on account of their extreme poverty; and on the 13th
November 1802, one week before the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, Anne
Catherine entered on her novitiate. At the present day vocations are not so severely tested as
formerly; but in her case, Providence imposed special trials, for which, rigorous as they
were, she felt she never could be too grateful. Sufferings or privations, which a soul, either
alone or in union with others, imposes upon herself, for God’s greater glory, are easy to
bear; but there is one cross more nearly resembling the cross of Christ than any other, and
that is, lovingly and patiently to submit to unjust punishment, rebuffs, or accusations. It was
the will of God that during her year’s novitiate she should, independently of the will of any
creature, be tried as severely as the most strict mistress of novices could have done before
any mitigations had been allowed in the rules. She learned to regard her companions as
instruments in the hands of God for her sanctification; and at a later period of her life many
other things appeared to her in the same light. But as it was necessary that her fervent soul
should be constantly tried in the school of the Cross, God was pleased that she should
remain in it all her life.
In many ways her position in the convent was excessively painful. Not one of her
companions, nor even any priest or doctor, could understand her case. She had learned,
when living among poor peasants, to hide the wonderful gifts which God had bestowed on
her; but the case was altered now that she was in familiar intercourse with a large number of
nuns, who, though certainly good and pious, were filled with ever-increasing feelings of
curiosity, and even of spiritual jealousy in her regard. Then, the contracted ideas of the
community, and the complete ignorance of the nuns concerning all those exterior
phenomena by which the interior life manifests itself, gave her much to endure, the more so,
as these phenomena displayed themselves in the most unusual and astonishing manner. She
heard everything that was said against her, even when the speakers were at on end of the
convent and she at the other, and her heart was most deeply wounded as if by poisoned
arrows. Yet she bore all patiently a lovingly without showing that she knew what was said
of her. More than once charity impelled her to cast herself at the feet of some nun who was
particularly prejudiced against her, and ask her pardon with tears. Then, she was suspected
of listening at the doors, for the private feelings of dislike entertained against her became
known, no one knew how, and the nuns felt uncomfortable and uneasy, in spite of
themselves, when in her company.
Whenever the rule (the minutest point of which was sacred in her eyes) was neglected in
the slightest degree, she beheld in spirit each infringement, and at times was inspired to fly
to the spot where the rule was being broken by some infringement of the vow of poverty, or
disregards of the hours of silence, and she would then repeat suitable passages from the rule,
without having ever learned them. She thus became an object of aversion to all those
religious who broke the rule; and her sudden appearance among them had almost the effect
of apparitions. God had bestowed upon her the gift of tears to so great an extent, that she
often passed whole hours in the church weeping over the sins and ingratitude of men, the
sufferings of the Church, the imperfections of the community, and her own faults. But these
tears of sublime sorrow could be understood by none but God, before whom she shed them,
and men attributed them to mere caprice, a spirit of discontent, or some other similar cause.
Her confessor had enjoined that she should receive the holy communion more frequently
than the other nuns, because, so ardently did she hunger after the bread of angels, that she
had been more than once near dying. These heavenly sentiments awakened feelings of
jealousy in her sisters, who sometimes even accused her of hypocrisy.
The favour which had been shown her in her admittance into the convent, in spite of her
poverty, was also made a subject of reproach. The thought of being thus an occasion of sin
to others was most painful to her, and she continually besought God to permit her to bear
herself the penalty of this want of charity in her regard. About Christmas, of the year 1802,
she had a very severe illness, which began by a violent pain about her heart.
This pain did not leave her even when she was cured, and she bore it in silence until the
year 1812, when the mark of a cross was imprinted exteriorly in the same place, as we shall
relate further on. Her weakness and delicate health caused her to be looked upon more as
burdensome than useful to the community; and this, of course, told against her in all ways,
yet she was never weary of working and serving the others, nor was she ever so happy as at
this period of her life—spent in privations and sufferings of every description.
On the 13th of November 1803, at the age of twenty-nine, she pronounced her solemn
vows, and became the spouse of Jesus Christ, in the Convent of Agnetenberg, at Dulmen.
‘When I had pronounced my vows,’ she says, ‘my relations were again extremely kind to
me. My father and my eldest brother brought me two pieces of cloth. My father, a good, but
stern man, and who had been much averse to my entering the convent, had told me, when
we parted, that he would willingly pay for my burial, but that he would give nothing for the
convent; and he kept his word, for this piece of cloth was the winding sheet used for my
spiritual burial in the convent.’
‘I was not thinking of myself,’ she says again, ‘I was thinking of nothing but our Lord
and my holy vows. My companions could not understand me; nor could I explain my state
to them. God concealed from them many of the favours which he bestowed upon me,
otherwise they would have had very false ideas concerning me. Notwithstanding all my
trials and sufferings, I was never more rich interiorly, and my soul was perfectly flooded
with happiness. My cell only contained one chair without a seat, and another without a
back; yet in my eyes, it was magnificently furnished, and when there I often thought myself
in Heaven. Frequently during the night, impelled by love and by the mercy of God, I poured
forth the feelings of my soul by conversing with him on loving and familiar language, as I
had always done from my childhood, and then those who were watching me would accuse
me of irreverence and disrespect towards God. Once, I happened to say that it appeared to
me that I should be guilty of greater disrespect did I receive the Body of our Lord without
having conversed familiarly with him, and I was severely reprimanded. Amid all these
trials, I yet lived in peace with God and with all his creatures. When I was working in the
garden, the birds would come and rest on my head and shoulders, and we would together
sing the praises of God. I always beheld my angel-guardian at my side, and although the
devil used frequently to assault and terrify me in various ways, he was never permitted to do
me much harm. My desire for the Blessed Sacrament was so irresistible, that often at night I
left my cell and went to the church, if it was open; but if not, I remained at the door or by
the walls, even in winter, kneeling or prostrate, with my arms extended in ecstasy. The
convent chaplain, who was so charitable as to come early to give me the Holy Communion,
used to find me in this state, but as soon as he was come and had opened the church, I
always recovered, and hastened to the holy table, there to receive my Lord and my God.
When I was sacristan, I used all on a sudden to feel myself ravished in spirit, and ascend to
the highest parts of the church, on to cornices, projecting parts of the building, and
mouldings, where it seemed impossible for any being to get by human means. Then I
cleaned and arranged everything, and it appeared to me that I was surrounded by blessed
spirits, who transported me about and held me up in their hands. Their presence did not
cause me the least uneasiness, for I had been accustomed to it from my childhood, and I
used to have the most sweet and familiar intercourse with them. It was only when I was in
the company of certain men that I was really alone; and so great was then my feeling of
loneliness that I could not help crying like a child that has strayed from home.’
We now proceed to her illnesses, omitting any description of some other remarkable
phenomena of her ecstatic life, only recommending the reader to compare the accounts we
have already given with what is related of St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi.
Anne Catherine had always been weak and delicate, and yet had been, from her earliest
childhood, in the habit of practising many mortifications, of fasting and of passing the night
in watching and prayer in the open air. She had been accustomed to continue hard labour in
the fields, at all seasons of the year, and her strength was also necessarily much tried by the
exhausting and supernatural states through which she so frequently passed. At the convent
she continued to work in the garden and in the house, whilst her spiritual labours and
sufferings were ever on the increase, so that it is by no means surprising that she was
frequently ill; but her illnesses arose from yet another cause. We have learned, from careful
observations made every day for the space of four years, and also from what she herself was
unwillingly forced to admit, that during the whole course of her life, and especially during
that part of it which she spent at the convent, when she enjoyed the highest spiritual favours,
a great portion of her illnesses and sufferings came from taking upon herself the sufferings of
others. Sometimes she asked for the illness of a person who did not bear it patiently, and
relieved him of the whole or of a part of his sufferings, by taking them upon herself;
sometimes, wishing to expiate a sin or put an end to some suffering, she gave herself up into
the hands of God, and he, accepting her sacrifice, permitted her thus, in union with the
merits of his passion, to expiate the sin by suffering some illness corresponding to it. She
had consequently to bear, not only her own maladies, but those also of others—to suffer in
expiation of the sins of her brethren, and of the faults and negligences of certain portions of
the Christian community—and, finally, to endure many and various sufferings in
satisfaction for the souls of purgatory. All these sufferings appeared like real illnesses, which
took the most opposite and variable forms, and she was placed entirely under the care of the
doctor, who endeavoured by earthly remedies to cure illnesses which in reality were the very
sources of her life. She said on this subject—‘Repose in suffering has always appeared to me
the most desirable condition possible. The angels themselves would envy us, were envy not
an imperfection. But for sufferings to bear really meritorious we must patiently and
gratefully accept unsuitable remedies and comforts, and all other additional trials. I did not
myself fully understand my state, nor know what it was to lead to. In my soul I accepted my
different sufferings, but in my body it was my duty to strive against them. I had given myself
wholly and entirely to my Heavenly Spouse, and his holy will was being accomplished in
me; but I was living on earth, where I was not to rebel against earthly wisdom and earthly
prescriptions. Even had I fully comprehended my state, and had both time and power to
explain it, there was no one near who would have been able to understand me. A doctor
would simply have concluded that I was entirely mad, and would have increased his
expensive and painful remedies tenfold. I have suffered much in this way during the whole
of my life, and particularly when I was at the convent, from having unsuitable remedies
administered to me. Often, when my doctors and nurses had reduced me to the last agony,
and that I was near death, God took pity on me, and sent me some supernatural assistance,
which effected an entire cure.’
Four years before the suppression of her convent she went to Flamske for two days to
visit her parents. Whilst there she went once to kneel and pray for some hours before the
miraculous Cross of the Church of St. Lambert, at Coesfeld. She besought the Almighty to
bestow the gifts of peace and unity upon her convent, offered him the Passion of Jesus
Christ for that intention, and implored him to allow her to feel a portion of the sufferings
which were endured by her Divine Spouse on the Cross. From the time that she made this
prayer her hands and feet became burning and painful, and she suffered constantly from
fever, which she believed was the cause of the pain in her hands and feet, for she did not
dare to think that her prayer had been granted. Often she was unable to walk, and the pain
in her hands prevented her from working as usual in the garden. On the 3rd December 1811,
the convent was suppressed, and the church closed. (Under the Government of Jerome
Bonaparte, King of Westphalia.) The nuns dispersed in all directions, but Anne Catherine
remained, poor and ill. A kindhearted servant belonging to the monastery attended upon
her out of charity, and an aged emigrant priest, who said Mass in the convent, remained
also with her. These three individuals, being the poorest of the Community, did not leave
the convent until the spring of 1812. She was still very unwell, and could not be moved
without great difficulty. The priest lodged with a poor widow who lived in the
neighbourhood, and Anne Catherine had in the same house a wretched little room on the
ground-floor, which looked on the street. There she lived, in poverty and sickness, until the
autumn of 1813. Her ecstasies in prayer, and her spiritual intercourse with the invisible
world, became more and more frequent. She was about to be called to a state with which
she was herself but imperfectly acquainted, and in order to enter which she did nothing but
submissively abandon herself to the will of God. Our Lord was pleased about this time to
imprint upon her virginal body the stigmas of his cross and of his crucifixion, which were to
the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Gentiles folly, and to many persons who call
themselves Christians, both the one and the other. From her very earliest childhood she had
besought our Lord to impress the marks of his cross deeply upon her heart, that so she might
never forget his infinite love for men; but she had never thought of receiving any outward
marks. Rejected by the world, she prayed more fervently than ever for this end. On the 28th
of August, the feast of St. Augustine, the patron of her order, as she was making this prayer
in bed, ravished in ecstasy and her arms stretched forth, she beheld a young man approach
her surrounded with light. It was under this form that her Divine Spouse usually appeared
to her, and he now made upon her body with his right hand the mark of a common cross.
From this time there was a mark like a cross upon her bosom, consisting of two bands
crossed, about three inches long and one wide. Later the skin often rose in blisters on this
place, as if from a burn, and when these blisters burst a burning colourless liquid issued from
them, sometimes in such quantities as to soak through several sheets. She was long without
perceiving what the case really was, and only thought that she was in a strong perspiration.
The particular meaning of this mark has never been known.
Some weeks later, when making the same prayer, she fell into an ecstasy, and beheld the
same apparition, which presented her with a little cross of the shape described in her
accounts of the Passion. She eagerly received and fervently pressed it to her bosom, and
then returned it. She said that this cross was as soft and white as wax, but she was not at
first aware that it had made an external mark upon her bosom. A short time after, having
gone with her landlady’s little girl to visit an old hermitage near Dulmen, she all on a
sudden fell into an ecstasy, fainted away, and on her recovery was taken home by a poor
peasant woman. The sharp pain which she felt in her chest continued to increase, and she
saw that there was what looked like a cross, about three inches in length, pressed tightly
upon her breast-bone, and looking red through the skin. As she had spoken about her vision
to a nun with whom she was intimate, her extraordinary state began to be a good deal
talked of. On All Souls’ day, 1812, she went out for the last time, and with much difficulty
succeeded in reaching the church. From that time till the end of the year she seemed to be
dying, and received the last Sacraments. At Christmas a smaller cross appeared on the top
of that upon her chest. It was the same shape as the larger one, so that the two together
formed a double forked cross. Blood flowed from this cross every Wednesday, so as to leave
the impression of its shape on paper laid over it. After a time this happened on Fridays
instead. In 1814 this flow of blood took place less frequently, but the cross became as red as
fire every Friday. At a later period of her life more blood flowed from this cross, especially
every Good Friday; but no attention was paid to it. On the 30th March 1821, the writer of
these pages saw this cross of a deep red colour, and bleeding all over. In its usual state it was
colourless, and its position only marked by slight cracks in the skin… Other Ecstaticas have
received similar marks of the Cross; among others, Catherine of Raconis, Marina de l’
Escobar, Emilia Bichieri, S. Juliani Falconieri, etc.
She received the stigmas on the last days of the year 1812. On the 29th December, about
three o’clock in the afternoon, she was lying on her bed in her little room, extremely ill, but
in a state of ecstasy and with her arms extended, meditating on the sufferings of her Lord,
and beseeching him to allow her to suffer with him. She said five Our Fathers in honour of
the Five Wounds, and felt her whole heart burning with love. She then saw a light
descending towards her, and distinguished in the midst of it the resplendent form of her
crucified Saviour, whose wounds shone like so many furnaces of light. Her heart was
overflowing with joy and sorrow, and, at the sight of the sacred wounds, her desire to suffer
with her Lord became intensely violent. Then triple rays, pointed like arrows, of the colour
of blood, darted forth from the hands, feet, and side of the sacred apparition, and struck her
hands, feet, and right side. The triple rays from the side formed a point like the head of a
lance. The moment these rays touched her, drops of blood flowed from the wounds which
they made. Long did she remain in a state of insensibility, and when she recovered her
senses she did not know who had lowered her outstretched arms. It was with astonishment
that she beheld blood flowing from the palms of her hands, and felt violent pain in her feet
and side. It happened that her landlady’s little daughter came into her room, saw her hands
bleeding, and ran to tell her mother, who with great anxiety asked Anne Catherine what
had happened, but was begged by her not to speak about it. She felt, after having received
the stigmas, that an entire change had taken place in her body; for the course of her blood
seemed to have changed, and to flow rapidly towards the stigmas. She herself used to say:
‘No words can describe in what manner it flows.’
We are indebted to a curious incident for our knowledge of the circumstances which we
have here related. On the 15th December 1819, she had a detailed vision of all that had
happened to herself, but so that she thought it concerned some other nun who she imagined
must be living not far off, and who she supposed had experienced the same things as herself.
She related all these details with a very strong feeling of compassion, humbling herself,
without knowing it, before her own patience and sufferings. It was most touching to hear
her say: ‘I ought never to complain anymore, now that I have seen the sufferings of that
poor nun; her heart is surrounded with a crown of thorns, but she bears it placidly and with
a smiling countenance. It is shameful indeed for me to complain, for she had a far heavier
burden to bear than I have.’
These visions, which she afterwards recognised to be her own history, were several times
repeated, and it is from them that the circumstances under which she received the stigmas
became known. Otherwise she would not have related so many particulars about what her
humility never permitted her to speak of, and concerning which, when asked by her spiritual
superiors whence her wounds proceeded, the utmost she said was: ‘I hope that they come
from the hand of God.’
The limits of this work preclude us from entering upon the subject of stigmas in general,
but we may observe that the Catholic Church has produced a certain number of persons, St.
Francis of Assisi being the first, who have attained to that degree of contemplative love of
Jesus which is the most sublime effect of union with his sufferings, and is designated by
theologians, Vulnus divinum, Plago amoris viva. There are known to have been at least fifty.
Veronica Giuliani, a Capuchiness, who died at Città di Castello in 1727, is the last
individual of the class who has been canonised (on the 26th May 1831). Her biography,
published at Cologne in 1810, gives a description of the state of persons with stigmas, which
in many ways is applicable to Anne Catherine. Colomba Schanolt, who died at Bamberg in
1787, Magdalen Lorger, who died at Hadamar in 1806, both Dominicanesses, and Rose
Serra, a Capuchiness at Ozieri in Sardinia, who received the stigmas in 1801, are those of
our own times of whom we know the most. Josephine Kumi, of the Convent of Wesen,
near Lake Wallenstadt in Switzerland, who was still living in 1815, also belonged to this
class of persons, but we are not entirely certain whether she had the stigmas.3
Anne Catherine being, as we have said, no longer able to walk or rise from her bed, soon
became unable also to eat. Before long she could take nothing but a little wine and water,
and finally only pure water; sometimes, but very rarely, she managed to swallow the juice of
a cherry or a plum, but she immediately vomited any solid food, taken in ever so small a
quantity. This inability to take food, or rather this faculty of living for a great length of time
upon nothing but water, we are assured by learned doctors is not quite unexampled in the
history of the sick.
Theologians will be perfectly aware that here are many instances of contemplative
ascetics, and particularly of persons frequently in a state of ecstasy and who have received
the stigmas, remaining long without taking any other food than the Blessed Sacrament; for
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3 In more modern times, holy persons who also had the stigmata include: Audrey Marie Santo (Worcester, Massachusetts), Venerable Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, Venerable Anna Maria Taïgi, Theresa Neumann, and many others.
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pg 18 of 199

instance, St. Nicholas of Flue, St. Liduvina of Schiedam, St. Catherine of Sienna, St.
Angela of Foligno, and St. Louise de l’Ascension. All the phenomena exhibited in the
person of Anne Catherine remained concealed even from those who had the most
intercourse with her, until the 25th February 1812, when they were discovered accidentally
by one of her old convent companions. By the end of March, the whole town talked of
them. On the 23rd of March, the physician of the neighbourhood forced her to undergo an
examination. Contrary to his expectation, he was convinced of the truth, drew up an official
report of what he had seen, became her doctor and her friend, and remained such to her
death. On the 28th of March, commissioners were appointed to examine into her case by the
spiritual authorities of Munster. The consequence of this was that Anne Catherine was
henceforth looked upon kindly by her superiors, and acquired the friendship of the late
Dean Overberg, who from that time paid her every year a visit of several days’ duration, and
was her consoler and spiritual director. The medical counsellor from Druffel, who was
present at this examination in the capacity of doctor, never ceased to venerate her. In 1814,
he published in the Medical Journal of Salzbourg a detailed account of the phenomena
which he had remarked in the person of Anne Catherine, and to this we refer those of our
readers who desire more particulars upon the subject. On the 4th of April, M. Garnier, the
Commissary-General of the French police, came from Munster to see her; he inquired
minutely into her case, and having learned that she neither prophesied nor spoke on politics,
declared that there was no occasion for the police to occupy themselves about her. In 1826,
he still spoke of her at Paris with respect and emotion.
On the 22nd of July 1813, Overberg came to see her, with Count de Stolberg and his
family. They remained two days with her, and Stolberg, in a letter which has been several
times printed, bore witness to the reality of the phenomena observed in Anne Catherine,
and gave expression to his intense veneration for her. He remained her friend as long as he
lived, and the members of his family never ceased recommending themselves to her prayers.
On the 29h of September 1813, Overberg took the daughter of the Princess Galitzin (who
died in 1806) to visit her, and they saw with their own eyes blood flow copiously from her
stigmas. This distinguished lady repeated her visit, and, after becoming Princess of Salm,
never varied in her sentiments, but, together with her family, remained in constant
communion of prayer with Anne Catherine. Many other persons in all ranks of life were, in
like manner, consoled and edified by visiting her bed of suffering. On the 23rd of October
1813, she was carried to another lodging, the window of which looked out upon a garden.
The condition of the saintly nun became day by day more painful. Her stigmas were a
source of indescribable suffering to her, down to the moment of her death. Instead of
allowing her thoughts to dwell upon those graces to the interior presence of which they bore
such miraculous outward testimony, she learned from them lessons of humility, by
considering them as a heavy cross laid upon her for her sins. Her suffering body itself was to
preach Jesus crucified. It was difficult indeed to be an enigma to all persons, an object of
suspicion to the greatest number, and of respect mingled with fear to some few, without
yielding to sentiments of impatience, irritability, or pride. Willingly would she have lived in
entire seclusion from the world, but obedience soon compelled her to allow herself to be
examined and to have judgment passed upon her by a vast number of curious persons.
Suffering, as she was, the most excruciating pains, she was not even allowed to be her own
mistress, but was regarded as something which everyone fancied he had a right to look at
and to pass judgment upon,—often with no good results to anyone, but greatly to the
prejudice of her soul and body, because she was thus deprived of so much rest and
recollection of spirit. There seemed to be no bounds to what was expected of her, and one
fat man, who had some difficulty in ascending her narrow winding staircase, was heard to
complain that a person like Anne Catherine, who ought to be exposed on the public road,
where everyone could see her, should remained in a lodging so difficult to reach. In former
ages, persons in her state underwent in private the examination of the spiritual authorities,
and carried out their painful vocation beneath the protecting shadow of hallowed walls; but
our suffering heroine had been cast forth from the cloister into the world at a time when
pride, coldness of heart, and incredulity were all the vogue; marked with the stigmas of the
Passion of Christ, she was forced to wear her bloody robe in public, under the eyes of men
who scarce believed in the Wounds of Christ, far less in those which were but their images.
Thus this holy woman, who in her youth had been in the habit of praying for long hours
before pictures of all the stages of Christ’s painful Passion, or before wayside crosses, was
herself made like unto a cross on the public road, insulted by one passer by, bathed in warm
tears of repentance by a second, regarded as a mere physical curiosity by a third, and
venerated by a fourth, whose innocent hands would bring flowers to lay at her feet.
In 1817 her aged mother came from the country to die by her side. Anne Catherine
showed her all the love she could by comforting and praying for her, and closing her eyes
with her own hands—those hands marked with the stigmas on the 13th of March of the same
year. The inheritance left to Anne Catherine by her mother was more than sufficient for one
so imbued with the spirit of mortification and sufferings; and in her turn she left it
unimpaired to her friends. It consisted of these three sayings:- ‘Lord, thy will, not mine, be
done; ‘ ‘Lord, give me patience, and then strike hard;’ ‘Those things which are not good to
put in the pot are at least good to put beneath it.’ The meaning of this last proverb was: If
things are not fit to be eaten, they may at least be burned, in order that food may be cooked;
this suffering does not nourish my heart, but by bearing it patiently, I may at least increase
the fire of divine love, by which alone life can profit us anything. She often repeated these
proverbs, and then thought of her mother with gratitude. Her father had died some little
time before.
The writer of these pages became acquainted with her state first through reading a copy
of that letter of Stolberg, to which we have already alluded, and afterwards through
conversation with a friend who had passed several weeks with her. In September 1818 he
was invited by Bishop Sailer to meet him at the Count de Stolberg’s, in Westphalia; and he
went in the first place to Sondermuhlen to see the count, who introduced him to Overberg,
from whom he received a letter addressed to Anne Catherine’s doctor. He paid her his first
visit on the 17th of September 1818; and she allowed him to pass several hours by her side
each day, until the arrival of Sailer. From the very beginning, she gave him her confidence
to a remarkable extent, and this in the most touching and ingenuous manner. No doubt she
was conscious that by relating without reserve the history of all the trials, joys, and sorrows
of her whole life, she was bestowing a most precious spiritual alms upon him. She treated
him with the most generous hospitality, and had no hesitation in doing so, because he did
not oppress her and alarm her humility by excessive admiration. She laid open her interior
to him in the same charitable spirit as a pious solitary would in the morning offer the
flowers and fruit which had grown in his garden during the night to some way-worn
traveller, who, having lost his road in the desert of the world, finds him sitting near his
hermitage. Wholly devoted to her God, she spoke in this open manner as a child would
have done, unsuspectingly, with no feelings of mistrust, and with no selfish end in view.
May God reward her!
Her friend daily wrote down all the observations that he made concerning her, and all
that she told him about her life, whether interior or exterior. Her words were characterised
alternately by the most childlike simplicity and the most astonishing depth of thought, and
they foreshadowed, as it were, the vast and sublime spectacle which later was unfolded,
when it became evident that the past, the present, and the future, together with all that
pertained to the sanctification, profanation, and judgment of souls, formed before and
within her an allegorical and historical drama, for which the different events of the
ecclesiastical year furnished subjects, and which it divided into scenes, so closely linked
together were all the prayers and sufferings which she offered in sacrifice for the Church
militant.
On the 22nd of October 1818 Sailer came to see her, and having remarked that she was
lodging at the back of a public house, and that men were playing at nine-pins under her
window, said in the playful yet thoughtful manner which was peculiar to him: ‘See, see; all
things are as they should be—the invalid nun, the spouse of our Lord, is lodging in a publichouse
above the ground where men are playing at nine-pins, like the soul of man in his
body.’ His interview with Anne Catherine was most affecting; it was indeed beautiful to
behold these two souls, who were both on fire with the love of Jesus, and conducted by
grace through such different paths, meet thus at the foot of the Cross, the visible stamp of
which was borne by one of them. On Friday, the 23rd of October, Sailer remained alone with
her during nearly the whole of the day; he saw blood flow from her head, her hands, and her
feet, and he was able to bestow upon her great consolation in her interior trials. He most
earnestly recommended her to tell everything without reserve to the writer of these pages,
and he came to an understanding upon the subject with her ordinary director. He heard her
confession, gave her the Holy Communion on Saturday, the 24th, and then continued his
journey to the Count de Stolberg’s. On his return, at the beginning of November, he again
passed a day with her. He remained her friend until death, prayed constantly for her, and
asked her prayers whenever he found himself in trying of difficult positions. The writer of
these pages remained until January. He returned in May 1819, and continued to watch
Anne Catherine almost uninterruptedly until her death.
The saintly maiden continually besought the Almighty to remove the exterior stigmas, on
account of the trouble and fatigue which they occasioned, and her prayer was granted at the
end of seven years. Towards the conclusion of the year 1819, the blood first flowed less
frequently from her wounds, and then ceased altogether. On the 25th of December, scabs fell
from her feet and hands, and there only remained white scars, which became red on certain
days, but the pain she suffered was undiminished in the slightest degree. The mark of the
cross, and the wound on her right side, were often to be seen as before, but not at any stated
times. On certain days she always had the most painful sensations around her head, as
though a crown of thorns were being pressed upon it. On these occasions she could not lean
her head against anything, nor even rest it on her hand, but had to remain for long hours,
sometimes even for whole nights, sitting up in her bed, supported by cushions, whilst her
pallid face, and the irrepressible groans of pain which escaped her, made her like an awful
living representation of suffering. After she had been in this state, blood invariably flowed
more or less copiously from around her head. Sometimes her head-dress only was soaked
with it, but sometimes the blood would flow down her face and neck. On Good Friday,
April 19th, 1819, all her wounds re-opened and bled, and closed again on the following days.
A most rigorous inquiry into her state was made by some doctors and naturalists. For that
end she was placed alone in a strange house, where she remained from the 7th to the 29th of
August; but this examination appears to have produced no particular effects in any way. She
was brought back to her own dwelling on the 29th of August, and from that time until she
died she was left in peace, save that she was occasionally annoyed by private disputes and
public insults. On this subject Overberg wrote her the following words: ‘What have you had
to suffer personally of which you can complain? I am addressing a soul desirous of nothing
so much as to become more and more like to her divine Spouse. Have you not been treated
far more gently than was your adorable Spouse? Should it not be a subject of rejoicing to
you, according to the spirit, to have been assisted to resemble him more closely, and thus to
be more pleasing in his eyes? You had suffered much with Jesus, but hitherto insults had
been for the most part spared you. With the crown of thorns you had not worn the purple
mantle and the robe of scorn, much less had you yet heard, Away with him! Crucify him!
Crucify him! I cannot doubt but that these sentiments are yours. Praise be to Jesus Christ.’
On Good Friday, the 30th of March 1820, blood flowed from her head, feet, hands, chest,
and side. It happened that when she fainted, one of the persons who were with her, knowing
that the application of relics relieved her, placed near her feet a piece of linen in which some
were wrapped, and the blood which came from her wounds reached this piece of linen after
a time. In the evening, when this same piece of linen with the relics was being placed on her
chest and shoulders, in which she was suffering much, she suddenly exclaimed, while in a
state of ecstasy: ‘It is most wonderful, but I see my Heavenly spouse lying in the tomb in the
earthly Jerusalem; and I also see him living in the heavenly Jerusalem surrounded by
adoring saints, and in the midst of these saints I see a person who is not a saint—a nun.
Blood flows from her head, her side, her hands, and her feet, and the saints are above the
bleeding parts.’
On the 9th February 1821 she fell into an ecstasy at the time of the funeral of a very holy
priest. Blood flowed from her forehead, and the cross on her breast bled also. Someone
asked her, ‘What is the matter with you?’ She smiled, and spoke like one awakening from a
dream: ‘We were by the side of the body. I have been accustomed lately to hear sacred
music, and the De Profundis made a great impression upon me.’ She died upon the same day
three years later. In 1821, a few weeks before Easter, she told us that it had been said to her
during her prayer: ‘Take notice, you will suffer on the real anniversary of the Passion, and
not on the day marked this year in the Ecclesiastical Calendar.’ On Friday, the 30th of
March, at ten o’clock in the morning, she sank down senseless. Her face and bosom were
bathed in blood, and her body appeared covered with bruises like what the blows of a whip
would have inflicted. At twelve o’clock in the day, she stretched herself out in the form of a
cross, and her arms were so extended as to be perfectly dislocated. A few minutes before
two o’clock, drops of blood flowed from her feet and hands. On Good Friday, the 20th of
April, she was simply in a state of quiet contemplation. This remarkable exception to the
general rule seemed to be an effect of the providence of God, for, at the hour when her
wounds usually bled, a number of curious and ill-natured individuals came to see her with
the intention of causing her fresh annoyances, by publishing what they saw; but they thus
were made unintentionally to contribute to her peace, by saying that her wounds had ceased
to bleed.
On the 19th of February 1822 she was again warned that she would suffer on the last
Friday of March, and not on Good Friday.
On Friday the 15th, and again on Friday the 29th, the cross on her bosom and the wound
of her side bled. Before the 29th, she more than once felt as though a stream of fire were
flowing rapidly from her heart to her side, and down her arms and legs to the stigmas,
which looked red and inflamed. On the evening of Thursday the 28th, she fell into a state of
contemplation on the Passion, and remained in it until Friday evening. Her chest, head, and
side bled; all the veins of her hands were swollen, and there was a painful spot in the centre
of them, which felt damp, although blood did not flow from it. No blood flowed from the
stigmas excepting upon the 3rd of March, the day of the finding of the holy Cross. She had
also a vision of the discovery of the true cross by St. Helena, and imagined herself to be
lying in the excavation near the cross. Much blood came in the morning from her head and
side, and in the afternoon from her hands and feet, and it seemed to her as though she were
being made the test of whether the cross was really the Cross of Jesus Christ, and that her
blood was testifying to its identity.
In the year 1823, on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, which came on the 27th and 28th of
March, she had visions of the Passion, during which blood flowed from all her wounds,
causing her intense pain. Amid these awful sufferings, although ravished in spirit, she was
obliged to speak and give answers concerning all her little household affairs, as if she had
been perfectly strong and well, and she never let fall a complaint, although nearly dying.
This was the last time that her blood gave testimony to the reality of her union with the
sufferings of him who has delivered himself up wholly and entirely for our salvation. Most
of the phenomena of the ecstatic life which are shown us in the lives and writings of Saints
Bridget, Gertrude, Mechtilde, Hildegarde, Catherine of Sienna, Catherine of Genoa,
Catherine of Bologna, Colomba da Rieti, Lidwina of Schiedam, Catherine Vanini, Teresa of
Jesus, Anne of St. Bartholomew, Magdalen of Pazzi, Mary Villana, Mary Buonomi, Marina
d’ Escobar, Crescentia de Kaufbeuern, and many other nuns of contemplative orders, are
also to be found in the history of the interior life of Anne Catherine Emmerich. The same
path was marked out for her by God. Did she, like these holy women, attain the end? God
alone knows. Our part is only to pray that such may have been the case, and we are allowed
to hope it. Those among our readers who are not acquainted with the ecstatic life from the
writings of those who have lived it, will find information on this subject in the Introduction
of Goërres to the writings of Henry Suso, published at Ratisbonne in 1829.
Since many pious Christians, in order to render their life one perpetual act of adoration,
endeavour to see in their daily employments a symbolical representation of some manner of
honouring God, and offer it to him in union with the merits of Christ, it cannot appear
extraordinary that those holy souls who pass from an active life to one of suffering and
contemplation, should sometimes see their spiritual labours under the form of those earthly
occupations which formerly filled their days. Then their acts were prayers; now their prayers
are acts; but the form remains the same. It was thus that Anne Catherine, in her ecstatic life,
beheld the series of her prayers for the Church under the forms of parables bearing reference
to agriculture, gardening, weaving, sowing, or the care of sheep. All these different
occupations were arranged, according to their signification, in the different periods of the
common as well as the ecclesiastical year, and were pursued under the patronage and with
the assistance of the saints of each day, the special graces of the corresponding feasts of the
Church being also applied to them. The signification of this circles of symbols had reference
to all the active part of her interior life. One example will help to explain our meaning.
When Anne Catherine, while yet a child, was employed in weeding, she besought God to
root up the cockle from the field of the Church. If her hands were stung by the nettles, or if
she was obliged to do afresh the work of idlers, she offered to God her pain and her fatigue,
and besought him, in the name of Jesus Christ, that the pastor of souls might not become
weary, and that none of them might cease to labour zealously and diligently. Thus her
manual labour became a prayer.
I will now give a corresponding example of her life of contemplation and ecstasy. She
had been ill several times, and in a state of almost continual ecstasy, during which she often
moaned, and moved her hands like a person employed in weeding. She complained one
morning that her hands and arms smarted and itched, and on examination they were found
to be covered with blisters, like what would have been produced by the stinging of nettles.
She then begged several persons of her acquaintance to join their prayers to hers for a
certain intention. The next day her hands were inflamed and painful, as they would have
been after hard work; and when asked the cause, she replied: ‘Ah! I have so many nettles to
root up in the vineyard, because those whose duty it was to do it only pulled off the stems,
and I was obliged to draw the roots with much difficulty out of a stony soil.’ The person
who had asked her the question began to blame these careless workmen, but he felt much
confused when she replied: ‘You were one of them,—those who only pull off the stems of
the nettles, and leave the roots in the earth, are persons who pray carelessly.’ It was
afterwards discovered that she had been praying for several dioceses which were shown to
her under the figure of vineyards laid waste, and in which labour was needed. The real
inflammation of her hands bore testimony to this symbolical rooting up of the nettles; and
we have, perhaps, reason to hope that the churches shown to her under the appearances of
vineyards experienced the good effects of her prayer and spiritual labour; for since the door
is opened to those who knock, it must certainly be opened above all to those who knock
with such energy as to cause their fingers to be wounded.
Similar reactions of the spirit upon the body are often found in the lives of persons subject
to ecstasies, and are by no means contrary to faith. St. Paula, if we may believe St. Jerome,
visited the holy places in spirit just as if she had visited them bodily; and a like thing
happened to St. Colomba of Rieti and St. Lidwina of Schiedam. The body of the latter bore
tracks of this spiritual journey, as if she had really travelled; she experienced all the fatigue
that a painful journey would cause: her feet were wounded and covered with marks which
looked as if they had been made by stones or thorns, and finally she had a sprain from
which she long suffered.
She was led on this journey by her guardian angel, who told her that these corporeal
wounds signified that she had been ravished in body and spirit.
Similar hurts were also to be seen upon the body of Anne Catherine immediately after
some of her visions. Lidwina began her ecstatic journey by following her good angel to the
chapel of the Blessed Virgin before Schiedam; Anne Catherine began hers by following her
angel guardian either to the chapel which was near her dwelling, or else to the Way of the
Cross of Coesfeld.
Her journeys to the Holy Land were made, according to the accounts she gave of them,
by the most opposite roads; sometimes even she went all round the earth, when the task
spiritually imposed upon her required it. In the course of these journeys from her home to
the most distant countries, she carried assistance to many persons, exercising in their regard
works of mercy, both corporal and spiritual, and this was done frequently in parables. At the
end of a year she would go over the same ground again, see the same persons, and give an
account of their spiritual progress or of their relapse into sin. Every part of this labour
always bore some reference to the Church, and to the kingdom of God upon earth.
The end of these daily pilgrimages which she made in spirit was invariably the Promised
Land, every part of which she examined in detail, and which she saw sometimes in its
present state, and sometimes as it was at different periods of sacred history; for her
distinguishing characteristic and special privilege was an intuitive knowledge of the history
of the Old and New Testaments, and of that of the members of the Holy Family, and of all
the saints whom she was contemplating in spirit. She saw the signification of all the festival
days of the ecclesiastical year under both a devotional and a historical point of view. She
saw and described, day by day, with the minutest detail, and by name, places, persons,
festivals, customs, and miracles, all that happened during the public life of Jesus until the
Ascension, and the history of the Apostles for several weeks after the Descent of the Holy
Ghost. She regarded al her visions not as mere spiritual enjoyments, but as being, so to
speak, fertile fields, plentifully strewn with the merits of Christ, and which had not as yet
been cultivated; she was often engaged in spirit in praying that the fruit of such and such
sufferings of our Lord might be given to the Church, and she would beseech God to apply to
his Church the merits of our Saviour which were its inheritance, and of which she would, as
it were, take possession, in its name, with the most touching simplicity and ingenuousness.
She never considered her visions to have any reference to her exterior Christian life, nor
did she regard them as being of any historical value. Exteriorly she knew and believed
nothing but the catechism, the common history of the Bible, the gospels for Sundays and
festivals, and the Christian almanac, which to her far-sighted vision was an inexhaustible
mine of hidden riches, since it gave her in a few pages a guiding thread which led her
through all time, and by means of which she passed from mystery to mystery, and
solemnised each with all the saints, in order to reap the fruits of eternity in time, and to
preserve and distribute them in her pilgrimage around the ecclesiastical year, that so the will
of God might be accomplished on earth as it is in Heaven. She had never read the Old or
the New Testaments, and when she was tired of relating her visions, she would sometimes
say: ‘Read that in the Bible,’ and then be astonished to learn that it was not there; ‘for,’ she
would add, ‘people are constantly saying in these days that you need read nothing but the
Bible, which contains everything, etc., etc.’
The real task of her life was to suffer for the Church and for some of its members, whose
distress was shown her in spirit, or who asked her prayers without knowing that this poor
sick nun had something more to do for them than to say the Pater noster, but that all their
spiritual and corporal sufferings became her own, and that she had to endure patiently the
most terrible pains, without being assisted, like the contemplatives of former days, by the
sympathising prayers of an entire community. In the age when she lived, she had no other
assistance than that of medicine. While thus enduring sufferings which she had taken upon
herself for others, she often turned her thoughts to the corresponding sufferings of the
Church, and when thus suffering for one single person, she would likewise offer all she
endured for the whole Church.
The following is a remarkable instance of the sort: During several weeks she had every
symptom of consumption; violent irritation of the lungs, excessive perspiration, which
soaked her whole bed, a racking cough, continual expectoration, and a strong continual
fever. So fearful were her sufferings that her death was hourly expected and even desired. It
was remarked that she had to struggle strangely against a strong temptation to irritability.
Did she yield for an instant, she burst into tears, her sufferings increased tenfold, and she
seemed unable to exist unless she immediately gained pardon in the sacrament of penance.
She had also to combat a feeling of aversion to a certain person whom she had not seen for
years. She was in despair because this person, with whom nevertheless she declared she had
nothing in common, was always before her eyes in the most evil dispositions, and she wept
bitterly, and with much anxiety of conscience, saying that she would not commit sin, that
her grief must be evident to all, and other things which were quite unintelligible to the
persons listening to her. Her illness continued to increase, and she was thought to be on the
point of death. At this moment one of her friends saw her, to his great surprise, suddenly
raise herself up on her bed, and say:
‘Repeat with me the prayers for those in their last agony.’ He did as requested, and she
answered the Litany in a firm voice. After some little time, the bell for the agonising was
heard, and a person came in to ask Anne Catherine’s prayers for his sister, who was just
dead. Anne Catherine asked for details concerning her illness and death, as if deeply
interested in the subject, and the friend above-mentioned heard the account given by the
new comer of a consumption resembling in the minutest particulars the illness of Anne
Catherine herself. The deceased woman had at first been in so much pain and so disturbed
in mind that she had seemed quite unable to prepare herself for death; but during the last
fortnight she had been better, had made her peace with God, having in the first place been
reconciled to a person with whom she was at enmity, and had died in peace, fortified by the
last sacraments, and attended by her former enemy. Anne Catherine gave a small sum of
money for the burial and funeral-service of this person. Her sweatings, cough, and fever
now left her, and she resembled a person exhausted with fatigue, whose linen has been
changed, and who has been placed on a fresh bed. Her friend said to her, ‘When this fearful
illness came upon you, this woman grew better, and her hatred for another was the only
obstacle to her making peace with God. You took upon yourself, for the time, her feelings of
hatred, she died in good dispositions, and now you seem tolerably well again. Are you still
suffering on her account?’ ‘No, indeed!’ she replied; ‘that would be most unreasonable; but
how can any person avoid suffering when even the end of this little finger is in pain? We are
all one body in Christ.’ ‘By the goodness of God,’ said her friend, ‘you are now once more
somewhat at ease.’ ‘Not for very long, though,’ she replied with a smile; ‘there are other
persons who want my assistance.’ Then she turned round on her bed, and rested awhile.
A very few days later, she began to feel intense pain in all her limbs, and symptoms of
water on the chest manifested themselves. We discovered the sick person for whom Anne
Catherine was suffering, and we saw that his sufferings suddenly diminished or immensely
increased in exact inverse proportion to those of Anne Catherine.
Thus did charity compel her to take upon herself the illnesses and even the temptations of
others, that they might be able in peace to prepare themselves for death. She was compelled
to suffer in silence, both to conceal the weaknesses of her neighbour, and not to be regarded
as mad herself; she was obliged to receive all the aid that medicine could afford her for an
illness thus taken voluntarily for the relief of others, and to be reproached for temptations
which were not her own; finally, it was necessary that she should appear perverted in the
eyes of men; that so those for whom she was suffering might be converted before God.
One day a friend in deep affliction was sitting by her bedside, when she suddenly fell into
a state of ecstasy, and began to pray aloud: ‘O, my sweet Jesus, permit me to carry that
heavy stone!’ Her friend asked her what was the matter. ‘I am on my way to Jerusalem,’ she
replied, ‘and I see a poor man walking along with the greatest difficulty, for there is a large
stone upon his breast, the weight of which nearly crushes him.’ Then again, after a few
moments, she exclaimed: ‘Give me that heavy stone, you cannot carry it any farther; give it
to me.’ All on a sudden she sank down fainting, as if crushed beneath some heavy burden,
and at the same moment her friend felt himself relieved from the weight of sorrow which
oppressed him, and his heart overflowing with extraordinary happiness. Seeing her in such a
state of suffering, he asked her what the matter was, and she looking at him with a smile,
replied: ‘I cannot remain here any longer. Poor man, you must take back your burden.’
Instantly her friend felt all the weight of his affliction return to him, whilst she, becoming as
well again as before, continued her journey in spirit to Jerusalem.
We will give one more example of her spiritual exertions. One morning she gave her
friend a little bag containing some rye-flour and eggs, and pointed out to him a small house
where a poor woman, who was in a consumption, was living with her husband and two
little children. He was to tell her to boil and take them, as when boiled they would be good
for her chest. The friend, on entering the cottage, took the bag from under his cloak, when
the poor mother, who, flushed with fever, was lying on a mattress between her half-naked
children fixed her eyes bright upon him, and holding out her thin hands, exclaimed: ‘O, sir,
it must be God or Sister Emmerich who sends you to me! You are bringing me some ryeflour
and eggs.’ Here the poor woman, overcome by her feelings, burst into tears, and then
began to cough so violently that she had to make a sign to her husband to speak for her. He
said that the previous night Gertrude had been much disturbed, and had talked a great deal
in her sleep, and that on awaking she had told him her dream in these words: ‘I thought that
I was standing at the door with you, when the holy nun came out of the door of the next
house, and I told you to look at her. She stopped in front of us, and said to me: “Ah,
Gertrude, you look very ill; I will send you some rye-flour and eggs, which will relieve your
chest.” Then I awoke.’ Such was the simple tale of the poor man; he and his wife both
eagerly expressed their gratitude, and the bearer of Anne Catherine’s alms left the house
much overcome. He did not tell her anything of this when he saw her, but a few days after,
she sent him again to the same place with a similar present, and he then asked her how it
was she knew that poor woman? ‘You know,’ she replied, ‘that I pray every evening for all
those who suffer; I should like to go and relieve them, and I generally dream that I am
going from one abode of suffering to another, and that I assist them to the best of my power.
In this way I went in my dream to that poor woman’s house; she was standing at the door
with her husband, and I said to her: “Ah, Gertrude, you look very ill; I will send you some
rye-flour and eggs, which will relieve your chest.” And this I did through you, the next
morning.’ Both persons had remained in their beds, and dreamed the same thing, and the
dream came true. St. Augustine, in his City of God, book 18, c. 18, relates a similar thing of
two philosophers, who visited each other in a dream, and explained some passages of Plato,
both remaining asleep in their own houses.
These sufferings, and this peculiar species of active labour, were like a single ray of light,
which enlightened her whole life. Infinite was the number of spiritual labours and
sympathetic sufferings which came from all parts and entered into her heart—that heart so
burning with love of Jesus Christ. Like St. Catherine of Sienna and some other ecstatics, she
often felt the most profound feeling of conviction that our Saviour had taken her heart out of
her bosom, and placed his own there instead for a time.
The following fragment will give some idea of the mysterious symbolism by which she
was interiorly directed. During a portion of the year 1820 she performed many labours in
spirit, for several different parishes; her prayers being represented under the figure of most
severe labour in a vineyard. What we have above related concerning the nettles is of the
same character.
On the 6th of September her heavenly guide said to her: ‘ “You weeded, dug around, tied,
and pruned the vine; you ground down the weeds so that they could never spring up
anymore; and then you went away joyfully and rested from your prayers. Prepare now to
labour hard from the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin to that of St. Michael; the
grapes are ripening and must be well watched.” Then he led me,’ she continued, ‘to the
vineyard of St. Liboire, and showed me the vines at which I had worked. My labour had
been successful, for the grapes were getting their colour and growing large, and in some
parts the red juice was running down on the ground from them. My guide said to me:
“When the virtues of the good begin to shine forth in public, they have to combat bravely, to
be oppressed, to be tempted, and to suffer persecution. A hedge must be planted around the
vineyard in order that the ripe grapes may not be destroyed by thieves and wild beasts, i.e.
by temptation and persecution.” He then showed me how to build a wall by heaping up
stones, and to raise a thick hedge of thorns all around. As my hands bled from such severe
labour, God, in order to give me strength, permitted me to see the mysterious signification
of the vine, and of several other fruit trees. Jesus Christ is the true Vine, who is to take root
and grow in us; all useless wood must be cut away, in order not to waste the sap, which is to
become the wine, and in the Most Blessed Sacrament the Blood of Christ. The pruning of
the vine has to be done according to certain rules which were made known to me. This
pruning is, in a spiritual sense, the cutting off whatever is useless, penance and
mortification, that so the true Vine may grow in us, and bring forth fruit, in the place of
corrupt nature, which only bears wood and leaves. The pruning is done according to fixed
rules, for it is only required that certain useless shoots should be cut off in man, and to lop
off more would be to mutilate in a guilty manner. No pruning should ever be done upon the
stock which has been planted in humankind through the Blessed Virgin, and is to remain in
it for ever. The true Vine unites heaven to earth, the Divinity to humanity; and it is the
human part that is to be pruned, that so the divine alone may grow. I saw so many other
things relating to the vine that a book as large as the Bible could not contain them. One day,
when I was suffering acute pain in my chest, I besought our Lord with groans not to give me
a burthen above my strength to bear; and then my Heavenly Spouse appeared, and said to
me, … “I have laid thee on my nuptial couch, which is a couch of suffering; I have given
thee suffering and expiation for thy bridal garments and jewels. Thou must suffer, but I will
not forsake thee; thou art fastened to the Vine, and thou wilt not be lost.” Then I was
consoled for all my sufferings. It was likewise explained to me why in my visions relating to
the feasts of the family of Jesus, such, for instance, as those of St. Anne, St. Joachim, St.
Joseph, etc., I always saw the Church of the festival under the figure of a shoot of the vine.
The same was the case on the festivals of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Sienna, and
of all the saints who have had the stigmas.
‘The signification of my sufferings in all my limbs was explained to me in the following
vision: I saw a gigantic human body in a horrible state of mutilation, and raised upwards
towards the sky. There were no fingers or toes on the hands and feet, the body was covered
with frightful wounds, some of which were fresh and bleeding, others covered with dead
flesh or turned into excrescences. The whole of one side was black, gangrened, and as it
were half eaten away. I suffered as though it had been my own body that was in this state,
and then my guide said to me “This is the body of the Church, the body of all men and
thine also.” Then, pointing to each wound, he showed me at the same time some part of the
world; I saw an infinite number of men and nations separated from the Church, all in their
own peculiar way, and I felt pain as exquisite from this separation as if they had been torn
from my body. Then my guide said to me: “Let thy sufferings teach thee a lesson, and offer
them to God in union with those of Jesus for all who are separated. Should not one member
call upon another, and suffer in order to cure and unite it once more to the body? When
those parts which are most closely united to the body detach themselves, it is as though the
flesh were torn from around the heart.” In my ignorance, I thought that he was speaking of
those brethren who are not in communion with us, but my guide added: “Who are our
brethren? It is not our blood relations who are the nearest to our hearts, but those who are
our brethren in the blood of Christ—the children of the Church who fall away.” He showed
me that the black and gangrened side of the body would soon be cured; that the putrefied
flesh which had collected around the wounds represented heretics who divide one from the
other in proportion as they increase; that the dead flesh was the figure of all who are
spiritually dead, and who are void of any feeling; and that the ossified parts represented
obstinate and hardened heretics. I saw and felt in this manner every wound and its
signification. The body reached up to heaven. It was the body of the Bride of Christ, and
most painful to behold. I wept bitterly, but feeling at once deeply grieved and strengthened
by sorrow and compassion, I began again to labour with all my strength.’
Sinking beneath the weight of life and of the task imposed upon her she often besought
God to deliver her, and she then would appear to be on the very brink of the grave. But each
time she would say: ‘Lord, not my will but thine be done! If my prayers and sufferings are
useful let me live a thousand years, but grant that I may die rather than ever offend thee.’
Then she would receive orders to live, and arise, taking up her cross, once more to bear it in
patience and suffering after her Lord. From time to time the road of life which she was
pursuing used to be shown to her, leading to the top of a mountain on which was a shining
and resplendent city—the heavenly Jerusalem. Often she would think she had arrived at that
blissful abode, which seemed to be quite near her, and her joy would be great. But all on a
sudden she would discover that she was still separated from it by a valley and then she
would have to descend precipices and follow indirect paths, labouring, suffering, and
performing deeds of charity everywhere. She had to direct wanderers into the right road,
raise up the fallen, sometimes even carry the paralytic, and drag the unwilling by force, and
all these deeds of charity were as so many fresh weights fastened to her cross. Then she
walked with more difficulty, bending beneath her burden and sometimes even falling to the
ground.
In 1823 she repeated more frequently than usual that she could not perform her task in
her present situation, that she had not strength for it, and that it was in a peaceful convent
that she needed to have lived and died. She added that God would soon take her to himself,
and that she had besought him to permit her to obtain by her prayers in the next world what
her weakness would not permit her to accomplish in this. St. Catherine of Sienna, a short
time before death, made a similar prayer.
Anne Catherine had previously had a vision concerning what her prayers might obtain
after death, with regard to things that were not in existence during her life. The year 1823,
the last of which she completed the whole circle, brought her immense labours. She
appeared desirous to accomplish her entire task, and thus kept the promise which she had
previously made of relating the history of the whole Passion. It formed the subject of her
Lenten meditations during this year, and of them the present volume is composed. But she
did not on this account take less part in the fundamental mystery of this penitential season,
or in the different mysteries of each of the festival days of the Church, if indeed the words to
take part be sufficient to express the wonderful manner in which she rendered visible
testimony to the mystery celebrated in each festival by a sudden change in her corporal and
spiritual life. See on this subject the chapter entitled Interruption of the Pictures of the Passion.
Everyone of the ceremonies and festivals of the Church was to her far more than the
consecration of a remembrance. She beheld in the historical foundation of each solemnity
an act of the Almighty, done in time for the reparation of fallen humanity. Although these
divine acts appeared to her stamped with the character of eternity, yet she was well aware
that in order for man to profit by them in the bounded and narrow sphere of time, he must,
as it were, take possession of them in a series of successive moments, and that for this
purpose they had to be repeated and renewed in the Church, in the order established by
Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. All festivals and solemnities were in her eyes eternal graces
which returned at fixed epochs in every ecclesiastical year, in the same manner as the fruits
and harvests of the earth come in their seasons in the natural year.
Her zeal and gratitude in receiving and treasuring up these graces were untiring, nor was
she less eager and zealous in offering them to those who neglected their value. In the same
manner as her compassion for her crucified Saviour had pleased God and obtained for her
the privilege of being marked with the stigmas of the Passion as with a seal of the most
perfect love, so all the sufferings of the Church and of those who were in affliction were
repeated in the different states of her body and soul. And all these wonders took place
within her, unknown to those who were around her; nor was she herself even more fully
conscious of them than is the bee of the effects of its work, while yet she was tending and
cultivating, with all the care of an industrious and faithful gardener, the fertile garden of the
ecclesiastical year. She lived on its fruits, and distributed them to others; she strengthened
herself and her friends with the flowers and herbs which she cultivated; or, rather, she
herself was in this garden like a sensitive plant, a sunflower, or some wonderful plant in
which, independent of her own will, were reproduced all the seasons of the year, all the
hours of the day, and all the changes of the atmosphere.
At the end of the ecclesiastical year of 1823, she had for the last time a vision on the
subject of making up the accounts of that year. The negligences of the Church militant and
of her servants were shown to Anne Catherine, under various symbols; she saw how many
graces had not been cooperated with, or been rejected to a greater or less extent, and how
many had been entirely thrown away. It was made known to her how our Blessed
Redeemer had deposited for each year in the garden of the Church a complete treasure of
his merits, sufficient for every requirement, and for the expiation of every sin. The strictest
account was to be given of all graces which had been neglected, wasted, or wholly rejected,
and the Church militant was punished for this negligence of infidelity of her servants by
being oppressed by her enemies, or by temporal humiliations. Revelations of this description
raised to excess her love for the Church, her mother. She passed days and nights in praying
for her, in offering to God the merits of Christ, with continual groans, and in imploring
mercy. Finally, on these occasions, she gathered together all her courage, and offered to take
upon herself both the fault and the punishment, like a child presenting itself before the king’s
throne, in order to suffer the punishment she had incurred. It was then said to her, ‘See how
wretched and miserable thou art thyself; thou who art desirous to satisfy for the sins of
others.’ And to her great terror she beheld herself as one mournful mass of infinite
imperfection. But still her love remained undaunted, and burst forth in these words, ‘Yes, I
am full of misery and sin; but I am thy spouse, O my Lord, and my Saviour! My faith in
thee and in the redemption which thou hast brought us covers all my sins as with thy royal
mantle. I will not leave thee until thou hast accepted my sacrifice, for the superabundant
treasure of thy merits is closed to none of thy faithful servants.’ At length her prayer became
wonderfully energetic, and to human ears there was like a dispute and combat with God, in
which she was carried away and urged on by the violence of love. If her sacrifice was
accepted, her energy seemed to abandon her, and she was left to the repugnance of human
nature for suffering. When she had gone through this trial, by keeping her eyes fixed on her
Redeemer in the Garden of Olives, she next had to endure indescribable sufferings of every
description, bearing them all with wonderful patience and sweetness. We used to see her
remain several days together, motionless and insensible, looking like a dying lamb. Did we
ask her how she was, she would half open her eyes, and reply with a sweet smile, ‘My
sufferings are most salutary.’
At the beginning of Advent, her sufferings were a little soothed by sweet visions of the
preparations made by the Blessed Virgin to leave her home, and then of her whole journey
with St. Joseph to Bethlehem. She accompanied them each day to the humble inns where
they rested for the night, or went on before them to prepare their lodgings. During this time
she used to take old pieces of linen, and at night, while sleeping, make them into baby
clothes and caps for the children of poor women, the times of whose confinements were
near at hand. The next day she would be surprised to see all these things neatly arranged in
her drawers. This happened to her every year about the same time, but this year she had
more fatigue and less consolation. Thus, at the hour of our Saviour’s birth, when she was
usually perfectly overwhelmed with joy, she could only crawl with the greatest difficulty to
the crib where the Child Jesus was lying, and bring him no present but myrrh, no offering
but her cross, beneath the weight of which she sank down half dying at his feet. It seemed as
though she were for the last time making up her earthly accounts with God, and for the last
time also offering herself in the place of a countless number of men who were spiritually and
corporally afflicted. Even the little that is known of the manner in which she took upon
herself the sufferings of others is almost incomprehensible. She very truly said: ‘This year
the Child Jesus has only brought me a cross and instruments of suffering.’
She became each day more and more absorbed in her sufferings, and although she
continued to see Jesus travelling from city to city during his public life, the utmost she ever
said on the subject was, briefly to name in which direction he was going. Once, she asked
suddenly in a scarcely audible voice, ‘What day is it?’ When told that it was the 14th of
January, she added: ‘Had I but a few days more, I should have related the entire life of our
Saviour, but now it is no longer possible for me to do so.’ These words were the more
incomprehensible as she did not appear to know even which year of the public life of Jesus
she was then contemplating in spirit. In 1820 she had related the history of our Saviour
down to the Ascension, beginning at the 28th of July of the third year of the public life of
Jesus, and had continued down to the 10th of January of the third year of his public life. On
the 27th of April 1823, in consequence of a journey made by the writer, an interruption of
her narrative took place, and lasted down to the 21st of October. She then took up the tread
of her narrative where she had left it, and continued it to the last weeks of her life. When she
spoke of a few days being wanted her friend himself did not know how far her narrative
went, not having had leisure to arrange what he had written. After her death he became
convinced that if she had been able to speak during the last fourteen days of her life, she
would have brought it down to the 28th of July of the third year of the public life of our
Lord, consequently to where she had taken it up in 1820.4
Her condition daily became more frightful. She, who usually suffered in silence, uttered
stifled groans, so awful was the anguish she endured. On the 15th of January she said: ‘The
Child Jesus brought me great sufferings at Christmas. I was once more by his manger at
Bethlehem. He was burning with fever, and showed me his sufferings and those of his
mother. They were so poor that they had no food but a wretched piece of bread. He
bestowed still greatest sufferings upon me, and said to me: “Thou art mine; thou art my
spouse; suffer as I suffered, without asking the reason why.” I do not know what my
sufferings are to be, nor how long they will last. I submit blindly to my martyrdom, whether
for life or for death: I only desire that the hidden designs of God may be accomplished in
me. On the other hand, I am calm, and I have consolations in my sufferings. Even this
morning I was very happy. Blessed be the Name of God!’
Her sufferings continued, if possible, to increase. Sitting up, and with her eyes closed, she
fell from one side to another, while smothered groans escaped her lips. If she laid down, she
was in danger of being stifled; her breathing was hurried and oppressed, and all her nerves
and muscles were shaken and trembled with anguish. After violent retching, she suffered
terrible pain in her bowels, so much so that it was feared gangrene must be forming there.
Her throat was parched and burning, her mouth swollen, her cheeks crimson with fever, her
hands white as ivory. The scars of the stigmas shone like silver beneath her distended skin.
Her pulse gave from 160 to 180 pulsations per minute. Although unable to speak from her
excessive suffering, she bore every duty perfectly in mind. On the evening of the 26th, she
said to her friend, ‘Today is the ninth day, you must pay for the wax taper and novena at the
chapel of St. Anne.’ She was alluding to a novena which she had asked to have made for her
intention, and she was afraid lest her friends should forget it. On the 27th, at two o’clock in
the afternoon, she received Extreme Unction, greatly to the relief both of her soul and body.
In the evening her friend, the excellent Curé of H___, prayed at her bedside, which was an
immense comfort to her. She said to him: ‘How good and beautiful all this is!’ And again:
‘May God be a thousand times praised and thanked!’
The approach of death did not wholly interrupt the wonderful union of her life with that
of the Church. A friend having visited her on the 1st of February in the evening, had placed
himself behind her bed where she could not see him, and was listening with the utmost
compassion to her low moans and interrupted breathing, when suddenly all became silent,
and he thought that she was dead. At this moment the evening bell ringing for the matins of
the Purification was heard. It was the opening of this festival which had caused her soul to
be ravished in ecstasy. Although still in a very alarming state, she let some sweet and loving
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4 In her book, The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations, Anne Catherine Emmerich details the events of the
3½-year Ministry of Jesus Christ. Although she explicitly states that Christ’s Ministry lasted 3½ years (Vol. 1,
p. 496), the astute reader of that work will notice a gap of about one year.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
pg 33 of 199

words concerning the Blessed Virgin escape her lips during the night and day of the festival.
Towards twelve o’clock in the day, she said in a voice already changed by the near approach
of death, ‘It was long since I had felt so well. I have been ill quite a week, have I not? I feel
as though I knew nothing about this world of darkness! O, what light the Blessed Mother of
God showed me! She took me with her, and how willingly would I have remained with
her!’ Here she recollected herself for a moment, and then said, placing her finger on her lip:
‘But I must not speak of these things.’ From that time she said that the slightest word in her
praise greatly increased her sufferings.
The following days she was worse. On the 7th, in the evening, being rather more calm,
she said: ‘Ah, my sweet Lord Jesus, thanks be to thee again and again for every part of my
life. Lord, thy will and not mine be done.’ On the 8th of February, in the evening, a priest
was praying near her bed, when she gratefully kissed his hand, begged him to assist at her
death and said, ‘O Jesus, I live for thee, I die for thee. O Lord, praise be to thy holy name, I
no longer see or hear!’ Her friends wished to change her position, and thus ease her pain a
little; but she said, ‘I am on the Cross, it will soon all be over, leave me in peace.’ She had
received all the last Sacraments, but she wished to accuse herself once more in confession of
a slight fault which she had already many times confessed; it was probably of the same
nature as a sin which she had committed in her childhood, of which she often accused
herself, and which consisted in having gone through a hedge into a neighbour’s garden, and
coveted some apples which had fallen on the ground. She had only looked at them; for,
thank God, she said, she did not touch them, but she thought that was a sin against the
tenth commandment. The priest gave her a general absolution; after which she stretched
herself out, and those around her thought that she was dying. A person who had often given
her pain now drew near her bed and asked her pardon. She looked at him in surprise, and
said with the most expressive accent of truth, ‘I have nothing to forgive any living creature.’
During the last days of her life, when her death was momentarily expected, several of her
friends remained constantly in the room adjoining hers. They were speaking in a low tone,
and so that she could not hear them, of her patience, faith, and other virtues, when all on a
sudden they heard her dying voice saying: ‘Ah, for the love of God, do not praise me—that
keeps me here, because I then have to suffer double. O my God! how many fresh flowers are
falling upon me!’ She always saw flowers as the forerunners and figures of sufferings. Then
she rejected all praises, with the most profound conviction of her own unworthiness, saying:
‘God alone is good: everything must be paid, down to the last farthing. I am poor and
loaded with sin, and I can only make up for having been praised by sufferings united to
those of Jesus Christ. Do not praise me, but let me die in ignominy with Jesus on the cross.’
Boudon, in his life of Father Surin, relates a similar trait of a dying man, who had been
thought to have lost the sense of hearing, but who energetically rejected a word of praise
pronounced by those who were surrounding his bed.
A few hours before death, for which she was longing, saying, ‘O Lord assist me; come, O
Lord Jesus!’ a word of praise appeared to detain her, and she most energetically rejected it
by making the following act of humility: ‘I cannot die if so many good persons think well of
me through a mistake; I beg of you to tell them all that I am a wretched sinner! Would that I
could proclaim so as to be heard by all men, how great a sinner I am! I am far beneath the
good thief who was crucified by the side of Jesus, for he and all his contemporaries had not
so terrible an account as we shall have to render of all the graces which have been bestowed
upon the Church.’ After this declaration, she appeared to grow calm, and she said to the
priest who was comforting her: ‘I feel now as peaceful and as much filled with hope and
confidence as if I had never committed a sin.’ Her eyes turned lovingly towards the cross
which was placed at the foot of her bed, her breathing became accelerated, she often drank
some liquid; and when the little crucifix was held to her, she from humility only kissed the
feet. A friend who was kneeling by her bedside in tears, had the comfort of often holding her
the water with which to moisten her lips. As he had laid her hand, on which the white scar
of the wound was most distinctly visible, on the counterpane, he took hold of that hand,
which was already cold, and as he inwardly wished for some mark of farewell from her, she
slightly pressed his. Her face was calm and serene, bearing an expression of heavenly
gravity, and which can only be compared to that of a valiant wrestler, who after making
unheard of efforts to gain the victory, sinks back and dies in the very act of seizing the prize.
The priest again read through the prayers for persons in their last agony, and she then felt an
inward inspiration to pray for a pious young friend whose feast day it was. Eight o’clock
struck; she breathed more freely for the space of a few minutes, and then cried three times
with a deep groan: ‘O Lord, assist me: Lord, Lord, come!’ The priest rang his bell, and said,
‘She is dying.’ Several relations and friends who were in the next room came in and knelt
down to pray. She was then holding in her hand a lighted taper, which the priest was
supporting. She breathed forth several slight sighs, and then her pure soul escaped her chaste
lips, and hastened, clothed in the nuptial garment, to appear in heavenly hope before the
Divine Bridegroom, and be united for ever to that blessed company of virgins who follow
the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Her lifeless body sank gently back on the pillows at halfpast
eight o’clock p.m., on the 9th February 1824.
A person who had taken great interest in her during life wrote as follows: ‘After her
death, I drew near to her bed. She was supported by pillows, and lying on her left side.
Some crutches, which had been prepared for her by her friends on one occasion when she
had been able to take a few turns in the room, were hanging over her head, crossed, in a
corner. Near them hung a little oil painting representing the death of the Blessed Virgin,
which had been given her by the Princess of Salm. The expression of her countenance was
perfectly sublime, and bore the traces of the spirit of self-sacrifice, the patience and
resignation of her whole life; she looked as though she had died for the love of Jesus, in the
very act of performing some work of charity for others. Her right hand was resting on the
counterpane—that hand on which God had bestowed the unparalleled favour of being able
at once to recognise by the touch anything that was holy, or that had been consecrated by
the Church—a favour which perhaps no one had ever before enjoyed to so great an extent—
a favour by which the interests of religion might be inconceivably promoted, provided it was
made use of with discretion, and which surely had not been bestowed upon a poor ignorant
peasant girl merely for her own personal gratification. For the last time I took in mine the
hand marked with a sign so worthy of our utmost veneration, the hand which was as a
spiritual instrument in the instant recognition of whatever was holy, that it might be
honoured even in a grain of sand—the charitable industrious hand, which had so often fed
the hungry and clothed the naked—this hand was now cold and lifeless. A great favour had
been withdrawn from earth, God had taken from us the hand of his spouse, who had
rendered testimony to, prayed, and suffered for the truth. It appeared as though it had not
been without meaning, that she had resignedly laid down upon her bed the hand which was
the outward expression of a particular privilege granted by Divine grace. Fearful of having
the strong impression made upon me by the sight of her countenance diminished by the
necessary but disturbing preparations which were being made around her bed, I thoughtfully
left her room. If, I said to myself—if, like so many holy solitaries, she had died alone in a
grave prepared by her own hands, her friends—the birds—would have covered her with
flowers and leaves; if, like other religious, she had died among virgins consecrated to God,
and that their tender care and respectful veneration had followed her to the grave, as was the
case, for example, with St. Colomba of Rieti, it would have been edifying and pleasing to
those who loved her; but doubtless such honours rendered to her lifeless remains would not
have been conformable to her love for Jesus, whom she so much desired to resemble in
death as in life.’
The same friend later wrote as follows: ‘Unfortunately there was no official post-mortem
examination of her body, and none of those inquiries by which she had been so tormented
during life were instituted after her death. The friends who surrounded her neglected to
examine her body, probably for fear of coming upon some striking phenomenon, the
discovery of which might have caused much annoyance in various ways. On Wednesday
the 11th of February her body was prepared for burial. A pious female, who would not give
up to anyone the task of rendering her this last mark of affection, described to me as follows
the condition in which she found her: “Her feet were crossed like the feet of a crucifix. The
places of the stigmas were more red than usual. When we raised her head blood flowed
from her nose and mouth. All her limbs remained flexible and with none of the stiffness of
death even till the coffin was closed.” On Friday the 13th of February she was taken to the
grave, followed by the entire population of the place. She reposes in the cemetery, to the left
of the cross, on the side nearest the hedge. In the grave in front of hers there rests a good old
peasant of Welde, and in the grave behind a poor but virtuous female from Dernekamp.
On the evening of the day when she was buried, a rich man went, not to Pilate, but to the
curé of the place. He asked for the body of Anne Catherine, not to place it in a new
sepulchre, but to buy it at a high price for a Dutch doctor. The proposal was rejected as it
deserved, but it appears that the report was spread in the little town that the body had been
taken away, and it is said that the people went in great numbers to the cemetery to ascertain
whether the grave had been robbed.’
To these details we will add the following extract from an account printed in December
1824, in the Journal of Catholic literature of Kerz. This account was written by a person with
whom we are unacquainted, but who appears to have been well informed: ‘About six or
seven weeks after the death of Anne Catherine Emmerich, a report having got about that
her body had been stolen away, the grave and coffin were opened in secret, by order of the
authorities, in the presence of seven witnesses. They found with surprise not unmixed with
joy that corruption had not yet begun its work on the body of the pious maiden. Her
features and countenance were smiling like those of a person who is dreaming sweetly. She
looked as though she had but just been placed in the coffin, nor did her body exhale any
corpse-like smell. It is good to keep the secret of the king, says Jesus the son of Sirach; but it is
also good to reveal to the world the greatness of the mercy of God.’
We have been told that a stone has been placed over her grave. We lay upon it these
pages; may they contribute to immortalise the memory of a person who has relieved so
many pains of soul and body, and that of the spot where her mortal remains lie awaiting the
Day of Resurrection.
 
TO THE READER.    pg 37 of 199
 
Whoever compares the following meditations with the short history of the Last Supper
given in the Gospel will discover some slight differences between them. An explanation
should be given of this, although it can never be sufficiently impressed upon the reader that
these writings have no pretensions whatever to add an iota to Sacred Scripture as interpreted
by the Church.
Sister Emmerich saw the events of the Last Supper take place in the following order:—
The Paschal Lamb was immolated and prepared in the supper-room; our Lord held a
discourse on that occasion—the guests were dressed as travellers, and ate, standing, the
lamb and other food prescribed by the law—the cup of wine was twice presented to our
Lord, but he did not drink of it the second time; distributing it to his Apostles with these
words: I shall drink no more of the fruit of the vine, etc. Then they sat down; Jesus spoke of the
traitor; Peter feared lest it should be himself; Judas received from our Lord the piece of
bread dipped, which was the sign that it was he; preparations were made for the washing of
the feet; Peter strove against his feet being washed; then came the institution of the Holy
Eucharist: Judas communicated, and afterwards left the apartment; the oils were
consecrated, and instructions given concerning them; Peter and the other Apostles received
ordination; our Lord made his final discourse; Peter protested that he would never abandon
him; and then the Supper concluded. By adopting this order, it appears, at first, as though it
were in contradiction to the passages of St. Matthew (31:29), and of St. Mark (14:26), in
which the words: I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, etc., come after the consecration,
but in St. Luke, they come before. On the contrary, all that concerns the traitor Judas comes
here, as in St. Matthew and St. Mark, before the consecration; whereas in St. Luke, it does
not come till afterwards. St. John, who does not relate the history of the institution of the
Holy Eucharist, gives us to understand that Judas went out immediately after Jesus had
given him the bread; but it appears most probable, from the accounts of the other
Evangelists, that Judas received the Holy Communion under both forms, and several of the
fathers—St. Augustine, St. Gregory the Great, and St. Leo the Great—as well as the
tradition of the Catholic Church, tell us expressly that such was the case. Besides, were the
order in which St. John presents events taken literally, he would contradict, not only
St. Matthew and St. Mark, but himself, for it must follow, from verse 10, chap. 13, that
Judas also had his feet washed. Now, the washing of the feet took place after the eating of
the Paschal lamb, and it was necessarily whilst it was being eaten that Jesus presented the
bread to the traitor. It is plain that the Evangelists here, as in several other parts of their
writings, gave their attention to the sacred narrative as a whole, and did not consider
themselves bound to relate every detail in precisely the same order, which fully explains the
apparent contradictions of each other, which are to be found in their Gospels. The following
pages will appear to the attentive reader rather a simple and natural concordance of the
Gospels than a history differing in any point of the slightest importance from that of
Scripture.

MEDITATION I.                   pg 38 of 199
Preparations for the Pasch
 
Holy Thursday, the 13th Nisan (29th of March).
Yesterday evening it was that the last great public repast of our Lord and his friends took
place in the house of Simon the Leper, at Bethania, and Mary Magdalen for the last time
anointed the feet of Jesus with precious ointment. Judas was scandalised upon this
occasion, and hastened forthwith to Jerusalem again to conspire with the high-priests for the
betrayal of Jesus into their hands. After the repast, Jesus returned to the house of Lazarus,
and some of the Apostles went to the inn situated beyond Bethania. During the night
Nicodemus again came to Lazarus’ house, had a long conversation with our Lord, and
returned before daylight to Jerusalem, being accompanied part of the way by Lazarus.
The disciples had already asked Jesus where he would eat the Pasch. To-day, before
dawn, our Lord sent for Peter, James, and John, spoke to them at some length concerning
all they had to prepare and order at Jerusalem, and told them that when ascending Mount
Sion, they would meet the man carrying a pitcher of water. They were already well
acquainted with this man, for at the last Pasch, at Bethania, it had been he who prepared the
meal for Jesus, and this is why St. Matthew says: a certain man. They were to follow him
home, and say to him: the Master saith, My time is near at hand, with thee I make the Pasch with
my disciples (Matt. 26:18). They were than to be shown the supper-room, and make all
necessary preparations.
I saw the Apostles ascending towards Jerusalem, along a ravine, to the south of the
Temple, and in the direction of the north side of Sion. On the southern side of the mountain
on which the Temple stood, there were some rows of houses; and they walked opposite
these houses, following the stream of an intervening torrent. When they had reached the
summit of Mount Sion, which is higher than the mountain of the Temple, they turned their
steps towards the south, and, just at the beginning of a small ascent, met the man who had
been named to them; they followed and spoke to him as Jesus had commanded. He was
much gratified by their words, and answered, that a supper had already been ordered to be
prepared at his house (probably by Nicodemus), but that he had not been aware for whom,
and was delighted to learn hat it was for Jesus. This man’s name was Heli, and he was the
brother-in-law of Zachary of Hebron, in whose house Jesus had in the preceding year
announced the death of John the Baptist. He had only one son, who was a Levite, and a
friend of St. Luke, before the latter was called by our Lord, and five daughters, all of whom
were unmarried. He went up every year with his servants for the festival of the Pasch, hired
a room and prepared the Pasch for persons who had no friend in the town to lodge with.
This year he had hired a supper-room which belonged to Nicodemus and Joseph of
Arimathea. He showed the two Apostles its position and interior arrangement.

MEDITATION II.              pg 39 of 199
The Supper-Room.
 
On the southern side of Mount Sion, not far from the ruined Castle of David, and the
market held on the ascent leading to that Castle, there stood, towards the east, an ancient
and solid building, between rows of thick trees, in the midst of a spacious court surrounded
by strong walls. To the right and left of the entrance, other buildings were to be seen
adjoining the wall, particularly to the right, where stood the dwelling of the major-domo,
and close to it the house in which the Blessed Virgin and the holy women spent most of
their time after the death of Jesus. The supper-room, which was originally larger, had
formerly been inhabited by David’s brave captains, who had there learned the use of arms.
Previous to the building of the Temple, the Ark of the Covenant had been deposited there
for a considerable length of time, and traces of its presence were still to be found in an
underground room. I have also seen the Prophet Malachy hidden beneath this same roof: he
there wrote his prophecies concerning the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacrifice of the New
Law. Solomon held this house in honour, and performed within its walls some figurative
and symbolical action, which I have forgotten. When a great part of Jerusalem was
destroyed by the Babylonians, this house was spared. I have seen many other things
concerning this same house, but I only remember what I have now told.
This building was in a very dilapidated state when it became the property of Nicodemus
and Joseph of Arimathea, who arranged the principal building in a very suitable manner,
and let it as a supper-room to strangers coming to Jerusalem for the purpose of celebrating
the festival of the Pasch. Thus it was that our Lord had made use of it the previous year.
Moreover, the house and surrounding buildings served as warehouses for monuments and
other stones, and as workshops for the labourers; for Joseph of Arimathea possessed
valuable quarries in his own country, from which he had large blocks of stone brought, that
his workmen might fashion them, under his own eye, into tombs, architectural ornaments,
and columns, for sale. Nicodemus had a share in this business, and used to spend many
leisure hours himself in sculpturing. He worked in the room, or in a subterraneous
apartment which saw beneath it, excepting at the times of the festivals; and this occupation
having brought him into connection with Joseph of Arimathea, they had become friends,
and often joined together in various transactions.
This morning, whilst Peter and John were conversing with the man who had hired the
supper-room, I saw Nicodemus in the buildings to the left of the court, where a great many
stones which filled up the passages leading to the supper-room had been placed. A week
before, I had seen several persons engaged in putting the stones on one side, cleaning the
court, and preparing the supper-room for the celebration of the Pasch; it even appears to me
that there were among them some disciples of our Lord, perhaps Aram and Themein, the
cousins of Joseph of Arimathea.
The supper-room, properly so called, was nearly in the centre of the court; its length was
greater than its width; it was surrounded by a row of low pillars, and if the spaces between
the pillars had been cleared, would have formed a part of the large inner room, for the
whole edifice was, as it were, transparent; only it was usual, except on special occasions, for
the passages to be closed up. The room was lighted by apertures at the top of the walls. In
front, there was first a vestibule, into which three doors gave entrance; next, the large inner
room, where several lamps hung from the platform; the walls were ornamented for the
festival, half way up, with beautiful matting or tapestry, and an aperture had been made in
the roof, and covered over with transparent blue gauze.
The back part of this room was separated from the rest by a curtain, also of blue
transparent gauze. This division of the supper-room into three parts gave a resemblance to
the Temple—thus forming the outer Court, the Holy, and the Holy of Holies. In the last of
these divisions, on both sides, the dresses and other things necessary for the celebration of
the feast were placed. In the centre there was a species of altar. A stone bench raised on
three steps, and of a rectangular triangular shape, came out of the wall; it must have
constituted the upper part of the oven used for roasting the Paschal Lamb, for to-day the
steps were quite heated during the repast. I cannot describe in detail all that there was in this
part of the room, but all kinds of arrangements were being made there for preparing the
Paschal Supper. Above this hearth of altar, there was a species of niche in the wall, in front
of which I saw an image of the Paschal Lamb, with a knife in its throat, and the blood
appearing to flow drop by drop upon the altar; but I do not remember distinctly how that
was done. In a niche in the wall there were three cupboards of various colours, which
turned like our tabernacles, for opening or closing. A number of vessels used in the
celebration of the Pasch were kept in them; later, the Blessed Sacrament was placed there.
In the rooms at the sides of the supper-room, there were some couches, on which thick
coverlids rolled up were placed, and which could be used as beds. There were spacious
cellars beneath the whole of this building. The Ark of the Covenant was formerly deposited
under the very spot where the hearth was afterwards built. Five gutters, under the house,
served to convey the refuse to the slope of the hill, on the upper part of which the house was
built. I had preciously seen Jesus preach and perform miraculous cures there, and the
disciples frequently passed the night in the side rooms.

MEDITATION III.             pg 40 of 199
Arrangements for eating the Paschal Lamb.
 
When the disciples had spoken to Heli of Hebron, the latter went back into the house by
the court, but they turned to the right, and hastened down the north side of the hill, through
Sion. They passed over a bridge, and walking along a road covered with brambles, reached
the other side of the ravine, which was in front of the Temple, and of the row of houses
which were to the south of that building. There stood the house of the aged Simeon, who
died in the Temple after the presentation of our Lord; and his sons, some of whom were
disciples of Jesus in secret, were actually living there. The Apostles spoke to one of them, a
tall dark-complexioned man, who held some office in the Temple. They went with him to
the eastern side of the Temple, through that part of Ophel by which Jesus made his entry
into Jerusalem on Palm-Sunday, and thence to the cattle-market, which stood in the town,
to the north of the Temple. In the southern part of this market I saw little enclosures in
which some beautiful lambs were gambolling about. Here it was that lambs for the Pasch
were bought. I saw the son of Simeon enter one of these enclosures; and the lambs
gambolled round him as if they knew him. He chose out four, which were carried to the
supper-room, engaged in preparing the Paschal Lamb.
I saw Peter and John go to several different parts of the town, and order various things. I
saw them also standing opposite the door of a house situated to the north of Mount Calvary,
where the disciples of Jesus lodged the greatest part of the time, and which belonged to
Seraphia (afterwards called Veronica). Peter and John sent some disciples from thence to
the supper-room, giving them several commissions, which I have forgotten.
They also went into Seraphia’s house, where they had several arrangements to make. Her
husband, who was a member of the council, was usually absent and engaged in business;
but even when he was at home she saw little of him. She was a woman of about the age of
the Blessed Virgin, and had long been connected with the Holy Family; for when the Child
Jesus remained the three days in Jerusalem after the feast, she it was who supplied him with
food.
The two Apostles took from thence, among other things, the chalice of which our Lord
made use in the institution of the Holy Eucharist.
 
MEDITATION IV.        pg 41 of 199
The Chalice used at the Last Supper
 
The chalice which the Apostles brought from Veronica’s house was wonderful and
mysterious in its appearance. It had been kept a long time in the Temple among other
precious objects of great antiquity, the use and origin of which had been forgotten. The
same has been in some degree the case in the Christian Church, where many consecrated
jewels have been forgotten and fallen into disuse with time. Ancient vases and jewels, buried
beneath the Temple, had often been dug up, sold, or reset. Thus it was that, by God’s
permission, this holy vessel, which none had ever been able to melt down on account of its
being made of some unknown material, and which had been found by the priests in the
treasury of the Temple among other objects no longer made use of, had been sold to some
antiquaries. It was bought by Seraphia, was several times made use of by Jesus in the
celebration of festivals, and, from the day of the Last Supper, became the exclusive property
of the holy Christian community. This vessel was not always the same as when used by our
Lord at his Last Supper, and perhaps it was upon that occasion that the various pieces
which composed it were first put together. The great chalice stood upon a plate, out of
which a species of tablet could also be drawn, and around it there were six little glasses. The
great chalice contained another smaller vase; above it there was a small plate, and then
came a round cover. A spoon was inserted in the foot of the chalice, and could be easily
drawn out for use. All these different vessels were covered with fine linen, and, if I am not
mistaken, were wrapped up in a case made of leather. The great chalice was composed of
the cup and of the foot, which last must have been joined on to it at a later period, for it was
of a different material. The cup was pear-shaped, massive, dark-coloured, and highly
polished, with gold ornaments, and two small handles by which it could be lifted. The foot
was of virgin gold, elaborately worked, ornamented with a serpent and a small bunch of
grapes, and enriched with precious stones.
The chalice was left in the Church of Jerusalem, in the hand of St. James the Less; and I
see that it is still preserved in that town—it will reappear some day, in the same manner as
before. Other Churches took the little cups which surrounded it; one was taken to Antioch,
and another to Ephesus. They belonged to the patriarchs, who drank some mysterious
beverage out of them when they received or gave a Benediction, as I have seen many times.
The great chalice had formerly been in the possession of Abraham; Melchisedech
brought it with him from the land of Semiramis to the land of Canaan, when he was
beginning to found some settlements on the spot where Jerusalem was afterwards built; he
made use of it then for offering sacrifice, when he offered bread and wine in the presence of
Abraham, and he left it in the possession of that holy patriarch. This same chalice had also
been preserved in Noah’s Ark.

MEDITATION V.      pg 42 of 199
Jesus goes up to Jerusalem.
 
In the morning, while the Apostles were engaged at Jerusalem in preparing for the Pasch,
Jesus, who had remained at Bethania, took an affecting leave of the holy women, of
Lazarus, and of his Blessed Mother, and gave them some final instructions. I saw our Lord
conversing apart with his Mother, and he told her, among other things, that he had sent
Peter, the apostle of faith, and John, the apostle of love, to prepare for the Pasch at
Jerusalem. He said, in speaking of Magdalen, whose grief was excessive, that her love was
great, but still somewhat human, and that on this account her sorrow made her beside
herself. He spoke also of the schemes of the traitor Judas, and the Blessed Virgin prayed for
him. Judas had again left Bethania to go to Jerusalem, under pretence of paying some debts
that were due. He spent his whole day in hurrying backwards and forwards from one
Pharisee to another, and making his final agreements with them. He was shown the soldiers
who had been engaged to seize the person of our Divine Saviour, and he so arranged his
journeys to and fro as to be able to account for his absence. I beheld all his wicked schemes
and all his thoughts. He was naturally active and obliging, but these good qualities were
choked by avarice, ambition, and envy, which passions he made no effort to control. In our
Lord’s absence he had even performed miracles and healed the sick.
When our Lord announced to his Blessed Mother what was going to take place, she
besought him, in the most touching terms, to let her die with him. But he exhorted her to
show more calmness in her sorrow than the other women, told her that he should rise again,
and named the very spot where he should appear to her. She did not weep much, but her
grief was indescribable, and there was something almost awful in her look of deep
recollection. Our Divine Lord returned thanks, as a loving Son, for all the love she had
borne him, and pressed her to his heart. He also told her that he would make the Last
Supper with her, spiritually, and named the hour at which she would receive his precious
Body and Blood. Then once more he, in touching language, bade farewell to all, and gave
them different instructions.
About twelve o’clock in the day, Jesus and the nine Apostles went from Bethania up to
Jerusalem, followed by seven disciples, who, with the exception of Nathaniel and Silas,
came from Jerusalem and the neighbourhood. Among these were John, Mark, and the son
of the poor widow who, the Thursday previous, had offered her mite in the Temple, whilst
Jesus was preaching there. Jesus had taken him into his company a few days before. The
holy women set off later.
Jesus and his companions walked around Mount Olivet, about the valley of Josaphat,
and even as far as Mount Calvary. During the whole of this walk, he continued giving them
instructions. He told the Apostles, among other things, that until then he had given them his
bread and his wine, but that this day he was going to give them his Body and Blood, his
whole self—all that he had and all that he was. The countenance of our Lord bore so
touching an expression whilst he was speaking, that his whole soul seemed to breathe forth
from his lips, and he appeared to be languishing with love and desire for the moment when
he should give himself to man. His disciples did not understand him, but thought that he
was speaking of the Paschal Lamb. No words can give an adequate idea of the love and
resignation which were expressed in these last discourses of our Lord at Bethania, and on
his way to Jerusalem.
The seven disciples who had followed our Lord to Jerusalem did not go there in his
company, but carried the ceremonial habits for the Pasch to the supper-room, and then
returned to the house of Mary, the mother of Mark. When Peter and John came to the
supper-room with the chalice, all the ceremonial habits were already in the vestibule,
whither they had been brought by his disciples and some companions. They had also hung
the walls with drapery, cleared the higher openings in the sides, and put up three lamps.
Peter and John then went to the Valley of Josaphat, and summoned our Lord and the
twelve Apostles. The disciples and friends who were also to make their Pasch in the supperroom,
came later.

MEDITATION VI.    pg 43 of 199
The Last Pasch.
 
Jesus and his disciples ate the Paschal Lamb in the supper-room. They divided into three
groups. Jesus ate the Paschal Lamb with the twelve Apostles in the supper-room, properly
so called; Nathaniel with twelve other disciples in one of the lateral rooms, and Eliacim (the
son of Cleophas and Mary, the daughter of Heli), who had been a disciple of John the
Baptist, with twelve more, in another side-room.
Three lambs were immolated for them in the Temple, but there was a fourth lamb which
was immolated in the supper-room, and was the one eaten by Jesus with his Apostles. Judas
was not aware of this circumstance, because being engaged in plotting his betrayal of our
Lord, he only returned a few moments before the repast, and after the immolation of the
lamb had taken place. Most touching was the scene of the immolation of the lamb to be
eaten by Jesus and his Apostles; it took place in the vestibule of the supper-room. The
Apostles and disciples were present, singing the 118th Psalm. Jesus spoke of a new period
then beginning, and said that the sacrifice of Moses and the figure of the Paschal Lamb were
about to receive their accomplishment, but that on this very account, the lamb was to be
immolated in the same manner as formerly in Egypt, and that they were really about to go
forth from the house of bondage.
The vessels and necessary instruments were prepared, and then the attendants brought a
beautiful little lamb, decorated with a crown, which was sent to the Blessed Virgin in the
room where she had remained with the other holy women. The lamb was fastened with its
back against a board by a cord around its body, and reminded me of Jesus tied to the pillar
and scourged. The son of Simeon held the lamb’s head; Jesus made a slight incision in its
neck with the point of a knife, which he then gave to the son of Simeon, that he might
complete killing it. Jesus appeared to inflict the wound with a feeling of repugnance, and he
was quick in his movements, although his countenance was grave, and his manner such as
to inspire respect. The blood flowed into a basin, and the attendants brought a branch of
hyssop, which Jesus dipped in it. Then he went to the door of the room, stained the sideposts
and the lock with blood, and placed the branch which had been dipped in blood above
the door. He then spoke to the disciples, and told them, among other things, that the
exterminating angel would pass by, that they would adore in that room without fear or
anxiety, when he, the true Paschal Lamb, should have been immolated—that a new epoch
and a new sacrifice were about to begin, which would last to the end of the world.
They then went to the other side of the room, near the hearth where the Ark of the
Covenant had formerly stood. Fire had already been lighted there, and Jesus poured some
blood upon the hearth, consecrating it as an altar; and the remainder of the blood and the fat
were thrown on the fire beneath the altar, after which Jesus, followed by his Apostles,
walked round the supper-room, singing some psalms, and consecrating it as a new Temple.
The doors were all closed during this time. Meanwhile the son of Simeon had completed the
preparation of the lamb. He passed a stake through its body, fastening the front legs on a
cross piece of wood; and stretching the hind ones along the stake. It bore a strong
resemblance to Jesus on the cross, and was placed in the oven, to be there roasted with the
three other lambs brought from the Temple.
The Paschal Lambs of the Jews were all immolated in the vestibule of the Temple, but in
different parts, according as the persons who were to eat them were rich, or poor, or
strangers.1 The Paschal Lamb belonging to Jesus was not immolated in the Temple, but
everything else was done strictly according to the law. Jesus again addressed his disciples,
saying that the lamb was but a figure, that he himself would next day be the true Paschal
Lamb, together with other things which I have forgotten.
When Jesus had finished his instructions concerning the Paschal Lamb and its
signification, the time being come, and Judas also returned, the tables were set out. The
disciples put on travelling dresses which were in the vestibule, different shoes, a white robe
resembling a shirt, and a cloak, which was short in front and longer behind, their sleeves
were large and turned back, and they girded up their clothes around the waist. Each party
went to their own table; and two sets of disciples in the side rooms, and our Lord and his
Apostles in the supper-room. They held staves in their hands, and went two and two to the
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1 She here again explained the manner in which the families assembled together, and in what numbers. But the
writer has forgotten her words.
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pg 44 of 199
 
table, where they remained standing, each in his own place, with the stave resting on his
arms, and his hands upraised.
The table was narrow, and about half a foot higher than the knees of a man; in shape it
resembled a horseshoe, and opposite Jesus, in the inner part of the half-circle, there was a
space left vacant, that the attendants might be able to set down the dishes. As far as I can
remember, John, James the Greater, and James the Less sat on the right-hand of Jesus; after
them Bartholomew, and then, round the corner, Thomas and Judas Iscariot. Peter, Andrew,
and Thaddeus sat on the left of Jesus; next came Simon, and then (round the corner)
Matthew and Philip.
The Paschal Lamb was placed on a dish in the centre of the table. Its head rested on its
front legs, which were fastened to a cross-stick, its hind legs being stretched out, and the dish
was garnished with garlic. By the side there was a dish with the Paschal roast meat, then
came a plate with green vegetables balanced against each other, and another plate with
small bundles of bitter herbs, which had the appearance of aromatic herbs. Opposite Jesus
there was also one dish with different herbs, and a second containing a brown-coloured
sauce of beverage. The guest had before them some round loaves instead of plates, and they
used ivory knives.
After the prayer, the major-domo laid the knife for cutting the lamb on the table before
Jesus, who placed a cup of wine before him, and filled six other cups, each one of which
stood between two Apostles. Jesus blessed the wine and drank, and the Apostles drank two
together out of one cup. Then our Lord proceeded to cut up the lamb; his Apostles
presented their pieces of bread in turn, and each received his share. They ate it in haste,
separating the flesh from the bone, by means of their ivory knives, and the bones were
afterwards burnt. They also ate the garlic and green herbs in haste, dipping them in the
sauce. All this time they remained standing, only leaning slightly on the backs of their seats.
Jesus brake one of the loaves of unleavened bread, covered up a part of it, and divided the
remainder among his Apostles. Another cup of wine was brought, but Jesus drank not of it:
‘Take this,’ he said, ‘and divide it among you, for I will not drink from henceforth of the fruit of
the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father’ (Matt.
26:29). When they had drunk the wine, they sang a hymn; then Jesus prayed or taught, and
they again washed their hands. After this they sat down.
Our Lord cut up another lamb which was carried to the holy women in one of the
buildings of the court, where they were seated at table. The Apostles ate some more
vegetables and lettuce. The countenance of our Divine Saviour bore an indescribable
expression of serenity and recollection, greater than I had ever before seen. He bade the
Apostles forget all their cares. The Blessed Virgin also, as she sat at table with the other
women, looked most placid and calm. When the other women came up, and took hold of
her veil to make her turn round and speak to them, her every movement expressed the
sweetest self-control and placidity of spirit.
At first Jesus conversed lovingly and calmly with his disciples, but after a while he
became grave and sad: ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, that one of you is about to betray me:’ he said,
he that dippeth his hand with me in the dish’ (Matt. 26:21.23). Jesus was then distributing the
lettuce, of which there was only one dish, to those Apostles who were by his side, and he
had given Judas, who was nearly opposite to him, the office of distributing it to the others.
When Jesus spoke of a traitor, an expression which filled all the Apostles with fear, he said:
‘he that dippeth his hand with me in the dish,’ which means: ‘one of the twelve who are eating
and drinking with me—one of those with whom I am eating bread.’ He did not plainly point
out Judas to the others by these words; for to dip the hand in the same dish was an expression
used to signify the most friendly and intimate intercourse. He was desirous, however, to
give a warning to Judas, who was then really dipping his hand in the dish with our Saviour,
to distribute the lettuce. Jesus continued to speak: ‘The Son of Man indeed goeth,’ he said, ‘as it
is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man shall be betrayed: It were better for
him if that man had not been born.’
The Apostles were very much troubled, and each one of them exclaimed: ‘Lord, is it I?’ for
they were all perfectly aware that they did not entirely understand his words. Peter leaned
towards John, behind Jesus, and made him a sign to ask our Lord who the traitor was to be,
for, having so often been reproved by our Lord, he trembled lest it should be himself who
was referred to. John was seated at the right hand of Jesus, and as all were leaning on their
left arms, using the right to eat, his head was close to the bosom of Jesus. He leaned then on
his breast and said: ‘Lord, who is it?’ I did not see Jesus say to him with his lips: ‘He it is to
whom I shall reach bread dipped.’ I do not know whether he whispered it to him, but John
knew it, when Jesus having dipped the bread, which was covered with lettuce, gave it
tenderly to Judas, who also asked: ‘Is it I, Lord?’ Jesus looked at him with love, and
answered him in general terms. Among the Jews, to give bread dipped was a mark of
friendship and confidence; Jesus on this occasion gave Judas the morsel, in order thus to
warn him, without making known his guilt to the others. But the heart of Judas burned with
anger, and during the whole time of the repast, I saw a frightful little figure seated at his feet,
and sometimes ascending to his heart. I did not see John repeat to Peter what he had
learned from Jesus, but he set his fears at rest by a look.

MEDITATION VII.    pg 46 of 199
The Washing of the Feet.
 
They arose from table, and whilst they were arranging their clothes, as they usually did
before making their solemn prayer, the major-domo came in with two servants to take away
the table. Jesus, standing in the midst of his Apostles, spoke to them long, in a most solemn
manner. I could not repeat exactly his whole discourse, but I remember he spoke of his
kingdom, of his going to his Father, of what he would leave them now that he was about to
be taken away, etc. He also gave them some instructions concerning penance, the
confession of sin, repentance, and justification.
I felt that these instructions referred to the washing of the feet, and I saw that all the
Apostles acknowledged their sins and repented of them, with the exception of Judas. This
discourse was long and solemn. When it was concluded, Jesus sent John and James the
Less to fetch water from the vestibule, and he told the Apostles to arrange the seats in a half
circle. He went himself into the vestibule, where he girded himself with a towel. During this
time, the Apostles spoke among themselves, and began speculating as to which of them
would be the greatest, for our Lord having expressly announced that he was about to leave
them and that his kingdom was near at hand, they felt strengthened anew in their idea that
he had secret plans, and that he was referring to some earthly triumph which would be
theirs at the last moment.
Meanwhile Jesus, in the vestibule, told John to take a basin, and James a pitcher filled
with water, with which they followed him into the room, where the major-domo had placed
another empty basin.
Jesus, on returning to his disciples in so humble a manner, addressed them a few words
of reproach on the subject of the dispute which had arisen between them, and said among
other things, that he himself was their servant, and that they were to sit down, for him to
wash their feet. They sat down, therefore, in the same order as they had sat at table. Jesus
went from one to the other, poured water from the basin which John carried on the feet of
each, and then, taking the end of the towel wherewith he was girded, wiped them. Most
loving and tender was the manner of our Lord while thus humbling himself at the feet of his
Apostles.
Peter, when his turn came, endeavoured through humility to prevent Jesus from washing
his feet: ‘Lord,’ he exclaimed, ‘dost thou wash my feet?’ Jesus answered: ‘What I do, thou
knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.’ It appeared to me that he said to him privately:
‘Simon, thou hast merited for my Father to reveal to thee who I am, whence I come, and
whither I am going, thou alone hast expressly confessed it, therefore upon thee will I build
my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. My power will remain with thy
successors to the end of the world.’
Jesus showed him to the other Apostles, and said, that when he should be no more
present among them, Peter was to fill his place in their regard. Peter said: ‘Thou shalt never
wash my feet!’ Our Lord replied: ‘If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me.’ Then Peter
exclaimed: ‘Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.’ Jesus replied: ‘He that is
washed, needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly. And you are clean, but not all.’
By these last words he referred to Judas. He had spoken of the washing of the feet as
signifying purification from daily faults, because the feet, which are continually in contact
with the earth, are also continually liable to be soiled, unless great care is taken.
This washing of the feet was spiritual, and served as a species of absolution. Peter, in his
zeal, saw nothing in it but too great an act of abasement on the part of his Master; he knew
not that to save him Jesus would the very next day humble himself even to the ignominious
death of the cross.
When Jesus washed the feet of Judas, it was in the most loving and affecting manner; he
bent his sacred face even on to the feet of the traitor; and in a low voice bade him now at
least enter into himself, for that he had been a faithless traitor for the last year. Judas
appeared to be anxious to pay no heed whatever to his words, and spoke to John, upon
which Peter became angry, and exclaimed: ‘Judas, the Master speaks to thee!’ Then Judas
made our Lord some vague, evasive reply, such as, ‘Heaven forbid, Lord!’ The others had
not remarked that Jesus was speaking to Judas, for this words were uttered in a low voice, in
order not to be heard by them, and besides, they were engaged in putting on their shoes.
Nothing in the whole course of the Passion grieved Jesus so deeply as the treason of Judas.
Jesus finally washed the feet of John and James.
He then spoke again on the subject of humility, telling them that he that was the greatest
among them was to be as their servant, and that henceforth they were to wash one another’s
feet. Then he put on his garments, and the Apostles let down their clothes, which they had
girded up before eating the Paschal Lamb.

MEDITATION VIII.    pg 48 of 199
Institution of the Holy Eucharist.
 
By command of our Lord, the major-domo had again laid out the table, which he had
raised a little; then, having placed it once more in the middle of the room, he stood one urn
filled with wine, and another with water underneath it. Peter and John went into the part of
the room near the hearth, to get the chalice which they had brought from Seraphia’s house,
and which was still wrapped up in its covering. They carried it between them as if they had
been carrying a tabernacle, and placed it on the table before Jesus. An oval plate stood there,
with three fine white azymous loaves, placed on a piece of linen, by the side of the half loaf
which Jesus had set aside during the Paschal meal, also a jar containing wine and water,
and three boxes, one filled with thick oil, a second with liquid oil, and the third empty.
In earlier times, it had been the practice for all at table to eat of the same loaf and drink of
the same cup at the end of the meal, thereby to express their friendship and brotherly love,
and to welcome and bid farewell to each other. I think Scripture must contain something
upon this subject.
On the day of the Last Supper, Jesus raised this custom (which had hitherto been no
more than a symbolical and figurative rite) to the dignity of the holiest of sacraments. One
of the charges brought before Caiphas, on occasion of the treason of Judas, was, that Jesus
had introduced a novelty into the Paschal ceremonies, but Nicodemus proved from
Scripture that it was an ancient practice.
Jesus was seated between Peter and John, the doors were closed, and everything was
done in the most mysterious and imposing manner. When the chalice was taken out of its
covering, Jesus prayed, and spoke to his Apostles with the utmost solemnity. I saw him
giving them an explanation of the Supper, and of the entire ceremony, and I was forcibly
reminded of a priest teaching others to say Mass.
He then drew a species of shelf with grooves from the boars on which the jars stood, and
taking a piece of white linen with which the chalice was covered, spread it over the board
and shelf. I then saw him lift a round plate, which he placed on this same shelf, off the top
of the chalice. He next took the azymous loaves from beneath the linen with which they
were covered and placed them before him on the board; then he took out of the chalice a
smaller vase, and ranged the six little glasses on each side of it. Then he blessed the bread
and also the oil, to the best of my belief after which he lifted up the paten with the loaves
upon it, in his two hands, raised his eyes, prayed, offered, and replaced the paten on the
table, covering it up again. He then took the chalice, had some wine poured into it by Peter,
and some water, which he first blessed, by John, adding to it a little more water, which he
poured into a small spoon, and after this he blessed the chalice, raised it up with a prayer,
made the oblation, and replaced it on the table.
John and Peter poured some water on his hands, which he held over the plate on which
the azymous loaves had been placed; then he took a little of the water which had been
poured on his hands, in the spoon that he had taken out of the lower part of the chalice, and
poured it on theirs. After this, the vase was passed round the table, and all the Apostles
washed their hands in it. I do not remember whether this was the precise order in which
these ceremonies were performed; all I know is, that they reminded me in a striking manner
of the holy sacrifice of the Mass.
Meanwhile, our Divine Lord became more and more tender and loving in his
demeanour; he told his Apostles that he was about to give them all that he had, namely, his
entire self, and he looked as though perfectly transformed by love. I saw him becoming
transparent, until he resembled a luminous shadow. He broke the bread into several pieces,
which he laid together on the paten, and then took a corner of the first piece and dripped it
into the chalice. At he moment when he was doing this, I seemed to see the Blessed Virgin
receiving the Holy Sacrament in a spiritual manner, although she was not present in the
supper-room. I do not know how it was done, but I thought I saw her enter without
touching the ground, and come before our Lord to receive the Holy Eucharist; after which I
saw her no more. Jesus had told her in the morning, at Bethania, that he would keep the
Pasch with her spiritually, and he had named the hour at which she was to betake herself to
prayer, in order to receive it in spirit.
Again he prayed and taught; his words came forth from his lips like fire and light, and
entered into each of the Apostles, with the exception of Judas. He took the paten with the
pieces of bread (I do not know whether he had placed it on the chalice) and said: ‘Take and
eat; this is my Body which is given for you.’ He stretched forth his right hand as if to bless, and,
whilst he did so, a brilliant light came from him, his words were luminous, the bread
entered the mouths of the Apostles as a brilliant substance, and light seemed to penetrate
and surround them all, Judas alone remaining dark. Jesus presented the bread first to Peter,
next to John and then he made a sign to Judas to approach.2 Judas was thus the third who
received the Adorable Sacrament, but the words of our Lord appeared to turn aside from the
mouth of the traitor, and come back to their Divine Author. So perturbed was I in spirit at
this sight, that my feelings cannot be described. Jesus said to him: ‘That which thou dost, do
quickly.’ He then administered the Blessed Sacrament to the other Apostles, who approached
two and two.
Jesus raised the chalice by its two handles to a level with his face, and pronounced the
words of consecration. Whilst doing so, he appeared wholly transfigured, as it were
transparent, and as though entirely passing into what he was going to give his Apostles. He
made Peter and John drink from the chalice which he held in his hand, and then placed it
again on the table. John poured the Divine Blood from the chalice into the smaller glasses,
and Peter presented them to the Apostles, two of whom drank together out of the same cup.
I think, but am not quite certain, that Judas also partook of the chalice; he did not return to
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2 She was not certain that the Blessed Sacrament was administered in that order, for on another occasion she
had seen John the last to receive.
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pg 49 of 199
 
his place, but immediately left the supper-room, and the other Apostles thought that Jesus
had given him some commission to do. He left without praying or making any
thanksgiving, and hence you may perceive how sinful it is to neglect returning thanks either
after receiving our daily food, or after partaking of the Life-Giving Bread of Angels. During
the entire meal, I had seen a frightful little figure, with one foot like a dried bone, remaining
close to Judas, but when he had reached the door, I beheld three devils pressing round him;
one entered into his mouth, the second urged him on, and the third preceded him. It was
night, and they seemed to be lighting him, whilst he hurried onward like a madman.
Our Lord poured a few drops of the Precious Blood remaining in the chalice into the
little vase of which I have already spoken, and then placed his fingers over the chalice, while
Peter and John poured water and wine upon them. This done, he caused them to drink
again from the chalice, and what remained of its contents was poured into the smaller
glasses, and distributed to the other Apostles. Then Jesus wiped the chalice, put into it the
little vase containing the remainder of the Divine Blood, and placed over it the paten with
the fragments of the consecrated bread, after which he again put on the cover, wrapped up
the chalice, and stood it in he midst of the six small cups. I saw the Apostles receive in
communion these remains of the Adorable Sacrament, after the Resurrection.
I do not remember seeing our Lord himself eat and drink of the consecrated elements,
neither did I see Melchisedech, when offering the bread and wine, taste of them himself. It
was made known to me why priests partake of them, although Jesus did not.
Here Sister Emmerich looked suddenly up, and appeared to be listening. Some
explanation was given her on this subject, but the following words were all that she could
repeat to us: ‘If the office of distributing it had been given to angels, they would not have
partaken, but if priests did not partake, the Blessed Eucharist would be lost—it is through
their participation that it is preserved.’
There was an indescribable solemnity and order in all the actions of Jesus during the
institution of the Holy Eucharist, and his every movement was most majestic. I saw the
Apostles noting things down in the little rolls of parchment which they carried on their
persons. Several times during the ceremonies I remarked that they bowed to each other, in
the same way that our priests do.

MEDITATION IX.      pg 50 of 199
Private Instruction and Consecrations.
 
Jesus gave his Apostles some private instructions; he told them how they were to
preserve the Blessed Sacrament in memory of him, even to the end of the world; he taught
them the necessary forms for making use of and communicating it, and in what manner
they were, by degrees, to teach and publish this mystery; finally he told them when they
were to receive what remained of the consecrated Elements, when to give some to the
Blessed Virgin, and how to consecrate, themselves, after he should have sent them the
Divine Comforter. He then spoke concerning the priesthood, the sacred unction, and the
preparation of the Chrism and Holy Oils.3 He had there three boxes, two of which
contained a mixture of oil and balm. He taught them how to make this mixture, what parts
of the body were to be anointed with them, and upon what occasions. I remember, among
other things, that he mentioned a case in which the Holy Eucharist could not be
administered; perhaps what he said had reference to Extreme Unction, for my recollections
on this point are not very clear. He spoke of different kinds of anointing, and in particular of
that of kings, and he said that even wicked kings who were anointed, derived from it
especial powers. He put ointment and oil in the empty box, and mixed them together, but I
cannot say for certain whether it was at this moment, or at the time of the consecration of
the bread, that he blessed the oil.
I then saw Jesus anoint Peter and John, on whose hands he had already poured the water
which had flowed on his own, and two whom he had given to drink out of the chalice. Then
he laid his hands on their shoulders and heads, while they, on their part, joined their hands
and crossed their thumbs, bowing down profoundly before him—I am not sure whether
they did not even kneel. He anointed the thumb and fore-finger of each of their hands, and
marked a cross on their heads with Chrism. He said also that this would remain with them
unto the end of the world.
James the Less, Andrew, James the Greater, and Bartholomew, were also consecrated. I
saw likewise that on Peter’s bosom he crossed a sort of stole worn round the neck, whilst on
the others he simply placed it crosswise, from the right shoulder to the left side. I do not
know whether this was done at the time of the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, or only
for the anointing.
I understood that Jesus communicated to them by this unction something essential and
supernatural, beyond my power to describe. He told them that when they should have
received the Holy Spirit they were to consecrate the bread and wine, and anoint the other
Apostles. It was made known to me then that, on the day of Pentecost, Peter and John
imposed their hands upon the other Apostles, and a week later upon several of the disciples.
After the Resurrection, John gave the Adorable Sacrament for the first time to the Blessed
Virgin. It is a festival no longer kept in the Church on earth, but I see it celebrated in the
Church triumphant. For the first few days after Pentecost I saw only Peter and John
consecrate the Blessed Eucharist, but after that the others also consecrated.
Our Lord next proceeded to bless fire in a brass vessel, and care was taken that it should
not go out, but it was kept near the spot where the Blessed Sacrament gad been deposited, in
one division of the ancient Paschal hearth, and fire was always taken from it when needed
for spiritual purposes.
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3 It was not without surprise that the editor, some years after these things had been related by Sister Emmerich,
read, in the Latin edition of the Roman Catechism (Mayence, Muller), in reference to the Sacrament of
Confirmation, that, according to the tradition of the holy pope Fabian, Jesus taught his Apostles in what
manner they were to prepare the Holy Chrism, after the institution of the Blessed Sacrament. The Pope says
expressly, in the 54th paragraph of his Second Epistle to the Bishops of the East: ‘Our predecessors received
from the Apostles and delivered to us that our Saviour Jesus Christ, after having made the Last Supper with
his Apostles and washed their feet, taught them how to prepare the Holy Chrism.’
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pg 52 of 199
 
All that Jesus did upon this occasion was done in private, and taught equally in private.
The Church has retained all that was essential of these secret instructions, and, under the
inspiration of the Holy Ghost, developed and adapted them to all her requirements.
Whether Peter and John were both consecrated bishops, or Peter alone as bishop and
John as priest, or to what dignity the other four Apostles were raised, I cannot pretend to
say. But the different ways in which our Lord arranged the Apostles’ stoles appear to
indicate different degrees of consecration.
When these holy ceremonies were concluded, the chalice (near which the blessed Chrism
also stood) was re-covered, and the Adorable Sacrament carried by Peter and John into the
back part of the room, which was divided off by a curtain, and from thenceforth became the
Sanctuary. The spot where the Blessed Sacrament was deposited was not very far above the
Paschal stove. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took care of the Sanctuary and of the
supper-room during the absence of the Apostles.
Jesus again instructed his Apostles for a considerable length of time, and also prayed
several times. He frequently appeared to be conversing with his Heavenly Father, and to be
overflowing with enthusiasm and love. The Apostles also were full of joy and zeal, and
asked him various questions which he forthwith answered. The scriptures must contain
much of this last discourse and conversation. He told Peter and John different things to be
made known later to the other Apostles, who in their turn were to communicate them to the
disciples and holy women, according to the capacity of each for such knowledge. He had a
private conversation with John, whom he told that his life would be longer than the lives of
the others. He spoke to him also concerning seven Churches, some crowns and angels, and
instructed him in the meaning of certain mysterious figures, which signified, to the best of
my belief, different epochs. The other Apostles were slightly jealous of this confidential
communication being made to John.
Jesus spoke also of the traitor. ‘Now he is doing this or that,’ he said, and I, in fact, saw
Judas doing exactly as he said of him. As Peter was vehemently protesting that he would
always remain faithful, our Lord said to him: ‘Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have
you that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not: and thou being
once converted, confirm thy brethren.’
Again, our Lord, said, that whither he was going they could not follow him, when Peter
exclaimed: ‘Lord, I am ready to go with thee both into prison and to death.’ And Jesus replied:
‘Amen, amen, I say to thee, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.’
Jesus, while making known to his Apostles that trying times were at hand for them, said:
‘When I sent you without purse, or scrip, or shoes, did you want anything?’ They answered:
‘Nothing.’ ‘But now,’ he continued, ‘he that hath a purse let him take it, and likewise a scrip, and he
that hath not, let him sell his coat and buy a sword. For I say to you, that this that is written must yet
be fulfilled in me: AND WITH THE WICKED WAS HE RECKONED. For the things
concerning me have an end.’ The Apostles only understood his words in a carnal sense, and
Peter showed him two swords, which were short and thick, like cleavers. Jesus said: ‘It is
enough: let us go hence.’ Then they sang the thanksgiving hymn, put the table on one side,
and went into the vestibule.
There, Jesus found his Mother, Mary of Cleophas, and Magdalen, who earnestly
besought him not to go to Mount Olivet, for a report has spread that his enemies were
seeking to lay hands on him. But Jesus comforted them in few words, and hastened
onward—it being then about nine o’clock. They went down the road by which Peter and
John had come to the supper-room, and directed their steps towards Mount Olivet.
I have always seen the Pasch and the institution of the Blessed Sacrament take place in
the order related above. But my feelings were each time so strongly excited and my emotion
so great, that I could not give much attention to all the details, but now I have seen them
more distinctly. No words can describe how painful and exhausting is such a sight as that of
beholding the hidden recesses of hearts, the love and constancy of our Saviour, and to know
at the same time all that is going to befall him. How would it be possible to observe all that
is merely external! The heart is overflowing with admiration, gratitude, and love—the
blindness of men seems perfectly incomprehensible—and the soul is overwhelmed with
sorrow at the thought of the ingratitude of the whole world, and of her own sins!
The eating of the Paschal Lamb was performed by Jesus rapidly, and in entire conformity
with all the legal ordinances. The Pharisees were in the habit of adding some minute and
superstitious ceremonies.

(pg 53 of 199)
                                                    THE PASSION.

“If thou knowest not how to meditate on high and heavenly things, rest on the Passion of Christ, and
willingly dwell in his sacred wounds. For, if thou fly devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmas of Jesus,
thou shalt feel great comfort in tribulation.” —Imitation of Christ, book 2, chapter 1.
                                                     
 
                                                        INTRODUCTION
 
On the evening of the 18th of February, 1823, a friend of Sister Emmerich went up to the
bed, where she was lying apparently asleep; and being much struck by the beautiful and
mournful expression of her countenance, felt himself inwardly inspired to raise his heart
fervently to God, and offer the Passion of Christ to the Eternal Father, in union with the
sufferings of all those who have carried their cross after him. While making this short
prayer, he chanced to fix his eyes for a moment upon the stigmatised hands of Sister
Emmerich. She immediately hid them under the counterpane, starting as if someone had
given her a blow. He felt surprised at this, and asked her, ‘What has happened to you?’
‘Many things,’ she answered in an expressive tone. Whilst he was considering what her
meaning could be, she appeared to be asleep. At the end of about a quarter of an hour, she
suddenly started up with all the eagerness of a person having a violent struggle with another,
stretched out both her arms, clenching her hand, as if to repel an enemy standing on the left
side of her bed, and exclaimed in an indignant voice: ‘What do you mean by this contract of
Magdalum?’ Then she continued to speak with the warmth of a person who is being
questioned during a quarrel—‘Yes, it is that accursed spirit—the liar from the beginning—
Satan, who is reproaching him about the Magdalum contract, and other things of the same
nature, and says that he spent all that money upon himself.’ When asked, ‘Who has spent
money? Who is being spoken to in that way?’ she replied, ‘Jesus, my adorable Spouse, on
Mount Olivet.’ Then she again turned to the left, with menacing gestures, and exclaimed,
‘What meanest thou, O father of lies, with thy Magdalum contract? Did he not deliver
twenty-seven poor prisoners at Thirza, with the money derived from the sale of Magdalum?
I saw him, and thou darest to say that he has brought confusion into the whole estate,
driven out its inhabitants, and squandered the money for which it was sold? But thy time is
come, accursed spirit! Thou wilt be chained, and his heel will crush thy head.’
Here she was interrupted by the entrance of another person; her friends thought that she
was in delirium, and pitied her. The following morning she owned that the previous night
she had imagined herself to be following our Saviour to the Garden of Olives, after the
institution of the Blessed Eucharist, but that just at that moment someone having looked at
the stigmas on her hands with a degree of veneration, she felt so horrified at this being done
in the presence of our Lord, that she hastily hid them, with a feeling of pain. She then
related her vision of what took place in the Garden of Olives, and as she continued her
narrations the following days, the friend who was listening to her was enabled to connect
the different scenes of the Passion together. But as, during Lent, she was also celebrating the
combats of our Lord with Satan in the desert, she had to endure in her own person many
sufferings and temptations. Hence there were a few pauses in the history of the Passion,
which were, however, easily filled up by means of some later communications.
She usually spoke in common German, but when in a state of ecstasy, her language
became much purer, and her narrations partook at once of child-like simplicity and dignified
inspiration. Her friend wrote down all that she had said, directly he returned to his own
apartments; for it was seldom that he could so much as even take notes in her presence. The
Giver of all good gifts bestowed upon him memory, zeal, and strength to bear much trouble
and fatigue, so that he has been enabled to bring this work to a conclusion. His conscience
tells him that he has done his best, and he humbly begs the reader, if satisfied with the result
of his labours, to bestow upon him the alms of an occasional prayer.
 
CHAPTER I.      pg 54 of 199
Jesus in the Garden of Olives.
 
When Jesus left the supper-room with the eleven Apostles, after the institution of the
Adorable Sacrament of the Altar, his soul was deeply oppressed and his sorrow on the
increase. He led the eleven, by an unfrequented path, to the Valley of Josaphat. As they left
the house, I saw the moon, which was not yet quite at the full, rising in front of the
mountain.
Our Divine Lord; as he wandered with his Apostles about the valley, told them that here
he should one day return to judge the world, but not in a state of poverty and humiliation,
as he then was, and that men would tremble with fear, and cry: ‘Mountains, fall upon us!’ His
disciples did not understand him, and thought, by no means for the first time that night, that
weakness and exhaustion had affected his brain. He said to them again: ‘All you shall be
scandalised in me this night. For it is written: I WILL STRIKE THE SHEPHERD, AND THE
SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE DISPERSED. But after I shall be risen again, I will go
before you into Galilee.’
The Apostles were still in some degree animated by the spirit of enthusiasm and devotion
with which their reception of the Blessed Sacrament and the solemn and affecting words of
Jesus had inspired them. They eagerly crowded round him, and expressed their love in a
thousand different ways, earnestly protesting that they would never abandon him. But as
Jesus continued to talk in the same strain, Peter exclaimed: ‘Although all shall be scandalised in
thee, I will never be scandalised!’ and our Lord answered him: ‘Amen, I say to thee, that in this
night, before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice.’ But Peter still insisted, saying: ‘Yea, though I
should die with thee, I will not deny thee.’ And the others all said the same. They walked
onward and stopped, by turns, for the sadness of our Divine Lord continued to increase.
The Apostles tried to comfort him by human arguments, assuring him that what he foresaw
would not come to pass. They tired themselves in these vain efforts, began to doubt, and
were assailed by temptation.
They crossed the brook Cedron, not by the bridge where, a few hours later, Jesus was
taken prisoner, but by another, for they had left the direct road. Gethsemani, whither they
were going, was about a mile and a half distant from the supper-hall, for it was three
quarters of a mile from the supper-hall to the Valley of Josaphat, and about as far from
thence to Gethsemani. The place called Gethsemani (where latterly Jesus had several times
passed the night with his disciples) was a large garden, surrounded by a hedge, and
containing only some fruit trees and flowers, while outside there stood a few deserted
unclosed buildings.
The Apostles and several others persons had keys of this garden, which was used
sometimes as a pleasure ground, and sometimes as a place of retirement for prayer. Some
arbours made of leaves and branches had been raised there, and eight of the Apostles
remained in them, and were later joined by others of the disciples. The Garden of Olives
was separated by a road from that of Gethsemani, and was open, surrounded only by an
earthern wall, and smaller than the Garden of Gethsemani. There were caverns, terraces,
and many olive-trees to be seen in this garden, and it was easy to find there a suitable spot
for prayer and meditation. It was to the wildest part that Jesus went to pray.
It was about nine o’clock when Jesus reached Gethsemani with his disciples. The moon
had risen, and already gave light in the sky, although the earth was still dark. Jesus was
most sorrowful, and told his Apostles that danger was at hand. The disciples felt uneasy,
and he told eight of those who were following him, to remain in the Garden of Gethsemani
whilst he went on to pray. He took with him Peter, James, and John, and going on a little
further, entered into the Garden of Olives. No words can describe the sorrow which then
oppressed his soul, for the time of trial was near. John asked him how it was that he, who
had hitherto always consoled them, would now be so dejected? ‘My soul is sorrowful even unto
death,’ was his reply. And he beheld sufferings and temptations surrounding him on all
sides, and drawing nearer and nearer, under the forms of frightful figures borne on clouds.
Then it was that he said to the three Apostles: ‘Stay you here and watch with me. Pray, lest ye
enter into temptation.’ Jesus went a few steps to the left, down a hill, and concealed himself
beneath a rock, in a grotto about six feet deep, while the Apostles remained in a species of
hollow above. The earth sank gradually the further you entered this grotto, and the plants
which were hanging from the rock screened its interior like a curtain from persons outside.
When Jesus left his disciples, I saw a number of frightful figures surrounding him in an
ever-narrowing circle.
His sorrow and anguish of soul continued to increase, and he was trembling all over
when he entered the grotto to pray, like a wayworn traveller hurriedly seeking shelter from a
sudden storm, but the awful visions pursued him even there, and became more and more
clear and distinct. Alas! this small cavern appeared to contain the awful picture of all the
sins which had been or were to be committed from the fall of Adam to the end of the world,
and of the punishment which they deserved. It was here, on Mount Olivet, that Adam and
Eve took refuge when drive out of Paradise to wander homeless on earth, and they had wept
and bewailed themselves in this very grotto.
I felt that Jesus, in delivering himself up to Divine Justice in satisfaction for the sins of
the world, caused his divinity to return, in some sort, into the bosom of the Holy Trinity,
concentrated himself, so to speak, in his pure, loving and innocent humanity, and strong
only in his ineffable love, gave it up to anguish and suffering.
He fell on his face, overwhelmed with unspeakable sorrow, and all the sins of the world
displayed themselves before him, under countless forms and in all their real deformity. He
took them all upon himself, and in his prayer offered his own adorable Person to the justice
of his Heavenly Father, in payment for so awful a debt. But Satan, who was enthroned amid
all these horrors, and even filled with diabolical joy at the sight of them, let loose his fury
against Jesus, and displayed before the eyes of his soul increasingly awful visions, at the
same time addressing his adorable humanity in words such as these: ‘Takest thou even this
sin upon thyself? Art thou willing to bear its penalty? Art thou prepared to satisfy for all
these sins?’
And now a long ray of light, like a luminous path in the air descended from Heaven; it
was a procession of angels who came up to Jesus and strengthened and re-invigorated him.
The remainder of the grotto was filled with frightful visions of our crimes; Jesus took them
all upon himself, but that adorable Heart, which was so filled with the most perfect love for
God and man, was flooded with anguish, and overwhelmed beneath the weight of so many
abominable crimes. When this huge mass of iniquities, like the waves of a fathomless ocean,
has passed over his soul, Satan brought forward innumerable temptations, as he had
formerly done in the desert, even daring to adduce various accusations against him. ‘And
takest thou all these things upon thyself,’ he exclaimed, ‘thou who art not unspotted
thyself?’ then he laid to the charge of our Lord, with infernal impudence, a host of
imaginary crimes. He reproached him with the faults of his disciples, the scandals which
they had caused, and the disturbances which he had occasioned in the world by giving up
ancient customs. No Pharisee, however wily and severe, could have surpassed Satan on this
occasion; he reproached Jesus with having been the cause of the massacre of the Innocents,
as well as of the sufferings of his parents in Egypt, with not having saved John the Baptist
from death, with having brought disunion into families, protected men of despicable
character, refused to cure various sick persons, injured the inhabitants of Gergesa by
permitting men possessed by the devil to overturn their vats,4 and demons to make swine
cast themselves into the sea; with having deserted his family, and squandered the property
of others; in one word Satan, in the hopes of causing Jesus to waver, suggested to him every
thought by which he would have tempted at the hour of death an ordinary mortal who
might have performed all these actions without a superhuman intention; for it was hidden
from him that Jesus was the Son of God, and he tempted him only as the most just of men.
Our Divine Saviour permitted his humanity thus to preponderate over his divinity, for he
was pleased to endure even those temptations with which holy souls are assailed at the hour
of death concerning the merit of their good works. That he might drink the chalice of
suffering even to the dregs, he permitted the evil spirit to tempt his sacred humanity, as he
would have tempted a man who should wish to attribute to his good works some special
value in themselves, over and above what they might have by their union with the merits of
our Saviour. There was not an action out of which he did not contrive to frame some
accusation, and he reproached Jesus, among other things, with having spent the price of the
property of Mary Magdalen at Magdalum, which he had received from Lazarus.
Among the sins of the world which Jesus took upon himself, I saw also my own; and a
stream, in which I distinctly beheld each of my faults, appeared to flow towards me from
out of the temptations with which he was encircled. During this time my eyes were fixed
upon my Heavenly Spouse; with him I wept and prayed, and with him I turned towards the
consoling angels. Ah, truly did our dear Lord writhe like a worm beneath the weight of his
anguish and sufferings!
Whilst Satan was pouring forth his accusations against Jesus, it was with difficulty that I
could restrain my indignation, but when he spoke of the sale of Magdalen’s property, I
could no longer keep silence, and exclaimed: ‘How canst thou reproach him with the sale of
this property as with a crime? Did I not myself see our Lord spend the sum which was given
him by Lazarus in works of mercy, and deliver twenty-eight debtors imprisoned at Thirza?’
At first Jesus looked calm, as he kneeled down and prayed, but after a time his soul
became terrified at the sight of the innumerable crimes of men, and of their ingratitude
towards God, and his anguish was so great that the trembled and shuddered as he
exclaimed: ‘Father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass from me! Father, all things are possible to thee,
remove this chalice from me!’ But the next moment he added: ‘Nevertheless, not my will but thine
be done.’ His will and that of his Father were one, but now that his love had ordained that he
should be left to all the weakness of his human nature, he trembled at the prospect of death.
I saw the cavern in which he was kneeling filled with frightful figures; I saw all the sins,
wickedness, vices, and ingratitude of mankind torturing and crushing him to the earth; the
horror of death and terror which he felt as man at the sight of the expiatory sufferings about
to come upon him, surrounded and assailed his Divine Person under the forms of hideous
spectres. He fell from side to side, clasping his hands; his body was covered with a cold
sweat, and he trembled and shuddered. He then arose, but his knees were shaking and
apparently scarcely able to support him; his countenance was pale, and quite altered in
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4 On the 11th of December 1812, in her visions of the public life of Jesus, she saw our Lord permit the devils
whom he had expelled from the men of Gergesa to enter into a herd of swine, she also saw, on this particular
occasion that the possessed men first overturned a large vat filled with some fermented liquid.
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pg 58 of 199
 
appearance, his lips white, and his hair standing on end. It was about half-past ten o’clock
when he arose from his knees, and, bathed in a cold sweat, directed his trembling, weak
footsteps towards his three Apostles. With difficulty did he ascend the left side of the cavern,
and reach a spot where the ground was level, and where they were sleeping, exhausted with
fatigue, sorrow and anxiety. He came to them, like a man overwhelmed with bitter sorrow,
whom terror urges to seek his friends, but like also to a good shepherd, who, when warned
of the approach of danger, hastens to visit his flock, the safety of which is threatened; for he
well knew that they also were being tried by suffering and temptation. The terrible visions
never left him, even while he was thus seeking his disciples. When he found that they were
asleep, he clasped his hands and fell down on his knees beside them, overcome with sorrow
and anxiety, and said: ’Simon, sleepest thou?’ They awoke, and raised him up, and he, in his
desolation of spirit, said to them: ‘What? Could you not watch one hour with me?’ When they
looked at him, and saw him pale and exhausted, scarcely able to support himself, bathed in
sweat, trembling and shuddering,—when they heard how changed and almost inaudible his
voice had become, they did not know what to think, and had he not been still surrounded by
a well-known halo of light, they would never have recognised him as Jesus. John said to
him: ‘Master, what has befallen thee? Must I call the other disciples? Ought we to take to
flight?’ Jesus answered him: ‘Were I to live, teach, and perform miracles for thirty-three
years longer, that would not suffice for the accomplishment of what must be fulfilled before
this time tomorrow. Call not the eight; I did not bring them hither, because they could not
see me thus agonising without being scandalised; they would yield to temptation, forget
much of the past, and lose their confidence in me. But you, who have seen the Son of Man
transfigured, may also see him under a cloud, and in dereliction of spirit; nevertheless, watch
and pray, lest ye fall into temptation, for the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’
By these words he sought at once to encourage them to persevere, and to make known to
them the combat which his human nature was sustaining against death, together with the
cause of his weakness. In his overwhelming sorrow, he remained with them nearly a quarter
of an hour, and spoke to them again. He then returned to the grotto, his mental sufferings
being still on the increase, while his disciples, on their part, stretched forth their hands
towards him, wept, and embraced each other, asking, ‘What can it be? What is happening
to him? He appears to be in a state of complete desolation.’ After this, they covered their
heads, and began to pray, sorrowfully and anxiously.
About an hour and a half had passed since Jesus entered the Garden of Olives. It is true
that Scripture tells us he said, ‘Could you not watch one hour with me?’ but his words should not
be taken literally, nor according to our way of counting time. The three Apostles who were
with Jesus had prayed at first, but then they had fallen asleep, for temptation had come
upon them by reason of their want of trust in God. The other eight, who had remained
outside the garden, did not sleep, for our Lord’s last words, so expressive of suffering and
sadness, had filled their hearts with sinister forebodings, and they wandered about Mount
Olivet, trying to find some place of refuge in case of danger.
The town of Jerusalem was very quiet; the Jews were in their houses, engaged in
preparing for the feast, but I saw, here and there, some of the friends and disciples of Jesus
walking to and fro, with anxious countenances, conversing earnestly together, and evidently
expecting some great event. The Mother of our Lord, Magdalen, Martha, Mary of
Cleophas, Mary Salome, and Salome had gone from the supper-hall to the house of Mary,
the mother of Mark. Mary was alarmed at the reports which were spreading, and wished to
return to the town with her friends, in order to hear something of Jesus. Lazarus,
Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and some relations from Hebron, came to see and
endeavour to tranquillise her, for as they were aware, either from their own knowledge or
from what the disciples had told them, of the mournful predictions which Jesus had made in
the supper-room, they had made inquiries of some Pharisees of their acquaintance, and had
not been able to hear that any conspiracy was on foot for the time against our Lord. Being
utterly ignorant of the treason of Judas, they assured Mary that the danger could not yet be
very great, and that the enemies of Jesus would not make any attempt upon his person, at
least until the festival was over. Mary told them how restless and disturbed in mind Judas
had latterly appeared, and how abruptly he had left the supper-room. She felt no doubt of
his having gone to betray our Lord, for she had often warned him that he was a son of
perdition. The holy women then returned to the house of Mary, the mother of Mark
When Jesus, unrelieved of all the weight of his sufferings, returned to the grotto, he fell
prostrate, with his face on the ground and his arms extended, and prayed to his Eternal
Father; but his soul had to sustain a second interior combat, which lasted three-quarters of
an hour. Angels came and showed him, in a series of visions, all the sufferings that he was
to endure in order to expiate sin; how great was the beauty of man, the image of God,
before the fall, and how that beauty was changed and obliterated when sin entered the
world. He beheld how all sins originated in that of Adam, the signification and essence of
concupiscence, its terrible effect on the powers of the soul, and likewise the signification and
essence of all the sufferings entailed by concupiscence. They showed him the satisfaction
which he would have to offer to Divine Justice, and how it would consist of a degree of
suffering in his soul and body which would comprehend all the sufferings due to the
concupiscence of all mankind, since the debt of the whole human race had to be paid by that
humanity which alone was sinless—the humanity of the Son of God. The angels showed
him all these things under different forms, and I felt what they were saying, although I heard
no voice. No tongue can describe what anguish and what horror overwhelmed the soul of
Jesus at the sight of so terrible an expiation—his sufferings were so great, indeed, that a
bloody sweat issued forth from all the pores of this sacred body.
Whilst the adorable humanity of Christ was thus crushed to the earth beneath this awful
weight of suffering, the angels appeared filled with compassion; there was a pause, and I
perceived that they were earnestly desiring to console him, and praying to that effect before
the throne of God. For one instant there appeared to be, as it were, a struggle between the
mercy and justice of God and that love which was sacrificing itself. I was permitted to see
an image of God, not, as before, seated on a throne, but under a luminous form. I beheld
the divine nature of the Son in the Person of the Father, and, as it were, withdrawn in his
bosom; the Person of the Holy Ghost proceeded from the Father and the Son, it was, so to
speak, between them, and yet the whole formed only one God—but these things are
indescribable.
All this was more an inward perception than a vision under distinct forms, and it
appeared to me that the Divine Will of our Lord withdrew in some sort into the Eternal
Father, in order to permit all those sufferings which his human will besought his Father to
spare him, to weigh upon his humanity alone. I saw this at the time when the angels, filled
with compassion, were desiring to console Jesus, who, in fact, was slightly relieved at that
moment. Then all disappeared, and the angels retired from our Lord, whose soul was about
to sustain fresh assaults.
When our Redeemer, on Mount Olivet, was pleased to experience and overcome that
violent repugnance of human nature to suffering and death which constitutes a portion of all
sufferings, the tempter was permitted to do to him what he does to all men who desire to
sacrifice themselves in a holy cause. In the first portion of the agony, Satan displayed before
the eyes of our Lord the enormity of that debt of sin which he was going to pay, and was
even bold and malicious enough to seek faults in the very works of our Saviour himself. In
the second agony, Jesus beheld, to its fullest extent and in all its bitterness, the expiatory
suffering which would be required to satisfy Divine Justice. This was displayed to him by
angels; for it belongs not to Satan to show that expiation is possible, and the father of lies
and despair never exhibits the works of Divine Mercy before men. Jesus having victoriously
resisted all these assaults by his entire and absolute submission to the will of his Heavenly
Father, a succession of new and terrifying visions were presented before his eyes, and that
feeling of doubt and anxiety which a man on the point of making some great sacrifice
always experiences, arose in the soul of our Lord, as he asked himself the tremendous
question: ‘And what good will result from this sacrifice?’ Then a most awful picture of the
future was displayed before his eyes and overwhelmed his tender heart with anguish.
When God had created the first Adam, he cast a deep sleep upon him, opened his side,
and took one of his ribs, of which he made Eve, his wife and the mother of all the living.
Then he brought her to Adam, who exclaimed: ‘This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my
flesh… Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be
two in one flesh.’ That was the marriage of which it is written: ‘This is a great Sacrament. I speak
in Christ and in the Church.’ Jesus Christ, the second Adam, was pleased also to let sleep
come upon him—the sleep of death on the cross, and he was also pleased to let his side be
opened, in order that the second Eve, his virgin Spouse, the Church, the mother of all the
living, might be formed from it. It was his will to give her the blood of redemption, the
water of purification, and his spirit—the three which render testimony on earth—and to
bestow upon her also the holy Sacraments, in order that she might be pure, holy, and
undefiled; he was to be her head, and we were to be her members, under submission to the
head, the bone of his bones, and the flesh of his flesh. In taking human nature, that he might
suffer death for us, he had also left his Eternal Father, to cleave to his Spouse, the Church,
and he became one flesh with her, by feeding her with the Adorable Sacrament of the Altar,
in which he unites himself unceasingly with us. He had been pleased to remain on earth
with his Church, until we shall all be united together by him within her fold, and he has
said: ‘The gates of hell shall never prevail against her.’ To satisfy his unspeakable love for sinners,
our Lord had become man and a brother of these same sinners, that so he might take upon
himself the punishment due to all their crimes. He had contemplated with deep sorrow the
greatness of this debt and the unspeakable sufferings by which it was to be acquitted. Yet he
had most joyfully given himself up to the will of his Heavenly Father as a victim of
expiation. Now, however, he beheld all the future sufferings, combats, and wounds of his
heavenly Spouse; in one word, he beheld the ingratitude of men.
The soul of Jesus beheld all the future sufferings of his Apostles, disciples, and friends;
after which he saw the primitive Church, numbering but few souls in her fold at first, and
then in proportion as her numbers increased, disturbed by heresies and schisms breaking out
among her children, who repeated the sin of Adam by pride and disobedience. He saw the
tepidity, malice and corruption of an infinite number of Christians, the lies and deceptions
of proud teachers, all the sacrileges of wicked priests, the fatal consequences of each sin, and
the abomination of desolation in the kingdom of God, in the sanctuary of those ungrateful
human beings whom he was about to redeem with his blood at the cost of unspeakable
sufferings.
The scandals of all ages, down to the present day and even to the end of the world—
every species of error, deception, mad fanaticism, obstinacy and malice—were displayed
before his eyes, and he beheld, as it were floating before him, all the apostates, heresiarchs,
and pretended reformers, who deceive men by an appearance of sanctity. The corrupters
and the corrupted of all ages outraged and tormented him for not having been crucified after
their fashion, or for not having suffered precisely as they settled or imagined he should have
done. They vied with each other in tearing the seamless robe of his Church; many illtreated,
insulted, and denied him, and many turned contemptuously away, shaking their
heads at him, avoiding his compassionate embrace, and hurrying on to the abyss where they
were finally swallowed up. He saw countless numbers of other men who did not dare
openly to deny him, but who passed on in disgust at the sight of the wounds of his Church,
as the Levite passed by the poor man who had fallen among robbers. Like unto cowardly
and faithless children, who desert their mother in the middle of the night, at the sight of the
thieves and robbers to whom their negligence or their malice has opened the door, they fled
from his wounded Spouse. He beheld all these men, sometimes separated from the True
Vine, and taking their rest amid the wild fruit trees, sometimes like lost sheep, left to the
mercy of the wolves, led by base hirelings into bad pasturages, and refusing to enter the fold
of the Good Shepherd who gave his life for his sheep. They were wandering homeless in the
desert in the midst of the sand blown about by the wind, and were obstinately determined
not to see his City placed upon a hill, which could not be hidden, the House of his Spouse,
his Church built upon a rock, and with which he had promised to remain to the end of ages.
They built upon the sand wretched tenements, which they were continually pulling down
and rebuilding, but in which there was neither altar nor sacrifice; they had weathercocks on
their roofs, and their doctrines changed with the wind, consequently they were for ever in
opposition one with the other. They never could come to a mutual understanding, and were
forever unsettled, often destroying their own dwellings and hurling the fragments against the
Corner-Stone of the Church, which always remained unshaken.
As there was nothing but darkness in the dwelling of these men, many among them,
instead of directing their steps towards the Candle placed on the Candlestick in the House of
the Spouse of Christ, wandered with closed eyes around the gardens of the Church,
sustaining life only by inhaling the sweet odours which were diffused from them far and
near, stretching forth their hands towards shadowy idols, and following wandering stars
which led them to wells where there was no water. Even when on the very brink of the
precipice, they refused to listen to the voice of the Spouse calling them, and, though dying
with hunger, derided, insulted, and mocked at those servants and messengers who were sent
to invite them to the Nuptial Feast. They obstinately refused to enter the garden, because
they feared the thorns of the hedge, although they had neither wheat with which to satisfy
their hunger nor wine to quench their thirst, but were simply intoxicated with pride and selfesteem,
and being blinded by their own false lights, persisted in asserting that the Church of
the Word made flesh was invisible. Jesus beheld them all, he wept over them, and was
pleased to suffer for all those who do not see him and who will not carry their crosses after
him in his City built upon a hill—his Church founded upon a rock, to which he has given
himself in the Holy Eucharist, and against which the gates of Hell will never prevail.
Bearing a prominent place in these mournful visions which were beheld by the soul of
Jesus, I saw Satan, who dragged away and strangled a multitude of men redeemed by the
blood of Christ and sanctified by the unction of his Sacrament. Our Divine Saviour beheld
with bitterest anguish the ingratitude and corruption of the Christians of the first and of all
succeeding ages, even to the end of the world, and during the whole of this time the voice of
the tempter was incessantly repeating: ‘Canst thou resolve to suffer for such ungrateful
reprobates?’ while the various apparitions succeeded each other with intense rapidity, and so
violently weighed down and crushed the soul of Jesus, that his sacred humanity was
overwhelmed with unspeakable anguish. Jesus—the Anointed of the Lord—the Son of Man
struggled and writhed as he fell on his knees, with clasped hands, as it were annihilated
beneath the weight of his suffering. So violent was the struggle which then took place
between his human will and his repugnance to suffer so much for such an ungrateful race,
that from every pore of his sacred body there burst forth large drops of blood, which fell
trickling on to the ground. In his bitter agony, he looked around, as though seeking help,
and appeared to take Heaven, earth, and the stars of the firmament to witness of his
sufferings.
Jesus, in his anguish of spirit, raised his voice, and gave utterance to several cries of pain.
The three Apostles awoke, listened, and were desirous of approaching him, but Peter
detained James and John, saying: ‘Stay you here; I will join him.’ Then I saw Peter hastily
run forward and enter the grotto. ‘Master,’ he exclaimed, ‘what has befallen thee?’ But at
the sight of Jesus, thus bathed in his own blood, and sinking to the ground beneath the
weight of mortal fear and anguish, he drew back, and paused for a moment, overcome with
terror. Jesus made him no answer, and appeared unconscious of his presence. Peter returned
to the other two, and told them that the Lord had not answered him except by groans and
sighs. They became more and more sorrowful after this, covered their heads, and sat down
to weep and pray.
I then returned to my Heavenly Spouse in his most bitter agony. The frightful visions of
the future ingratitude of the men whose debt to Divine Justice he was taking upon himself,
continued to become more and more vivid and tremendous. Several times I heard him
exclaim: ‘O my Father, can I possibly suffer for so ungrateful a race? O my Father, if this
chalice may not pass from me, but I must drink it, thy will be done!’
Amid all these apparitions, Satan held a conspicuous place, under various forms, which
represented different species of sins. Sometimes he appeared under the form of a gigantic
black figure, sometimes under those of a tiger, a fox, a wolf, a dragon, or a serpent. Not,
however, that he really took any of these shapes, but merely some one of their
characteristics, joined with other hideous forms. None of these frightful apparitions entirely
resembled any creature, but were symbols of abomination, discord, contradiction, and sin—
in one word, were demoniacal to the fullest extent. These diabolical figures urged on,
dragged, and tore to pieces, before the very eyes of Jesus, countless numbers of those men
for whose redemption he was entering upon the painful way of the Cross. At first I but
seldom saw the serpent: soon, however, it made its appearance, with a crown upon its head.
This odious reptile was of gigantic size, apparently possessed of unbounded strength, and
led forward countless legions of the enemies of Jesus in every age and of every nation. Being
armed with all kinds of destructive weapons, they sometimes tore one another in pieces, and
then renewed their attacks upon our Saviour with redoubled rage. It was indeed an awful
sight; for they heaped upon him the most fearful outrages, cursing, striking, wounding, and
tearing him in pieces. Their weapons, swords, and spears flew about in the air, crossing and
recrossing continually in all directions, like the flails of threshers in an immense barn; and
the rage of each of these fiends seemed exclusively directed against Jesus—that grain of
heavenly wheat descended to the earth to die there, in order to feed men eternally with the
Bread of Life.
Thus exposed to the fury of these hellish bands, some of which appeared to me wholly
composed of blind men, Jesus was as much wounded and bruised as if their blows had been
real. I saw him stagger from side to side, sometimes raising himself up, and sometimes
falling again, while the serpent, in the midst of the crowds whom it was unceasingly leading
forward against Jesus, struck the ground with its tail, and tore to pieces or swallowed all
whom it thus knocked to the ground.
It was made known to me that these apparitions were all those persons who in divers
ways insult and outrage Jesus, really and truly present in the Holy Sacrament. I recognised
among them all those who in any way profane the Blessed Eucharist. I beheld with horror
all the outrages thus offered to our Lord, whether by neglect, irreverence, and omission of
what was due to him; by open contempt, abuse, and the most awful sacrileges; by the
worship of worldly idols; by spiritual darkness and false knowledge; or, finally, by error,
incredulity, fanaticism, hatred, and open persecution. Among these men I saw many who
were blind, paralysed, deaf, and dumb, and even children;—blind men who would not see
the truth; paralytic men who would not advance, according to its directions, on the road
leading to eternal live; deaf men who refused to listen to its warnings and threats; dumb
men who would never use their voices in its defence; and, finally, children who were led
astray by following parents and teachers filled with the love of the world and forgetfulness of
God, who were fed on earthly luxuries, drunk with false wisdom, and loathing all that
pertained to religion. Among the latter, the sight of whom grieved me especially, because
Jesus so loved children, I saw many irreverent, ill-behaved acolytes, who did not honour our
Lord in the holy ceremonies in which they took a part. I beheld with terror that many
priests, some of whom even fancied themselves full of faith and piety, also outraged Jesus in
the Adorable Sacrament. I saw many who believed and taught the doctrine of the Real
Presence, but did not sufficiently take it to heart, for they forgot and neglected the palace,
throne, and seat of the Living God, that is to say, the church, the altar, the tabernacle, the
chalice, the monstrance, the vases and ornaments; in one word, all that is used in his
worship, or to adorn his house.
Entire neglect reigned everywhere, all things were left to moulder away in dust and filth,
and the worship of God was, if not inwardly profaned, at least outwardly dishonoured. Nor
did this arise from real poverty, but from indifference, sloth, preoccupation of mind about
vain earthly concerns, and often also from egotism and spiritual death; for I saw neglect of
this kind in churches the pastors and congregations of which were rich, or at east tolerably
well off. I saw many others in which worldly, tasteless, unsuitable ornaments had replaced
the magnificent adornments of a more pious age.
I saw that often the poorest of men were better lodged in their cottages than the Master of
heaven and earth in his churches. Ah, how deeply did the inhospitality of men grieve Jesus,
who had given himself to them to be their Food! Truly, there is no need to be rich in order
to receive him who rewards a hundredfold the glass of cold water given to the thirsty; but
how shameful is not our conduct when in giving drink to the Divine Lord, who thirst for
our souls, we give him corrupted water in a filthy glass! In consequence of all this neglect, I
saw the weak scandalised, the Adorable Sacrament profaned, the churches deserted, and the
priests despised. This state of impurity and negligence extended even to the souls of the
faithful, who left the tabernacle of their hearts unprepared and uncleansed when Jesus was
about to enter them, exactly the same as they left his tabernacle on the altar.
Were I to speak for an entire year, I would never detail all the insults offered to Jesus in
the Adorable Sacrament which were made known to me in this way. I saw their authors
assault Jesus in bands, and strike him with different arms, corresponding to their various
offences. I saw irreverent Christians of all ages, careless or sacrilegious priests, crowds of
tepid and unworthy communicants, wicked soldiers profaning the sacred vessels, and
servants of the devil making use of the Holy Eucharist in the frightful mysteries of hellish
worship. Among these bands I saw a great number of theologians, who had been drawn into
heresy by their sins, attacking Jesus in the Holy Sacrament of his Church, and snatching out
of his Heart, by their seductive words and promises, a number of souls for whom he had
shed his blood. Ah! it was indeed an awful sight, for I saw the Church as the body of Christ;
and all these bands of men, who were separating themselves from the Church, mangled and
tore off whole pieces of his living flesh. Alas! he looked at them in the most touching
manner, and lamented that they should thus cause their own eternal loss. He had given his
own divine Self to us for our Food in the Holy Sacrament, in order to unite in one body—
that of the Church, his Spouse—men who were to an infinite extent divided and separated
from each other; and now he beheld himself torn and rent in twain in that very body; for his
principal work of love, the Holy Communion, in which men should have been made wholly
one, was become, by the malice of false teachers, the subject of separation. I beheld whole
nations thus snatched out of his bosom, and deprived of any participation in the treasure of
graces left to the Church. Finally, I saw all who were separated from the Church plunged
into the depths of infidelity, superstition, heresy, and false worldly philosophy; and they
gave vent to their fierce rage by joining together in large bodies to attack the Church, being
urged on by the serpent which was disporting itself in the midst of them. Alas! it was as
though Jesus himself had been torn in a thousand pieces!
So great was my horror and terror, that my Heavenly Spouse appeared to me, and
mercifully placed his hand upon my heart, saying: ‘No one has yet seen all these things, and
thy heart would burst with sorrow if I did not give thee strength.’
I saw the blood flowing in large drops down the pale face of our Saviour, his hair matted
together, and his beard bloody and entangled. After the vision which I have last described,
he fled, so to speak, out of the cave, and returned to his disciples. But he tottered as he
walked; his appearance was that of a man covered with wounds and bending beneath a
heavy burden, and he stumbled at every step.
When he came up to the three Apostles, they were not lying down asleep as they had
been the first time, but their heads were covered, and they had sunk down on their knees, in
an attitude often assumed by the people of that country when in sorrow or desiring to pray.
They had fallen asleep, overpowered by grief and fatigue. Jesus, trembling and groaning,
drew nigh to them, and they awoke.
But when, by the light of the moon, they saw him standing before them, his face pale and
bloody, and his hair in disorder, their weary eyes did not at the first moment recognise him,
for he was indescribably changed. He clasped his hands together, upon which they arose
and lovingly supported him in their arms, and he told them in sorrowful accents that the
next day he should be put to death,—that in one hour’s time he should be seized, led before
a tribunal, maltreated, outraged, scourged, and finally put to a most cruel death. He
besought them to console his Mother, and also Magdalen. They made no reply, for they
knew not what to say, so greatly had his appearance and language alarmed them, and they
even thought his mind must be wandering. When he desired to return to the grotto, he had
not strength to walk. I saw John and James lead him back, and return when he had entered
the grotto. It was then about a quarter-past eleven.
During this agony of Jesus, I saw the Blessed Virgin also overwhelmed with sorrow and
anguish of soul, in the house of Mary, the mother of Mark. She was with Magdalen and
Mary in the garden belonging to the house, and almost prostrate from grief, with her whole
body bowed down as she knelt. She fainted several times, for she beheld in spirit different
portions of the agony of Jesus. She had sent some messengers to make inquiries concerning
him, but her deep anxiety would not suffer her to await their return, and she went with
Magdalen and Salome as far as the Valley of Josaphat. She walked along with her head
veiled, and her arms frequently stretched forth towards Mount Olivet; for she beheld in
spirit Jesus bathed in a bloody sweat, and her gestures were as though she wished with her
extended hands to wipe the face of her Son. I saw these interior movements of her soul
towards Jesus, who thought of her, and turned his eyes in her direction, as if to seek her
assistance. I beheld the spiritual communication which they had with each other, under the
form of rays passing to and fro between them. Our Divine Lord thought also of Magdalen,
was touched by her distress, and therefore recommended his Apostles to console her; for he
knew that her love for his adorable Person was greater than that felt for him by any one save
his Blessed Mother, and he foresaw that she would suffer much for his sake, and never
offend him more.
About this time, the eight Apostles returned to the arbour of Gethsemani, and after
talking together for some time, ended by going to sleep. They were wavering, discouraged,
and sorely tempted. They had each been seeking for a place of refuge in case of danger, and
they anxiously asked one another, ‘What shall we do when they have put him to death? We
have left all to follow him; we are poor and the offscouring of the world, we gave ourselves
up entirely to his service, and now he is so sorrowful and so defected himself, that he can
afford us no consolation.’ The other disciples had at first wandered about in various
directions, but then, having heard something concerning the awful prophecies which Jesus
had made, they had nearly all retired to Bethphage.
I saw Jesus still praying in the grotto, struggling against the repugnance to suffering
which belonged to human nature, and abandoning himself wholly to the will of this Eternal
Father. Here the abyss opened before him, and he had a vision of the first part of Limbo. He
saw Adam and Eve, the patriarchs, prophets, and just men, the parents of his Mother, and
John the Baptist, awaiting his arrival in the lower world with such intense longing, that the
sight strengthened and gave fresh courage to his loving heart. His death was to open Heaven
to these captives,—his death was to deliver them out of that prison in which they were
languishing in eager hope! When Jesus had, with deep emotion, looked upon these saints of
antiquity, angels presented to him all the bands of saints of future ages, who, joining their
labours to the merits of his Passion, were, through him, to be united to his Heavenly Father.
Most beautiful and consoling was this vision, in which he beheld the salvation and
sanctification flowing forth in ceaseless streams from the fountain of redemption opened by
his death.
The Apostles, disciples, virgins, and holy women, the martyrs, confessors, hermits,
popes, and bishops, and large bands of religious of both sexes—in one word, the entire army
of the blessed—appeared before him. All bore on their heads triumphal crowns, and the
flowers of their crowns differed in form, in colour, in odour, and in perfection, according to
the difference of the sufferings, labours and victories which had procured them eternal glory.
Their whole life, and all their actions, merits, and power, as well as all the glory of their
triumph, came solely from their union with the merits of Jesus Christ.
The reciprocal influence exercised by these saints upon each other, and the manner in
which they all drank from one sole Fountain—the Adorable Sacrament and the Passion of
our Lord—formed a most touching and wonderful spectacle. Nothing about them was
devoid of deep meaning,—their works, martyrdom, victories, appearance, and dress,—all,
though indescribably varied, was confused together in infinite harmony and unity; and this
unity in diversity was produced by the rays of one single Sun, by the Passion of the Lord, of
the Word made flesh, in whom was life, the light of men, which shined in darkness, and the
darkness did not comprehend it.
The army of the future saints passed before the soul of our Lord, which was thus placed
between the desiring patriarchs, and the triumphant band of the future blessed, and these
two armies joining together, and completing one another, so to speak, surrounded the
loving Heart of our Saviour as with a crown of victory. This most affecting and consoling
spectacle bestowed a degree of strength and comfort upon the soul of Jesus. Ah! He so loved
his brethren and creatures that, to accomplish the redemption of one single soul, he would
have accepted with joy all the sufferings to which he was now devoting himself. As these
visions referred to the future, they were diffused to a certain height in the air.
But these consoling visions faded away, and the angels displayed before him the scenes of
his Passion quite close to the earth, because it was near at hand. I beheld every scene
distinctly portrayed, from the kiss of Judas to the last words of Jesus on the cross, and I saw
in this single vision all that I see in my meditations on the Passion. The treason of Judas, the
flight of the disciples, the insults which were offered our Lord before Annas and Caiphas,
Peter’s denial, the tribunal of Pilate, Herod’s mockery, the scourging and crowning with
thorns, the condemnation to death, the carrying of the cross, the linen cloth presented by
Veronica, the crucifixion, the insults of the Pharisees, the sorrows of Mary, of Magdalen,
and of John, the wound of the lance in his side, after death;—in one word, every part of the
Passion was shown to him in the minutest detail. He accepted all voluntarily, submitting to
everything for the love of man. He saw also and felt the sufferings endured at that moment
by his Mother, whose interior union with his agony was so entire that she had fainted in the
arms of her two friends.
When the visions of the Passion were concluded, Jesus fell on his face like one at the
point of death; the angels disappeared, and the bloody sweat became more copious, so that I
saw it had soaked his garment. Entire darkness reigned in the cavern, when I beheld an
angel descent to Jesus. This angel was of higher stature than any whom I had before beheld,
and his form was also more distinct and more resembling that of a man. He was clothed like
a priest in a long floating garment, and bore before him, in his hands, a small vase, in shape
resembling the chalice used at the Last Supper. At the top of this chalice, there was a small
oval body, about the size of a bean, and which diffused a reddish light. The angel, without
touching the earth with his feet, stretched forth his right hand to Jesus, who arose, when he
placed the mysterious food in his mouth, and gave him to drink from the luminous chalice.
Then he disappeared.
Jesus having freely accepted the chalice of his sufferings, and received new strength,
remained some minutes longer in the grotto, absorbed in calm meditation, and returning
thanks to his Heavenly Father. He was still in deep affliction of spirit, but supernaturally
comforted to such a degree as to be able to go to his disciples without tottering as he walked,
or bending beneath the weight of his sufferings. His countenance was still pale and altered,
but his step was firm and determined. He had wiped his face with a linen cloth, and rearranged
his hair, which hung about his shoulders, matted together and damp with blood.
When Jesus came to his disciples, they were lying, as before, against the wall of the
terrace, asleep, and with their heads covered. Our Lord told them that then was not the time
for sleep, but that they should arise and pray: ‘Behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man
shall be betrayed into the hand of sinners,’ he said: ‘Arise, let us go, behold he is at hand that will
betray me. It were better for him, if that man had not been born.’ The Apostles arose in much
alarm, and looked round with anxiety. When they had somewhat recovered themselves,
Peter said warmly: ‘Lord, I will call the others, that so we may defend thee.’ But Jesus
pointed out to them at some distance in the valley, on the other side of the Brook of Cedron,
a band of armed men, who were advancing with torches, and he said that one of their
number had betrayed him. He spoke calmly, exhorted them to console his Mother, and said:
‘Let us go to meet them—I shall deliver myself up without resistance into the hands of my
enemies.’ He then left the Garden of Olives with the three Apostles, and went to meet the
archers on the road which led from that garden to Gethsemani.
When the Blessed Virgin, under the care of Magdalen and Salome, recovered her senses,
some disciples, who had seen the soldiers approaching, conducted her back to the house of
Mary, the mother of Mark. The archers took a shorter road than that which Jesus followed
when he left the supper-room.
The grotto in which Jesus had this day prayed was not the one where he usually prayed
on Mount Olivet. He commonly went to a cabin at a greater distance off, where, one day,
after having cursed the barren fig-tree, he had prayed in great affliction of spirit, with his
arms stretched out, and leaning against a rock.
The traces of his body and hands remained impressed on the stone, and were honoured
later. But it was not known on what occasion the miracle had taken place. I have several
times seen similar impressions left upon the stone, either by the Prophets of the Old
Testament, or by Jesus, Mary, or some of the Apostles, and I have also seen those made by
the body of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai. These impressions do not seem deep, but
resemble what would be made upon a thick piece of dough, if a person leaned his hand
upon it.
 
CHAPTER II.     pg 68 of 199
Judas and his band.
 
Judas had not expected that his treason would have produced such fatal results. He had
been anxious to obtain the promised reward, and to please the Pharisees by delivering up
Jesus into their hands, but he had never calculated on things going so far, or thought that
the enemies of his Master would actually bring him to judgment and crucify him; his mind
was engrossed with the love of gain alone, and some astute Pharisees and Sadducees, with
whom he had established an intercourse, had constantly urged him on to treason by
flattering him. He was sick of the fatiguing, wandering, and persecuted life which the
Apostles led. For several months past he had continually stolen from the alms which were
consigned to his care, and his avarice, grudging the expenses incurred by Magdalen when
she poured the precious ointment on the feet of our Lord, incited him to the commission of
the greatest of crimes. He had always hoped that Jesus would establish a temporal kingdom,
and bestow upon him some brilliant and lucrative post in it, but finding himself
disappointed, he turned his thoughts to amassing a fortune. He saw that sufferings and
persecutions were on the increase for our Lord and his followers, and he sought to make
friends with the powerful enemies of our Saviour before the time of danger, for the saw that
Jesus did not become a king, whereas the actual dignity and power of the High Priest, and
of all who were attached to his service, made a very strong impression upon his mind.
He began to enter by degrees into a close connection with their agents, who were
constantly flattering him, and assuring him in strong terms that, in any case, an end would
speedily be put to the career of our Divine Lord. He listened more and more eagerly to the
criminal suggestions of his corrupt heart, and he had done nothing during the last few days
but go backwards and forwards in order to induce the chief priests to come to some
agreement. But they were unwilling to act at once, and treated him with contempt. They
said that sufficient time would not intervene before the festival day, and that there would be
a tumult among the people. The Sanhedrin alone listened to his proposals with some degree
of attention. After Judas had sacrilegiously received the Blessed Sacrament, Satan took
entire possession of him, and he went off at once to complete his crime. He in the first place
sought those persons who had hitherto flattered and entered into agreements with him, and
who still received him with pretended friendship. Some others joined the party, and among
the number Annas and Caiphas, but the latter treated him with considerable pride and
scorn. All these enemies of Christ were extremely undecided and far from feeling any
confidence of success, because they mistrusted Judas.
I saw the empire of Hell divided against itself; Satan desired the crime of the Jews, and
earnestly longed for the death of Jesus, the Converter of souls, the holy Teacher, the Just
Man, who was so abhorrent to him; but at the same time he felt an extraordinary interior
fear of the death of the innocent Victim, who would not conceal himself from his
persecutors. I saw him then, on the one hand, stimulate the hatred and fury of the enemies
of Jesus, and on the other, insinuate to some of their number that Judas was a wicked;
despicable character, and that the sentence could not be pronounced before the festival, or a
sufficient number of witnesses against Jesus be gathered together.
Everyone proposed something different, and some questioned Judas, saying: ‘Shall we be
able to take him? Has he not armed men with him?’ And the traitor replied: ‘No, he is alone
with eleven disciples; he is greatly depressed, and the eleven are timid men.’ He told them
that now or never was the time to get possession of the person of Jesus, that later he might
no longer have it in his power to give our Lord up into their hands, and that perhaps he
should never return to him again, because for several days past it had been very clear that
the other disciples and Jesus himself suspected and would certainly kill him if he returned to
them. He told them likewise that if they did not at once seize the person of Jesus, he would
make his escape, and return with an army of his partisans, to have himself proclaimed King.
These threats of Judas produced some effect, his proposals were acceded to, and he received
the price of this treason—thirty pieces of silver. These pieces were oblong, with holes in
their sides, strung together by means of rings in a kind of chain, and bearing certain
impressions.
Judas could not help being conscious that they regarded him with contempt and distrust,
for their language and gestures betrayed their feelings, and pride suggested to him to give
back the money as an offering for the Temple, in order to make them suppose his intentions
to have been just and disinterested. But they rejected his proposal, because the price of blood
could not be offered in the Temple. Judas saw how much they despised him, and his rage
was excessive. He had not expected to reap the bitter fruits of his treason even before it was
accomplished, but he had gone so far with these men that he was in their power, and escape
was no longer possible. They watched him carefully, and would not let him leave their
presence, until he had shown them exactly what steps were to be taken in order to secure the
person of Jesus. Three Pharisees accompanied him when he went down into a room where
the soldiers of the Temple (some only of whom were Jews, and the rest of various nations)
were assembled. When everything was settled, and the necessary number of soldiers
gathered together, Judas hastened first to the supper-room, accompanied by a servant of the
Pharisees, for the purpose of ascertaining whether Jesus had left, as they would have seized
his person there without difficulty, if once they had secured the doors. He agreed to send
them a messenger with the required information.
A short time before when Judas had received the price of this treason, a Pharisee had
gone out, and sent seven slaves to fetch wood with which to prepare the Cross for our
Saviour, in case he should be judged, because the next day there would not be sufficient
time on account of the commencement of the Paschal festivity. They procured this wood
from a spot about three-quarters of a mile distant, near a high wall, where there was a great
quantity of other wood belonging to the Temple, and dragged it to a square situated behind
the tribunal of Caiphas. The principal piece of the Cross came from a tree formerly growing
in the Valley of Josaphat, near the torrent of Cedron, and which, having fallen across the
stream, had been used as a sort of bridge. When Nehemias hid the sacred fire and the holy
vessels in the pool of Bethsaida, it had been thrown over the spot, together with other pieces
of wood,—then later taken away, and left on one side. The Cross was prepared in a very
peculiar manner, either with the object of deriding the royalty of Jesus, or from what men
might term chance. It was composed of five pieces of wood, exclusive of the inscription. I
saw many other things concerning the Cross, and the meaning of different circumstances
was also made known to me, but I have forgotten all that.
Judas returned, and said that Jesus was no longer in the supper-room, but that he must
certainly be on Mount Olivet, in the spot where he was accustomed to pray. He requested
that only a small number of men might be sent with him, lest the disciples who were on the
watch should perceive anything and raise a sedition. Three hundred men were to be
stationed at the gates and in the streets of Ophel, a part of the town situated to the south of
the Temple, and along the valley of Millo as far as the house of Annas, on the top of Mount
Sion, in order to be ready to send reinforcements if necessary, for, he said, all the people of
the lower class of Ophel were partisans of Jesus. The traitor likewise bade them be careful,
lest he should escape them—since he, by mysterious means, had so often hidden himself in
the mountain, and made himself suddenly invisible to those around. He recommended
them, besides, to fasten him with a chain, and make use of certain magical forms to prevent
his breaking it. The Jews listened to all these pieces of advice with scornful indifference, and
replied, ‘If we once have him in our hands, we will take care not to let him go.’
Judas next began to make his arrangements with those who were to accompany him. He
wished to enter the garden before them, and embrace and salute Jesus as if he were
returning to him as his friend and disciple, and then for the soldiers to run forward and seize
the person of Jesus. He was anxious that it should be thought they had come there by
chance, that so, when they had made their appearance, he might run away like the other
disciples and be no more heard of. He likewise thought that, perhaps, a tumult would ensue,
that the Apostles might defend themselves, and Jesus pass through the midst of his enemies,
as he had so often done before. He dwelt upon these thoughts especially, when his pride was
hurt by the disdainful manner of the Jews in his regard; but he did not repent, for he had
wholly given himself up to Satan. It was his desire also that the soldiers following him
should not carry chains and cords, and his accomplices pretended to accede to all his
wishes, although in reality they acted with him as with a traitor who was not to be trusted,
but to be cast off as soon as he had done what was wanted. The soldiers received orders to
keep close to Judas, watch him carefully, and not let him escape until Jesus was seized, for
he had received his reward, and it was feared that he might run off with the money, and
Jesus not be taken after all, or another be taken in his place. The band of men chosen to
accompany Judas was composed of twenty soldiers, selected from the Temple guard and
from others of the military who were under the orders of Annas and Caiphas. They were
dressed very much like the Roman soldiers, had morions (crested metal helmets) like them,
and wore hanging straps round their thighs, but their beards were long, whereas the Roman
soldiers at Jerusalem had whiskers only, and shaved their chins and upper lips. They all had
swords, some of them being also armed with spears, and they carried sticks with lanterns
and torches; but when they set off they only lighted one. It had at first been intended that
Judas should be accompanied by a more numerous escort, but he drew their attention to the
fact that so large a number of men would be too easily seen, because Mount Olivet
commanded a view of the whole valley. Most of the soldiers remained, therefore, at Ophel,
and sentinels were stationed on all sides to put down any attempt which might be made to
release Jesus. Judas set off with the twenty soldiers, but he was followed at some distance by
four archers, who were only common bailiffs, carrying cords and chains, and after them
came the six agents with whom Judas had been in communication for some time. One of
these was a priest and a confidant of Annas, a second was devoted to Caiphas, the third and
fourth were Pharisees, and the other two Sadducees and Herodians. These six men were
courtiers of Annas and Caiphas, acting in the capacity of spies, and most bitter enemies of
Jesus.
The soldiers remained on friendly terms with Judas until they reached the spot where the
road divides the Garden of Olives from the Garden of Gethsemani, but there they refused to
allow him to advance alone, and entirely changed their manner, treating him with much
insolence and harshness.
 
CHAPTER III    pg 71 of 199
Jesus is arrested.
 
Jesus was standing with his three Apostles on the road between Gethsemani, and the
Garden of Olives, when Judas and the band who accompanied him made their appearance.
A warm dispute arose between Judas and the soldiers, because he wished to approach first
and speak to Jesus quietly as if nothing was the matter, and then for them to come up and
seize our Saviour, thus letting him suppose that he had no connection with the affair. But
the men answered rudely, ‘Not so, friend, thou shalt not escape from our hands until we
have the Galilean safely bound,’ and seeing the eight Apostles who hastened to rejoin Jesus
when they heard the dispute which was going on, they (notwithstanding the opposition of
Judas) called up four archers, whom they had left at a little distance, to assist. When by the
light of the moon Jesus and the three Apostles first saw the band of armed men, Peter
wished to repel them by force of arms, and said: ‘Lord, the other eight are close at hand, let
us attack the archers,’ but Jesus bade him hold his peace, and then turned and walked back
a few steps. At this moment four disciples came out of the garden, and asked what was
taking place. Judas was about to reply, but the soldiers interrupted, and would not let him
speak. These four disciples were James the Less, Philip, Thomas, and Nathaniel; the last
named, who was a son of the aged Simeon, had with a few others joined the eight Apostles
at Gethsemani, being perhaps sent by the friends of Jesus to know what was going on, or
possibly simply incited by curiosity and anxiety. The other disciples were wandering to and
fro, on the look out, and ready to fly at a moment’s notice.
Jesus walked up to the soldiers and said in a firm and clear voice, ‘Whom seek ye?’ The
soldiers answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am he.’ Scarcely had he
pronounced these words than they all fell to the ground, as if struck with apoplexy. Judas,
who stood by them, was much alarmed, and as he appeared desirous of approaching, Jesus
held out his hand and said: ‘Friend, whereto art thou come?’ Judas stammered forth something
about business which had brought him. Jesus answered in few words, the sense of which
was: ‘It were better for thee that thou hadst never been born;’ however, I cannot remember the
words exactly. In the mean time, the soldiers had risen, and again approached Jesus, but
they waited for the sign of the kiss, with which Judas had promised to salute his Master that
they might recognise him. Peter and the other disciples surrounded Judas, and reviled him
in unmeasured terms, calling him thief and traitor; he tried to mollify their wrath by all
kinds of lies, but his efforts were vain, for the soldiers came up and offered to defend him,
which proceeding manifested the truth at once.
Jesus again asked, ‘Whom seek ye?’ They replied: ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus made answer, ‘I
have told you that I am he,’ ‘if therefore you seek me, let these go their way.’ At these words the
soldiers fell for the second time to the ground, in convulsions similar to those of epilepsy,
and the Apostles again surrounded Judas and expressed their indignation at his shameful
treachery. Jesus said to the soldiers, ‘Arise,’ and they arose, but at first quite speechless from
terror. They then told Judas to give them the signal agreed upon instantly, as their orders
were to seize upon no one but him whom Judas kissed. Judas therefore approached Jesus,
and gave him a kiss, saying, ‘Hail Rabbi.’ Jesus replied, ‘What, Judas, dost thou betray the Son
of Man with a kiss?’ The soldiers immediately surrounded Jesus, and the archers laid hands
upon him. Judas wished to fly, but the Apostles would not allow it, they rushed at the
soldiers and cried out, ‘Master, shall we strike with the sword?’ Peter, who was more impetuous
than the rest, seized the sword, and struck Malchus, the servant of the high priest, who
wished to drive away the Apostles, and cut off his right ear; Malchus fell to the ground, and
a great tumult ensued.
The archers had seized upon Jesus, and wished to bind him; while Malchus and the rest
of the soldiers stood around. When Peter struck the former, the rest were occupied in
repulsing those among the disciples who approached too near, and in pursuing those who
ran away. Four disciples made their appearance in the distance, and looked fearfully at the
scene before them; but the soldiers were still too much alarmed at their late fall to trouble
themselves much about them, and besides they did not wish to leave our Saviour without a
certain number of men to guard him. Judas fled as soon as he had given the traitorous kiss,
but was met by some of the disciples, who overwhelmed him with reproaches. Six
Pharisees, however, came to his rescue, and he escaped whilst the archers were busily
occupied in pinioning Jesus.
When Peter struck Malchus, Jesus said to him, ‘Put up again thy sword into its place; for all
that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot ask my Father, and he will
give me presently more than twelve legions of angels? How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that so
it must be done?’ Then he said, ‘Let me cure this man;’ and approaching Malchus, he touched
his ear, prayed, and it wad healed. The soldiers who were standing near, as well as the
archers and the six Pharisees, far from being moved by this miracle, continued to insult our
Lord, and said to the bystanders, ‘It is a trick of the devil, the powers of witchcraft made the
ear appear to be cut off, and now the same power gives it the appearance of being healed.’
Then Jesus again addressed them, ‘You are come out as it were to a robber, with swords and
clubs, to apprehend me. I sat daily with you teaching in the Temple, and you laid not hands upon me,
but this is your hour and the power of darkness.’ The Pharisees ordered him to be bound still
more strongly, and made answer in a contemptuous tone, ‘Ah! Thou couldst not overthrow
us by thy witchcraft.’ Jesus replied, but I do not remember his words, and all the disciples
fled. The four archers and the six Pharisees did not fall to the ground at the words of Jesus,
because, as was afterwards revealed to me, they as well as Judas, who likewise did not fall,
were entirely in the power of Satan, whereas all those who fell and rose again were
afterwards converted, and became Christians; they had only surrounded Jesus, and not laid
hands upon him. Malchus was instantly converted by the cure wrought upon him, and
during the time of the Passion his employment was to carry messages backwards and
forwards to Mary and the other friends of our Lord.
The archers, who now proceeded to pinion Jesus with the greatest brutality, were pagans
of the lowest extraction, short, stout, and active, with sandy complexions, resembling those
of Egyptian slaves, and bare legs, arms, and neck.
They tied his hands as tightly as possible with hard new cords, fastening the right-hand
wrist under the left elbow, and the left-hand wrist under the right elbow. They encircled his
waist with a species of belt studded with iron points, and to this collar were appended two
leathern straps, which were crossed over his chest like a stole and fastened to the belt. They
then fastened four ropes to different parts of the belt, and by means of these ropes dragged
our Blessed Lord from side to side in the most cruel manner. The ropes were new; I think
they were purchased when the Pharisees first determined to arrest Jesus. The Pharisees
lighted fresh torches, and the procession started. Ten soldiers walked in front, the archers
who held the ropes and dragged Jesus along, followed, and the Pharisees and ten other
soldiers brought up the rear. The disciples wandered about at a distance, and wept and
moaned as if beside themselves from grief. John alone followed, and walked at no great
distance from the soldiers, until the Pharisees, seeing him, ordered the guards to arrest him.
They endeavoured to obey, but he ran away, leaving in their hands a cloth with which he
was covered, and of which they had taken hold when they endeavoured to seize him. He
had slipped off his coat, that he might escape more easily from the hands of his enemies,
and kept nothing on but a short under garment without sleeves, and the long band which the
Jews usually wore, and which was wrapped round his neck, head, and arms. The archers
behaved in the most cruel manner to Jesus as they led him along; this they did to curry
favour with the six Pharisees, who they well knew perfectly hated and detested our Lord.
They led him along the roughest road they could select, over the sharpest stones, and
through the thickest mire; they pulled the cords as tightly as possible; they struck him with
knotted cords, as a butcher would strike the beast he is about to slaughter; and they
accompanied this cruel treatment with such ignoble and indecent insults that I cannot
recount them. The feet of Jesus were bare; he wore, besides the ordinary dress, a seamless
woollen garment, and a cloak which was thrown over all. I have forgotten to state that when
Jesus was arrested, it was done without any order being presented or legal ceremony taking
place; he was treated as a person without the pale of the law.
The procession proceeded at a good pace; when they left the road which runs between
the Garden of Olives and that of Gethsemani, they turned to the right, and soon reached a
bridge which was thrown over the Torrent of Cedron. When Jesus went to the Garden of
Olives with the Apostles, he did not cross this bridge, but went by a private path which ran
through the Valley of Josaphat, and led to another bridge more to the south. The bridge over
which the soldiers led Jesus was long, being thrown over not only the torrent, which was
very large in this part, but likewise over the valley, which extends a considerable distance to
the right and to the left, and is much lower than the bed of the river. I saw our Lord fall
twice before he reached the bridge, and these falls were caused entirely by the barbarous
manner in which the soldiers dragged him; but when they were half over the bridge they
gave full vent to their brutal inclination, and struck Jesus with such violence that they threw
him off the bridge into the water, and scornfully recommended him to quench his thirst
there. If God had not preserved him, he must have been killed by this fall; he fell first on his
knee, and then on his face, but saved himself a little by stretching out his hands, which,
although so tightly bound before, were loosened, I know not whether by miracle, or whether
the soldiers had cut the cords before they threw him into the water. The marks of his feet,
his elbows, and his fingers were miraculously impressed on the rock on which he fell, and
these impressions were afterwards shown for the veneration of Christians. These stones
were less hard than the unbelieving hearts of the wicked men who surrounded Jesus, and
bore witness at this terrible moment to the Divine Power which had touched them.
I had not seen Jesus take anything to quench the thirst which had consumed him ever
since his agony in the garden, but he drank when he fell into the Cedron, and I heard him
repeat these words from the prophetic Psalm, ‘In his thirst he will drink water from the torrent’
(Psalm 108).
The archers still held the ends of the ropes with which Jesus was bound, but it would
have been difficult to drag him out of the water on that side, on account of a wall which was
built on the shore; they turned back and dragged him quite through the Cedron to the shore,
and then made him cross the bridge a second time, accompanying their every action with
insults, blasphemies, and blows. His long woollen garment, which was quite soaked
through, adhered to his legs, impeded every movement, and rendered it almost impossible
for him to walk, and when he reached the end of the bridge he fell quite down. They pulled
him up again in the most cruel manner, struck him with cords, and fastened the ends of his
wet garment to the belt, abusing him at the same time in the most cowardly manner. It was
not quite midnight when I saw the four archers inhumanly dragging Jesus over a narrow
path, which was choked up with stones, garments of rock, thistles, and thorns, on the
opposite shore of the Cedron. The six brutal Pharisees walked as close to our Lord as they
could, struck him constantly with thick pointed sticks, and seeing that his bare and bleeding
feet were torn by the stones and briars, exclaimed scornfully: ‘His precursor, John the
Baptist, has certainly not prepared a good path for him here;’ or, ‘The words of Malachy,
“Behold, I send my angel before thy face, to prepare the way before thee,” do not exactly apply
now.’ Every jest uttered by these men incited the archers to greater cruelty.
The enemies of Jesus remarked that several persons made their appearance in the
distance; they were only disciples who had assembled when they heard that their Master
was arrested, and who were anxious to discover what the end would be; but the sight of
them rendered the Pharisees uneasy, lest any attempt should be made to rescue Jesus, and
they therefore sent for a reinforcement of soldiers. At a very short distance from an entrance
opposite to the south side of the Temple, which leads through a little village called Ophel to
Mount Sion, where the residences of Annas and Caiphas were situated, I saw a band of
about fifty soldiers, who carried torches, and appeared ready for anything; the demeanour of
these men was outrageous, and they gave loud shouts, both to announce their arrival, and to
congratulate their comrades upon the success of the expedition. This caused a slight
confusion among the soldiers who were leading Jesus, and Malchus and a few others took
advantage of it to depart, and fly towards Mount Olivet.
When the fresh band of soldiers left Ophel, I saw those disciples who had gathered
together disperse; some went one way, and some another. The Blessed Virgin and about
nine of the holy women, being filled with anxiety, directed their steps towards the Valley of
Josaphat, accompanied by Lazarus, John the son of Mark, the son of Veronica, and the son
of Simon. The last-named was at Gethsemani with Nathaniel and the eight Apostles, and
had fled when the soldiers appeared. He was giving the Blessed Virgin the account of all that
had been done, when the fresh band of soldiers joined those who were leading Jesus, and
she then heard their tumultuous vociferations, and saw the light of the torches they carried.
This sight quite overcame her; she became insensible, and John took her into the house of
Mary, the mother of Mark.
The fifty soldiers who were sent to join those who had taken Jesus, were a detachment
from a company of three hundred men posted to guard the gates and environs of Ophel; for
the traitor Judas had reminded the High Priests that the inhabitants of Ophel (who were
principally of the labouring class, and whose chief employment was to bring water and
wood to the Temple) were the most attached partisans of Jesus, and might perhaps make
some attempts to rescue him. The traitor was aware that Jesus had both consoled,
instructed, assisted, and cured the diseases of many of these poor workmen, and that Ophel
was the place where he halted during his journey from Bethania to Hebron, when John the
Baptist had just been executed. Judas also knew that Jesus had cured many of the masons
who were injured by the fall of the Tower of Siloe. The greatest part of the inhabitants of
Ophel were converted after the death of our Lord, and joined the first Christian community
that was formed after Pentecost, and when the Christians separated from the Jews and
erected new dwellings, they placed their huts and tents in the valley which is situated
between Mount Olivet and Ophel, and there St. Stephen lived. Ophel was on a hill to the
south of the Temple, surrounded by walls, and its inhabitants were very poor. I think it was
smaller than Dulmen.5
The slumbers of the good inhabitants of Ophel were disturbed by the noise of the
soldiers; they came out of their houses and ran to the entrance of the village to ask the cause
of the uproar; but the soldiers received them roughly, ordered them to return home, and in
reply to their numerous questions, said, ‘We have just arrested Jesus, your false prophet—he
who has deceived you so grossly; the High Priests are about to judge him, and he will be
crucified.’ Cries and lamentations arose on all sides; the poor women and children ran
backwards and forwards, weeping and wringing their hands; and calling to mind all the
benefits they had received from our Lord, they cast themselves on their knees to implore the
protection of Heaven. But the soldiers pushed them on one side, struck them, obliged them
to return to their houses, and exclaimed, ‘What farther proof is required? Does not the
conduct of these persons show plainly that the Galilean incites rebellion?’
They were, however, a little cautious in their expressions and demeanour for fear of
causing an insurrection in Ophel, and therefore only endeavoured to drive the inhabitants
away from those parts of the village which Jesus was obliged to cross.
When the cruel soldiers who led our Lord were near the gates of Ophel he again fell, and
appeared unable to proceed a step farther, upon which one among them, being moved to
compassion, said to another, ‘You see the poor man is perfectly exhausted, he cannot
support himself with the weight of his chains; if we wish to get him to the High Priest alive
we must loosen the cords with which his hands are bound, that he may be able to save
himself a little when he falls.’ The band stopped for a moment, the fetters were loosened,
and another kind-hearted soldier brought some water to Jesus from a neighbouring
fountain. Jesus thanked him, and spoke of the ‘fountains of living water,’ of which those
who believed in him should drink; but his words enraged the Pharisees still more, and they
overwhelmed him with insults and contumelious language. I saw the heart of the soldier
who had caused Jesus to be unbound, as also that of the one who brought him water,
suddenly illuminated by grace; they were both converted before the death of Jesus, and
immediately joined his disciples.
The procession started again, and reached the gate of Ophel. Here Jesus was again
saluted by the cries of grief and sympathy of those who owed him so much gratitude, and
the soldiers had considerable difficulty in keeping back the men and women who crowded
round from all parts. They clasped their hands, fell on their knees, lamented, and exclaimed,
‘Release this man unto us, release him! Who will assist, who will console us, who will cure
our diseases? Release him unto us!’ It was indeed heart-rending to look upon Jesus; his face
was white, disfigured, and wounded, his hair dishevelled, his dress wet and soiled, and his
savage and drunken guards were dragging him about and striking him with sticks like a poor
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5 Dulmen is a small town in Westphalia, where Sister Emmerich lived at this time.
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pg 77 of 199
 
dumb animal led to the slaughter. Thus was he conducted through the midst of the afflicted
inhabitants of Ophel, and the paralytic whom he had cured, the dumb to whom he had
restored speech, and the blind whose eyes he had opened, united, but in vain, in offering
supplications for his release.
Many persons from among the lowest and most degraded classes had been sent by
Annas, Caiphas, and the other enemies of Jesus, to join the procession, and assist the
soldiers both in ill-treating Jesus, and in driving away the inhabitants of Ophel. The village
of Ophel was seated upon a hill, and I saw a great deal of timber placed there ready for
building. The procession had to proceed down a hill, and then pass through a door made in
the wall. On one side of this door stood a large building erected originally by Solomon, and
on the other the pool of Bethsaida. After passing this, they followed a westerly direction
down a steep street called Millo, at the end of which a turn to the south brought them to the
house of Annas. The guards never ceased their cruel treatment of our Divine Saviour, and
excused such conduct by saying that the crowds who gathered together in front of the
procession compelled them to severity. Jesus fell seven times between Mount Olivet and the
house of Annas.
The inhabitants of Ophel were still in a state of consternation and grief, when the sight of
the Blessed Virgin who passed through the village accompanied by the holy women and
some other friends on her way from the Valley of Cedron to the house of Mary the mother
of Mark, excited them still more, and they made the place re-echo with sobs and
lamentations, while they surrounded and almost carried her in their arms. Mary was
speechless from grief, and did not open her lips after she reached the house of Mary the
mother of Mark, until the arrival of John, who related all he had seen since Jesus left the
supper-room; and a little later she was taken to the house of Martha, which was near that of
Lazarus. Peter and John, who had followed Jesus at a distance, went in haste to some
servants of the High Priest with whom the latter was acquainted, in order to endeavour by
their means to obtain admittance into the tribunal where their Master was to be tried. These
servants acted as messengers, and had just been ordered to go to the houses of the ancients,
and other members of the Council, to summon them to attend the meeting which was
convoked. As they were anxious to oblige the Apostles, but foresaw much difficulty in
obtaining their admittance into the tribunal, they gave them cloaks similar to those they
themselves wore, and made them assist in carrying messages to the members in order that
afterwards they might enter the tribunal of Caiphas, and mingle, without being recognised,
among the soldiers and false witnesses, as all other persons were to be expelled. As
Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and other well-intentioned persons were members of this
Council, the Apostles undertook to let them know what was going to be done in the
Council, thus securing the presence of those friends of Jesus whom the Pharisees had
purposely omitted to invite. In the mean time Judas wandered up and down the steep and
wild precipices at the south of Jerusalem, despair marked on his every feature, and the devil
pursuing him to and fro, filling his imagination with still darker visions, and not allowing
him a moment’s respite.
 
CHAPTER IV.       78 of 199
Means employed by the enemies of Jesus
for carrying out their designs against him.
 
No sooner was Jesus arrested than Annas and Caiphas were informed, and instantly
began to arrange their plans with regard to the course to be pursued. Confusion speedily
reigned everywhere—the rooms were lighted up in haste, guards placed at the entrances,
and messengers dispatched to different parts of the town to convoke the members of the
Council, the scribes, and all who were to take a part in the trial. Many among them had,
however, assembled at the house of Caiphas as soon as the treacherous compact with Judas
was completed, and had remained there to await the course of events. The different classes
of ancients were likewise assembled, and as the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians were
congregated in Jerusalem from all parts of the country for the celebration of the festival, and
had long been concerting measures with the Council for the arrest of our Lord, the High
Priests now sent for those whom they knew to be the most bitterly opposed to Jesus, and
desired them to assemble the witnesses, gather together every possible proof, and bring all
before the Council. The proud Sadducees of Nazareth, of Capharnaum, of Thirza, of
Gabara, of Jotapata, and of Silo, whom Jesus had so often reproved before the people, were
actually dying for revenge. They hastened to all the inns to seek out those persons whom
they knew to be enemies of our Lord, and offered them bribes in order to secure their
appearance. But, with the exception of a few ridiculous calumnies, which were certain to be
disproved a soon as investigated, nothing tangible could be brought forward against Jesus,
excepting, indeed, those foolish accusations which he had so often refuted in the synagogue.
The enemies of Jesus hastened, however, to the tribunal of Caiphas, escorted by the
scribes and Pharisees of Jerusalem, and accompanied by many of those merchants whom
our Lord drove out of the Temple when they were holding market there; as also by the
proud doctors whom he had silenced before all the people, and even by some who could not
forgive the humiliation of being convicted of error when he disputed with them in the
Temple at the age of twelve. There was likewise a large body of impenitent sinners whom he
had refused to cure, relapsed sinners whose diseases had returned, worldly young men
whom he would not receive as disciples, avaricious persons whom he had enraged by
causing the money which they had been in hopes of possessing to be distributed in alms.
Others there were whose friends he had cured, and who had thus been disappointed in their
expectations of inheriting property; debauchees whose victims he had converted; and many
despicable characters who made their fortunes by flattering and fostering the vices of the
great.
All these emissaries of Satan were overflowing with rage against everything holy, and
consequently with an indescribable hatred of the Holy of Holies. They were farther incited
by the enemies of our Lord, and therefore assembled in crowds round the palace of Caiphas,
to bring forward all their false accusations and to endeavour to cover with infamy that
spotless Lamb, who took upon himself the sins of the world, and accepted the burden in
order to reconcile man with God.
Whilst all these wicked beings were busily consulting as to what was best to be done,
anguish and anxiety filled the hearts of the friends of Jesus, for they were ignorant of the
mystery which was about to be accomplished, and they wandered about, sighing, and
listening to every different opinion. Each word they uttered gave raise to feelings of
suspicion on the part of those who they addressed, and if they were silent, their silence was
set down as wrong. Many well-meaning but weak and undecided characters yielded to
temptation, were scandalised, and lost their fait; indeed, the number of those who
persevered was very small indeed. Things were the same then as they oftentimes are now,
persons were willing to serve God if they met with no opposition from their fellowcreatures,
but were ashamed of the Cross if held in contempt by others. The hearts of some
were, however, touched by the patience displayed by our Lord in the midst of his sufferings,
and they walked away silent and sad.
 
CHAPTER V.      pg 79 of 199
A Glance at Jerusalem.
 
The customary prayers and preparations for the celebration of the festival being
completed, the greatest part of the inhabitants of the densely-populated city of Jerusalem, as
also the strangers congregated there, were plunged in sleep after the fatigues of the day,
when, all at once, the arrest of Jesus was announced, and everyone was aroused, both his
friends and foes, and numbers immediately responded to the summons of the High Priest,
and left their dwellings to assemble at his court. In some parts the light of the moon enabled
them to grope their way in safety along the dark and gloomy streets, but in other parts they
were obliged to make use of torches. Very few of the houses were built with their windows
looking on the street, and, generally speaking, their doors were in inner courts, which gave
the streets a still more gloomy appearance than is usual at this hour. The steps of all were
directed towards Sion, and an attentive listener might have heard persons stop at the doors
of their friends, and knock, in order to awaken them—then hurry on, then again stop to
question others, and, finally, set off anew in haste towards Sion. Newsmongers and servants
were hurrying forward to ascertain what was going on; in order that they might return and
give the account to those who remained at home; and the bolting and barricading of doors
might be plainly heard, as many persons were much alarmed and feared an insurrection,
while a thousand different propositions were made and opinions given, such as the
following:—‘Lazarus and his sisters will soon know who is this man in whom they have
placed such firm reliance. Johanna Chusa, Susannah, Mary the mother of Mark, and
Salome will repent, but too late, the imprudence of their conduct; Seraphia, the wife of
Sirach, will be compelled to make an apology to her husband now, for he has so often
reproached her with her partiality for the Galilean. The partisans of this fanatical man, this
inciter of rebellion, pretended to be filled with compassion for all who looked upon things in
a different light from themselves, and now they will not know where to hide their heads. He
will find no one now to cast garments and strew olive-branches at his feet. Those hypocrites
who pretended to be so much better than other persons will receive their deserts, for they are
all implicated with the Galilean. It is a much more serious business than was at first
thought. I should like to know how Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea will get out of it;
the High Priests have mistrusted them for some time; they made common cause with
Lazarus: but they are extremely cunning. All will now, however, be brought to light.’
Speeches such as these were uttered by persons who were exasperated, not only against
the disciples of Jesus, but likewise with the holy women who had supplied his temporal
wants, and had publicly and fearlessly expressed their veneration for his doctrines, and their
belief in his Divine mission.
But although many persons spoke of Jesus and his followers in this contemptuous
manner, yet there were others who held very different opinions, and of these some were
frightened, and others, being overcome with sorrow, sought friends to whom they might
unburden their hearts, and before whom they could, without fear, give vent to their feelings;
but the number of those sufficiently daring openly to avow their admiration for Jesus was
but small.
Nevertheless, it was in parts only of Jerusalem that these disturbances took place—in
those parts where the messengers had been sent by the High Priests and the Pharisees, to
convoke the members of the Council and to call together the witnesses. It appeared to me
that I saw feelings of hatred and fury burst forth in different parts of the city, under the form
of flames, which flames traversed the streets, united with others which they met, and
proceeded in the direction of Sion, increasing every moment, and at last came to a stop
beneath the tribunal of Caiphas, where they remained, forming together a perfect whirlwind
of fire.
The Roman soldiers took no part in what was going on; they did not understand the
excited feelings of the people, but their sentinels were doubled, their cohorts drawn up, and
they kept a strict look out; this, indeed, was customary at the time of the Paschal solemnity,
on account of the vast number of strangers who were then assembled together. The
Pharisees endeavoured to avoid the neighbourhood of the sentinels, for fear of being
questioned by them, and of contracting defilement by answering their questions. The High
Priests had sent a message to Pilate intimating their reasons for stationing soldiers round
Ophel and Sion; but he mistrusted their intentions, as much ill-feeling existed between the
Romans and the Jews. He could not sleep, but walked about during the greatest part of the
night, hearkening to the different reports and issuing orders consequent on what he heard;
his wife slept, but her sleep was disturbed by frightful dreams, and she groaned and wept
alternately.
In no part of Jerusalem did the arrest of Jesus produce more touching demonstrations of
grief than among the poor inhabitants of Ophel, the greatest part of whom were daylabourers,
and the rest principally employed in menial offices in the service of the Temple.
The news came unexpectedly upon them; for some time they doubted the truth of the
report, and wavered between hope and fear; but the sight of their Master, their Benefactor,
their Consoler, dragged through the streets, torn, bruised, and ill-treated in every imaginable
way, filled them with horror; and their grief was still farther increased by beholding his
afflicted Mother wandering about from street to street, accompanied by the holy women,
and endeavouring to obtain some intelligence concerning her Divine Son. These holy
women were often obliged to hide in corners and under door-ways for fear of being seen by
the enemies of Jesus; but even with these precautions they were oftentimes insulted, and
taken for women of bad character—their feelings were frequently harrowed by hearing the
malignant words and triumphant expressions of the cruel Jews, and seldom, very seldom,
did a word of kindness or pity strike their ears. They were completely exhausted before
reaching their place of refuge, but they endeavoured to console and support one another,
and wrapped thick veils over their heads. When at last seated, they heard a sudden knock at
the door, and listened breathlessly—the knock was repeated, but softly, therefore they made
certain that it was no enemy, and yet they opened the door cautiously, fearing a stratagem.
It was indeed a friend, and they issued forth and walked about for a time, and then again
returned to their place of refuge—still more heartbroken than before.
The majority of the Apostles, overcome with terror, were wandering about among the
valleys which surround Jerusalem, and at times took refuge in the caverns beneath Mount
Olivet. They started if they came in contact with one another, spoke in trembling tones, and
separated on the least noise being heard. First they concealed themselves in one cave and
then in another, next they endeavoured to return to the town, while some of their number
climbed to the top of Mount Olivet and cast anxious glances at the torches, the light of
which they could see glimmering at and about Sion; they listened to every distant sound,
made a thousand different conjectures, and then returned to the valley, in hopes of getting
some certain intelligence.
The streets in the vicinity of Caiphas’s tribunal were brightly illuminated with lamps and
torches, but, as the crowds gathered around it, the noise and confusion continued to
increase. Mingling with these discordant sounds might be heard the bellowing of the beasts
which were tethered on the outside of the walls of Jerusalem, and the plaintive bleating of
the lambs. There was something most touching in the bleating of these lambs, which were to
be sacrificed on the following day in the Temple,—the one Lamb alone who was about to be
offered a willing sacrifice opened not his mouth, like a sheep in the hands of the butcher,
which resists not, or the lamb which is silent before the shearer; and that Lamb was the
Lamb of God—the Lamb without spot—the true Paschal Lamb—Jesus Christ himself.
The sky looked dark, gloomy, and threatening—the moon was red, and covered with
livid spots; it appeared as if dreading to reach its full, because its Creator was then to die.
Next I cast a glance outside the town, and, near the south gate, I beheld the traitor, Judas
Iscariot, wandering about, alone, and a prey to the tortures of his guilty conscience; he
feared even his own shadow, and was followed by many devils, who endeavoured to turn
his feelings of remorse into black despair. Thousands of evil spirits were busying themselves
in all parts, tempting men first to one sin and then to another. It appeared as if the gates of
hell were flung open, and Satan madly striving and exerting his whole energies to increase
the heavy load of iniquities which the Lamb without spot had taken upon himself. The
angels wavered between joy and grief; they desired ardently to fall prostrate before the
throne of God, and to obtain permission to assist Jesus; but at the same time they were filled
with astonishment, and could only adore that miracle of Divine justice and mercy which
had existed in Heaven for all eternity, and was now about to be accomplished; for the angels
believe, like us, in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus
Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin
Mary, who began on this night to suffer under Pontius Pilate, and the next day was to be
crucified; to die, and be buried; descend into hell, rise again on the third day, ascent into
Heaven, be seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, and from thence come to
judge the living and the dead; they likewise believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic
Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and
life everlasting.
 
CHAPTER VI.       pg 82 of 199
Jesus before Annas.
It was towards midnight when Jesus reached the palace of Annas, and his guards
immediately conducted him into a very large hall, where Annas, surrounded by twentyeight
councillors, was seated on a species of platform, raised a little above the level of the
floor, and placed opposite to the entrance. The soldiers who first arrested Jesus now dragged
him roughly to the foot of the tribunal. The room was quite full, between soldiers, the
servants of Annas, a number of the mob who had been admitted, and the false witnesses
who afterwards adjourned to Caiphas’s hall.
Annas was delighted at the thought of our Lord being brought before him, and was
looking out for his arrival with the greatest impatience. The expression of his countenance
was most repulsive, as it showed in every lineament not only the infernal joy with which he
was filled, but likewise all the cunning and duplicity of this heart. He was the president of a
species of tribunal instituted for the purpose of examining persons accused of teaching false
doctrines; and if convicted there, they were then taken before the High Priest.
Jesus stood before Annas. He looked exhausted and haggard; his garments were covered
with mud, his hands manacled, his head bowed down, and he spoke not a word. Annas was
a thin ill-humoured-looking old man, with a scraggy beard. His pride and arrogance were
great; and as he seated himself he smiled ironically, pretending that he knew nothing at all,
and that he was perfectly astonished at finding that the prisoner, whom he had just been
informed was to be brought before him, was no other than Jesus of Nazareth. ‘Is it possible,’
said he, ‘is it possible that thou art Jesus of Nazareth? Where are thy disciples, thy
numerous followers? Where is thy kingdom? I fear affairs have not turned out as thou didst
expect. The authorities, I presume, discovered that it was quite time to put a stop to thy
conduct, disrespectful as it was towards God and his priests, and to such violations of the
Sabbath. What disciples hast thou now? Where are they all gone? Thou are silent! Speak
out, seducer! Speak out, thou inciter of rebellion! Didst thou not eat the Paschal lamb in an
unlawful manner, at an improper time, and in an improper place? Dost thou not desire to
introduce new doctrines? Who gave thee the right of preaching? Where didst thou study?
Speak, what are the tenets of thy religion?’
Jesus then raised his weary head, looked at Annas, and said, ‘I have spoken openly to the
world; I have always taught in the synagogue, and in the Temple, whither all the Jews resort; and in
secret I have spoken nothing. Why askest thou me? Ask them who have heard what I have spoken unto
them; behold, they know what thing I have said.’
At this answer of Jesus the countenance of Annas flushed with fury and indignation. A
base menial who was standing near perceived this, and he immediately struck our Lord on
the face with his iron gauntlet, exclaiming at the same moment, ‘Answerest thou the High
Priest so?’ Jesus was so nearly prostrated by the violence of the blow, that when the guards
likewise reviled and struck him, he fell quite down, and blood trickled from his face on to
the floor. Laughter, insults, and bitter words resounded through the hall. The archers
dragged him roughly up again, and he mildly answered, ‘If I have spoken evil, give testimony of
the evil; but if well, why strikest thou me?’
Annas became still more enraged when he saw the calm demeanour of Jesus, and,
turning to the witnesses, he desired them to bring forward their accusations. They all began
to speak at once:—‘He has called himself king; he says that God is his Father; that the
Pharisees are an adulterous generation. He causes insurrection among the people; he cures
the sick by the help of the devil on the Sabbath-day. The inhabitants of Ophel assembled
round him a short time ago, and addressed him by the titles of Saviour and Prophet. He lets
himself be called the Son of God; he says that he is sent by God; he predicts the destruction
of Jerusalem. He does not fast; he eats with sinners, with pagans, and with publicans, and
associates with women of evil repute. A short time ago he said to a man who gave him
some water to drink at the gates of Ophel, “that he would give unto him the water of eternal
life, after drinking which he would thirst no more.” He seduces the people by words of
double meaning,’ etc., etc.
These accusations were all vociferated at once; some of the witnesses stood before Jesus
and insulted him while they spoke by derisive gestures, and the archers went so far as even
to strike him, saying at the same time, ‘Speak; why dost thou not answer?’ Annas and his
adherents added mockery to insult, exclaiming at every pause in the accusations, ‘This is thy
doctrine, then, is it? What canst thou answer to this? Issue thy orders, great King; man sent
by God, give proofs of thy mission.’ ‘Who art thou?’ continued Annas, in a tone of cutting
contempt; ‘by whom art thou sent? Art thou the son of an obscure carpenter, or art thou
Elias, who was carried up to heaven in a fiery chariot? He is said to be still living, and I have
been told that thou canst make thyself invisible when thou pleasest. Perhaps thou art the
prophet Malachy, whose words thou dost so frequently quote. Some say that an angel was
his father, and that he likewise is still alive. An impostor as thou art could not have a finer
opportunity of taking persons in than by passing thyself off as this prophet. Tell me, without
farther preamble, to what order of kings thou dost belong? Thou art greater than
Solomon,—at least thou pretendest so to be, and dost even expect to be believed. Be easy, I
will no longer refuse the title and the sceptre which are so justly thy due.’
Annas then called for the sheet of parchment, about a yard in length, and six inches in
width; on this he wrote a series of words in large letters, and each word expressed some
different accusation which had been brought against our Lord. He then rolled it up, placed it
in a little hollow tube, fastened it carefully on the top of a reed, and presented this reed to
Jesus, saying at the same time, with a contemptuous sneer, ‘Behold the sceptre of thy
kingdom; it contains thy titles, as also the account of the honours to which thou art entitled,
and thy right to the throne. Take them to the High Priest, in order that he may acknowledge
thy regal dignity, and treat thee according to thy deserts. Tie the hands of this king, and take
him before the High Priest.’
The hands of Jesus, which had been loosened, were then tied across his breast in such a
manner as to make him hold the pretended sceptre, which contained the accusations of
Annas, and he was led to the Court of Caiphas, amidst the hisses, shouts, and blows
lavished upon him by the brutal mob.
The house of Annas was not more than three hundred steps from that of Caiphas; there
were high walls and common-looking houses on each side of the road, which was lighted up
by torches and lanterns placed on poles, and there were numbers of Jews standing about
talking in an angry excited manner. The soldiers could scarcely make their way through the
crowd, and those who had behaved so shamefully to Jesus at the Court of Annas continued
their insults and base usage during the whole of the time sent in walking to the house of
Caiphas. I saw money given to those who behaved the worst to Jesus by armed men
belonging to the tribunal, and I saw them push out of the way all who looked
compassionately at him. The former were allowed to enter the Court of Caiphas.
 
CHAPTER VII.       pg 84 of 199
The Tribunal of Caiphas.
 
To enter Caiphas’s tribunal persons had to pass through a large court, which may be
called the exterior court; from thence they entered into an inner court, which extended all
round the building. The building itself was of far greater length than breadth, and in the
front there was a kind of open vestibule surrounded on three sides by columns of no great
height. On the fourth side the columns were higher, and behind them was a room almost as
large as the vestibule itself, where the seat of the members of the Council were placed on a
species of round platform raised above the level of the floor. That assigned to the High
Priest was elevated above the others; the criminal to be tried stood in the centre of the halfcircle
formed by the seats. The witnesses and accusers stood either by the side or behind the
prisoner. There were three doors at the back of the judges’ seats which led into another
apartment, filled likewise with seats. This room was used for secret consultation. Entrances
placed on the right and left hand sides of this room opened into the interior court, which
was round, like the back of the building. Those who left the room by the door on the righthand
side saw on the left-hand side of the court the gate which led to a subterranean prison
excavated under the room. There were many underground prisons there, and it was in one
of these that Peter and John were confined a whole night, when they had cured the lame
man in the Temple after Pentecost. Both the house and the courts were filled with torches
and lamps, which made them as light as day. There was a large fire lighted in the middle of
the porch, on each side of which were hollow pipes to serve as chimneys for the smoke, and
round this fire were standing soldiers, menial servants, and witnesses of the lowest class who
had received bribes for giving their false testimony. A few women were there likewise,
whose employment was to pour out a species of red beverage for the soldiers, and to bake
cakes, for which services they received a small compensation. The majority of the judges
were already seated around Caiphas, the others came in shortly afterwards, and the porch
was almost filled, between true and false witnesses, while many other persons likewise
endeavoured to come in to gratify their curiosity, but were prevented. Peter and John
entered the outer court, in the dress of travellers, a short time before Jesus was led through,
and John succeeded in penetrating into the inner court, by means of a servant with whom
he was acquainted. The door was instantly closed after him, therefore Peter, who was a little
behind, was shut out. He begged the maid-servant to open the door for him, but she refused
both his entreaties and those of John, and he must have remained on the outside had not
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who came up at this moment, taken him with them.
The two Apostles then returned the cloaks which they had borrowed, and stationed
themselves in a place from whence they could see the judges, and hear everything that was
going on. Caiphas was seated in the centre of the raised platform, and seventy of the
members of the Sanhedrin were placed around him, while the public officers, the scribes,
and the ancients were standing on either side, and the false witnesses behind them. Soldiers
were posted from the base of the platform to the door of the vestibule through which Jesus
was to enter. The countenance of Caiphas was solemn in the extreme, but the gravity was
accompanied by unmistakable signs of suppressed rage and sinister intentions. He wore a
long mantle of a dull red colour, embroidered in flowers and trimmed with golden fringe; it
was fastened at the shoulders and on the chest, besides being ornamented in the front with
gold clasps. His head-attire was high, and adorned with hanging ribbons, the sides were
open, and it rather resembled a bishop’s mitre. Caiphas had been waiting with his adherents
belonging to the Great Council for some time, and so impatient was he that he arose several
times, went into the outer court in his magnificent dress, and asked angrily whether Jesus of
Nazareth was come. When he saw the procession drawing near he returned to his seat.
 
CHAPTER VIII.       pg 85 of 199
Jesus before Caiphas.
 
Jesus was led across the court, and the mob received him with groans and hisses. As he
passed by Peter and John, he looked at them, but without turning his head, for fear of
betraying them. Scarcely had he reached the council-chamber, than Caiphas exclaimed in a
loud tone, ‘Thou art come, then, at last, thou enemy of God, thou blasphemer, who dost
disturb the peace of this holy night!’ The tube which contained the accusations of Annas,
and was fastened to the pretended sceptre in the hands of Jesus, was instantly opened and
read.
Caiphas made use of the most insulting language, and the archers again struck and
abused our Lord, vociferating at the same time, ‘Answer at once! Speak out! Art thou
dumb?’ Caiphas, whose temper was indescribably proud and arrogant, became even more
enraged than Annas had been, and asked a thousand questions one after the other, but Jesus
stood before him in silence, and with his eyes cast down. The archers endeavoured to force
him to speak by repeated blows, and a malicious child pressed his thumb into his lips,
tauntingly bidding him to bite. The witnesses were then called for. The first were persons of
the lowest class, whose accusations were as incoherent and inconsistent as those brought
forward at the court of Annas, and nothing could be made out of them; Caiphas therefore
turned to the principal witnesses, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, who had assembled from
all parts of the country. They endeavoured to speak calmly, but their faces and manner
betrayed the virulent envy and hatred with which their hearts were overflowing, and they
repeated over and over again the same accusations, to which he had already replied so
many times: ‘That he cured the sick, and cast out devils, by the help of devils—that he
profaned the Sabbath—incited the people to rebel—called the Pharisees a race of vipers and
adulterers—predicted the destruction of Jerusalem—frequented the society of publicans and
sinners—assembled the people and gave himself out as a king, a prophet, and the Son of
God.’ They deposed ‘that he was constantly speaking of his kingdom,—that he forbade
divorce,—called himself the Bread of Life, and said that whoever did not eat his flesh and
drink his blood would not have eternal life.’
Thus did they distort and misinterpret the words he had uttered, the instructions he had
given and the parables by which he had illustrated his instructions, giving them the
semblance of crimes. But these witnesses could not agree in their depositions, for one said,
‘He calls himself king;’ and a second instantly contradicted, saying, ‘No, he allows persons
to call him so; but directly they attempted to proclaim him, he fled.’ Another said, ‘He calls
himself the Son of God,’ but he was interrupted by a fourth, who exclaimed, ‘No, he only
styles himself the Son of God because he does the will of his Heavenly Father.’ Some of the
witnesses stated that he had cured them, but that their diseases had returned, and that his
pretended cures were only performed by magic. They spoke likewise of the cure of the
paralytic man at the pool of Bethsaida, but they distorted the facts so as to give them the
semblance of crimes, and even in these accusations they could not agree, contradicting one
another. The Pharisees of Sephoris, with whom he had once had a discussion on the subject
of divorces, accused him of teaching false doctrines, and a young man of Nazareth, whom
he had refused to allow to become one of his disciples, was likewise base enough to bear
witness against him.
It was found to be utterly impossible to prove a single fact, and the witnesses appeared to
come forward for the sole purpose of insulting Jesus, rather than to demonstrate the truth of
their statements. Whilst they were disputing with one another, Caiphas and some of the
other members of the Council employed themselves in questioning Jesus, and turning his
answers into derision. ‘What species of king art thou? Give proofs of thy power! Call the
legions of angels of whom thou didst speak in the Garden of Olives! What hast thou done
with the money given unto thee by the widows, and other simpletons whom thou didst
seduce by thy false doctrines? Answer at once: speak out,—art thou dumb? Thou wouldst
have been far wiser to have kept silence when in the midst of the foolish mob: there thou
didst speak far too much.’
All these questions were accompanied by blows from the under-servants of the members
of the tribunal, and had our Lord not been supported from above, he could not have
survived this treatment. Some of the base witnesses endeavoured to prove that he was an
illegitimate son; but others declared that his mother was a pious Virgin, belonging to the
Temple, and that they afterwards saw her betrothed to a man who feared God. The
witnesses upbraided Jesus and his disciples with not having offered sacrifice in the Temple.
It is true that I never did see either Jesus or his disciples offer any sacrifice in the Temple,
excepting the Paschal lamb; but Joseph and Anna used frequently during their lifetime to
offer sacrifice for the Child Jesus. However, even this accusation was puerile, for the
Essenians never offered sacrifice, and no one thought the less well of them for not doing so.
The enemies of Jesus still continued to accuse him of being a sorcerer, and Caiphas affirmed
several times that the confusion in the statements of the witnesses was caused solely by
witchcraft.
Some said that he had eaten the Paschal lamb on the previous day, which was contrary
to the law, and that the year before he had made different alterations in the manner of
celebrating this ceremony. But the witnesses contradicted one another to such a degree that
Caiphas and his adherents found, to their very great annoyance and anger, that not one
accusation could be really proved. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were called up, and
being commanded to say how it happened that they had allowed him to eat the Pasch on
the wrong day in a room which belonged to them, they proved from ancient documents that
from time immemorial the Galileans had been allowed to eat the Pasch a day earlier than
the rest of the Jews. They added that every other part of the ceremony had been performed
according to the directions given in the law, and that persons belonging to the Temple were
present at the supper. This quite puzzled the witnesses, and Nicodemus increased the rage
of the enemies of Jesus by pointing out the passages in the archives which proved the right
of the Galileans, and gave the reason for which this privilege was granted. The reason was
this: the sacrifices would not have been finished by the Sabbath if the immense multitudes
who congregated together for that purpose had all been obliged to perform the ceremony on
the same day; and although the Galileans had not always profited by this right, yet its
existence was incontestably proved by Nicodemus; and the anger of the Pharisees was
heightened by his remarking that the members of the Council had cause to be greatly
offended at the gross contradictions in the statements of the witnesses, and that the
extraordinary and hurried manner in which the whole affair had been conducted showed
that malice and envy were the sole motives which induced the accusers, and made them
bring the case forward at a moment when all were busied in the preparations for the most
solemn feast of the year. They looked at Nicodemus furiously, and could not reply, but
continued to question the witnesses in a still more precipitate and imprudent manner. Two
witnesses at last came forward, who said, ‘This man said, “I will destroy this Temple made with
hands, and within three days I will build another not made with hands;”’ however, even these
witnesses did not agree in their statements, for one said that the accused wished to build a
new Temple, and that he had eaten the Pasch in an unusual place, because he desired the
destruction of the ancient Temple; but the other said, ‘Not so: the edifice where he ate the
Pasch was built by human hands, therefore he could not have referred to that.’
The wrath of Caiphas was indescribable; for the cruel treatment which Jesus had
suffered, his Divine patience, and the contradiction of the witnesses, were beginning to
make a great impression on many persons present, a few hisses were heard, and the hearts
of some were so touched that they could not silence the voice of their consciences. Ten
soldiers left the court under pretext of indisposition, but in reality overcome by their
feelings. As they passed by the place where Peter and John were standing, they exclaimed,
‘The silence of Jesus of Nazareth, in the midst of such cruel treatment, is superhuman: it
would melt a heart of iron: the wonder is, that the earth does not open and swallow such
reprobates as his accusers must be. But tell us, where must we go?’ The two Apostles either
mistrusted the soldiers, and thought they were only seeking to betray them, or they were
fearful of being recognised by those around and denounced as disciples of Jesus, for they
only made answer in a melancholy tone: ‘If truth calls you, follow it, and all will come right
of itself.’ The soldiers instantly went out of the room, and left Jerusalem soon after. They
met persons on the outskirts of the town, who directed them to the caverns which lay to the
south of Jerusalem, on the other side of Mount Sion, where many of the Apostles had taken
refuge. These latter were at first alarmed at seeing strangers enter their hiding-place; but the
soldiers soon dispelled all fear, and gave them an account of the sufferings of Jesus.
The temper of Caiphas, which was already perturbed, became quite infuriated by the
contradictory statements of the two last witnesses, and rising from his seat he approached
Jesus, and said: ‘Answerest thou nothing to the things which these witness against thee?’
Jesus neither raised his head nor looked at the High Priest, which increased the anger of
the latter to the greatest degree; and the archers perceiving this seized our Lord by the hair,
pulled his head back, and gave him blows under the chin; but he still kept his eyes cast
down. Caiphas raised his hands, and exclaimed in an enraged tone: ‘I adjure thee by the living
God that thou tell us if thou be Christ the Messiah, the son of the living God?’
A momentary and solemn pause ensued. Then Jesus in a majestic and superhuman voice
replied, ‘Thou hast said it. Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man
sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of Heaven.’ Whilst
Jesus was pronouncing these words, a bright light appeared to me to surround him; Heaven
was opened above his head; I saw the Eternal Father; but no words from a human pen can
describe the intuitive view that was then vouchsafed me of him. I likewise saw the angels,
and the prayers of the just ascending to the throne of God.
At the same moment I perceived the yawning abyss of hell like a fiery meteor at the feet
of Caiphas; it was filled with horrible devils; a slight gauze alone appeared to separate him
from its dark flames. I could see the demoniacal fury with which his heart was overflowing,
and the whole house looked to me like hell. At the moment that our Lord pronounced the
solemn words, ‘I am the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ hell appeared to be shaken from one
extremity to the other, and then, as it were, to burst forth and inundate every person in the
house of Caiphas with feelings of redoubled hatred towards our Lord. These things are
always shown to me under the appearance of some material object, which renders them less
difficult of comprehension, and impresses them in a more clear and forcible manner on the
mind, because we ourselves being material beings, facts are more easily illustrated in our
regard if manifested through the medium of the senses. The despair and fury which these
words produced in hell were shown to me under the appearance of a thousand terrific
figures in different places. I remember seeing, among other frightful things, a number of
little black objects, like dogs with claws, which walked on their hind legs; I knew at the time
what kind of wickedness was indicated by this apparition, but I cannot remember now. I
saw these horrible phantoms enter into the bodies of the greatest part of the bystanders, or
else place themselves on their head or shoulders. I likewise at this moment saw frightful
spectres come out of the sepulchres on the other side of Sion; I believe they were evil spirits.
I saw in the neighbourhood of the Temple many other apparitions, which resembled
prisoners loaded with chains: I do not know whether they were demons, or souls
condemned to remain in some particular part of the earth, and who were then going to
Limbo, which our Lord’s condemnation to death had opened to them.
It is extremely difficult to explain these facts, for fear of scandalising those who have no
knowledge of such things; but persons who see feel them, and they often cause the very hair
to stand on end on the head. I think that John saw some of these apparitions, for I heard
him speak about them afterwards. All whose hearts were not radically corrupted felt
excessively terrified at these events, but the hardened were sensible of nothing but an
increase of hatred and anger against our Lord.
Caiphas then arose, and, urged on by Satan, took up the end of his mantle, pierced it
with his knife, and rent it from one end to the other, exclaiming at the same time, in a loud
voice, ‘He hath blasphemed, what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the
blasphemy: what think you?’ All who were then present arose, and exclaimed with astounding
malignancy, ‘He is guilty of death!’
During the whole of this frightful scene, the devils were in the most tremendous state of
excitement; they appeared to have complete possession not only of the enemies of Jesus, but
likewise of their partisans and cowardly followers. The powers of darkness seemed to me to
proclaim a triumph over the light, and the few among the spectators whose hearts still
retained a glimmering of light were filled with such consternation that, covering their heads,
they instantly departed. The witnesses who belonged to the upper classes were less hardened
than the others; their consciences were racked with remorse, and they followed the example
given by the persons mentioned above, and left the room as quickly as possible, while the
rest crowded round the fire in the vestibule, and ate and drank after receiving full pay for
their services. The High Priest then addressed the archers, and said, ‘I deliver this king up
into your hands; render the blasphemer the honours which are his due.’ After these words
he retired with the members of his Council into the round room behind the tribunal, which
could not be seen from the vestibule.
In the midst of the bitter affliction which inundated the heart of John, his thoughts were
with the Mother of Jesus; he feared that the dreadful news of the condemnation of her Son
might be communicated to her suddenly, or that perhaps some enemy might give the
information in a heartless manner. He therefore looked at Jesus, and saying in a low voice,
‘Lord, thou knowest why I leave thee,’ went away quickly to seek the Blessed Virgin, as if
he had been sent by Jesus himself. Peter was quite overcome between anxiety and sorrow,
which, joined to fatigue, made him chilly; therefore, as the morning was cold, he went up to
the fire where many of the common people were warming themselves. He did his best to
hide his grief in their presence, as he could not make up his mind to go home and leave his
beloved Master.
 
CHAPTER IX.        pg 90 of 199
The Insults received by Jesus in the Court of Caiphas.
 
No sooner did Caiphas, with the other members of the Council, leave the tribunal than a
crowd of miscreants—the very scum of the people—surrounded Jesus like a swarm of
infuriated wasps, and began to heap every imaginable insult upon him. Even during the
trial, whilst the witnesses were speaking, the archers and some others could not restrain
their cruel inclinations, but pulled out handfuls of his hair and beard, spat upon him, struck
him with their fists, wounded him with sharp-pointed sticks, and even ran needles into his
body; but when Caiphas left the hall they set no bounds to their barbarity. They first placed
a crown, made of straw and the bark of trees, upon his head, and then took it off, saluting
him at the same time with insulting expressions, like the following: ‘Behold the Son of
David wearing the crown of his father.’ ‘A greater than Solomon is here; this is the king
who is preparing a wedding feast for his son.’ Thus did they turn into ridicule those eternal
truths which he had taught under the from of parables to those whom he came from heaven
to save; and whilst repeating these scoffing words, they continued to strike him with their
fists and sticks, and to spit in his face. Next they put a crown of reeds upon his head, took
off his robe and scapular, and then threw an old torn mantle, which scarcely reached his
knees, over his shoulders; around his neck they hung a long iron chain, with an iron ring at
each end, studded with sharp points, which bruised and tore his knees as he walked. They
again pinioned his arms, put a reed into his hand, and covered his Divine countenance with
spittle. They had already thrown all sorts of filth over his hair, as well as over his chest, and
upon the old mantle. They bound his eyes with a dirty rag, and struck him, crying out at the
same time in loud tones, ‘Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who is he that struck thee?’ He answered
not one word, but sighed, and prayed inwardly for them.
After many more insults, they seized the chain which was hanging on his neck, dragged
him towards the room into which the Council had withdrawn, and with their stick forced
him in, vociferating at the same time, ‘March forward, thou King of Straw! Show thyself to
the Council with the insignia of the regal honours we have rendered unto thee.’ A large
body of councillors, with Caiphas at their head, were still in the room, and they looked with
both delight and approbation at the shameful scene which was enacted, beholding with
pleasure the most sacred ceremonies turned into derision. The pitiless guards covered him
with mud and spittle, and with mock gravity exclaimed, ‘Receive the prophetic unction—
the regal unction.’ Then they impiously parodied the baptismal ceremonies, and the pious
act of Magdalen in emptying the vase of perfume on his head. ‘How canst thou presume,’
they exclaimed, ‘to appear before the Council in such a condition? Thou dost purify others,
and thou art not pure thyself; but we will soon purify thee.’ They fetched a basin of dirty
water, which they poured over his face and shoulders, whilst they bent their knees before
him, and exclaimed, ‘Behold thy precious unction, behold the spikenard worth three
hundred pence; thou hast been baptised in the pool of Bethsaida.’ They intended by this to
throw into ridicule the act of respect and veneration shown by Magdalen, when she poured
the precious ointment over his head, at the house of the Pharisee.
By their derisive words concerning his baptism in the pool of Bethsaida, they pointed out,
although unintentionally, the resemblance between Jesus and the Paschal lamb, for the
lambs were washed in the first place in the pond near the Probatica gate, and then brought
to the pool of Bethsaida, where they underwent another purification before being taken to
the Temple to be sacrificed. The enemies of Jesus likewise alluded to the man who had been
infirm for thirty-eight years, and who was cured by Jesus at the pool of Bethsaida; for I saw
this man either washed or baptised there; I say either washed or baptised, because I do not
exactly remember the circumstances.
They then dragged Jesus round the room, before all the members of the Council, who
continued to address him in reproachful and abusive language. Every countenance looked
diabolical and enraged, and all around was dark, confused, and terrified. Our Lord, on the
contrary, was from the moment that he declared himself to be the Son of God, generally
surrounded with a halo of light. Many of the assembly appeared to have a confused
knowledge of this fact, and to be filled with consternation at perceiving that neither outrages
or ignominies could alter the majestic expression of his countenance.
The halo which shone around Jesus from the moment he declared himself to be the
Christ, the Son of the Living God, served but to incite his enemies to greater fury, and yet it
was so resplendent that they could not look at it, and I believe their intention in throwing
the dirty rag over his head was to deaden its brightness.
 
CHAPTER X.        pg 91 of 199
The Denial of St. Peter
 
At the moment when Jesus uttered the words, ‘Thou hast said it,’ and the High Priest rent
his garment, the whole room resounded with tumultuous cries. Peter and John, who had
suffered intensely during the scene which had just been enacted, and which they had been
obliged to witness in silence, could bear the sight no longer. Peter therefore got up to leave
the room, and John followed soon after. The latter went to the Blessed Virgin, who was in
the house of Martha with the holy women, but Peter’s love for Jesus was so great, that he
could not make up his mind to leave him; his heart was bursting, and he wept bitterly,
although he endeavoured to restrain and hide his tears. It was impossible for him to remain
in the tribunal, as his deep emotion at the sight of his beloved Master’s sufferings would
have betrayed him; therefore he went into the vestibule and approached the fire, around
which soldiers and common people were sitting and talking in the most heartless and
disgusting manner concerning the sufferings of Jesus, and relating all that they themselves
had done to him. Peter was silent, but his silence and dejected demeanour made the
bystanders suspect something. The portress came up to the fire in the midst of the
conversation, cast a bold glance at Peter and said, ‘Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilean.’
These words startled and alarmed Peter; he trembled as to what might ensue if he owned the
truth before his brutal companions, and therefore answered quickly, ‘Woman, I know him
not,’ got up, and left the vestibule. At this moment the cock crowed somewhere in the
outskirts of the town. I do not remember hearing it, but I felt that is was crowing. As he
went out, another maid-servant looked at him, and said to those who were with her, ‘This
man was also with him,’ and the persons she addressed immediately demanded of Peter
whether her words were true, saying, ‘Art thou not one of this man’s disciples?’ Peter was
even more alarmed than before, and renewed his denial in these words, ‘I am not; I know not
the man.’
He left the inner court, and entered the exterior court; he was weeping, and so great was
his anxiety and grief, that he did not reflect in the least on the words he had just uttered. The
exterior court was quite filled with persons, and some had climbed on to the top of the wall
to listen to what was going on in the inner court which they were forbidden to enter. A few
of the disciples were likewise there, for their anxiety concerning Jesus was so great that they
could not make up their minds to remain concealed in the caves of Hinnom. They came up
to Peter, and with many tears questioned him concerning their loved Master, but he was so
unnerved and so fearful of betraying himself, that he briefly recommended them to go away,
as it was dangerous to remain, and left them instantly. He continued to indulge his violent
grief, while they hastened to leave the town. I recognised among these disciples, who were
about sixteen in number, Bartholomew, Nathaniel, Saturninus, Judas Barsabeas, Simon,
who was afterwards bishop of Jerusalem, Zacheus, and Manahem, the man who was born
blind and cured by our Lord.
Peter could not rest anywhere, and his love for Jesus prompted him to return to the inner
court, which he was allowed to enter, because Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had, in
the first instance, taken him in. He did not re-enter the vestibule, but turned to the right and
went towards the round room which was behind the tribunal, and in which Jesus was
undergoing every possible insult and ignominy from his cruel enemies. Peter walked timidly
up to the door, and although perfectly conscious that he was suspected by all present of
being a partisan of Jesus, yet he could not remain outside; his love for his Master impelled
him forward; he entered the room, advanced, and soon stood in the very midst of the brutal
throng who were feasting their cruel eyes on the sufferings of Jesus. They were at that
moment dragging him ignominiously backwards and forwards with the crown of straw
upon his head; he cast a sorrowful and even severe glance upon Peter, which cut him to the
heart, but as he was still much alarmed, and at that moment heard some of the bystanders
call out, ‘Who is that man?’ he went back again into the court, and seeing that the persons in
the vestibule were watching him, came up to the fire and remained before it for some time.
Several persons who had observed his anxious troubled countenance began to speak in
opprobrious terms of Jesus, and one of them said to him, ‘Thou also art one of his disciples; thou
also art a Galilean; thy very speech betrays thee.’ Peter got up, intending to leave the room, when
a brother of Malchus came up to him and said, ‘Did I not see thee in the garden with him? Didst
thou not cut off my brother’s ear?’
Peter became almost beside himself with terror; he began to curse and to swear ‘that he
knew not the man,’ and ran out of the vestibule into the outer court; the cock then crowed
again, and Jesus, who at that moment was led across the court, cast a look of mingled
compassion and grief upon his Apostle. This look of our Lord pierced Peter to the very
heart,—it recalled to his mind in the most forcible and terrible manner the words addressed
to him by our Lord on the previous evening: ‘Before the cock crows twice, thou shalt thrice deny
me.’ He had forgotten all his promises and protestations to our Lord, that he would die
rather than deny him—he had forgotten the warning given to him by our Lord;—but when
Jesus looked at him, he felt the enormity of his fault, and his heart was nigh bursting with
grief. He had denied his Lord, when that beloved Master was outraged, insulted, delivered
up into the hands of unjust judges,—when he was suffering all in patience and in silence.
His feelings of remorse were beyond expression; he returned to the exterior court, covered
his face and wept bitterly; all fear of being recognised was over;—he was ready to proclaim
to the whole universe both his fault and his repentance.
What man will dare assert that he would have shown more courage than Peter if, with
his quick and ardent temperament, he were exposed to such danger, trouble, and sorrow, at
a moment, too, when completely unnerved between fear and grief, and exhausted by the
sufferings of this sad night? Our Lord left Peter to his own strength, and he was weak; like
all who forget the words: ‘Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.’
 
 
CHAPTER XI.        pg 93 of 199
Mary in the House of Caiphas.
 
The Blessed Virgin was ever united to her Divine Son by interior spiritual
communications; she was, therefore, fully aware of all that happened to him—she suffered
with him, and joined in his continual prayer for his murderers. But her maternal feelings
prompted her to supplicate Almighty God most ardently not to suffer the crime to be
completed, and to save her Son from such dreadful torments. She eagerly desired to return
to him; and when John, who had left the tribunal at the moment the frightful cry, ‘He is
guilty of death,’ was raised, came to the house of Lazarus to see after her, and to relate the
particulars of the dreadful scene he had just witnessed, she, as also Magdalen and some of
the other holy women, begged to be taken to the place where Jesus was suffering. John, who
had only left our Saviour in order to console her whom he loved best next to his Divine
Master, instantly acceded to their request, and conducted them through the streets, which
were lighted up by the moon alone, and crowded with persons hastening to their home. The
holy women were closely veiled; but the sobs which they could not restrain made many who
passed by observe them, and their feelings were harrowed by the abusive epithets they
overheard bestowed upon Jesus by those who were conversing on the subject of his arrest.
The Blessed Virgin, who ever beheld in spirit the opprobrious treatment which her dear Son
was receiving, continued ‘to lay up all these things in her heart;’ like him she suffered in
silence; but more than once she became totally unconscious. Some disciples of Jesus, who
were returning from the hall of Caiphas, saw her fainting in the arms of the holy women,
and, touched with pity, stopped to look at her compassionately, and saluted her in these
words: ‘Hail! Unhappy Mother—hail, Mother of the Most Holy One of Israel, the most
afflicted of all mothers!’ Mary raised her head, thanked them gratefully, and continued her
sad journey.
When in the vicinity of Caiphas’s house, their grief was renewed by the sight of a group
of men who were busily occupied under a tent, making the cross ready for our Lord’s
crucifixion. The enemies of Jesus had given orders that the cross should be prepared directly
after his arrest, that they might without delay execute the sentence which they hoped to
persuade Pilate to pass on him. The Romans had already prepared the crosses of the two
thieves, and the workmen who were making that of Jesus were much annoyed at being
obliged to labour at it during the night; they did not attempt to conceal their anger at this,
and uttered the most frightful oaths and curses, which pierced the heart of the tender
Mother of Jesus through and through; but she prayed for these blind creatures who thus
unknowingly blasphemed the Saviour who was about to die for their salvation, and
prepared the cross for his cruel execution.
Mary, John, and the holy women traversed the outer court attached to Caiphas’s house.
They stopped under the archway of a door which opened into the inner court. Mary’s heart
was with her Divine Son, and she desired most ardently to see this door opened, that she
might again have a chance of beholding him, for she knew that it alone separated her from
the prison where he was confined. The door was at length opened, and Peter rushed out, his
face covered with his mantle, wringing his hands, and weeping bitterly. By the light of the
torches he soon recognised John and the Blessed Virgin, but the sight of them only renewed
those dreadful feelings of remorse which the look of Jesus had awakened in his breast. Mary
approached him instantly, and said, ‘Simon, tell me, I entreat you, what is become of Jesus,
my Son?’ These words pierced his very heart; he could not even look at her, but turned
away, and again wrung his hands. Mary drew close to him, and said in a voice trembling
with emotion: ‘Simon, son of John, why dost thou not answer me?’—Mother!’ exclaimed
Peter, in a dejected tone, ‘O, Mother, speak not to me—thy Son is suffering more than
words can express: speak not to me! They have condemned him to death, and I have denied
him three times.’ John came up to ask a few more questions, but Peter ran out of the court
as if beside himself, and did not stop for a single moment until he reached the cave at
Mount Olivet—that cave on the stones of which the impression of the hands of our Saviour
had been miraculously left. I believe it is the cave in which Adam took refuge to weep after
his fall.
The Blessed Virgin was inexpressibly grieved at hearing of the fresh pang inflicted on the
loving heart of her Divine Son, the pang of hearing himself denied by that disciple who had
first acknowledged him as the Son of the Living God; she was unable to support herself, and
fell down on the door-stone, upon which the impression of her feet and hands remains to
the present day. I have seen the stones, which are preserved somewhere, but I cannot at this
moment remember where. The door was not again shut, for the crowd was dispersing, and
when the Blessed Virgin came to herself, she begged to be taken to some place as near as
possible to her Divine Son. John, therefore, led her and the holy women to the front of the
prison where Jesus was confined. Mary was with Jesus in spirit, and Jesus was with her; but
this loving Mother wished to hear with her own ear the voice of her Divine Son. She
listened and heard not only his moans, but also the abusive language of those around him. It
was impossible for the holy women to remain in the court any longer without attracting
attention. The grief of Magdalen was so violent that she was unable to conceal it; and
although the Blessed Virgin, by a special grace from Almighty God, maintained a calm and
dignified exterior in the midst of her sufferings, yet even she was recognised, and overheard
harsh words, such as these: ‘Is not that the Mother of the Galilean? Her Son will most certainly
be executed, but not before the festival, unless, indeed, he is the greatest of criminals.’
The Blessed Virgin left the court, and went up to the fireplace in the vestibule, where a
certain number of persons were still standing. When she reached the spot where Jesus had
said that he was the Son of God, and the wicked Jews cried out, ‘He is guilty of death,’ she
again fainted, and John and the holy women carried her away, in appearance more like a
corpse than a living person. The bystanders said not a word; they seemed struck with
astonishment, and silence, such as might have been produced in hell by the passage of a
celestial being, reigned in that vestibule.
The holy women again passed the place where the cross was being prepared; the
workmen appeared to find as much difficulty in completing it as the judges had found in
pronouncing sentence, and were obliged to fetch fresh wood every moment, for some bits
would not fit, and others split; this continued until the different species of wood were placed
in the cross according to the intentions of Divine Providence. I saw angels who obliged
these men to recommence their work, and who would not let them rest, until all was
accomplished in a proper manner; but my remembrance of this vision is indistinct.

 
CHAPTER XII.        pg 95 of 199
Jesus confined in the subterranean Prison.
 
The Jews, having quite exhausted their barbarity, shut Jesus up in a little vaulted prison,
the remains of which subsist to this day. Two of the archers alone remained with him, and
they were soon replaced by two others. He was still clothed in the old dirty mantle, and
covered with the spittle and other filth which they had thrown over him; for they had not
allowed him to put on his own clothes again, but kept his hands tightly bound together.
When our Lord entered this prison, he prayed most fervently that his Heavenly Father
would accept all that he had already suffered, and all that he was about to suffer, as an
expiatory sacrifice, not only for his executioners, but likewise for all who in future ages
might have to suffer torments such as he was about to endure, and be tempted to impatience
or anger.
The enemies of our Lord did not allow him a moment’s respite, even in this dreary
prison, but tied him to a pillar which stood in the centre, and would not allow him to lean
upon it, although he was so exhausted from ill treatment, the weight of his chains, and his
numerous falls, that he could scarcely support himself on his swollen and torn feet. Never
for a moment did they cease insulting him; and when the first set were tired out, others
replaced them.
It is quite impossible to describe all that the Holy of Holies suffered from these heartless
beings; for the sight affected me so excessively that I became really ill, and I felt as if I could
not survive it. We ought, indeed, to be ashamed of that weakness and susceptibility which
renders us unable to listen composedly to the descriptions, or speak without repugnance, of
those sufferings which our Lord endured so calmly and patiently for our salvation. The
horror we feel is as great as that of a murderer who is forced to place his hands upon the
wound he himself has inflicted on his victim. Jesus endured all without opening his mouth;
and it was man, sinful man, who perpetrated all these outrages against one who was at once
their Brother, their Redeemer, and their God. I, too, am a great sinner, and my sins cause
these sufferings. At the day of judgment, when the most hidden things will be manifested,
we shall see the share we have had in the torments endured by the Son of God; we shall see
how far we have caused them by the sins we so frequently commit, and which are, in fact, a
species of consent which we give to, and a participation in, the tortures which were inflicted
on Jesus by his cruel enemies. If, alas! we reflected seriously on this, we should repeat with
much greater fervour the words which we find so often in prayer books: ‘Lord, grant that I
may die, rather than ever wilfully offend thee again by sin.’
Jesus continued to pray for his enemies, and they being at last tired out left him in peace
for a short time, when he leaned against the pillar to rest, and a bright light shone around
him. The day was beginning to dawn,—the day of his Passion, of our Redemption,—and a
faint ray penetrating the narrow vent-hole of the prison, fell upon the holy and immaculate
Lamb, who had taken upon himself the sins of the world. Jesus turned towards the ray of
light, raised his fettered hands, and, in the most touching manner, returned thanks to his
Heavenly Father for the dawn of that day, which had been so long desired by the prophets,
and for which he himself had so ardently sighed from the moment of his birth on earth, and
concerning which he had said to his disciples, ‘I have a baptism wherewith I am to be baptised,
and how am I straitened until it be accomplished!’ I prayed with him; but I cannot give the words
of his prayer, for I was so completely overcome, and touched to hear him return thanks to
his Father for the terrible sufferings which he had already endured for me, and for the still
greater which he was about to endure. I could only repeat over and over with the greatest
fervour, ‘Lord, I beseech thee, give me these sufferings: they belong to me: I have deserved
them in punishment for my sins.’ I was quite overwhelmed with feelings of love and
compassion when I looked upon him thus welcoming the first dawn of the great day of his
Sacrifice, and that ray of light which penetrated into his prison might, indeed, be compared
to the visit of a judge who wishes to be reconciled to a criminal before the sentence of death
which he has pronounced upon him is executed.
The archers, who were dozing, woke up for a moment, and looked at him with surprise:
they said nothing, but appeared to be somewhat astonished and frightened. Our Divine
Lord was confined in this prison an hour, or thereabouts.
Whilst Jesus was in this dungeon, Judas, who had been wandering up and down the
valley of Hinnom like a madman, directed his step towards the house of Caiphas, with the
thirty pieces of silver, the reward of his treachery, still hanging to his waist. All was silent
around, and he addressed himself to some of the sentinels, without letting them know who
he was, and asked what was going to be done to the Galilean. ‘He has been condemned to
death, and he will certainly be crucified,’ was the reply. Judas walked to and fro, and
listened to the different conversations which were held concerning Jesus. Some spoke of the
cruel treatment he had received, other of his astonishing patience, while others, again
discoursed concerning the solemn trial which was to take place in the morning before the
great Council. Whilst the traitor was listening eagerly to the different opinions given, day
dawned; the members of the tribunal commenced their preparations, and Judas slunk
behind the building that he might not be seen, for like Cain he sought to hide himself from
human eyes, and despair was beginning to take possession of his soul. The place in which
he took refuge happened to be the very spot where the workmen had been preparing the
wood for making the cross of our Lord; all was in readiness, and the men were asleep by its
side. Judas was filled with horror at the sight: he shuddered and fled when he beheld the
instrument of that cruel death to which for a paltry sum of money he had delivered up his
Lord and Master; he ran to and fro in perfect agonies of remorse, and finally hid himself in
an adjoining cave, where he determined to await the trial which was to take place in the
morning.

CHAPTER XIII.        pg 97 of 199
The Morning Trial.
 
Caiphas, Annas, the ancients, and the scribes assembled in the morning in the great hall
of the tribunal, to have a legal trial, as meetings at night were not lawful, and could only be
looked upon in the light of preparatory audiences. The majority of the members had slept in
the house of Caiphas, where beds had been prepared for them, but some, and among them
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, had gone home, and returned at the dawn of day.
The meeting was crowded, and the members commenced their operations in the most
hurried manner possible. They wished to condemn Jesus to death at once, but Nicodemus,
Joseph, and some others opposed their wishes and demanded that the decision should be
deferred until after the festival, for fear of causing an insurrection among the people,
maintaining likewise that no criminal could be justly condemned upon charges which were
not proved, and that in the case now before them all the witnesses contradicted one another.
The High Priests and their adherents became very angry, and told Joseph and Nicodemus,
in plain terms, that they were not surprised at their expressing displeasure at what had been
done, because they were themselves partisans of the Galilean and his doctrines, and were
fearful of being convicted. The High Priest even went so far as to endeavour to exclude from
the Council all those members who were in the lightest degree favourable to Jesus. These
members protested that they washed their hands of all the future proceedings of the Council,
and leaving the room went to the Temple, and from this day never again took their seats in
the Council. Caiphas then ordered the guards to bring Jesus once more into his presence,
and to prepare everything for taking him to Pilate’s court directly he should have
pronounced sentence. The emissaries of the Council hurried off to the prison, and with their
usual brutality untied the hands of Jesus, dragged off the old mantle which they had thrown
over his shoulders, made him put on his own soiled garment, and having fastened ropes
round his waist, dragged him out of the prison. The appearance of Jesus, when he passed
through the midst of the crowd who were already assembled in the front of the house, was
that of a victim led to be sacrificed; his countenance was totally changed and disfigured
from ill-usage, and his garments stained and torn; but the sight of his sufferings, far from
exciting a feeling of compassion in the hard hearted Jews, simply filled them with disgust,
and increased their rage. Pity was, indeed, a feeling unknown in their cruel breasts.
Caiphas, who did not make the slightest effort to conceal his hatred, addressed our Lord
haughtily in these words: ‘If thou be Christ , tell us plainly.’ Then Jesus raised his head, and
answered with great dignity and calmness, ‘If I shall tell you, you will not believe me; and if I
shall also ask you, you will not answer me, or let me go. But hereafter the Son of Man shall be sitting
on the right hand of the power of God.’ The High Priests looked at one another, and said to
Jesus, with a disdainful laugh, ‘Art thou, then, the Son of God?’ And Jesus answered, with the
voice of eternal truth, ‘You say that I am.’ At these words they all exclaimed, ‘What need we
any further testimony? For we ourselves have heard it from his own mouth.’
They all arose instantly and vied with each other as to who should heap the most abusive
epithets upon Jesus, whom they termed a low-born miscreant, who aspired to being their
Messiah, and pretended to be entitled to sit at the right hand of God. They ordered the
archers to tie his hands again, and to fasten a chain round his neck (this was usually done to
criminals condemned to death), and they then prepared to conduct him to Pilate’s hall,
where a messenger had already been dispatched to beg him to have all in readiness for
trying a criminal, as it was necessary to make no delay on account of the festival day.
The Jewish Priests murmured among themselves at being obliged to apply to the Roman
governor for the confirmation of their sentence, but it was necessary, as they had not the
right of condemning criminals excepting for things which concerned religion and the
Temple alone, and they could not pass a sentence of death. They wished to prove that Jesus
was an enemy to the emperor, and this accusation concerned those departments which were
under Pilate’s jurisdiction. The soldiers were all standing in front of the house, surrounded
by a large body of the enemies of Jesus, and of common persons attracted by curiosity. The
High Priests and a part of the Council walked at the head of the procession, and Jesus, led
by archers, and guarded by soldiers, followed, while the mob brought up the rear. They
were obliged to descend Mount Sion, and cross a part of the lower town to reach Pilate’s
palace, and many priests who had attended the Council went to the Temple directly
afterwards, as it was necessary to prepare for the festival.

CHAPTER XIV.        pg 98 of 199
The Despair of Judas
 
Whilst the Jews were conducting Jesus to Pilate, the traitor Judas walked about listening
to the conversation of the crowd who followed, and his ears were struck by words such as
these: ‘They are taking him before Pilate; the High Priests have condemned the Galilean to
death; he will be crucified; they will accomplish his death; he has been already dreadfully illtreated;
his patience is wonderful, he answers not; his only words are that he is the Messiah,
and that he will be seated at the right hand of God; they will crucify him on account of
those words; had he not said them they could not have condemned him to death. The
miscreant who sold him was one of his disciples; and had a short time before eaten the
Paschal lamb with him; not for worlds would I have had to do with such an act; however
guilty the Galilean may be, he has not at all events sold his friend for money; such an
infamous character as this disciple is infinitely more deserving of death.’ Then, but too late,
anguish, despair, and remorse took possession of the mind of Judas. Satan instantly
prompted
him to fly. He fled as if a thousand furies were at his heel, and the bag which was hanging at
his side struck him as he ran, and propelled him as a spur from hell; but he took it into his
hand to prevent its blows. He fled as fast as possible, but where did he fly? Not towards the
crowd, that he might cast himself at the feet of Jesus, his merciful Saviour, implore his
pardon, and beg do die with him,—not to confess his fault with true repentance before God,
but to endeavour to unburden himself before the world of his crime, and of the price of his
treachery. He ran like one beside himself into the Temple, where several members of the
Council had gathered together after the judgment of Jesus. They looked at one another with
astonishment; and then turned their haughty countenances, on which a smile of irony was
visible, upon Judas. He with a frantic gesture tore the thirty pieces of silver from his side,
and holding them forth with his right hand, exclaimed in accents of the most deep despair,
‘Take back your silver—that silver with which you bribed me to betray this just man; take
back your silver; release Jesus; our compact is at an end; I have sinned grievously, for I have
betrayed innocent blood.’ The priests answered him in the most contemptuous manner, and,
as if fearful of contaminating themselves by the contact of the reward of the traitor, would
not touch the silver he tended, but replied, ‘What have we to do with thy sin? If thou
thinkest to have sold innocent blood, it is thine own affair; we know what we have paid for,
and we have judged him worthy of death. Thou hast thy money, say no more.’ They
addressed these words to him in the abrupt tone in which men usually speak when anxious
to get rid of a troublesome person, and instantly arose and walked away. These words filled
Judas with such rage and despair that he became almost frantic: his hair stood on end on his
head; he rent in two the bag which contained the thirty pieces of silver, cast them down in
the Temple, and fled to the outskirts of the town.
I again beheld him rushing to and fro like a madman in the valley of Hinnom: Satan was
by his side in a hideous form, whispering in his ear, to endeavour to drive him to despair, all
the curses which the prophets had hurled upon this valley, where the Jews formerly
sacrificed their children to idols.
It appeared as if all these maledictions were directed against him, as in these words, for
instance: ‘They shall go forth, and behold the carcases of those who have sinned against me, whose
worm dieth not, and whore fires shall never be extinguished.’ Then the devil murmured in his ears,
‘Cain, where is thy brother Abel? What hast thou done?—his blood cries to me for
vengeance: thou art cursed upon earth, a wanderer for ever.’ When he reached the torrent of
Cedron, and saw Mount Olivet, he shuddered, turned away, and again the words vibrated
in his ear, ‘Friend, whereto art thou come? Judas, dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss?’
Horror filled his soul, his head began to wander, and the arch fiend again whispered, ‘It was
here that David crossed the Cedron when he fled from Absalom. Absalom put an end to his
life by hanging himself. It was of thee that David spoke when he said: “And they repaid me
evil for good; hatred for my love. May the devil stand at his right hand; when he is judged, may he go
out condemned. May his days be few, and his bishopric let another take. May the iniquity of his father
be remembered in the sight of the Lord, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out, because he
remembered not to show mercy, but persecuted the poor man and the beggar and the broken in heart, to
put him to death. And he loved cursing, and it shall come unto him. And he put on cursing like a
garment, and it went in like water into his entrails, and like oil into his bones. May it be unto him like
a garment which covereth him; and like a girdle, with which he is girded continually.” Overcome by
these terrible thoughts Judas rushed on, and reached the foot of the mountain. It was a
dreary, desolate spot filled with rubbish and putrid remains; discordant sounds from the city
reverberated in his ears, and Satan continually repeated, ‘They are now about to put him to
death; thou has sold him. Knowest thou not the words of the law, “He who sells a soul among
his brethren, and receives the price of it, let him die the death”? Put an end to thy misery, wretched
one; put an end to thy misery.’ Overcome by despair Judas tore off his girdle, and hung
himself on a tree which grew in a crevice of the rock, and after death his body burst asunder,
and his bowels were scattered around.

CHAPTER XV.        pg 100 of 199
Jesus is taken before Pilate.
 
The malicious enemies of our Saviour led him through the most public part of the town
to take him before Pilate. The procession wended its way slowly down the north side of the
mountain of Sion, then passed through that section on the eastern side of the Temple, called
Acre, towards the palace and tribunal of Pilate, which were seated on the north-west side of
the Temple, facing a large square. Caiphas, Annas, and many others of the Chief Council,
walked first in festival attire; they were followed by a multitude of scribes and many other
Jews, among whom were the false witnesses, and the wicked Pharisees who had taken the
most prominent part in accusing Jesus. Our Lord followed at a short distance; he was
surrounded by a band of soldiers, and led by the archers. The multitude thronged on all
sides and followed the procession, thundering forth the most fearful oaths and imprecations,
while groups of persons were hurrying to and fro, pushing and jostling one another. Jesus
was stripped of all save his under garment, which was stained and soiled by the filth which
had been flung upon it; a long chain was hanging round his neck, which struck his knees as
he walked; his hands were pinioned as on the previous day, and the archers dragged him by
the ropes which were fastened round his waist. He tottered rather than walked, and was
almost unrecognisable from the effects of his sufferings during the night;—he was
colourless, haggard, his face swollen and even bleeding, and his merciless persecutors
continued to torment him each moment more and more. They had gathered together a large
body of the dregs of the people, in order to make his present disgraceful entrance into the
city a parody on his triumphal entrance on Palm Sunday. They mocked, and with derisive
gestures called him king, and tossed in his path stones, bits of wood; and filthy rags; they
made game of, and by a thousand taunting speeches mocked him, during this pretended
triumphal entry.
In the corner of a building, not far from the house of Caiphas, the afflicted Mother of
Jesus, with John and Magdalen, stood watching for him. Her soul was ever united to his;
but propelled by her love, she left no means untried which could enable her really to
approach him. She remained at the Cenacle for some time after her midnight visit to the
tribunal of Caiphas, powerless and speechless from grief; but when Jesus was dragged forth
from his prison, to be again brought before his judges, she arose, cast her veil and cloak
about her, and said to Magdalen and John: ‘Let us follow my Son to Pilate’s court; I must
again look upon him.’ They went to a place through which the procession must pass, and
waited for it. The Mother of Jesus knew that her Son was suffering dreadfully, but never
could she have conceived the deplorable, the heartrending condition to which he was
reduced by the brutality of his enemies. Her imagination had depicted him to her as
suffering fearfully, but yet supported and illuminated by sanctity, love, and patience. Now,
however, the sad reality burst upon her. First in the procession appeared the priests, those
most bitter enemies of her Divine Son. They were decked in flowing robes; but at, terrible to
say, instead of appearing resplendent in their character of priests of the Most High, they
were transformed into priests of Satan, for no one could look upon their wicked
countenances without beholding there, portrayed in vivid colours, the evil passions with
which their souls were filled—deceit, infernal cunning, and a raging anxiety to carry out
that most tremendous of crimes, the death of their Lord and Saviour, the only Son of God.
Next followed the false witnesses, his perfidious accusers, surrounded by the vociferating
populace; and last of all—himself—her Son—Jesus, the Son of God, the Son of Man,
loaded with chains, scarcely able to support himself, but pitilessly dragged on by his infernal
enemies, receiving blows from some, buffets from others, and from the whole assembled
rabble curses, abuse, and the most scurrilous language. He would have been perfectly
unrecognisable even to her maternal eyes, stripped as he was of all save a torn remnant of
his garment, had she not instantly marked the contrast between his behaviour and that of his
vile tormentors. He alone in the midst of persecution and suffering looked calm and
resigned, and far from returning blow for blow, never raised his hands but in acts of
supplication to his Eternal Father for the pardon of his enemies. As he approached, she was
unable to restrain herself any longer, but exclaimed in thrilling accents: ‘Alas! is that my
Son? Ah, yes! I see that it is my beloved Son. O, Jesus, my Jesus!’ When the procession was
almost opposite, Jesus looked upon her with an expression of the greatest love and
compassion; this look was too much for the heartbroken mother: she became for the
moment totally unconscious, and John and Magdalen endeavoured to carry her home, but
she quickly roused herself, and accompanied the beloved disciple to Pilate’s house.
The inhabitants of the town of Ophel were all gathered together in an open space to meet
Jesus, but far from administering comfort, they added a fresh ingredient to his cup of
sorrow; they inflicted upon him that sharp pang which must ever be felt by those who see
their friends abandon them in the hour of adversity. Jesus had done much for the
inhabitants of Ophel, but no sooner did they see him reduced to such a state of misery and
degradation, than their faith was shaken; they could no longer believe him to be a king, a
prophet, the Messiah, and the Son of God. The Pharisees jeered and made game of them,
on account of the admiration they had formerly expressed for Jesus. ‘Look at your king
now,’ they exclaimed; ‘do homage to him; have you no congratulations to offer him now
that he is about to be crowned , and seated on his throne? All his boasted miracles are at an
end; the High Priest has put an end to his tricks and witchcraft.’
Notwithstanding the remembrance which these poor people had of the miracles and
wonderful cures which had been performed under their very eyes by Jesus; notwithstanding
the great benefits he had bestowed upon them, their faith was shaken by beholding him thus
derided and pointed out as an object of contempt by the High Priest and the members of the
Sanhedrin, who were regarded in Jerusalem with the greatest veneration. Some went away
doubting, while others remained and endeavoured to join the rabble, but they were
prevented by the guards, who had been sent by the Pharisees, to prevent riots and confusion.

CHAPTER XVI.      pg 102 of 199
Description of Pilate’s Palace and the adjacent Buildings.
 
The palace of the Roman governor, Pilate, was built on the north-west side of the
mountain on which the Temple stood, and to reach it persons were obliged to ascend a
flight of marble steps. It overlooked a large square surrounded by a colonnade, under which
the merchants sat to sell their various commodities. A parapet, and an entrance at the north,
south, east, and west sides alone broke the uniformity of this part of the market-place, which
was called the forum, and built on higher ground than the adjacent streets, which sloped
down from it. The palace of Pilate was not quite close, but separated by a large court, the
entrance to which at the eastern side was through a high arch facing a street leading to the
door called the ‘Probatica,’ on the road to the Mount of Olives. The southern entrance was
through another arch, which leads to Sion, in the neighbourhood of the fortress of Acre.
From the top of the marble steps of Pilate's palace, a person could see across the court as far
as the forum, at the entrance of which a few columns and stone seats were placed. It was at
these seats that the Jewish priests stopped, in order not to defile themselves by entering the
tribunal of Pilate, a line traced on the pavement of the court indicating the precise boundary
beyond which they could not pass without incurring defilement. There was a large parapet
near the western entrance, supported by the sides of Pilate's Praetorium, which formed a
species of porch between it and the square. That part of Pilate's palace which he made use of
when acting in the capacity of judge, was called the Praetorium. A number of columns
surrounded the parapet of which we have just spoken, and in the centre was an uncovered
portion, containing an underground part, where the two thieves condemned to be crucified
with our Lord were confined, and this part was filled with Roman soldiers. The pillar upon
which our Lord was scourged was placed on the forum itself, not far from this parapet and
the colonnade. There were many other columns in this place; those nearest to the palace
were made use of for the infliction of various corporal punishments, and the others served as
posts to which were fastened the beasts brought for sale. Upon the forum itself, opposite this
building, was a platform filled with seats made of stone; and from this platform, which was
called Gabbatha, Pilate was accustomed to pronounce sentence on great criminals. The
marble staircase ascended by persons going to the governor's palace led likewise to an
uncovered terrace, and it was from this terrace that Pilate gave audience to the priests and
Pharisees, when they brought forward their accusations against Jesus. They all stood before
him in the forum, and refused to advance further than the stone seats before mentioned. A
person speaking in a loud tone of voice from the terrace could be easily heard by those in the
forum.
Behind Pilate's palace there were many other terraces, and likewise gardens, and a
country house. The gardens were between the palace of the governor and the dwelling of his
wife, Claudia Procles. A large moat separated these buildings from the mountain on which
the Temple stood, and on this side might be seen the houses inhabited by those who served
in the Temple. The palace of Herod the elder was placed on the eastern side of Pilate's
palace; and it was in its inner court that numbers of the Innocents were massacred. At
present the appearance of these two buildings is a little altered, as their entrances are
changed. Four of the principal streets commenced at this part of the town, and ran in a
southerly direction, three leading to the forum and Pilate's palace, and the fourth to the gate
through which persons passed on their way to Bethsur. The beautiful house which belonged
to Lazarus, and likewise that of Martha, were in a prominent part of this street.
One of these streets was very near to the Temple, and began at the gate which was called
Probatica. The pool of Probatica was close to this gate on the right hand side, and in this
pool the sheep were washed for the first time, before being taken to the Temple; while the
second and more solemn washing took place in the pool of Bethsaida, which is near the
south entrance to the Temple. The second of the above-mentioned streets contained a house
belonging to St. Anna, the mother of the Blessed Virgin, which she usually inhabited when
she came up to Jerusalem with her family to offer sacrifice in the Temple. I believe it was in
this house that the espousals of St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin were celebrated.
The forum, as I have already explained, was built on higher ground than the
neighbouring streets, and the aqueducts which ran through these streets flowed into the
Probatica pool. On Mount Sion, directly opposite to the old castle of King David, stood a
building very similar to the forum, while to the south-east might be seen the Cenacle, and a
little towards the north the tribunals of Annas and Caiphas. King David’s castle was a
deserted fortress, filled with courts, empty rooms, and stables, generally let to travellers. It
had long been in this state of ruin, certainly before the time of our Lord’s nativity. I saw the
Magi with their numerous retinue enter it before going into Jerusalem.
When in meditation I behold the ruins of old castles and temples, see their neglected and
forlorn state, and reflect on the uses to which they are now put, so different from the
intentions of those who raised them, my mind always reverts to the events of our own days,
when so many of the beautiful edifices erected by our pious and zealous ancestors are either
destroyed, defaced, or used for worldly, if not wicked purposes. The little church of our
convent, in which our Lord deigned to dwell, notwithstanding our unworthiness, and which
was to me a paradise upon earth, is now without either roof or windows, and all the
monuments are effaced or carried away. Our beloved convent, too, what will be done with
it in a short time? That convent, where I was more happy in my little cell with my broken
chair, than a king could be on his throne, for from its window I beheld that part of the
church which contained the Blessed Sacrament. In a few years, perhaps, no one will know
that it ever existed,—no one will know that it once contained hundreds of souls consecrated
to God, who spent their days in imploring his mercy upon sinners. But God will know all,
he never forgets,—the past and the future are equally present to him. He it is who reveals to
me events which took place so long ago, and on the day of judgment, when all must be
accounted for, and every debt paid, even to the farthing, he will remember both the good
and the evil deeds performed in places long since forgotten. With God there is no exception
of persons or places, his eyes see all, even the Vineyard of Naboth. It is a tradition among us
that our convent was originally founded by two poor nuns, whose worldly possessions
consisted in a jar of oil and a sack of beans. On the last day God will reward them for the
manner in which they put out this small talent to interest, and for the large harvest which
they reaped and presented to him. It is often said that poor souls remain in purgatory in
punishment for what appears to us so small a crime as not having made restitution of a few
coppers of which they had unlawful possession. May God therefore have mercy upon those
who have seized the property of the poor, or of the Church.

CHAPTER XVII.       pg 104 of 199
Jesus before Pilate.
 
It was about eight in the morning, according to our method of counting time, when the
procession reached the palace of Pilate. Annas, Caiphas, and the chiefs of the Sanhedrin
stopped at a part between the forum and the entrance to the Praetorium, where some stone
seats were placed for them. The brutal guards dragged Jesus to the foot of the flight of stairs
which led to the judgment-seat of Pilate. Pilate was reposing in a comfortable chair, on a
terrace which overlooked the forum, and a small three-legged table stood by his side, on
which was placed the insignia of his office, and a few other things. He was surrounded by
officers and soldiers dressed with the magnificence usual in the Roman army. The Jews and
the priests did not enter the Praetorium, for fear of defiling themselves, but remained
outside.
When Pilate saw the tumultuous procession enter, and perceived how shamefully the
cruel Jews had treated their prisoner, he arose, and addressed them in a tone as
contemptuous as could have been assumed by a victorious general towards the vanquished
chief of some insignificant village: ‘What are you come about so early? Why have you illtreated
this prisoner so shamefully? Is it not possible to refrain from thus tearing to pieces
and beginning to execute your criminals even before they are judged?’ They made no
answer, but shouted out to the guards, ‘Bring him on—bring him to be judged!’ and then,
turning to Pilate, they said, ‘Listen to our accusations against this malefactor; for we cannot
enter the tribunal lest we defile ourselves.’ Scarcely had they finished these words; when a
voice was heard to issue from the midst of the dense multitude; it proceeded from a
venerable-looking old man, of imposing stature, who exclaimed, ‘You are right in not
entering the Praetorium, for it has been sanctified by the blood of Innocents; there is but one
Person who has a right to enter, and who alone can enter, because he alone is pure as the
Innocents who were massacred there.’ The person who uttered these words in a loud voice,
and then disappeared among the crowd, was a rich man of the name of Zadoc, first-cousin
to Obed, the husband of Veronica; two of his children were among the Innocents whom
Herod had caused to be butchered at the birth of our Saviour. Since that dreadful moment
he had given up the world, and, together with his wife, followed the rules of the Essenians.
He had once seen our Saviour at the house of Lazarus, and there heard him discourse, and
the sight of the barbarous manner in which he was dragged before Pilate recalled to his
mind all he himself had suffered when his babes were so cruelly murdered before his eyes,
and he determined to give this public testimony of his belief in the innocence of Jesus. The
persecutors of our Lord were far too provoked at the haughty manner which Pilate assumed
towards them, and at the humble position they were obliged to occupy, to take any notice of
the words of a stranger.
The brutal guards dragged our Lord up the marble staircase, and led him to the end of the
terrace, from whence Pilate was conferring with the Jewish priests. The Roman governor
had often heard of Jesus, although he had never seen him, and now he was perfectly
astonished at the calm dignity of department of a man brought before him in so pitiable a
condition. The inhuman behaviour of the priests and ancients both exasperated him and
increased his contempt for them, and he informed them pretty quickly that the had not the
slightest intention of condemning Jesus without satisfactory proofs of the truth of their
accusation. ‘What accusation do you bring against this man?’ said he, addressing the priests
in the most scornful tone possible. ‘If he were not a malefactor we would not have delivered him up
to thee,’ replied the priests sullenly. ‘Take him,’ said Pilate, ‘and judge you him according to your
law.’ ‘Thou knowest well,’ replied they, ‘that it is not lawful for us to condemn any man to death.’
The enemies of Jesus were furious—they wished to have the trial finished off, and their
victim executed as quickly as possible, that they might be ready at the festival-day to
sacrifice the Paschal lamb, not knowing, miserable wretches as they were, that he whom
they had dragged before the tribunal of an idolatrous judge (into whose house they would
not enter, for fear of defiling themselves before partaking of the figurative victim), that he,
and he alone, was the true Paschal Lamb, of which the other was only the shadow.
Pilate, however, at last ordered them to produce their accusations. These accusations
were three in number, and they brought forward ten witnesses to attest the truth of each.
Their great aim was to make Pilate believe that Jesus was the leader of a conspiracy against
the emperor, in order that he might condemn him to death as a rebel. They themselves were
powerless in such matters, being allowed to judge none but religious offences. Their first
endeavour was to convict him of seducing the people, exciting them to rebellion, and of
being an enemy to public peace and tranquillity. To prove these charges they brought
forward some false witnesses, and declared likewise that he violated the Sabbath, and even
profaned it by curing the sick upon that day. At this accusation Pilate interrupted them, and
said in a jeering tone, ‘It is very evident you were none of you ill yourselves—had you been
so you would not have complained of being cured on the Sabbath-day.’ ‘He seduces the
people, and inculcates the most disgusting doctrines. He even says, that no person can attain
eternal life unless they eat his flesh and drink his blood.’ Pilate was quite provoked at the
intense hatred which their words and countenances expressed and, turning from them with
a look of scorn, exclaimed, ‘You most certainly must wish to follow his doctrines and to
attain eternal life, for you are thirsting for both his body and blood.’
The Jews then brought forward the second accusation against Jesus, which was that he
forbad the people to pay tribute to the emperor. These words roused the indignation of
Pilate, as it was his place to see that all the taxes were properly paid, and he exclaimed in an
angry tone, ‘That is a lie! I must know more about it than you.’ This obliged the enemies of
our Lord to proceed to the third accusation, which they did in words such as these:
‘Although this man is of obscure birth, he is the chief of a large party. When at their head,
he denounces curses upon Jerusalem, and relates parables of double meaning concerning a
king who is preparing a wedding feast for his son. The multitude whom he had gathered
together on a mountain endeavoured once to make him their king; but it was sooner than he
intended: his plans were not matured; therefore he fled and hid himself. Latterly he has
come forward much more: it was but the other day that he entered Jerusalem at the head of
a tumultuous assembly, who by his orders made the people rend the air with acclamations
of “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed be the empire of our Father David, which is now
beginning.” He obliges his partisans to pay him regal honours, and tells them that he is the
Christ, the Anointed of the Lord, the Messiah, the king promised to the Jews, and he wishes
to be addressed by these fine titles.’ Then witnesses gave testimony concerning these things.
The last accusation—that of Jesus causing himself to be called king—made some impression
upon Pilate; he became a little thoughtful, left the terrace and, casting a scrutinising glance
on Jesus, went into the adjoining apartment, and ordered the guards to bring him alone into
his presence. Pilate was not only superstitious, but likewise extremely weak-minded and
susceptible. He had often, during the course of his pagan education, heard mention made of
sons of his gods who had dwelt for a time upon earth; he was likewise fully aware that the
Jewish prophets had long foretold that one should appear in the midst of them who should
be the Anointed of the Lord, their Saviour, and Deliverer from slavery; and that many
among the people believed this firmly. He remembered likewise that kings from the east had
come to Herod, the predecessor of the present monarch of that name, to pay homage to a
newly-born king of the Jews, and that Herod had on this account given orders for the
massacre of the Innocents. He had often heard of the traditions concerning the Messiah and
the king of the Jews, and even examined them with some curiosity; although of course,
being a pagan, without the slightest belief. Had he believed at all, he would probably have
agreed with the Herodians, and with those Jews who expected a powerful and victorious
king. With such impressions, the idea of the Jews accusing the poor miserable individual
whom they had brought into his presence of setting himself up as the promised king and
Messiah, of course appeared to him absurd; but as the enemies of Jesus brought forward
these charges in proof of treason against the emperor, he thought it proper to interrogate
him privately concerning them.
‘Art thou the king of the Jews,’ said Pilate, looking at our Lord, and unable to repress his
astonishment at the divine expression of his countenance.
Jesus made answer, ‘Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me?’
Pilate was offended that Jesus should think it possible for him to believe such a thing, and
answered, ‘Am I a Jew? Thy own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee up to me
as deserving of death: what hast thou done?’
Jesus answered majestically, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this
world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now my
kingdom is not from hence.’
Pilate was somewhat moved by these solemn words, and said to him in a more serious
tone, ‘Art thou a king, then?’
Jesus answered, ‘Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this I came into the
world, that I should give testimony to the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.’
Pilate looked at him, and rising from his seat said, ‘The truth! What is truth?’
They then exchanged a few more words, which I do not now remember, and Pilate
returned to the terrace. The answers and deportment of Jesus were far beyond his
comprehension; but he saw plainly that his assumption of royalty would not clash with that
of the emperor, for that it was to no worldly kingdom that he laid claim; whereas the
emperor cared for nothing beyond this world. He therefore again addressed the chief priests
from the terrace, and said, ‘I find no cause in him.’ The enemies of Jesus became furious, and
uttered a thousand different accusations against our Saviour. But he remained silent, solely
occupied in praying for his base enemies, and replied not when Pilate addressed him in
these words, ‘Answerest thou nothing? Behold in how many things they accuse thee!’ Pilate was
filled with astonishment, and said, ‘I see plainly that all they allege is false.’ But his
accusers, whose anger continued to increase, cried out, ‘You find no cause in him? Is it no
crime to incite the people to revolt in all parts of the kingdom?—to spread his false
doctrines, not only here, but in Galilee likewise?’
The mention of Galilee made Pilate pause: he reflected for a moment, and then asked, ‘Is
this man a Galilean, and a subject of Herod’s?’ They made answer, ‘He is; his parents lived
at Nazareth, and his present dwelling is in Capharnaum.’
‘Since that is the case,’ replied Pilate, ‘take him before Herod; he is here for the festival,
and can judge him at once, as he is his subject.’ Jesus was immediately led out of the
tribunal, and Pilate dispatched an officer to Herod, to inform him that Jesus of Nazareth,
who was his subject, was about to be brought to him to be judged. Pilate had two reasons
for following this line of conduct; in the first place he was delighted to escape having to pass
sentence himself, as he felt very uncomfortable about the whole affair; and in the second
place he was glad of an opportunity of pleasing Herod, with whom he had had a
disagreement, for he knew him to be very curious to see Jesus.
The enemies of our Lord were enraged at being thus dismissed by Pilate in the presence
of the whole multitude, and gave vent to their anger by ill-treating him even more than
before. They pinioned him afresh, and then ceased not overwhelming him with curses and
blows as they led him hurriedly through the crowd, towards the palace of Herod, which was
situated at no great distance from the forum. Some Roman soldiers had joined the
procession.
During the time of the trial Claudia Procles, the wife of Pilate, had sent him frequent
messages to intimate that she wished extremely to speak to him; and when Jesus was sent to
Herod, she placed herself on a balcony and watched the cruel conduct of his enemies with
mingled feelings of fear, grief, and horror.

CHAPTER XVIII.       pg 107 of 199
The Origin of the Way of the Cross.
 
During the whole of the scene which we have just described, the Mother of Jesus, with
Magdalen and John, had stood in a recess in the forum: they were overwhelmed with the
most bitter sorrow, which was but increased by all they heard and saw. When Jesus was
taken before Herod, John led the Blessed Virgin and Magdalen over the parts which had
been sanctified by his footsteps. They again looked at the house of Caiphas, that of Annas,
Ophel, Gethsemani, and the Garden of Olives; they stopped and contemplated each spot
where he had fallen, or where he had suffered particularly; and they wept silently at the
thought of all he had undergone. The Blessed Virgin knelt down frequently and kissed the
ground where her Son had fallen, while Magdalen wrung her hands in bitter grief, and John,
although he could not restrain his own tears, endeavoured to console his companions,
supported and led them on. Thus was the holy devotion of the ‘Way of the Cross’ first
practised; thus were the Mysteries of the Passion of Jesus first honoured, even before that
Passion was accomplished, and the Blessed Virgin, that model of spotless purity, was the
first to show forth the deep veneration felt by the Church for our dear Lord. How sweet and
consoling to follow this Immaculate Mother, passing to and fro, and bedewing the sacred
spots with her tears. But, ah! Who can describe the sharp, sharp sword of grief which then
transfixed her tender soul? She who had once borne the Saviour of the world in her chaste
womb, and suckled him for so long,—she who had truly conceived him who was the Word
of God, in God from all eternity, and truly God,—she beneath whose heart, full of grace, he
had deigned to dwell nine months, who had felt him living within her before he appeared
among men to impart the blessing of salvation and teach them his heavenly doctrines; she
suffered with Jesus, sharing with him not only the sufferings of his bitter Passion, but
likewise that ardent desire of redeeming fallen man by an ignominious death, which
consumed him.
In this touching manner did the most pure and holy Virgin lay the foundation of the
devotion called the Way of the Cross; thus at each station, marked by the sufferings of her
Son, did she lay up in her heart the inexhaustible merits of his Passion, and gather them up
as precious stones or sweet-scented flowers to be presented as a choice offering to the
Eternal Father in behalf of all true believers. The grief of Magdalen was so intense as to
make her almost like an insane person. The holy and boundless love she felt for our Lord
prompted her to cast herself at his feet, and there pour forth the feelings of her heart (as she
once poured the precious ointment on his head as he sat at table); but when on the point of
following this impulse, a dark gulf appeared to intervene between herself and him. The
repentance she felt for her faults was immense, and not less intense was her gratitude for
their pardon; but when she longed to offer acts of love and thanksgiving as precious incense
at the feet of Jesus, she beheld him betrayed, suffering, and about to die for the expiation of
her offences which he had taken upon himself, and this sight filled her with horror, and
almost rent her soul asunder with feelings of love, repentance, and gratitude. The sight of
the ingratitude of those for whom he was about to die increased the bitterness of these
feelings tenfold, and every step, word, or movement demonstrated the agony of her soul.
The heart of John was filled with love, and he suffered intensely, but he uttered not a word.
He supported the Mother of his beloved Master in this her first pilgrimage through the
stations of the Way of the Cross, and assisted her in giving the example of that devotion
which has since been practised with so much fervour by the members of the Christian
Church.

CHAPTER XIX.       pg 108 of 199
Pilate and his Wife.
 
Whilst the Jews were leading Jesus to Herod, I saw Pilate go to his wife, Claudia Procles.
She hastened to meet him, and they went together into a small garden-house which was on
one of the terraces behind the palace. Claudia appeared to be much excited, and under the
influence of fear. She was a tall, fine-looking woman, although extremely pale. Her hair was
plaited and slightly ornamented, but partly covered by a long veil which fell gracefully over
her shoulders. She wore earrings, a necklace, and her flowing dress was drawn together and
held up by a species of clasp. She conversed with Pilate for a long time, and entreated him
by all that he held sacred not to injure Jesus, that Prophet, that saint of saints; and she
related the extraordinary dreams or visions which she had had on the previous night
concerning him.
Whilst she was speaking I saw the greatest part of these visions: the following were the
most striking. In the first place, the principal events in the life of our Lord—the
annunciation, the nativity, the adoration of the shepherds and that of the kings, the
prophecy of Simeon and that of Anna, the flight into Egypt, the massacre of the Innocents,
and our Lord’s temptation in the wilderness. She had likewise been shown in her sleep the
most striking features of the public life of Jesus. He always appeared to her environed with a
resplendent light, but his malicious and cruel enemies were under the most horrible and
disgusting forms imaginable. She saw his intense sufferings, his patience, and his
inexhaustible love, likewise the anguish of his Mother, and her perfect resignation. These
visions filled the wife of Pilate with the greatest anxiety and terror, particularly as they were
accompanied by symbols which made her comprehend their meaning, and her tender
feelings were harrowed by the sight of such dreadful scenes. She had suffered from them
during the whole of the night; they were sometimes obscure, but more often clear and
distinct; and when morning dawned and she was roused by the noise of the tumultuous mob
who were dragging Jesus to be judged, she glanced at the procession and instantly saw that
the unresisting victim in the midst of the crows, bound, suffering, and so inhumanely treated
as to be scarcely recognisable, was no other than that bright and glorious being who had
been so often brought before her eyes in the visions of the past night. She was greatly
affected by this sight, and immediately sent for Pilate, and gave him an account of all that
had happened to her. She spoke with much vehemence and emotion; and although there
was a great deal in what she had seen which she could not understand, much less express,
yet she entreated and implored her husband in the most touching terms to grant her request.
Pilate was both astonished and troubled by the words of his wife. He compared the
narration with all he had previously heard concerning Jesus; and reflected on the hatred of
the Jews, the majestic silence of our Saviour, and the mysterious answers he had given to all
his questions. He hesitated for some time, but was at last overcome by the entreaties of his
wife, and told her that he had already declared his conviction of the innocence of Jesus, and
that he would not condemn him, because he saw that the accusations were mere
fabrications of his enemies. He spoke of the words of Jesus to himself, promised his wife
that nothing should induce him to condemn this just man, and even gave her a ring before
they parted as a pledge of his promise.
The character of Pilate was debauched and undecided, but his worst qualities were an
extreme pride and meanness which made him never hesitate in the performance of an unjust
action, provided it answered his ends. He was excessively superstitious, and when in any
difficulty had recourse to charms and spells. He was much puzzled and alarmed about the
trial of Jesus; and I saw him running backwards and forwards, offering incense first to one
god and then to another, and imploring them to assist him; but Satan filled his imagination
with still greater confusion; he first instilled one false idea and then another into his mind.
He then had recourse to one of his favourite superstitious practices, that of watching the
sacred chickens eat, but in vain,—his mind remained enveloped in darkness, and he became
more and more undecided. He first thought that he would acquit our Saviour, whom he
well knew to be innocent, but then he feared incurring the wrath of his false gods if he
spared him, as he fancied he might be a species of demigod, and obnoxious to them. ‘It is
possible,’ said he inwardly, ‘that this man may really be that king of the Jews concerning
whose coming there are so many prophecies. It was a king of the Jews whom the Magi
came from the East to adore. Perhaps he is a secret enemy both of our gods and of the
emperor; it might be most imprudent in me to spare his life. Who knows whether his death
would not be a triumph to my gods?’ Then he remembered the wonderful dreams described
to him by his wife, who had never seen Jesus, and he again changed, and decided that it
would be safer not to condemn him. He tried to persuade himself that he wished to pass a
just sentence; but he deceived himself, for when he asked himself, ‘What is the truth?’ he did
not wait for the answer. His mind was filled with confusion, and he was quite at a loss how
to act, as his sole desire was to entail no risk upon himself.

CHAPTER XX.       pg 110 of 199
Jesus before Herod.
 
The palace of the Tetrarch Herod was built on the north side of the forum, in the new
town; not very far from that of Pilate. An escort of Roman soldiers, mostly from that part of
the country which is situated between Switzerland and Italy, had joined the procession. The
enemies of Jesus were perfectly furious at the trouble they were compelled to take in going
backwards and forwards, and therefore vented their rage upon him. Pilate’s messenger had
preceded the procession, consequently Herod was expecting them. He was seated on a pile
of cushions, heaped together so as to form a species of throne, in a spacious hall, and
surrounded by courtiers and warriors. The Chief Priests entered and placed themselves by
his side, leaving Jesus at the entrance. Herod was much elated and pleased at Pilate’s having
thus publicly acknowledged his right of judging the Galileans, and likewise rejoiced at
seeing that Jesus who had never deigned to appear before him reduced to such a state of
humiliation and degradation. His curiosity had been greatly excited by the high terms in
which John the Baptist had announced the coming of Jesus, and he had likewise heard
much about him from the Herodians, and through the many spies whom he had sent into
different parts: he was therefore delighted at this opportunity of interrogating him in the
presence of the courtiers and of the Jewish priests, hoping to make a grand display of this
own knowledge and talents. Pilate having sent him word, ‘that he could find no cause in the
man,’ he concluded that these words were intended as a hint that he (Pilate) wished the
accusers to be treated with contempt and mistrust. He, therefore, addressed them in the
most haughty distant manner possible, and thereby increased their rage and anger
indescribably.
They all began at once to vociferate their accusations, to which Herod hardly listened,
being intent solely on gratifying his curiosity by a close examination of Jesus, whom he had
so often wished to see. But when he beheld him stripped of all clothing save the remnant of
a mantel, scarcely able to stand, and his countenance totally disfigured from the blows he
had received, and from the mud and missiles which the rabble had flung at his head, the
luxurious and effeminate prince turned away in disgust, uttered the name of God, and said
to the priests in a tone of mingled pity and contempt, ‘Take him hence, and bring him not
back into my presence in such a deplorable state.’ The guards took Jesus into the outer
court, and procured some water in a basin, with which they cleansed his soiled garments
and disfigured countenance; but they could not restrain their brutality even while doing this,
and paid no regard to the wounds with which he was covered.
Herod meantime accosted the priests in much the same strain as Pilate had done. ‘Your
behaviour vastly resembles that of butchers,’ he said, ‘and you commence your immolations
pretty early in the morning.’ The Chief Priests produced their accusations at once. Herod,
when Jesus was again brought into his presence, pretended to feel some compassion, and
offered him a glass of wine to recruit his strength; but Jesus turned his head away and
refused this alleviation.
Herod then began to expatiate with great volubility on all he had heard concerning our
Lord. He asked a thousand questions, and exhorted him to work a miracle in his presence;
but Jesus answered not a word, and stood before him with his eyes cast down, which
conduct both irritated and disconcerted Herod, although he endeavoured to conceal his
anger, and continued his interrogations. He at first expressed surprise, and made use of
persuasive words. ‘Is it possible, Jesus of Nazareth,’ he exclaimed, ‘that it is thou thyself
that appearest before me as a criminal? I have heard thy actions so much spoken of. Thou
art not perhaps aware that thou didst offend me grievously by setting free the prisoners
whom I had confined at Thirza, but possibly thy intentions were good. The Roman
governor has now sent thee to me to be judged; what answer canst thou give to all these
accusations? Thou art silent? I have heard much concerning thy wisdom, and the religion
thou teachest, let me hear thee answer and confound thy enemies. Art thou the king of the
Jews? Art thou the Son of God? Who art thou? Thou art said to have performed wonderful
miracles; work one now in my presence. I have the power to release thee. Is it true that thou
hast restored sight to the blind, raised up Lazarus from the dead, and fed two or three
thousand persons with a few loaves? Why dost thou not answer? I recommend thee to work
a miracle quickly before me; perhaps thou mayest rejoice afterwards at having complied
with my wishes.’
Jesus still kept silence, and Herod continued to question him with even more volubility.
‘Who art thou?’ said he. ‘From whence hast thou thy power? How is it that thou dost no
longer possess it? Art thou he whose birth was foretold in such a wonderful manner? Kings
from the East came to my father to see a newly-born king of the Jews: is it true that thou
wast that child? Didst thou escape when so many children were massacred, and how was
thy escape managed? Why hast thou been for so many years unknown? Answer my
questions! Art thou a king? Thy appearance certainly is not regal. I have been told that thou
wast conducted to the Temple in triumph a short time ago. What was the meaning of such
an exhibition?—speak out at once!—Answer me!’
Herod continued to question Jesus in this rapid manner; but our Lord did not vouchsafe
a reply. I was shown (as indeed I already knew) that Jesus was thus silent because Herod
was in a state of excommunication, both on account of his adulterous marriage with
Herodias, and of his having given orders for the execution of St. John the Baptist. Annas
and Caiphas, seeing how indignant Herod was at the silence of Jesus, immediately
endeavoured to take advantage of his feelings of wrath, and recommenced their accusations,
saying that he had called Herod himself a fox; that his great aim for many years had been
the overthrow of Herod’s family; that he was endeavouring to establish a new religion, and
had celebrated the Pasch on the previous day. Although Herod was extremely enraged at
the conduct of Jesus, he did not lose sight of the political ends which he wished to forward.
He was determined not to condemn our Lord, both because he experienced a secret and
indefinable sensation of terror in his presence, and because he still felt remorse at the
thought of having put John the Baptist to death, besides which he detested the High Priests
for not having allowed him to take part in the sacrifices on account of his adulterous
connection with Herodias.
But his principal reason for determining not to condemn Jesus was, that he wished to
make some return to Pilate for his courtesy, and he thought the best return would be the
compliment of showing deference to his decision and agreeing with him in opinion. But he
spoke in the most contemptuous manner to Jesus, and turning to the guards and servants
who surrounded him, and who were about two hundred in number, said: ‘Take away this
fool, and pay him that homage which is his due; he is mad, rather than guilty of any crime.’
Our Lord was immediately taken into a large court, where every possible insult and
indignity was heaped upon him. This court was between the two wings of the palace, and
Herod stood a spectator on a platform for some time. Annas and Caiphas were by his side,
endeavouring to persuade him to condemn our Saviour. But their efforts were fruitless, and
Herod answered in a tone loud enough to be heard by the Roman soldiers: ‘No, I should act
quite wrongly if I condemned him.’ His meaning was, that it would be wrong to condemn
as guilty one whom Pilate had pronounced innocent, although he had been so courteous as
to defer the final judgment to him.
When the High Priests and the other enemies of Jesus perceived that Herod was
determined no to give in to their wishes, they dispatched emissaries to that division of the
city called Acre, which was chiefly inhabited by Pharisees, to let them know that they must
assemble in the neighbourhood of Pilate’s palace, gather together the rabble, and bribe them
to make a tumult, and demand the condemnation of our Lord. They likewise sent forth
secret agents to alarm the people by threats of the divine vengeance if they did not insist on
the execution of Jesus, whom they termed a sacrilegious blasphemer. These agents were
ordered likewise to alarm them by intimating that if Jesus were not put to death, he would
go over to the Romans, assist in the extermination of the Jewish nation, for that it was to
this he referred when he spoke of his future kingdom. They endeavoured to spread a report
in other parts of the city, that Herod had condemned him, but still that it was necessary for
the people likewise to express their wishes, as his partisans were to be feared; for that if he
were released he would join the Romans, make a disturbance on the festival day, and take
the most inhuman revenge. Some among them circulated contradictory and alarming
reports, in order to excite the people and cause an insurrection; while others distributed
money among the soldiers to bribe them to ill-treat Jesus, so as to cause his death, which
they were most anxious should be brought about as quickly as possible, lest Pilate should
acquit him.
Whilst the Pharisees were busying themselves in this manner, our Blessed Saviour was
suffering the greatest outrages from the brutal soldiers to whom Herod had delivered him,
that they might deride him as a fool. They dragged him into the court, and one of their
number having procured a large white sack which had once been filled with cotton, they
made a hole in its centre with a sword, and then tossed it over the head of Jesus,
accompanying each action with bursts of the most contemptuous laughter. Another soldier
brought the remnant of an old scarlet cloak, and passed it round his neck, while the rest bent
their knee before him—shoved him—abused him—spat upon him—struck him on the
check, because he had refused to answer their king, mocked him by pretending to pay
homage—threw mud upon him—seized him by the waist, pretending to make him dance;
then, having thrown him down, dragged him through a gutter which ran on the side of the
court, thus causing his sacred head to strike against the columns and sides of the wall, and
when at last they raised him up, it was only in order to recommence their insults. The
soldiers and servants of Herod who were assembled in this court amounted to upwards of
two hundred, and all thought to pay court to their monarch by torturing Jesus in some
unheard-of way. Many were bribed by the enemies of our Lord to strike him on the head
with their sticks, and they took advantage of the confusion and tumult to do so. Jesus
looked upon them with compassion; excess of pain drew from him occasional moans and
groans, but his enemies rejoiced in his sufferings, and mocked his moans, and not one
among the whole assembly showed the slightest degree of compassion. I saw blood
streaming from his head, and three times did the blows prostrate him, but angels were
weeping at his side, and they anointed his head with heavenly balsam. It was revealed to me
that had it not been for this miraculous assistance he must have died from those wounds.
The Philistines at Gaza, who gave vent to their wrath by tormenting poor blind Samson;
were far less barbarous than these cruel executioners of our Lord.
The priests were, however, impatient to return to the Temple; therefore, having made
certain that their orders regarding Jesus would be obeyed, they returned to Herod, and
endeavoured to persuade him to condemn our Lord. But he, being determined to do all in
his power to please Pilate, refused to accede to their wishes, and sent Jesus back again
clothed in the fool’s garment.

CHAPTER XXI.       pg 113 of 199
Jesus led back from the Court of Herod to that of Pilate.
 
The enemies of Jesus were perfectly infuriated at being obliged to take Jesus back, still
uncondemned, to Pilate, who had so many times declared his innocence. They led him
round by a much longer road, in order in the first place to let the persons of that part of the
town see him in the state of ignominy to which he was reduced, and in the second place to
give their emissaries more time to stir up the populace.
This road was extremely rough and uneven; and the soldiers, encouraged by the
Pharisees, scarcely refrained a moment from tormenting Jesus. The long garment with
which he was clothed impeded his steps, and caused him to fall heavily more than once; and
his cruel guards, as also many among the brutal populace, instead of assisting him in his
state of exhaustion, endeavoured by blows and kicks to force him to rise.
To all these outrages Jesus offered not the smallest resistance; he prayed constantly to his
Father for grace and strength that he might not sink under them, but accomplish the work of
his Passion for our redemption.
It was about eight o’clock when the procession reached the palace of Pilate. The crowd
was dense, and the Pharisees might be seen walking to and fro, endeavouring to incite and
infuriate them still more. Pilate, who remembered an insurrection which had taken place the
year before at the Paschal time, had assembled upwards of a thousand soldiers, whom he
posted around the Praetorium, the Forum, and his palace.
The Blessed Virgin, her elder sister Mary (the daughter of Heli), Mari (the daughter of
Cleophas), Magdalen, and about twenty of the holy women, were standing in a room from
whence they could see all which took place, and at first John was with them.
The Pharisees led Jesus, still clothed in the fool’s garment, through the midst of the
insolent mob, and had done all in their power to gather together the most vile and wicked of
miscreants from among the dregs of the people. A servant sent by Herod had already
reached Pilate, with a message to the effect that his master had fully appreciated his polite
deference to his opinion, but that he looked upon the far famed Galilean as not better than a
fool, that he had treated him as such, and now sent him back. Pilate was quite satisfied at
finding that Herod had come to the same conclusion as himself, and therefore returned a
polite message. From that hour they became friends, having been enemies many years; in
fact, ever since the falling-in of the aqueduct.
[The cause of the quarrel between Pilate and Herod was, according to the account of Sister Emmerich,
simply this: Pilate had undertaken to build an aqueduct on the south-east side of the mountain on which the
Temple stood, at the edge of the torrent into which the waters of the pool of Bethsaida emptied themselves,
and this aqueduct was to carry off the refuse of the Temple. Herod, through the medium of one of his
confidants, who was a member of the Sanhedrin, agreed to furnish him with the necessary materials, as also
with twenty-eight architects, who were also Herodians. His aim was to set the Jews still more against the
Roman governor, by causing the undertaking to fail. He accordingly came to a private understanding with the
architects, who agreed to construct the aqueduct in such a manner that it would be certain to fail. When the
work was almost finished, and a number of bricklayers from Ophel were busily employed in removing the
scaffolding, the twenty-eight builders went on to the top of the Tower of Siloe to contemplate the crash which
they knew must take place. Not only did the whole of the building crumble to pieces, fall, and kill ninety-three
workmen, but even the tower containing the twenty-eight architects came down, and not one escaped death.
This accident occurred a short time previous to the 8th of January, two years after Jesus had commenced
preaching; it took place on Herod’s birthday, the same day that John the Baptist was beheaded in the Castle of
Marcherunt. No Roman officer attended these festivities on account of the affair of the aqueduct, although
Pilate had, with hypocritical politeness, been requested to take a part in them. Sister Emmerich saw some of
the disciples of Jesus carry the news of this event into Samaria, where he was teaching, on the 8th of January.
Jesus went from thence to Hebron, to comfort the family of John; and she saw him, on the 13th of January,
cure many among the workmen of Ophel who had been injured by the fall of the aqueduct. We have seen by
the relation previously given how little gratitude they showed him. The enmity of Herod towards Pilate was
still farther increased by the manner in which the latter revenged himself on the followers of Herod. We will
insert here a few details which were communicated at different times to Sister Emmerich. On the 25th of
March, of the second year of our Lord’s preaching, when Jesus and his disciples were in the neighbourhood of
Bethania, they were warned by Lazarus that Judas of Gaulon intended to excite an insurrection against Pilate.
On the 28th of March, Pilate issued a proclamation to the effect that he intended to impose a tax, the proceeds
of which were partly to cover the expenses he had incurred in raising the building which had just fallen to the
ground. This announcement was followed by a sedition headed by Judas of Gaulon, who always stood up for
liberty, and who was (unknown to himself) a tool in the hands of the Herodians. The Herodians were rather
like our Freemasons. On the 30th of March, at ten o’clock p.m., Jesus, dressed in a dark garment, was
teaching in the Temple, with his Apostles and thirty disciples. The revolt of the Galileans against Pilate burst
forth on this very day, and the rebels set free fifty of their number who had been imprisoned the day before;
and many among the Romans were killed. On the 6th of April, Pilate caused the Galileans to be massacred at
the moment of offering sacrifice, by disguised soldiers whom he had concealed in the Temple. Judas was killed
with his companions. This massacre exasperated Herod still more against Pilate, and we have just seen by
what means their reconciliation was effected.]
Jesus was again led to the house of Pilate. The archers dragged him up the stairs with
their usual brutality; his feet became entangled in his long robe, and he fell upon the white
marble steps, which were stained with blood from his sacred head. His enemies had again
taken their seats at the entrance of the forum; the mob laughed at his fall, and the archers
truck their innocent victim, instead of assisting him to rise. Pilate was reclining on a species
of easy-chair, with a little table before him, and surrounded with officers and persons who
held strips of parchment covered with writing in their hands. He came forward and said to
the accusers of Jesus: ‘You have presented unto me this man, as one that perverteth the people, and
behold I, having examined him before you, find no cause in this man in those things wherein you
accuse him. No, nor Herod neither. For I sent you to him, and behold, nothing worthy of death is done
to him. I will chastise him, therefore, and release him.’
When the Pharisees heard these words, they became furious, and endeavoured to the
utmost of their power to persuade the people to revolt, distributing money among them to
effect this purpose. Pilate looked around with contempt, and addressed them in scornful
words.
It happened to be the precise time when, according to an ancient custom, the people had
the privilege of demanding the deliverance of one prisoner. The Pharisees had dispatched
emissaries to persuade the people to demand the death, and not the life, of our Lord. Pilate
hoped that they would ask for Jesus, and determined to give them to choose between him
and a criminal called Barabbas, who had been convicted of a dreadful murder committed
during a sedition, as also of many other crimes, and was, moreover, detested by the people.
There was considerable excitement among the crowd; a certain portion came forward,
and their orators, addressing Pilate in a loud voice, said: ‘Grant us the favour you have
always granted on the festival day.’ Pilate made answer: ‘It is customary for me to deliver to
you a criminal at the Paschal time; whom will you that I release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus that is
called Christ?’
Although Pilate did not in his own mind feel at all certain that Jesus was the King of the
Jews, yet he called him so, partly because his Roman pride made him take delight in
humbling the Jews by calling such a despicable-looking person their king; and partly
because he felt a kind of inward belief that Jesus might really be that miraculous king, that
Messiah who had been promised. He saw plainly that the priests were incited by envy alone
in their accusations against Jesus; this made him most anxious to disappoint them; and the
desire was increased by that glimmering of the truth which partly enlightened his mind.
There was some hesitation among the crowd when Pilate asked this question, and a few
voices answered, ‘Barabbas.’ A servant sent by Pilate’s wife asked for him at this moment; he
left the platform, and the messenger presented the pledge which he had given her, saying at
the same time: ‘Claudia Procles begs you to remember your promise this morning.’ The
Pharisees and the priests walked anxiously and hastily about among the crowd, threatening
some and ordering others, although, in fact, little was required to incite the already
infuriated multitude.
Mary, with Magdalen, John, and the holy women, stood in a corner of the forum,
trembling and weeping; for although the Mother of Jesus was fully aware that the
redemption of man could not be brought about by any other means than the death of her
Son, yet she was filled with the anguish of a mother, and with a longing desire to save him
from those tortures and from that death which he was about to suffer. She prayed God not
to allow such a fearful crime to be perpetrated; she repeated the words of Jesus in the
Garden of Olives: ‘If it is possible, let this chalice pass away.’ She still felt a glimmering of hope,
because there was a report current that Pilate wished to acquit Jesus. Groups of persons,
mostly inhabitants of Capharnaum, where Jesus had taught, and among whom he had
wrought so many miraculous cures, were congregated in her vicinity; they pretended not to
remember either her or her weeping companions; they simply cast a glance now and then,
as if by chance, at their closely-veiled figures. Many thought, as did her companions
likewise, that these persons at least would reject Barabbas, and beg for the life of their
Saviour and Benefactor; but these hopes were, alas, fallacious.
Pilate sent back the pledge to his wife, as an assurance of his intention to keep his
promise. He again came forward on the platform, and seated himself at the little table. The
Chief Priests took their seats likewise, and Pilate once more demanded: ‘Which of the two am
I to deliver up to you?’ A general cry resounded through the hall: ‘Not this man, but Barabbas!’
‘But what am I to do with Jesus, who is called Christ?’ replied Pilate. All exclaimed in a
tumultuous manner: ‘Let him be crucified! Let him be crucified!’ ‘But what evil has he done?’ asked
Pilate for the third time. ‘I find no cause in him. I will scourge and then acquit him.’ But the cry,
‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ burst from the crowd, and the sounds echoed like an infernal
tempest; the High Priests and the Pharisees vociferated and hurried backwards and forwards
as if insane. Pilate at last yielded; his weak pusillanimous character could not withstand
such violent demonstrations; he delivered up Barabbas to the people, and condemned Jesus
to be scourged.

CHAPTER XXII.       pg 116 of 199
The Scourging of Jesus.
 
That most weak and undecided of all judges, Pilate, had several times repeated these
dastardly words: ‘I find no crime in him: I will chastise him, therefore, and let him go;’ to which the
Jews had continued to respond, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ but he determined to adhere to his
resolution of not condemning our Lord to death, and ordered him to be scourged according
to the manner of the Romans. The guards were therefore ordered to conduct him through
the midst of the furious multitude to the forum, which they did with the utmost brutality, at
the same time loading him with abuse, and striking him with their staffs. The pillar where
criminals were scourged stood to the north of Pilate’s palace, near the guard-house, and the
executioners soon arrived, carrying whips, rods, and ropes, which they tossed down at its
base. They were six in number, dark, swarthy men, somewhat shorter than Jesus; their
chests were covered with a piece of leather, or with some dirty stuff; their loins were girded,
and their hairy, sinewy arms bare. They were malefactors from the frontiers of Egypt, who
had been condemned for their crimes to hard labour, and were employed principally in
making canals, and in erecting public buildings, the most criminal being selected to act as
executioners in the Praetorium.
These cruel men had many times scourged poor criminals to death at this pillar. They
resembled wild beasts or demons, and appeared to be half drunk. They struck our Lord with
their fists, and dragged him by the cords with which he was pinioned, although he followed
them without offering the least resistance, and, finally, they barbarously knocked him down
against the pillar. This pillar, placed in the centre of the court, stood alone, and did not serve
to sustain any part of the building; it was not very high, for a tall man could touch the
summit by stretching out his arm; there was a large iron ring at the top, and both rings and
hooks a little lower down. It is quite impossible to describe the cruelty shown by these
ruffians towards Jesus: they tore off the mantle with which he had been clothed in derision
at the court of Herod, and almost threw prostrate again.
Jesus trembled and shuddered as he stood before the pillar, and took off his garments as
quickly as he could, but his hands were bloody and swollen. The only return he made when
his brutal executioners struck and abused him was, to pray for them in the most touching
manner: he turned his face once towards his Mother, who was standing overcome with
grief; this look quite unnerved her: she fainted, and would have fallen, had not the holy
women who were there supported her. Jesus put his arms round the pillar, and when his
hands were thus raised, the archers fastened them to the iron ring which was at the top of
the pillar; they then dragged his arms to such a height that his feet, which were tightly
bound to the base of the pillar, scarcely touched the ground. Thus was the Holy of Holies
violently stretched, without a particle of clothing, on a pillar used for the punishment of the
greatest criminals; and then did two furious ruffians who were thirsting for his blood begin
in the most barbarous manner to scourge his sacred body from head to foot. The whips or
scourges which they first made use of appeared to me to be made of a species of flexible
white wood, but perhaps they were composed of the sinews of the ox, or of strips of leather.
Our loving Lord, the Son of God, true God and true Man, writhed as a worm under the
blows of these barbarians; his mild but deep groans might be heard from afar; they
resounded through the air, forming a kind of touching accompaniment to the hissing of the
instruments of torture. These groans resembled rather a touching cry of prayer and
supplication, than moans of anguish. The clamour of the Pharisees and the people formed
another species of accompaniment, which at times as a deafening thunder-storm deadened
and smothered these sacred and mournful cries, and in their place might be heard the
words, ‘Put him to death!’ ‘Crucify him!’ Pilate continued parleying with the people, and when
he demanded silence in order to be able to speak, he was obliged to proclaim his wishes to
the clamorous assembly by the sound of a trumpet, and at such moments you might again
hear the noise of the scourges, the moans of Jesus, the imprecations of the soldiers, and the
bleating of the Paschal lambs which were being washed in the Probatica pool, at no great
distance from the forum. There was something peculiarly touching in the plaintive bleating
of these lambs: they alone appeared to unite their lamentations with the suffering moans of
our Lord.
The Jewish mob was gathered together at some distance from the pillar at which the
dreadful punishment was taking place, and Roman soldiers were stationed in different parts
round about. Many persons were walking to and fro, some in silence, others speaking of
Jesus in the most insulting terms possible, and a few appearing touched, and I thought I
beheld rays of light issuing from our Lord and entering the hearts of the latter. I saw groups
of infamous, bold-looking young men, who were for the most part busying themselves near
the watch-house in preparing fresh scourges, while others went to seek branches of thorns.
Several of the servants of the High Priests went up to the brutal executioners and gave them
money; as also a large jug filled with a strong bright red liquid, which quite inebriated them,
and increased their cruelty tenfold towards their innocent Victim. The two ruffians
continued to strike our Lord with unremitting violence for a quarter of an hour, and were
then succeeded by two others. His body was entirely covered with black, blue, and red
marks; the blood was trickling down on the ground, and yet the furious cries which issued
from among the assembled Jews showed that their cruelty was far from being satiated.
The night had been extremely cold, and the morning was dark and cloudy; a little hail
had fallen, which surprised everyone, but towards twelve o’clock the day became brighter,
and the sun shone forth.
The two fresh executioners commenced scourging Jesus with the greatest possible fury;
they made use of a different kind of rod,—a species of thorny stick, covered with knots and
splinters. The blows from these sticks tore his flesh to pieces; his blood spouted out so as to
stain their arms, and he groaned, prayed, and shuddered. At this moment, some strangers
mounted on camels passed through the forum; they stopped for a moment, and were quite
overcome with pity and horror at the scene before them, upon which some of the bystanders
explained the cause of what they witnessed. Some of these travellers had been baptised by
John, and others had heard the sermon of Jesus on the mountain. The noise and the tumult
of the mob was even more deafening near the house of Pilate.
Two fresh executioners took the places of the last mentioned, who were beginning to
flag; their scourges were composed of small chains, or straps covered with iron hooks,
which penetrated to the bone, and tore off large pieces of flesh at every blow. What word,
alas! could describe this terrible—this heartrending scene!
The cruelty of these barbarians was nevertheless not yet satiated; they untied Jesus, and
again fastened him up with his back turned towards the pillar. As he was totally unable to
support himself in an upright position, they passed cords round his waist, under his arms,
and above his knees, and having bound his hands tightly into the rings which were placed at
the upper part of the pillar, they recommenced scourging him with even greater fury than
before; and one among them struck him constantly on the face with a new rod. The body of
our Lord was perfectly torn to shreds,—it was but one wound. He looked at his torturers
with his eyes filled with blood; as if entreating mercy; but their brutality appeared to
increase, and his moans each moment became more feeble.
The dreadful scourging had been continued without intermission for three quarters of an
hour, when a stranger of lowly birth, a relation to Ctesiphon, the blind man whom Jesus
had cured, rushed from amidst the crowd, and approached the pillar with a knife shaped
like a cutlass in his hand. ‘Cease!’ he exclaimed, in an indignant tone; ‘Cease! Scourge not
this innocent man unto death!’ The drunken miscreants, taken by surprise, stopped short,
while he quickly severed the cords which bound Jesus to the pillar, and disappeared among
the crowd. Jesus fell almost without consciousness on the ground, which was bathed with
his blood. The executioners left him there, and rejoined their cruel companions, who were
amusing themselves in the guardhouse with drinking, and plaiting the crown of thorns.
Our Lord remained for a short time on the ground, at the foot of the pillar, bathed in his
own blood, and two or three bold-looking girls came up to gratify their curiosity away in
disgust, but at the moment the pain of the wounds of Jesus was so intense that he raised his
bleeding head and looked at them. They retired quickly, and the soldiers and guards
laughed and made game of them.
During the time of the scourging of our Lord, I saw weeping angels approach him many
times; I likewise heard the prayers he constantly addressed to his Father for the pardon of
our sins—prayers which never ceased during the whole time of the infliction of this cruel
punishment. Whilst he lay bathed in his blood I saw an angel present to him a vase
containing a bright-looking beverage which appeared to reinvigorate him in a certain
degree. The archers soon returned, and after giving him some blows with their sticks, bade
him rise and follow them. He raised himself with the greatest difficulty, as his trembling
limbs could scarcely support the weight of this body; they did not give him sufficient time to
put on his clothes, but threw his upper garment over his naked shoulders and led him from
the pillar to the guardhouse, where he wiped the blood which trickled down his face with a
corner of his garment. When he passed before the benches on which the High Priests were
seated, they cried out, ‘Put him to death! Crucify him! Crucify him!’ and then turned away
disdainfully. The executioners led him into the interior of the guardhouse, which was filled
with slaves, archers, hodmen, and the very dregs of the people, but there were no soldiers.
The great excitement among the populace alarmed Pilate so much, that he sent to the
fortress of Antonia for a reinforcement of Roman soldiers, and posed these well-disciplined
troops round the guard-house; they were permitted to talk and to deride Jesus in every
possible way, but were forbidden to quit their ranks. These soldiers, whom Pilate had sent
for to intimidate the mob, numbered about a thousand.

CHAPTER XXIII.         pg 119 of 199
Mary during the Scourging of our Lord.
 
I saw the Blessed Virgin in a continual ecstasy during the time of the scourging of her
Divine Son; she saw and suffered with inexpressible love and grief all the torments he was
enduring. She groaned feebly, and her eyes were red with weeping. A large veil covered her
person, and she leant upon Mary of Heli, her eldest sister, who was old and extremely like
their mother, Anne.6 Mary of Cleophas, the daughter of Mary of Heli, was there also. The
friends of Jesus and Mary stood around the latter; they wore large veils, appeared overcome
with grief and anxiety, an were weeping as if in the momentary expectation of death. The
dress of Mary was blue; it was long, and partly covered by a cloak made of white wool, and
her veil was of rather a yellow white. Magdalen was totally beside herself from grief, and
her hair was floating loosely under her veil.
When Jesus fell down at the foot of the pillar, after the flagellation, I saw Claudia
Procles, the wife of Pilate, sent some large pieces of linen to the Mother of God. I know not
whether she thought that Jesus would be set free, and that his Mother would then require
linen to dress his wounds, or whether this compassionate lady was aware of the use which
would be made of her present. At the termination of the scourging, Mary came to herself for
a time, and saw her Divine Son all torn and mangled, being led away by the archers after
the scouring: he wiped his eyes, which were filled with blood, that he might look at his
Mother, and she stretched out her hands towards him, and continued to look at the bloody
traces of his footsteps. I soon after saw Mary and Magdalen approach the pillar where Jesus
had been scourged; the mob were at a distance, and they were partly concealed by the other
holy women, and by a few kind-hearted persons who had joined them; they knelt down on
the ground near the pillar, and wiped up the sacred blood with the linen which Claudia
Procles had sent. John was not at that time with the holy women, who were about twenty in
number. The sons of Simeon and of Obed, and Veronica, as also the two nephews of Joseph
of Arimathea—Aram and Themni—were in the Temple, and appeared to be overwhelmed
with grief. It was not more than nine o’clock a.m. when the scourging terminated.


CHAPTER XXIV.      pg 120 of 199
Interruption of the Visions of the Passion

by the Appearance of St. Joseph under the form of a Child.
During the whole time of the visions which we have just narrated (that is to say, from the
18th of February until the 8th of March), Sister Emmerich continued to suffer all the mental
and bodily tortures which were once endured by our Lord. Being totally immersed in these
meditations, and, as it were, dead to exterior objects, she wept and groaned like a person in
the hands of an executioner, trembled, shuddered, and writhed on her couch, while her face
resembled that of a man about to expire under torture, and a bloody sweat often trickled
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6 Mary of Heli is often spoken of in this relation. According to Sister Emmerich, she was the daughter of St.
Joachim and St. Anne, and was born nearly twenty years before the Blessed Virgin. She was not the child of
promise, and is called Mary of Heli, by which she is distinguished from the other of the same name, because
she was the daughter of Joachim, or Heliachim. Her husband bore the name of Cleophas, and her daughter
that of Mary of Cleophas. This daughter was, however, older than her aunt, the Blessed Virgin, and had been
married first to Alpheus, by whom she had three sons, afterwards the Apostles Simon, James the Less and
Thaddeus. She had one son by her second husband, Sabat, and another called Simon, by her third husband,
Jonas. Simon was afterwards Bishop of Jerusalem.
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pg 121 of 199

over her chest and shoulders. She generally perspired so profusely that her bed and clothes
were saturated. Her sufferings from thirst were likewise fearful, and she might truly be
compared to a person perishing in a desert from the want of water. Generally speaking, her
mouth was so parched in the morning, and her tongue so contracted and dried up, that she
could not speak, but was obliged by signs and inarticulate sounds to beg for relief. Her
constant state of fever was probably brought on by the great pains she endured, added to
which she likewise often took upon herself the illnesses and temporal calamities merited by
others. It was always necessary for her to rest for a time before relating the different scenes
of the Passion, nor was it always that she could speak of what she had seen, and she was
even often obliged to discontinue her narrations for the day. She was in this state of
suffering on Saturday the 8th of March, and with the greatest difficulty and suffering
described the scourging of our Lord which she had seen in the vision of the previous night,
and which appeared to be present to her mind during the greatest part of the following day.
Towards evening, however, a change took place, and there was an interruption in the course
of meditations on the Passion which had latterly followed one another so regularly. We will
describe this interruption, in order, in the first place, to give our readers a more full
comprehension of the interior life of this most extraordinary person; and, in the second, to
enable them to pause for a time to rest their minds, as I well know that meditations on the
Passion of our Lord exhaust the weak, even when they remember that it was for their
salvation that he suffered and died.
The life of Sister Emmerich, both as regarded her spiritual and intellectual existence,
invariably harmonised with the spirit of the Church at different seasons of the year. It
harmonised even more strongly than man’s natural life does with season, or with the hours
of the day, and this caused her to be (if we may thus express ourselves) a realisation of the
existence and of the various intentions of the Church. Her union with its spirit was so
complete, that no sooner did a festival day begin (that is to say, on the eve), than a perfect
change took place within her, both intellectually and spiritually. As soon as the spiritual sun
of these festival days of the Church was set, she directed all her thoughts towards that which
would rise on the following day, and disposed all her prayers, good works, and sufferings
for the attainment of the special graces attached to the feast about to commence, like a plant
which absorbs the dew, and revels in the warmth and light of the first rays of the sun. These
changes did not, as will readily be believed, always take place at the exact moment when the
sound of the Angelus announced the commencement of a festival, and summoned the
faithful to prayer; for this bell is often, either through ignorance or negligence, rung at the
wrong time; but they commenced at the time when the feast really began.
If the Church commemorated a sorrowful mystery, she appeared depressed, faint, and
almost powerless; but the instant the celebration of a joyful feast commenced, both body
and soul revived to a new life, as if refreshed by the dew of new graces, and she continued in
this calm, quiet, and happy state, quite released from every kind of suffering, until the
evening. These things took place in her soul quite independently of her will; but as she had
had from infancy the most ardent desire of being obedient to Jesus and to his Church, God
had bestowed upon her those special graces which give a natural facility for practising
obedience. Every faculty of her soul was directed towards the Church, in the same manner
as a plant which, even if put into a dark cellar, naturally turns its leaves upwards, and
appears to seek the light.
On Saturday, 8th of March 1823, after sunset, Sister Emmerich had, with the greatest
difficulty, portrayed the different events of the scourging of our Lord, and the writer of these
pages thought that her mind was occupied in the contemplation of the ‘crowning with
thorns,’ when suddenly her countenance, which was preciously pale and haggard, like that
of a person on the point of death, became bright and serene and she exclaimed in a coaxing
tone, as if speaking to a child, ‘O, that dear little boy! Who is he?—Stay, I will ask him. His
name is Joseph. He has pushed his way through the crowd to come to me. Poor child, he is
laughing: he knows nothing at all of what is going on. How light his clothing is! I fear he
must be cold, the air is so sharp this morning. Wait, my child; let me put something more
over you.’ After saying these words in such a natural tone of voice that it was almost
impossible for those present not to turn round and expect to see the child, she held up a
dress which was near her, as would be done by a kind-hearted person wishing to clothe a
poor frozen child. The friend who was standing by her bedside had not sufficient time to ask
her to explain the words she had spoken, for a sudden change took place, both in her whole
appearance and manner, when her attendant pronounced the word obedience,—one of the
vows by which she had consecrated herself to our Lord. She instantly came to herself, and,
like an obedient child awakening from a sound sleep and starting up at the voice of its
mother, she stretched forth her hand, took the rosary and crucifix which were always at her
side, arranged her dress, rubbed her eyes, and sat up. She was then carried from her bed to a
chair, as she could neither stand nor walk; and it being the time for making her bed, her
friend left the room in order to write out what he had heard during the day.
On Sunday, the 9th of March, the friend asked her attendant what Sister Emmerich
meant the evening before when she spoke of a child called Joseph. The attendant answered,
‘She spoke of him again many times yesterday evening; he is the son of a cousin of mine,
and a great favourite of hers. I fear that her talking so much about him is a sign that he is
going to have an illness, for she said so many times that the poor child was almost without
clothing, and that he must be cold.’
The friend remembered having often seen this little Joseph playing on the bed of Sister
Emmerich, and he supposed that she was dreaming about him on the previous day. When
the friend went to see her later in the day to endeavour to obtain a continuation of the
narrations of the Passion, he found her, contrary to his expectation, more calm, and
apparently better in health than on the previous day. She told him that she had seen nothing
more after the scourging of our Lord; and when he questioned her concerning what she had
said about little Joseph, she could not remember having spoken of the child at all. He then
asked the reason of her being so calm, serene, and apparently well in health; and she
answered, ‘I always feel thus when Mid-Lent comes, for then the Church sings with Isaias
in the introit at Mass: “Rejoice, O, Jerusalem, and come together all you that love her;
rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow, that you may exult and be filled from the
breasts of your consolation.” Mid-Lent Sunday is consequently a day of rejoicing; and you
may likewise remember that, in the gospel of this day, the Church relates how our Lord fed
five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, of which twelve baskets of fragments
remained, consequently we ought to rejoice.’
She likewise added, that our Lord had deigned to visit her on that day in the Holy
Communion, and that she always felt especial spiritual consolation when she received him
on that particular day of the year. The friend cast his eyes on the calendar of the diocese of
Munster, and saw that on that day they not only kept Mid-Lent Sunday, but likewise the
Feast of St. Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord; he was not aware of this before, because in
other places the feast of St. Joseph is kept on the 19th, and he remarked this circumstance to
Sister Emmerich, and asked her whether she did not think that was the cause of her
speaking about Joseph. She answered that she was perfectly aware of its being the feast of
the foster-father of Jesus, but that she had not been thinking of the child of that name.
However, a moment after, she suddenly remembered what her thoughts had been the day
before, and explained to her friend that the moment the feast of St. Joseph began, her vision
of the sorrowful mysteries of the Passion ceased, and were superseded by totally different
scenes, in which St. Joseph appeared under the form of a child, and that it was to him that
the words we have mentioned above were addressed.
We found that when she received these communications the vision was often in the form
of a child, especially in those cases when an artist would have made use of that simile to
express his ideas. If, for instance, the accomplishment of some Scripture prophecy was being
shown to her, she often saw by the side of the illustration a child, who clearly designated the
characteristics of such or such a prophet, by his position, his dress, and the manner in which
he held in his hand and waved to and fro the prophetic roll appended to a staff.
Sometimes, when she was in extreme suffering, a beautiful child, dressed in green, with a
calm and serene countenance, would approach, and seat himself in a posture of resignation
at the side of her bed, allowing himself to be moved from one side to the other, or even put
down on to the ground, without the smallest opposition and constantly looking at her
affectionately and consoling her. If, when quite prostrate from illness and the sufferings of
others which she had taken upon herself, she entered into communication with a saint,
either by participation in the celebration of his feast, or from his relics being brought to her,
she sometimes saw passages of the childhood of martyrdom. In her greatest sufferings she
was usually consoled, instructed, or reproved (whichever the occasion called for) by
apparitions under the form of children. Sometimes, when totally overcome by trouble and
distress, she would fall asleep, and be carried back in imagination to the scenes and perils of
her childhood. She sometimes dreamed, as her exclamations and gestures demonstrated,
that she was once more a little country girl of five years old, climbing over a hedge, caught
in the briars, and weeping with fear.
These scenes of her childhood were always events which had really occurred, and the
words which escaped her showed what was passing in her mind. She would exclaim (as if
repeating the words of others): ‘Why do you call out so?’ ‘I will not hold the hedge back
until you are quiet and ask me gently to do so.’ She had obeyed this injunction when she
was a child and caught in the hedge, and she followed the same rule when grown up and
suffering from the most terrible trials. She often spoke and joked about the thorn hedge, and
the patience and prayer which had then been recommended to her, which admonition she,
in after-life, had frequently neglected, but which had never failed her when she had recourse
to it. This symbolical coincidence of the events of her childhood with those of her riper
years shows that, in the individual no less than in humanity at large, prophetic types may be
found. But, to the individual as well as to mankind in general, a Divine Type has been given
in the person of our Redeemer, in order that both the one and the other, by walking in his
footsteps and with his assistance, may surpass human nature and attain to perfect wisdom
and grace with God and man. Thus it is that the will of God is done on earth as in heaven,
and that this kingdom is attained by ‘men of good will.’
She then gave a short account of the visions which had, on the previous night,
interrupted her visions of the Passion at the commencement of the feast of St. Joseph.


CHAPTER XXV.       pg 124 of 199
Description of the Personal Appearance of the Blessed Virgin.

While these sad events were taking place I was in Jerusalem, sometimes in one locality
and sometimes in another; I was quite overcome, my sufferings were intense, and I felt as if
about to expire. During the time of the scourging of my adorable Spouse I sat in the vicinity,
in a part which no Jew dared approach, for fear of defiling himself; but I did not fear
defilement, I was only anxious for a drop of our Lord’s blood to fall upon me, to purify me.
I felt so completely heartbroken that I thought I must die as I could not relieve Jesus, and
each blow which he received drew from me such sobs and moans that I felt quite astonished
at not being driven away. When the executioners took Jesus into the guardhouse, to crown
him with thorns, I longed to follow that I might again contemplate him in his sufferings.
Then it was that the Mother of Jesus, accompanied by the holy women, approached the
pillar and wiped up the blood with which it and the ground around were saturated. The
door of the guardhouse was open, and I heard the brutal laughter of the heartless men who
were busily employed in finishing off the crown of thorns which they had prepared for our
Lord. I was too much affected to weep, but I endeavoured to drag myself near to the place
where our Lord was to be crowned with thorns.
I once more saw the Blessed Virgin; her countenance was wan and pale, her eyes red
with weeping, but the simple dignity of her demeanour cannot be described.
Notwithstanding her grief and anguish, notwithstanding the fatigue which she had endured
(for she had been wandering ever since the previous evening through the streets of
Jerusalem, and across the Valley of Josaphat), her appearance was placid and modest, and
not a fold of her dress out of place. She looked majestically around, and her veil fell
gracefully over her shoulders. She moved quietly, and although her heart was a prey to the
most bitter grief, her countenance was calm and resigned. Her dress was moistened by the
dew which had fallen upon it during the night, and by the tears which she had shed in such
abundance; otherwise it was totally unsoiled. Her beauty was great, but indescribable, for it
was super-human—a mixture of majesty, sanctity, simplicity, and purity.
The appearance of Mary Magdalen was totally different; she was taller and more robust,
the expression of her countenance showed greater determination, but its beauty was almost
destroyed by the strong passions which she had so long indulged, and by the violent
repentance and grief she had since felt. It was painful to look upon her; she was the very
picture of despair, her long dishevelled hair was partly covered by her torn and wet veil, and
her appearance was that of one completely absorbed by woe and almost beside herself from
sorrow. Many of the inhabitants of Magdalum were standing near, gazing at her with
surprise and curiosity, for they had known her in former days, first in prosperity and
afterwards in degradation and consequent misery. They pointed, they even cast mud upon
her, but she saw nothing, knew nothing, and felt nothing, save her agonising grief.

CHAPTER XXVI.       pg 125 of 199
The Crowning with Thorns.

No sooner did Sister Emmerich recommence the narrative of her visions on the Passion
than she again became extremely ill, oppressed with fever, and so tormented by violent
thirst that her tongue was perfectly parched and contracted; and on the Monday after Mid-
Lent Sunday, she was so exhausted that it was not without great difficulty, and after many
intervals of rest, that she narrated all which our Lord suffered in this crowning with thorns.
She was scarcely able to speak, because she herself felt every sensation which she described
in the following account:
Pilate harangued the populace many times during the time of the scourging of Jesus, but
they interrupted him once, and vociferated, ‘He shall be executed, even if we die for it.’
When Jesus was led into the guardhouse, they all cried out again, ‘Crucify him, crucify
him!’
After this there was silence for a time. Pilate occupied himself in giving different orders to
the soldiers, and the servants of the High Priests brought them some refreshments; after
which Pilate, whose superstitious tendencies made him uneasy in mind, went into the inner
part of his palace in order to consult his gods, and to offer them incense.
When the Blessed Virgin and the holy women had gathered up the blood of Jesus, with
which the pillar and the adjacent parts were saturated, they left the forum and went into a
neighbouring small house, the owner of which I do not know. John was not, I think, present
at the scourging of Jesus.
A gallery encircled the inner court of the guardhouse where our Lord was crowned with
thorns, and the doors were open. The cowardly ruffians, who were eagerly waiting to gratify
their cruelty by torturing and insulting our Lord, were about fifty in number, and the
greatest part slaves or servants of the jailers and soldiers. The mob gathered round the
building, but were soon displaced by a thousand Roman soldiers, who were drawn up in
good order and stationed there. Although forbidden to leave their ranks, these soldiers
nevertheless did their utmost by laughter and applause to incite the cruel executioners to
redouble their insults; and as public applause gives fresh energy to a comedian, so did their
words of encouragement increase tenfold the cruelty of these men.
In the middle of the court there stood the fragment of a pillar, and on it was placed a very
low stool which these cruel men maliciously covered with sharp flints and bits of broken
potsherds. Then they tore off the garments of Jesus, thereby reopening all his wounds; threw
over his shoulders an old scarlet mantle which barely reached his knees; dragged him to the
seat prepared, and pushed him roughly down upon it, having first placed the crown of
thorns upon his head. The crown of thorns was made of three branches plaited together, the
greatest part of the thorns being purposely turned inwards so as to pierce our Lord’s head.
Having first placed these twisted branches on his forehead, they tied them tightly together at
the back of his head, and no sooner was this accomplished to their satisfaction than they put
a large reed into his hand, doing all with derisive gravity as if they were really crowning him
king. They then seized the reed, and struck his head so violently that his eyes were filled
with blood; they knelt before him, derided him, spat in his face, and buffeted him, saying at
the same time, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ Then they threw down his stool, pulled him up again
from the ground on which he had fallen, and reseated him with the greatest possible
brutality.
It is quite impossible to describe the cruel outrages which were thought of and
perpetrated by these monsters under human form. The sufferings of Jesus from thirst,
caused by the fever which his wounds and sufferings had brought on, were intense.7 He
trembled all over, his flesh was torn piecemeal, his tongue contracted, and the only
refreshment he received was the blood which trickled from his head on to his parched lips.
This shameful scene was protracted a full half-hour, and the Roman soldiers continued
during the whole time to applaud and encourage the perpetration of still greater outrages.


CHAPTER XXVII.       pg 126 of 199
Ecce Homo.

The cruel executioners then reconducted our Lord to Pilate’s palace, with the scarlet
cloak still thrown over his shoulders, the crown of thorns on his head, and the reed in his
fettered hands. He was perfectly unrecognisable, his eyes, mouth, and beard being covered
with blood, his body but one wound, and his back bowed down as that of an aged man,
while every limb trembled as he walked. When Pilate saw him standing at the entrance of
his tribunal, even he (hart-hearted as he usually was) started, and shuddered with horror and
compassion, whilst the barbarous priests and the populace, far from being moved to pity,
continued their insults and mockery. When Jesus had ascended the stairs, Pilate came
forward, the trumpet was sounded to announce that the governor was about to speak, and
he addressed the Chief Priests and the bystanders in the following words: ‘Behold, I bring him
forth to you, that you may know that I find no cause in him.’
The archers then led Jesus up to Pilate, that the people might again feast their cruel eyes
on him, in the state of degradation to which he was reduced. Terrible and heartrending,
indeed, was the spectacle he presented, and an exclamation of horror burst from the
multitude, followed by a dead silence, when he with difficulty raised his wounded head,
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7 These meditations on the sufferings of Jesus filled Sister Emmerich with such feelings of compassion that she
begged of God to allow her to suffer as he had done. She instantly became feverish and parched with thirst,
and, by morning, was speechless from the contraction of her tongue and of her lips. She was in this state when
her friend came to her in the morning, and she looked like a victim which had just been sacrificed. Those
around succeeded, with some difficulty, in moistening her mouth with a little water, but it was long before she
could give any further details concerning her meditations on the Passion.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
pg 127 of 199
crowned as it was with thorns, and cast his exhausted glance on the excited throng. Pilate
exclaimed, as he pointed him out to the people; ‘Ecce homo! Behold the man!’ The hatred of
the High Priests and their followers was, if possible, increased at the sight of Jesus, and they
cried out, ‘Put him to death; crucify him.’ ‘Are you not content?’ said Pilate. ‘The
punishment he has received is, beyond question, sufficient to deprive him of all desire of
making himself king.’ But they cried out the more and the multitude joined in the cry,
‘Crucify him, crucify him!’ Pilate then sounded the trumpet to demand silence, and said:
‘Take you him and crucify him, for I find no cause in him.’ ‘We have a law, and according to that law
he ought to die,’ replied the priests, ‘because he made himself the Son of God.’ These words, ‘he
made himself the Son of God,’ revived the fears of Pilate; he took Jesus into another room, and
asked him; ‘Whence art thou?’ But Jesus made no answer. ‘Speakest thou not to me?’ said Pilate;
‘knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and power to release thee?’ ‘Thou shouldst not have
any power against me,’ replied Jesus, ‘unless it were given thee from above; therefore he that hath
delivered me to thee hath the greater sin.’
The undecided, weak conduct of Pilate filled Claudia Procles with anxiety; she again sent
him the pledge, to remind him of his promise, but he only returned a vague, superstitious
answer, importing that he should leave the decision of the case to the gods. The enemies of
Jesus, the High Priests and the Pharisees, having heard of the efforts which were being made
by Claudia to save him, caused a report to be spread among the people, that the partisans of
our Lord had seduced her, that he would be released, and then join the Romans and bring
about the destruction of Jerusalem, and the extermination of the Jews.
Pilate was in such a state of indecision and uncertainty as to be perfectly beside himself;
he did not know what step to take next, and again addressed himself to the enemies of
Jesus, declaring that ‘he found no crime in him,’ but they demanded his death still more
clamorously. He then remembered the contradictory accusations which had been brought
against Jesus, the mysterious dreams of his wife, and the unaccountable impression which
the words of Jesus had made on himself, and therefore determined to question him again in
order thus to obtain some information which might enlighten him as to the course he ought
to pursue; he therefore returned to the Praetorium, went alone into a room, and sent for our
Saviour. He glanced at the mangled and bleeding Form before him, and exclaimed
inwardly: ‘Is it possible that he can be God?’ Then he turned to Jesus, and adjured him to
tell him if he was God, if he was that king who had been promised to the Jews, where his
kingdom was, and to what class of gods he belonged. I can only give the sense of the words
of Jesus, but they were solemn and severe. He told him ‘that his kingdom was not of this
world,’ and likewise spoke strongly of the many hidden crimes with which the conscience of
Pilate was defiled; warned him of the dreadful fate which would be his if he did not repent;
and finally declared that he himself, the Son of Man, would come at the last day, to
pronounce a just judgment upon him.
Pilate was half frightened and half angry at the words of Jesus; he returned to the
balcony, and again declared that he would release Jesus; but they cried out: ‘If thou release
this man, thou art not Caesar’s friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.’
Others said that they would accuse him to the Emperor of having disturbed their festival;
that he must make up his mind at once, because they were obliged to be in the Temple by
ten o’clock at night. The cry, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ resounded on all sides; it re-echoed
even from the flat roofs of the houses near the forum, where many persons were assembled.
Pilate saw that all his efforts were vain, that he could make no impression on the infuriated
mob; their yells and imprecations were deafening, and he began to fear an insurrection.
Therefore he took water, and washed his hands before the people, saying, ‘I am innocent of
the blood of this just man; look you to it.’ A frightful and unanimous cry then came from the
dense multitude, who were assembled from all parts of Palestine, ‘His blood be upon us, and
upon our children.’


CHAPTER XXVIII.      pg 128 of 199
Reflections on the Visions.

Whenever, during my meditations on the Passion of our Lord, I imagine I hear that
frightful cry of the Jews, ‘His blood be upon us, and upon our children,’ visions of a wonderful
and terrible description display before my eyes at the same moment the effect of that solemn
curse. I fancy I see a gloomy sky covered with clouds, of the colour of blood, from which
issue fiery swords and darts, lowering over the vociferating multitude; and this curse, which
they have entailed upon themselves, appears to me to penetrate even to the very marrow of
their bones,—even to the unborn infants. They appear to me encompassed on all sides by
darkness; the words they utter take, in my eyes, the form of black flames, which recoil upon
them, penetrating the bodies of some, and only playing around others.
The last-mentioned were those who were converted after the death of Jesus, and who
were in considerable numbers, for neither Jesus nor Mary ever ceased praying, in the midst
of their sufferings, for the salvation of these miserable beings.
When, during visions of this kind, I turn my thoughts to the holy souls of Jesus and
Mary, and to those of the enemies of Christ, all that takes place within them is shown me
under various forms. I see numerous devils among the crowd, exciting and encouraging the
Jews, whispering in their ears, entering their mouths, inciting them still more against Jesus,
but nevertheless trembling at the sight of his ineffable love and heavenly patience.
Innumerable angels surrounded Jesus, Mary, and the small number of saints who were
there. The exterior of these angels denotes the office they fill; some represent consolation,
others prayer, or some of the works of mercy.
I likewise often see consolatory, and at other times menacing voices, under the
appearance of bright or coloured gleams of light, issuing from the mouths of these different
apparitions; and I see the feelings of their souls, their interior sufferings, and in a word, their
every thought, under the appearance of dark or bright rays. I then understand everything
perfectly, but it is impossible for me to give an explanation to others; besides which, I am so
ill, and so totally overcome by the grief which I feel for my own sins and for those of the
world, I am so overpowered by the sight of the sufferings of our Lord, that I can hardly
imagine how it is possible for me to relate events with the slightest coherency. Many of
these things, but more especially the apparitions of devils and of angels, which are related by
other persons who have had visions of the Passion of Jesus Christ, are fragments of
symbolical interior perceptions of this species, which vary according to the state of the soul
of the spectator. Hence the numerous contradictions, because many things are naturally
forgotten or omitted.
Sister Emmerich sometimes spoke on these subjects, either during the time of her visions
on the Passion, or before they commenced; but she more often refused to speak at all
concerning them, for fear of causing confusion in the visions. It is easy to see how difficult it
must have been for her, in the midst of such a variety of apparitions, to preserve any degree
of connection in her narrations. Who can therefore be surprised at finding some omissions
and confusion in her descriptions?

CHAPTER XXIX.        pg 129 of 199
Jesus condemned to be crucified.

Pilate, who did not desire to know the truth, but was solely anxious to get out of the
difficulty without harm to himself, became more undecided than ever; his conscience
whispered—‘Jesus is innocent;’ his wife said, ‘he is holy;’ his superstitious feelings made
him fear that Jesus was the enemy of his gods; and his cowardice filled him with dread lest
Jesus, if he was a god, should wreak his vengeance upon his judge. He was both irritated
and alarmed at the last words of Jesus, and he made another attempt for his release; but the
Jews instantly threatened to lay an accusation against him before the Emperor. This menace
terrified him, and he determined to accede to their wishes, although firmly convinced in his
own mind of the innocence of Jesus, and perfectly conscious that by pronouncing sentence
of death upon him he should violate every law of justice, besides breaking the promise he
had made to his wife in the morning. Thus did he sacrifice Jesus to the enmity of the Jews,
and endeavour to stifle remorse by washing his hands before the people, saying, ‘I am
innocent of the blood of this just man; look you to it.’ Vainly dost thou pronounce these words, O
Pilate! for his blood is on thy head likewise; thou canst not wash his blood from thy soul, as
thou dost from thy hands.
Those fearful words, ‘His blood be upon us and upon our children,’ had scarcely ceased to
resound, when Pilate commenced his preparations for passing sentence. He called for the
dress which he wore on state occasions, put a species of diadem, set in precious stones, on
his head, changed his mantle, and caused a staff to be carried before him. He was
surrounded with soldiers, preceded by officers belonging to the tribunal, and followed by
Scribes, who carried rolls of parchments and books used for inscribing names and dates.
One man walked in front, who carried the trumpet. The procession marched in this order
from Pilate’s palace to the forum, where an elevated seat, used on these particular
occasions, was placed opposite to the pillar where Jesus was scourged. This tribunal was
called Gabbatha; it was a kind of round terrace, ascended by means of staircases; on the top
was a seat for Pilate, and behind this seat a bench for those in minor offices, while a number
of soldiers were stationed round the terrace and upon the staircases. Many of the Pharisees
had left the palace and were gone to the Temple, so that Annas, Caiphas, and twenty-eight
priests alone followed the Roman governor on to the forum, and the two thieves were taken
there at the time that Pilate presented our Saviour to the people, saying: ‘Ecce homo!’
Our Lord was still clothed in his purple garment, his crown of thorns upon his head, and
his hands manacled, when the archers brought him up to the tribunal, and placed him
between the two malefactors. As soon as Pilate was seated, he again addressed the enemies
of Jesus, in these words, ‘Behold your King!’
But the cries of ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ resounded on all sides.
‘Shall I crucify your King?’ said Pilate.
‘We have no King but Caesar!’ responded the High Priests.
Pilate found it was utterly hopeless to say anything more, and therefore commenced his
preparations for passing sentence. The two thieves had received their sentence of crucifixion
some time before; but the High Priests had obtained a respite for them, in order that our
Lord might suffer the additional ignominy of being executed with two criminals of the most
infamous description. The crosses of the two thieves were by their sides; that intended fro
our Lord was not brought, because he was not as yet sentenced to death.
The Blessed Virgin, who had retired to some distance after the scourging of Jesus, again
approached to hear the sentence of death pronounced upon her Son and her God. Jesus
stood in the midst of the archers, at the foot of the staircase leading up to the tribunal. The
trumpet was sounded to demand silence, and then the cowardly, the base judge, in a
tremulous undecided voice, pronounced the sentence of death on the Just Man. The sight of
the cowardice and duplicity of this despicable being, who was nevertheless puffed up with
pride at his important position, almost overcame me, and the ferocious joy of the
executioners—the triumphant countenances of the High Priests, added to the deplorable
condition to which our loving Saviour was reduced, and the agonising grief of his beloved
Mother—still further increased my pain. I looked up again, and saw the cruel Jews almost
devouring their victim with their eyes, the soldiers standing coldly by, and multitudes of
horrible demons passing to and fro and mixing in the crowd. I felt that I ought to have been
in the place of Jesus, my beloved Spouse, for the sentence would not then have been unjust;
but I was so overcome with anguish, and my sufferings were so intense, that I cannot
exactly remember all that I did see. However, I will relate all as nearly as I can.
After a long preamble, which was composed principally of the most pompous and
exaggerated eulogy of the Emperor Tiberias, Pilate spoke of the accusations which had been
brought against Jesus by the High Priests. He said that they had condemned him to death
for having disturbed the public peace, and broken their laws by calling himself the Son of
God and King of the Jews; and that the people had unanimously demanded that their
decree should be carried out. Notwithstanding his oft repeated conviction of the innocence
of Jesus, this mean and worthless judge was not ashamed of saying that he likewise
considered their decision a just one, and that he should therefore pronounce sentence—
which he did in these words: ‘I condemn Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews, to be
crucified;’ and he ordered the executioners to bring the cross. I think I remember likewise
that he took a long stick in his hands, broke it, and threw the fragments at the feet of Jesus.
On hearing these words of Pilate the Mother of Jesus became for a few moments totally
unconscious, for she was now certain that her beloved Son must die the most ignominious
and the most painful of all deaths. John and the holy women carried her away, to prevent
the heartless beings who surrounded them from adding crime to crime by jeering at her
grief; but no sooner did she revive a little than she begged to be taken again to each spot
which had been sanctified by the sufferings of her Son, in order to bedew them with her
tears; and thus did the Mother of our Lord, in the name of the Church, take possession of
those holy places.
Pilate then wrote down the sentence, and those who stood behind him copied it out three
times. The words which he wrote were quite different from those he had pronounced; I
could see plainly that his mind was dreadfully agitated—an angel of wrath appeared to
guide his hand. The substance of the written sentence was this: ‘I have been compelled, for
fear of an insurrection, to yield to the wishes of the High Priests, the Sanhedrin, and the
people, who tumultuously demanded the death of Jesus of Nazareth, whom they accused of
having disturbed the public peace, and also of having blasphemed and broken their laws. I
have given him up to them to be crucified, although their accusations appeared to be
groundless. I have done so for fear of their alleging to the Emperor that I encourage
insurrections, and cause dissatisfaction among the Jews by denying them the rights of
justice.’
He then wrote the inscription for the cross, while his clerks copied out the sentence
several times, that these copies might be sent to distant parts of the country.
The High Priests were extremely dissatisfied at the words of the sentence, which they
said were not true; and they clamorously surrounded the tribunal to endeavour to persuade
him to alter the inscription; and not to put King of the Jews, but that he said, I am the King of the
Jews.
Pilate was vexed, and answered impatiently, ‘What I have written I have written!’
They were likewise anxious that the cross of our Lord should not be higher than those of
the two thieves, but it was necessary for it to be so, because there would otherwise not have
been sufficient place for Pilate’s inscription; they therefore endeavoured to persuade him not
to have this obnoxious inscription put up at all. But Pilate was determined, and their words
made no impression upon him; the cross was therefore obliged to be lengthened by a fresh
bit of wood. Consequently the form of the cross was peculiar—the two arms stood out like
the branches of a tree growing from the stem, and the shape was very like that of the letter
Y, with the lower part lengthened so as to rise between the arms, which had been put on
separately, and were thinner than the body of the cross. A piece of wood was likewise nailed
at the bottom of the cross for the feet to rest upon.
During the time that Pilate was pronouncing the iniquitous sentence, I saw his wife,
Claudia Procles, send him back the pledge which he had given her, and in the evening she
left his palace and joined the friends of our Lord, who concealed her in a subterraneous
vault in the house of Lazarus at Jerusalem. Later in the same day, I likewise saw a friend of
our Lord engrave the words, Judex injustus, and the name of Claudia Procles, on a greenlooking
stone, which was behind the terrace called Gabbatha—this stone is still to be found
in the foundations of a church or house at Jerusalem, which stands on the spot formerly
called Gabbatha. Claudia Procles became a Christian, followed St. Paul, and became his
particular friend.
No sooner had Pilate pronounced sentence than Jesus was given up into the hands of the
archers, and the clothes which he had taken off in the court of Caiphas were brought for him
to put on again. I think some charitable persons had washed them, for they looked clean.
The ruffians who surrounded Jesus untied his hands for his dress to be changed, and
roughly dragged off the scarlet mantle with which they had clothed him in mockery, thereby
reopening all his wounds; he put on his own linen under-garment with trembling hands, and
they threw his scapular over his shoulders. As the crown of thorns was too large and
prevented the seamless robe, which his Mother had made for him, from going over his head,
they pulled it off violently, heedless of the pain thus inflicted upon him. His white woollen
dress was next thrown over his shoulders, and then his wide belt and cloak. After this, they
again tied round his waist a ring covered with sharp iron points, and to it they fastened the
cords by which he was led, doing all with their usual brutal cruelty.
The two thieves were standing, one on the right and the other on the left of Jesus, with
their hands tied and a chain round their necks; they were covered with black and lived
marks, the effects of the scourging of the previous day. The demeanour of the one who was
afterwards converted was quiet and peaceable, while that of the other, on the contrary, was
rough and insolent, and he joined the archers in abusing and insulting Jesus, who looked
upon his two companions with love and compassion, and offered up his sufferings for their
salvation. The archers gathered together all the implements necessary for the crucifixions,
and prepared everything for the terrible and painful journey to Calvary.
Annas and Caiphas at last left off disputing with Pilate, and angrily retired, taking with
them the sheets of parchment on which the sentence was written; they went away in haste,
fearing that they should get to the Temple too late for the Paschal sacrifice. Thus did the
High Priests, unknowingly to themselves, leave the true Paschal Lamb. They went to a
temple made of stone, to immolate and to sacrifice that lamb which was but a symbol, and
they left the true Paschal Lamb, who was being led to the Altar of the Cross by the cruel
executioners; they were most careful not to contract exterior defilement, while their souls
were completely defiled by anger, hatred, and envy. They had said, ‘His blood be upon us and
upon our children!’ And by these words they had performed the ceremony, and had placed the
hand of the sacrificer upon the head of the Victim. Thus were the two paths formed—the
one leading to the altar belonging to the Jewish law, the other leading to the Altar of Grace:
Pilate, that proud and irresolute pagan, that slave of the world, who trembled in the
presence of the true God, and yet adored his false gods, took a middle path, and returned to
his palace.
The iniquitous sentence was given at about ten in the morning.

CHAPTER XXX.     pg 132 of 199
The Carrying of the Cross.

When Pilate left the tribunal a portion of the soldiers followed him, and were drawn up
in files before the palace; a few accompanying the criminals. Eight-and-twenty armed
Pharisees came to the forum on horseback, in order to accompany Jesus to the place of
execution, and among these were the six enemies of Jesus, who had assisted in arresting
him in the Garden of Olives. The archers led Jesus into the middle of the court, the slaves
threw down the cross at his feet, and the two arms were forthwith tied on to the centre
piece. Jesus knelt down by its side, encircled it with his sacred arms, and kissed it three
times, addressing, at the same time, a most touching prayer of thanksgiving to his Heavenly
Father for that work of redemption which he had begun. It was the custom among pagans
for the priest to embrace a new altar, and Jesus in like manner embraced his cross, that
august altar on which the bloody and expiatory sacrifice was about to be offered. The
archers soon made him rise, and then kneel down again, and almost without any assistance,
place the heavy cross on his right shoulder, supporting its great weight with his right hand. I
saw angels come to his assistance, otherwise he would have been unable even to raise it
from the ground. Whilst he was on his knees, and still praying, the executioners put the
arms of the crosses, which were a little curbed and not as yet fastened to the centre pieces,
on the backs of the two thieves, and tied their hands tightly to them. The middle parts of the
crosses were carried by slaves, as the transverse pieces were not to be fastened to them until
just before the time of execution. The trumpet sounded to announce the departure of Pilate’s
horsemen, and one of the Pharisees belonging to the escort came up to Jesus, who was still
kneeling, and said, ‘Rise, we have had a sufficiency of thy fine speeches; rise and set off.’
They pulled him roughly up, for he was totally unable to rise without assistance, and he
then felt upon his shoulders the weight of that cross which we must carry after him,
according to his true and holy command to follow him. Thus began that triumphant march
of the King of Kings, a march so ignominious on earth, and so glorious in heaven.
By means of ropes, which the executioners had fastened to the foot of the cross, two
archers supported it to prevent its getting entangled in anything, and four other soldiers took
hold of the ropes, which they had fastened to Jesus underneath his clothes. The sight of our
dear Lord trembling beneath his burden, reminded me forcibly of Isaac, when he carried the
wood destined for his own sacrifice up the mountains. The trumpet of Pilate was sounded as
the signal for departure, for he himself intended to go to Calvary at the head of a
detachment of soldiers, to prevent the possibility of an insurrection. He was on horseback,
in armour, surrounded by officers and a body of cavalry, and followed by about three
hundred of the infantry, who came from the frontiers of Italy and Switzerland. The
procession was headed by a trumpeter, who sounded his trumpet at every corner and
proclaimed the sentence. A number of women and children walked behind the procession
with ropes, nails, wedges, and baskets filled with different articles, in their hands; others,
who were stronger, carried poles, ladders, and the centre pieces of the crosses of the two
thieves, and some of the Pharisees followed on horseback. A boy who had charge of the
inscription which Pilate had written for the cross, likewise carried the crown of thorns
(which had been taken off the head of Jesus) at the end of a long stick, but he did not appear
to be wicked and hard-hearted like the rest. Next I beheld our Blessed Saviour and
Redeemer—his bare feet swollen and bleeding—his back bent as though he were about to
sink under the heavy weight of the cross, and his whole body covered with wounds and
blood. He appeared to be half fainting from exhaustion (having had neither refreshment or
sleep since the supper of the previous night), weak from loss of blood, and parched with
thirst produced by fever and pain. He supported the cross on his right shoulder with his right
hand, the left hung almost powerless at his side, but he endeavoured now and then to hold
up his long garment to prevent his bleeding feet from getting entangled in it. The four
archers who held the cords which were fastened round his waist, walked at some distance
from him, the two in front pulled him on, and the two behind dragged him back, so that he
could not get on at all without the greatest difficulty. His hands were cut by the cords with
which they had been bound; his face bloody and disfigured; his hair and beard saturated
with blood; the weight of the cross and of his chains combined to press and make the
woollen dress cleave to his wounds, and reopen them: derisive and heartless words alone
were addressed to him, but he continued to pray for his persecutors, and his countenance
bore an expression of combined love and resignation. Many soldiers under arms walked by
the side of the procession, and after Jesus came the two thieves, who were likewise led, the
arms of their crosses, separate from the middle, being placed upon their backs, and their
hands tied tightly to the two ends. They were clothed in large aprons, with a sort of
sleeveless scapular which covered the upper part of their bodies, and they had straw caps
upon their heads. The good thief was calm, but the other was, on the contrary furious, and
never ceased cursing and swearing. The rear of the procession was brought up by the
remainder of the Pharisees on horseback, who rode to and fro to keep order. Pilate and his
courtiers were at a certain distance behind; he was in the midst of his officers clad in
armour, preceded by a squadron of cavalry, and followed by three hundred foot soldiers; he
crossed the forum, and then entered one of the principal streets, for he was marching
through the town in order to prevent any insurrection among the people.
Jesus was conducted by a narrow back street, that the procession might not
inconvenience the persons who were going to the Temple, and likewise in order that Pilate
and his band might have the whole principal street entirely to themselves. The crowd had
dispersed and started in different directions almost immediately after the reading of the
sentence, and the greatest part of the Jews either returned to their own houses, or to the
Temple, to hasten their preparations for sacrificing the Paschal lamb; but a certain number
were still hurrying on in disorder to see the melancholy procession pass; the Roman soldiers
prevented all persons from joining the procession, therefore the most curious were obliged
to go round by back streets, or to quicken their steps so as to reach Calvary before Jesus.
The street through which they led Jesus was both narrow and dirty; he suffered much in
passing through it, because the archers were close and harassed him. Persons stood on the
roofs of the houses, and at the windows, and insulted him with opprobrious language; the
slaves who were working in the streets threw filth and mud at him; even the children,
incited by his enemies, had filled their pinafores with sharp stones, which they throw down
before their doors as he passed, that he might be obliged to walk over them.

CHAPTER XXXI.    pg 134 of 199
The First Fall of Jesus.

The street of which we have just spoken, after turning a little to the left, became rather
steep, as also wider, a subterranean aqueduct proceeding from Mount Sion passed under it,
and in its vicinity was a hollow which was often filled with water and mud after rain, and a
large stone was placed in its centre to enable persons to pass over more easily. When Jesus
reached this spot, his strength was perfectly exhausted; he was quite unable to move; and as
the archers dragged and pushed him without showing the slightest compassion, he fell quite
down against this stone, and the cross fell by his side. The cruel executioners were obliged
to stop, they abused and struck him unmercifully, but the whole procession came to a
standstill, which caused a degree of confusion. Vainly did he hold out his hand for someone
to assist him to rise: ‘Ah!’ he exclaimed, ‘all will soon be over;’ and he prayed for his
enemies. Lift him up,’ said the Pharisees, ‘otherwise he will die in our hands.’ There were
many women and children following the procession; the former wept, and the latter were
frightened. Jesus, however, received support from above, and raised his head; but these
cruel men, far from endeavouring to alleviate his sufferings, put the crown of thorns again
on his head before they pulled him out of the mud, and no sooner was he once more on his
feet than they replaced the cross on his back. The crown of thorns which encircled his head
increased his pain inexpressibly, and obliged him to bend on one side to give room for the
cross, which lay heavily on his shoulders.

CHAPTER XXXII.       pg 135 of 199
The Second Fall of Jesus.

The afflicted Mother of Jesus had left the forum, accompanied by John and some other
women, immediately after the unjust sentence was pronounced. She had employed herself
in walking to many of the spots sanctified by our Lord and watering them with her tears; but
when the sound of the trumpet, the rush of people, and the clang of the horsemen
announced that the procession was about to start for Calvary, she could not resist her
longing desire to behold her beloved Son once more, and she begged John to take her to
some place through which he must pass. John conducted her to a palace, which had an
entrance in that street which Jesus traversed after his first fall; it was, I believe, the residence
of the high priest Caiphas, whose tribunal was in the division called Sion. John asked and
obtained leave from a kind-hearted servant to stand at the entrance mentioned above, with
Mary and her companions. The Mother of God was pale, her eyes were red with weeping,
and she was closely wrapped in a cloak of a bluish-grey colour. The clamour and insulting
speeches of the enraged multitude might be plainly heard; and a herald at that moment
proclaimed in a loud voice, that three criminals were about to be crucified. The servant
opened the door; the dreadful sounds became more distinct every moment; and Mary threw
herself on her knees. After praying fervently, she turned to John and said, ‘Shall I remain?
Ought I to go away? Shall I have strength to support such a sight?’ John made answer, ‘If
you do not remain to see him pass, you will grieve afterwards.’ They remained therefore
near the door, with their eyes fixed on the procession, which was still distant, but advancing
by slow degrees. When those who were carrying the instruments for the execution
approached, and the Mother of Jesus saw their insolent and triumphant looks, she could not
control her feelings, but joined her hands as if to implore the help of heaven; upon which
one among them said to his companions: ‘What woman is that who is uttering such
lamentations?’ Another answered: ‘She is the Mother of the Galilean.’ When the cruel men
heard this, far from being moved to compassion, they began to make game of the grief of
this most afflicted Mother: they pointed at her, and one of them took the nails which were
to be used for fastening Jesus to the cross, and presented them to her in an insulting manner;
but she turned away, fixed her eyes upon Jesus, who was drawing near, and leant against
the pillar for support, lest she should again faint from grief, for her cheeks were as pale as
death, and her lips almost blue. The Pharisees on horseback passed by first, followed by the
boy who carried the inscription. Then came her beloved Son. He was almost sinking under
the heavy weight of his cross, and his head, still crowned with thorns, was drooping in
agony on his shoulder. He cast a look of compassion and sorrow upon his Mother,
staggered, and fell for the second time upon his hands and knees. Mary was perfectly
agonised at this sight; she forgot all else; she saw neither soldiers nor executioners; she saw
nothing but her dearly-loved Son; and, springing from the doorway into the midst of the
group who were insulting and abusing him, she threw herself on her knees by his side and
embraced him. The only words I heard were, ‘Beloved Son!’ and ‘Mother!’ but I do not
know whether these words were really uttered, or whether they were only in my own mind.
A momentary confusion ensued. John and the holy women endeavoured to raise Mary
from the ground, and the archers reproached her, one of them saying, ‘What hast thou to do
her, woman? He would not have been in our hands if he had been better brought up.’
A few of the soldiers looked touched; and, although they obliged the Blessed Virgin to
retire to the doorway, not one laid hands upon her. John and the women surrounded her as
she fell half fainting against a stone, which was near the doorway, and upon which the
impression of her hands remained. This stone was very hard, and was afterwards removed
to the first Catholic church built in Jerusalem, near the Pool of Bethsaida, during the time
that St. James the Less was Bishop of that city. The two disciples who were with the Mother
of Jesus carried her into the house, and the door was shut. In the mean time the archers had
raised Jesus, and obliged him to carry the cross in a different manner. Its arm being
unfastened from the centre, and entangled in the ropes with which he was bound, he
supported them on his arm, and by this means the weight of the body of the cross was a
little taken off, as it dragged more on the ground. I saw numbers of persons standing about
in groups, the greatest part amusing themselves by insulting our Lord in different ways, but
a few veiled females were weeping.

CHAPTER XXXIII.        pg 136 of 199
Simon of Cyrene. Third Fall of Jesus.

The procession had reached an arch formed in an old wall belonging to the town,
opposite to a square, in which three streets terminated, when Jesus stumbled against a large
stone which was placed in the middle of the archway, the cross slipped from his shoulder,
he fell upon the stone, and was totally unable to rise. Many respectable-looking persons who
were on their way to the Temple stopped, and exclaimed compassionately: ‘Look at that
poor man, he is certainly dying!’ but his enemies showed no compassion. This fall caused a
fresh delay, as our Lord could not stand up again, and the Pharisees said to the soldiers:
‘We shall never get him to the place of execution alive, if you do not find someone to carry
his cross.’ At this moment Simon of Cyrene, a pagan, happened to pass by, accompanied by
his three children. He was a gardener, just returning home after working in a garden near
the eastern wall of the city, and carrying a bundle of lopped branches. The soldiers
perceiving by his dress that he was a pagan, seized him, and ordered him to assist Jesus in
carrying his cross. He refused at first, but was soon compelled to obey, although his
children, being frightened, cried and made a great noise, upon which some women quieted
and took charge of them. Simon was much annoyed, and expressed the greatest vexation at
being obliged to walk with a man in so deplorable a condition of dirt and misery; but Jesus
wept, and cast such a mild and heavenly look upon him that he was touched, and instead of
continuing to show reluctance, helped him to rise, while the executioners fastened one arm
of the cross on his shoulders, and he walked behind our Lord, thus relieving him in a great
measure from its weight; and when all was arranged, the procession moved forward. Simon
was a stout-looking man, apparently about forty years of age. His children were dressed in
tunics made of a variegated material; the two eldest, named Rufus and Alexander,
afterwards joined the disciples; the third was much younger, but a few years later went to
live with St. Stephen. Simon had not carried the cross after Jesus any length of time before
he felt his heart deeply touched by grace.

CHAPTER XXXIV.      pg 137 of 199
The Veil of Veronica.

While the procession was passing through a long street, an incident took place which
made a strong impression upon Simon. Numbers of respectable persons were hurrying
towards the Temple, of whom many got out of the way when they saw Jesus, from a
Pharisaical fear of defilement, while others, on the contrary, stopped and expressed pity for
his sufferings. But when the procession had advanced about two hundred steps from the
spot where Simon began to assist our Lord in carrying his cross, the door of a beautiful
house on the left opened, and a woman of majestic appearance, holding a young girl by the
hand, came out, and walked up to the very head of the procession. Seraphia was the name
of the brave woman who thus dared to confront the enraged multitude; she was the wife of
Sirach, one of the councillors belonging to the Temple, and was afterwards known by the
name of Veronica, which name was given from the words vera icon (true portrait), to
commemorate her brave conduct on this day.
Seraphia had prepared some excellent aromatic wine, which she piously intended to
present to our Lord to refresh him on his dolorous way to Calvary. She had been standing in
the street for some time, and at last went back into the house to wait. She was, when I first
saw her, enveloped in a long veil, and holding a little girl of nine years of age, whom she
had adopted, by the hand; a large veil was likewise hanging on her arm, and the little girl
endeavoured to hide the jar of wine when the procession approached. Those who were
marching at the head of the procession tried to push her back; but she made her way
through the mob, the soldiers, and the archers, reached Jesus, fell on her knees before him,
and presented the veil, saying at the same time, ‘Permit me to wipe the face of my Lord.’
Jesus took the veil in his left hand, wiped his bleeding face, and returned it with thanks.
Seraphia kissed it, and put it under her cloak. The girl then timidly offered the wine, but the
brutal soldiers would not allow Jesus to drink it. The suddenness of this courageous act of
Seraphia had surprised the guards, and caused a momentary although unintentional halt, of
which she had taken advantage to present the veil to her Divine Master. Both the Pharisees
and the guards were greatly exasperated, not only by the sudden halt, but much more by the
public testimony of veneration which was thus paid to Jesus, and they revenged themselves
by striking and abusing him, while Seraphia returned in haste to her house.
No sooner did she reach her room than she placed the woollen veil on a table, and fell
almost senseless on her knees. A friend who entered the room a short time after, found her
thus kneeling, with the child weeping by her side, and saw, to his astonishment, the bloody
countenance of our Lord imprinted upon the veil, a perfect likeness, although heartrending
and painful to look upon. He roused Seraphia, and pointed to the veil. She again knelt down
before it, and exclaimed through her tears, ‘Now I shall indeed leave all with a happy heart,
for my Lord has given me a remembrance of himself.’ The texture of this veil was a species
of very fine wool; it was three times the length of its width, and was generally worn on the
shoulders. It was customary to present these veil to persons who were in affliction, or overfatigued,
or ill, that they might wipe their faces with them, and it was done in order to
express sympathy or compassion. Veronica kept this veil until her death, and hung it at the
head of her bed; it was then given to the Blessed Virgin, who left it to the Apostles and they
afterwards passed it on to the Church.
Seraphis and John the Baptist were cousins, her father and Zacharias being brothers.
When Joachim and Anna brought the Blessed Virgin, who was then only four years old, up
to Jerusalem, to place her among the virgins in the Temple, they lodged in the house of
Zacharias, which was situated near the fish-market. Seraphia was at least five years older
than the Blessed Virgin, was present at her marriage with St. Joseph, and was likewise
related to the aged Simeon, who prophesied when the Child Jesus was put into his arms.
She was brought up with his sons, both of whom, as well as Seraphia, he imbued with his
ardent desire of seeing our Lord. When Jesus was twelve years old, and remained teaching
in the Temple, Seraphia, who was not then married, sent food for him every day to a little
inn, a quarter of a mile from Jerusalem, where he dwelt when he was not in the Temple.
Mary wet there for two days, when on her way from Bethlehem to Jerusalem to offer her
Child in the Temple. The two old men who kept this inn were Essenians, and well
acquainted with the Holy Family; it contained a kind of foundation for the poor, and Jesus
and his disciples often went there for a night’s lodging.
Seraphia married rather late in life; her husband, Sirach, was descended from the chaste
Susannah, and was a member of the Sanhedrin. He was at first greatly opposed to our Lord,
and his wife suffered much on account of her attachment to Jesus, and to the holy women,
but Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus brought him to a better state of feeling, and he
allowed Seraphia to follow our Lord. When Jesus was unjustly accused in the court of
Caiphas, the husband of Seraphia joined with Joseph and Nicodemus in attempts to obtain
the liberation of our Lord, and all three resigned their seats in the Council.
Seraphia was about fifty at the time of the triumphant procession of our Lord when he
entered into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and I then saw her take off her veil and spread it
on the ground for him to walk upon. It was this same veil, which she presented to Jesus, at
this his second procession, a procession which outwardly appeared to be far less glorious,
but was in fact much more so. This veil obtained for her the name of Veronica, and it is still
shown for the veneration of the faithful.

CHAPTER XXXV.          pg 139 of 199
The Fourth and Fifth Falls of Jesus.
The Daughters of Jerusalem.
The procession was still at some distance from the south-west gate, which was large, and
attached to the fortifications, and the street was rough and steep; it had first to pass under a
vaulted arch, then over a bridge, and finally under a second arch. The wall on the left side of
the gate runs first in southerly direction, then deviates a little to the west, and finally runs to
the south behind Mount Sion. When the procession was near this gate, the brutal archers
shoved Jesus into a stagnant pool, which was close to it; Simon of Cyrene, in his
endeavours to avoid the pool, gave the cross a twist, which caused Jesus to fall down for the
fourth time in the midst of the dirty mud, and Simon had the greatest difficulty in lifting up
the cross again. Jesus then exclaimed in a tone which, although clear, was moving and sad:
‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered together thy children as the hen doth gather
her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not!’ When the Pharisees heard these words, they
became still more angry, and recommencing their insults and blows endeavoured to force
him to get up out of the mud. Their cruelty to Jesus so exasperated Simon of Cyrene that he
at last exclaimed, ‘If you continue this brutal conduct, I will throw down the cross and carry
it no farther. I will do so if you kill me for it.’
A narrow and stony path was visible as soon as the gate was passed, and this path ran in
a northerly direction, and led to Calvary. The high road from which it deviates divided
shortly after into three branches, one to the south-west, which led to Bethlehem, through the
vale of Gihon; a second to the south towards Emmaus and Joppa; a third, likewise to the
south-west, wound round Calvary, and terminated at the gate which led to Bethsur. A
person standing at the gate through which Jesus was led might easily see the gate of
Bethlehem. The officers had fastened an inscription upon a post which stood at the
commencement of the road to Calvary, to inform those who passed by that Jesus and the
two thieves were condemned to death. A group of women had gathered together near this
spot, and were weeping and lamenting; many carried young children in their arms; the
greatest part were young maidens and women from Jerusalem, who had preceded the
procession, but a few came from Bethlehem, from Hebron, and from other neighbouring
places, in order to celebrate the Pasch.
Jesus was on the point of again falling, but Simon, who was behind, perceiving that he
could not stand, hastened to support him; he leant upon Simon, and was thus saved from
falling to the ground. When the women and children of whom we have spoken above, saw
the deplorable condition to which our Lord was reduced, they uttered loud cries, wept, and,
according to the Jewish custom, presented him cloths to wipe his face. Jesus turned towards
them and said: ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me, but weep for yourselves and for your
children. For behold the days shall come wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs
that have not borne, and the papas that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the
mountains: Fall upon us, and to the hills: Cover us. For if in the green wood they do these things, what
shall be done in the dry?’ He then addressed a few words of consolation to hem, which I do
not exactly remember.
The procession made a momentary halt. The executioners, who set of first, had reached
Calvary with the instruments for the execution, and were followed by a hundred of the
Roman soldiers who had started with Pilate; he only accompanied the procession as far as
the gateway, and returned to the town.

CHAPTER XXXVI.       pg 140 of 199
Jesus on Mount Golgotha.
Sixth and Seventh Falls of Jesus.
The procession again moved on; the road was very steep and rough between the walls of
the town and Calvary, and Jesus had the greatest difficulty in walking with his heavy burden
on his shoulders; but his cruel enemies, far from feeling the slightest compassion, or giving
the least assistance, continued to urge him on by the infliction of hard blows, and the
utterance of dreadful curses. At last they reached a spot where the pathway turned suddenly
to the south; here he stumbled and fell for the sixth time. The fall was a dreadful one, but
the guards only struck him the harder to force him to get up, and no sooner did he reach
Calvary that he sank down again for the seventh time.
Simon of Cyrene was filled with indignation and pity; notwithstanding his fatigue, he
wished to remain that he might assist Jesus, but the archers first reviled, and then drove him
away, and he soon after joined the body of disciples. The executioners then ordered the
workmen and the boys who had carried the instruments of the execution to depart, and the
Pharisees soon arrived, for they were on horseback, and had taken the smooth and easy
road which ran to the east of Calvary. There was a fine view of the whole town of Jerusalem
from the top of Calvary. This top was circular, and about the size of an ordinary ridingschool,
surrounded by a low wall, and with five separate entrances. This appeared to be the
usual number in those parts, for there were five roads at the baths, at the place where they
baptised, at the pool of Bethsaida, and there were likewise many towns with five gates. In
this, as in many other peculiarities of the Holy Land, there was a deep prophetic
signification; that number five, which so often occurred, was a type of those five sacred
wound of our Blessed Saviour, which were to open to us the gates of Heaven.
The horsemen stopped on the west side of the mount, where the declivity was not so
steep; for the side up which the criminals were brought was both rough and steep. About a
hundred soldiers were stationed on different parts of the mountain, and as space was
required, the thieves were not brought to the top, but ordered to halt before they reached it,
and to lie on the ground with their arms fastened to their crosses. Soldiers stood around and
guarded them, while crowds of persons who did not fear defiling themselves, stood near the
platform or on the neighbouring heights; these were mostly of the lower classes—strangers,
slaves, and pagans, and a number of them were women.
It wanted about a quarter to twelve when Jesus, loaded with his cross, sank down at the
precise spot where he was to be crucified. The barbarous executioners dragged him up by
the cords which they had fastened round his waist, and then untied the arms of the cross,
and threw them on the ground. The sight of our Blessed Lord at this moment was, indeed,
calculated to move the hardest heart to compassion; he stood or rather bent over the cross,
being scarcely able to support himself; his heavenly countenance was pale and was as that of
a person on the verge of death, although wounds and blood disfigured it to a frightful
degree; but the hearts of these cruel men were, alas! harder than iron itself, and far from
showing the slightest commiseration, they threw him brutally down, exclaiming in a jeering
tone, ‘Most powerful king, we are about to prepare thy throne.’ Jesus immediately placed
himself upon the cross, and they measured him and marked the places for his feet and
hands; whilst the Pharisees continued to insult their unresisting Victim. When the
measurement was finished, they led him to a cave cut in the rock, which had been used
formerly as a cellar, opened the door, and pushed him in so roughly that had it not been for
the support of angels, his legs must have been broken by so hard a fall on the rough stone
floor. I most distinctly heard his groans of pain, but they closed the door quickly, and placed
guards before it, and the archers continued their preparations for the crucifixion. The centre
of the platform mentioned above was the most elevated part of Calvary,—it was a round
eminence, about two feet high, and persons were obliged to ascend two of three steps to
reach its top. The executioners dug the holes for the three crosses at the top of this
eminence, and placed those intended for the thieves one on the right and the other on the
left of our Lord’s; both were lower and more roughly made than his. They then carried the
cross of our Saviour to the spot where they intended to crucify him, and placed it in such a
position that it would easily fall into the hole prepared for it. They fastened the two arms
strongly on to the body of the cross, nailed the board at the bottom which was to support the
feet, bored the holes for the nails, and cut different hollows in the wood in the parts which
would receive the head and back of our Lord, in order that his body might rest against the
cross, instead of being suspended from it. Their aim in this was the prolongation of his
tortures, for if the whole weight of this body was allowed to fall upon the hands the holes
might be quite torn open, and death ensue more speedily than they desired. The
executioners then drove into the ground the pieces of wood which were intended to keep the
cross upright, and made a few other similar preparations.


CHAPTER XXXVII.         pg 141 of 199
The Departure of Mary and the holy Women of Calvary.

Although the Blessed Virgin was carried away fainting after the sad meeting with her Son
loaded with his cross, yet she soon recovered consciousness; for love, and the ardent desire
of seeing him once more, imparted to her a supernatural feeling of strength. Accompanied
by her companions she went to the house of Lazarus, which was at the bottom of the town,
and where Martha, Magdalen, and many holy women were already assembled. All were sad
and depressed, but Magdalen could not restrain her tears and lamentations. They started
from this house, about seventeen in number, to make the way of the cross, that is to say, to
follow every step Jesus had taken in this most painful journey. Mary counted each footstep,
and being interiorly enlightened, pointed out to her companions those places which had
been consecrated by peculiar sufferings. Then did the sharp sword predicted by aged Simeon
impress for the first time in the heart of Mary that touching devotion which has since been
so constantly practised in the Church. Mary imparted it to her companions, and they in
their turn left it to future generations,—a most precious gift indeed, bestowed by our Lord
on his beloved Mother, and which passed from her heart to the hearts of her children
through the revered voice of tradition.
When these holy women reached the house of Veronica they entered it, because Pilate
and his officers were at that moment passing through the street, on their way home. They
burst forth into unrestrained tears when they beheld the countenance of Jesus imprinted on
the veil, and they returned thanks to God for the favour he had bestowed on his faithful
servant. They took the jar of aromatic wine which the Jews had prevented Jesus from
drinking, and set off together towards Golgotha. Their number was considerably increased,
for many pious men and women whom the sufferings of our Lord had filled with pity had
joined them, and they ascended the west side of Calvary, as the declivity there was not so
great. The Mother of Jesus, accompanied by her niece, Mary (the daughter of Cleophas),
John, and Salome went quite up to the round platform; but Martha, Mary of Heli, Veronica,
Johanna Chusa, Susanna, and Mary, the mother of Mark, remained below with Magdalen,
who could hardly support herself. Lower down on the mountain there was a third group of
holy women, and there were a few scattered individuals between the three groups, who
carried messages from one to the other. The Pharisees on horseback rode to and fro among
the people, and the five entrances were guarded by Roman soldiers. Mary kept her eyes
fixed on the fatal spot, and stood as if entranced,—it was indeed a sight calculated to appal
and rend the heart of a mother. There lay the terrible cross, the hammers, the ropes, the
nails, and alongside of these frightful instruments to torture stood the brutal executioners,
half drunk, and almost without clothing, swearing and blaspheming, whilst making their
preparations. The sufferings of the Blessed Virgin were greatly increased by her not being
able to see her Son; she knew that he was still alive, and she felt the most ardent desire once
more to behold him, while the thought of the torments he still had to endure made her heart
ready to burst with grief.
A little hail had been falling at times during the morning, but the sun came out again
after ten o’clock, and a thick red fog began to obscure it towards twelve.



CHAPTER XXXVIII.       pg 142 of 199
The Nailing of Jesus to the Cross.

The preparations for the crucifixion being finished four archers went to the cave where
they had confined our Lord and dragged him out with their usual brutality, while the mob
looked on and made use of insulting language, and the Roman soldiers regarded all with
indifference, and thought of nothing but maintaining order. When Jesus was again brought
forth, the holy women gave a man some money, and begged him to pay the archer anything
they might demand if they would allow Jesus to drink the wine which Veronica had
prepared; but the cruel executioners, instead of giving it to Jesus, drank it themselves. They
had brought two vases with them, one of which contained vinegar and gall, and the other a
mixture which looked like wine mixed with myrrh and absinthe; they offered a glass of the
latter to our Lord, which he tasted, but would not drink.
There were eighteen archers on the platform; the six who had scourged Jesus, the four
who had conducted him to Calvary, the two who held the ropes which supported the cross,
and six others who came for the purpose of crucifying him. They were strangers in the pay
of either the Jews or the Romans, and were short thick-set men, with most ferocious
countenances, rather resembling wild beasts than human beings, and employing themselves
alternately in drinking and in making preparations for the crucifixion.
This scene was rendered the more frightful to me by the sight of demons, who were
invisible to others, and I saw large bodies of evil spirits under the forms of toads, serpents,
sharp-clawed dragons, and venomous insects, urging these wicked men to still greater
cruelty, and perfectly darkening the air. They crept into the mouths and into the hearts of
the assistants, sat upon their shoulders, filled their minds with wicked images, and incited
them to revile and insult our Lord with still greater brutality. Weeping angels, however,
stood around Jesus, and the sight of their tears consoled me not a little, and they were
accompanied by little angels of glory, whose heads alone I saw. There were likewise angels
of pity and angels of consolation among them; the latter frequently approached the Blessed
Virgin and the rest of the pious persons who were assembled there, and whispered words of
comfort which enabled them to bear up with firmness.
The executioners soon pulled off our Lord’s cloak, the belt to which the ropes were
fastened, and his own belt, when they found it was impossible to drag the woollen garment
which his Mother had woven for him over his head, on account of the crown of thorns; they
tore off this most painful crown, thus reopening every wound, and seizing the garment, tore
it mercilessly over his bleeding and wounded head. Our dear Lord and Saviour then stood
before his cruel enemies, stripped of all save the short scapular which was on his shoulders,
and the linen which girded his loins. His scapular was of wool; the wool had stuck to the
wounds, and indescribable was the agony of pain he suffered when they pulled it roughly
off. He shook like the aspen as he stood before them, for he was so weakened from suffering
and loss of blood that he could not support himself for more than a few moments; he was
covered with open wounds, and his shoulders and back were torn to the bone by the
dreadful scourging he had endured. He was about to fall when the executioners, fearing that
he might die, and thus deprive them of the barbarous pleasure of crucifying him, led him to
a large stone and placed him roughly down upon it, but no sooner was he seated than they
aggravated his sufferings by putting the crown of thorns again upon his head. They then
offered him some vinegar and gall, from which, however, he turned away in silence. The
executioners did not allow him to rest long, but bade him rise and place himself on the cross
that they might nail him to it. Then seizing his right arm they dragged it to the hole prepared
for the nail, and having tied it tightly down with a cord, one of them knelt upon his sacred
chest, a second held his hand flat, and a third taking a long thick nail, pressed it on the open
palm of that adorable hand, which had ever been open to bestow blessings and favours on
the ungrateful Jews, and with a great iron hammer drove it through the flesh, and far into
the wood of the cross. Our Lord uttered one deep but suppressed groan, and his blood
gushed forth and sprinkled the arms of the archers. I counted the blows of the hammer, but
my extreme grief made me forget their number. The nails were very large, the heads about
the size of a crown piece, and the thickness that of a man’s thumb, while the points came
through at the back of the cross. The Blessed Virgin stood motionless; from time to time you
might distinguish her plaintive moans; she appeared as if almost fainting from grief, and
Magdalen was quite beside herself. When the executioners had nailed the right hand of our
Lord, they perceived that his left hand did not reach the hole they had bored to receive the
nail, therefore they tied ropes to his left arm, and having steadied their feet against the cross,
pulled the left hand violently until it reached the place prepared for it. This dreadful process
caused our Lord indescribable agony, his breast heaved, and his legs were quite contracted.
They again knelt upon him, tied down his arms, and drove the second nail into his left
hand; his blood flowed afresh, and his feeble groans were once more heard between the
blows of the hammer, but nothing could move the hard-hearted executioners to the slightest
pity. The arms of Jesus, thus unnaturally stretched out, no longer covered the arms of the
cross, which were sloped; there was a wide space between them and his armpits. Each
additional torture and insult inflicted on our Lord caused a fresh pang in the heart of his
Blessed Mother; she became white as a corpse, but as the Pharisees endeavoured to increase
her pain by insulting words and gestures, the disciples led her to a group of pious women
who were standing a little farther off.
The executioners had fastened a piece of wood at the lower part of the cross under where
the feet of Jesus would be nailed, that thus the weight of his body might not rest upon the
wounds of his hands, as also to prevent the bones of his feet from being broken when nailed
to the cross. A hole had been pierced in this wood to receive the nail when driven through
his feet, and there was likewise a little hollow place for his heels. These precautions were
taken lest his wounds should be torn open by the weight of this body, and death ensue
before he had suffered all the tortures which they hoped to see him endure. The whole body
of our Lord had been dragged upward, and contracted by the violent manner with which the
executioners had stretched out his arms, and his knees were bent up; they therefore flattened
and tied them down tightly with cords; but soon perceiving that his feet did not reach the bit
of wood which was placed for them to rest upon, they became infuriated. Some of their
number proposed making fresh holes for the nails which pierced his hands, as there would
be considerable difficulty in removing the bit of wood, but the others would do nothing of
the sort, and continued to vociferate, ‘He will not stretch himself out, but we will help him;’
they accompanied these words with the most fearful oaths and imprecations, and having
fastened a rope to his right leg, dragged it violently until it reached the wood, and then tied
it down as tightly as possible. The agony which Jesus suffered from this violent tension was
indescribable; the words ‘My God, my God,’ escaped his lips, and the executioners increased
his pain by tying his chest and arms to the cross, lest the hands should be torn from the
nails. They then fastened his left foot on to his right foot, having first bored a hole through
them with a species of piercer, because they could not be placed in such a position as to be
nailed together at once. Next they took a very long nail and drove it completely through
both feet into the cross below, which operation was more than usually painful, on account
of his body being so unnaturally stretched out; I counted at least six and thirty blows of the
hammer. During the whole time of the crucifixion our Lord never ceased praying, and
repeating those passages in the Psalms which he was then accompanying, although from
time to time a feeble moan caused by excess of suffering might be heard. In this manner he
had prayed when carrying his cross, and thus he continued to pray until his death. I heard
him repeat all these prophecies; I repeated them after him, and I have often since noted the
different passages when reading the Psalms, but I now feel so exhausted with grief that I
cannot at all connect them.
When the crucifixion of Jesus was finished, the commander of the Roman soldiers
ordered Pilate’s inscription to be nailed on the top of the cross. The Pharisees were much
incensed at this, and their anger was increased by the jeers of the Roman soldiers, who
pointed at their crucified king; they therefore hastened back to Jerusalem, determined to use
their best endeavours to persuade the governor to allow them to substitute another
inscription.
It was about a quarter past twelve when Jesus was crucified, and at the moment the cross
was lifted up, the Temple resounded with the blast of trumpets, which were always blown to
announce the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb.


CHAPTER XXXIX.       pg 145 of 199
Raising of the Cross.  

When the executioners had finished the crucifixion of our Lord, they tied ropes to the
trunk of the cross, and fastened the ends of these ropes round a long beam which was fixed
firmly in the ground at a little distance, and by means of these ropes they raised the cross.
Some of their number supported it while others shoved its foot towards the hole prepared
for its reception—the heavy cross fell into this hole with a frightful shock—Jesus uttered a
faint cry, and his wounds were torn open in the most fearful manner, his blood again burst
forth, and his half dislocated bones knocked one against the other. The archers pushed the
cross to get it thoroughly into the hole, and caused it to vibrate still more by planting five
stakes around to support it.
A terrible, but at the same time a touching sight it was to behold the cross raised up in the
midst of the vast concourse of persons who were assembled all around; not only insulting
soldiers, proud Pharisees, and the brutal Jewish mob were there, but likewise strangers from
all parts. The air resounded with acclamations and derisive cries when they beheld it
towering on high, and after vibrating for a moment in the air, fall with a heavy crash into
the hole cut for it in the rock. But words of love and compassion resounded through the air
at the same moment; and need we say that these words, these sounds, were emitted by the
most saintly of human beings—Mary—John—the holy women, and all who were pure of
heart? They bowed down and adored the ‘Word made flesh,’ nailed to the cross; they
stretched forth their hands as if desirous of giving assistance to the Holy of Holies, whom
they beheld nailed to a cross and in the power of his furious enemies. But when the solemn
sound of the fall of the cross into the hole prepared for it in the rock was heard, a dead
silence ensued, every heart was filled with an indefinable feeling of awe—a feeling never
before experienced, and for which no one could account, even to himself; all the inmates of
hell shook with terror, and vented their rage by endeavouring to stimulate the enemies of
Jesus to still greater fury and brutality; the souls in Limbo were filled with joy and hope, for
the sound was to them a harbinger of happiness, the prelude to the appearance of their
Deliverer. Thus was the blessed cross of our Lord planted for the first time on the earth; and
well might it be compared to the tree of life in Paradise, for the wounds of Jesus were as
sacred fountains, from which flowed four rivers destined both to purify the world from the
curse of sin, and to give it fertility, so as to produce fruit unto salvation.
The eminence on which the cross was planted was about two feet higher than the
surrounding parts; the feet of Jesus were sufficiently near the ground for his friends to be
able to reach to kiss them, and his face was turned to the north-west.


CHAPTER XL.      pg 146 of 199
Crucifixion of the Thieves.

During the time of the crucifixion of Jesus, the two thieves were left lying on the ground
at some distance off; their arms were fastened to the crosses on which they were to be
executed, and a few soldiers stood near on guard. The accusation which had been proved
against them was that of having assassinated a Jewish woman who, with her children, was
travelling from Jerusalem to Joppa. They were arrested, under the disguise of rich
merchants, at a castle in which Pilate resided occasionally, when employed in exercising his
troops, and they had been imprisoned for a long time before being brought to trial. The thief
placed on the left-hand side was much older than the other; a regular miscreant, who had
corrupted the younger. They were commonly called Dismas and Gesmas, and as I forget
their real names I shall distinguish them by these terms, calling the good one Dismas, and
the wicked one Gesmas. Both the one and the other belonged to a band of robbers who
infested the frontiers of Egypt; and it was in a cave inhabited by these robbers that the Holy
Family took refuge when flying into Egypt, at the time of the massacre of the Innocents.
The poor leprous child, who was instantly cleansed by being dipped in the water which had
been used for washing the infant Jesus, was no other than this Dismas, and the charity of his
mother, in receiving and granting hospitality to the Holy Family, had been rewarded by the
cure of her child; while this outward purification was an emblem of the inward purification
which was afterwards accomplished in the soul of Dismas on Mount Calvary, through that
Sacred Blood which was then shed on the cross for our redemption. Dismas knew nothing
at all about Jesus, but as his heart was not hardened, the sight of the extreme patience of our
Lord moved him much. When the executioners had finished putting up the cross of Jesus,
they ordered the thieves to rise without delay, and they loosened their fetters in order to
crucify them at once, as the sky was becoming very cloudy and bore every appearance of an
approaching storm. After giving them some myrrh and vinegar, they stripped off their
ragged clothing, tied ropes round their arms, and by the help of small ladders dragged them
up to their places on the cross. The executioners then bound the arms of the thieves to the
cross, with cords made of the bark of trees, and fastened their wrists, elbows, knees, and feet
in like manner, drawing the cords so tight that their joints cracked, and the blood burst out.
They uttered piercing cries, and the good thief exclaimed as they were drawing him up,
‘This torture is dreadful, but if they had treated us as they treated the poor Galilean, we
should have been dead long ago.’
The executioners had divided the garments of Jesus, in order to draw lots for them; his
mantle, which was narrow at the top, was very wide at the bottom, and lined over the chest,
thus forming a pocket between the lining and the material itself; the lining they pulled out,
tore into bands, and divided. They did the same with his long white robe, belt, scapular, and
under-garment, which was completely saturated with his Sacred Blood. Not being able to
agree as to who was to be the possessor of the seamless robe woven by his Mother, which
could not be cut up and divided, they brought out a species of chessboard marked with
figures, and were about to decide the point by lots, when a messenger, sent by Nicodemus
and Joseph of Arimathea, informed them that there were persons ready to purchase all the
clothes of Jesus; they therefore gathered them together and sold them in a bundle. Thus did
the Christians get possession of these precious relics.


CHAPTER XLI.        pg 147 of 199
Jesus hanging on the Cross between two Thieves.   

The tremendous concussion caused by the fall of the cross into the hole prepared for it
drove the sharp points of the crown of thorns, which was still upon the head of our dear
Saviour, still deeper into his sacred flesh, and blood ran down again in streams, both from it
and from his hands and feet. The archers then placed ladders against the sides of the cross,
mounted them and unfastened the ropes with which they had bound our Lord to the cross,
previous to lifting it up, fearing that the shock might tear open the wounds in his hands and
feet, and that then the nails would no longer support his body. His blood had become, in a
certain degree, stagnated by his horizontal position and the pressure of the cords, but when
these were withdrawn, it resumed its usual course, and caused such agonising sensations
throughout his countless wounds, that he bowed his head, and remained as if dead for more
than seven minutes. A pause ensued; the executioners were occupied with the division of his
garments; the trumpets in the Temple no longer resounded; and all the actors in this fearful
tragedy appeared to be exhausted, some by grief, and others by the efforts they had made to
compass their wicked ends, and by the joy which they felt now at having at last succeeded in
bringing about the death of him whom they had so long envied. With mixed feelings of fear
and compassion I cast my eyes upon Jesus,—Jesus my Redeemer,—the Redeemer of the
world. I beheld him motionless, and almost lifeless. I felt as if I myself must expire; my
heart was overwhelmed between grief, love, and horror; my mind was half wandering, my
hands and feet burning with a feverish heat; each vein, nerve, and limb was racked with
inexpressible pain; I saw nothing distinctly, excepting my beloved Spouse hanging on the
cross. I contemplated his disfigured countenance, his head encircled with that terrible crown
of thorns, which prevented his raising it even for a moment without the most intense
suffering, his mouth parched and half open from exhaustion, and his hair and beard clotted
with blood. His chest was torn with stripes and wounds, and his elbows, wrists, and
shoulders so violently distended as to be almost dislocated; blood constantly trickled down
from the gaping wounds in his hands, and the flesh was so torn from his ribs that you might
almost count them. His legs and thighs, as also his arms, were stretched out almost to
dislocation, the flesh and muscles so completely laid bare that every bone was visible, and
his whole body covered with black, green, and reeking wounds. The blood which flowed
from his wounds was at first red, but it became by degrees light and watery, and the whole
appearance of his body was that of a corpse ready for interment. And yet, notwithstanding
the horrible wounds with which he was covered, notwithstanding the state of ignominy to
which he was reduced, there still remained that inexpressible look of dignity and goodness
which had ever filled all beholders with awe.
The complexion of our Lord was fair, like that of Mary, and slightly tinted with red; but
his exposure to the weather during the last three years had tanned him considerably. His
chest was wide, but not hairy like that of St. John Baptist; his shoulders broad, and his arms
and thighs sinewy; his knees were strong and hardened, as is usually the case with those
who have either walked or knelt much, and his legs long, with very strong muscles; his feet
were well formed, and his hands beautiful, the fingers being long and tapering, and although
not delicate like those of a woman, still not resembling those of a man who had laboured
hard. His neck was rather long, with a well-set and finely proportioned head; his forehead
large and high; his face oval; his hair, which was far from thick, was of a golden brown
colour, parted in the middle and falling over his shoulders; his beard was not any great
length, but pointed and divided under the chin. When I contemplated him on the cross, his
hair was almost all torn off, and what remained was matted and clotted with blood; his
body was one wound, and every limb seemed as if dislocated.
The crosses of the two thieves were placed, the one to the right and the other to the left of
Jesus; there was sufficient space left for a horseman to ride between them. Nothing can be
imagined more distressing than the appearance of the thieves on their crosses; they suffered
terribly, and the one on the left-hand side never ceased cursing and swearing. The cords
with which they were tied were very tight, and caused great pain; their countenances were
livid, and their eyes enflamed and ready to start from the sockets. The height of the crosses
of the two thieves was much less than that of our Lord.


CHAPTER XLII.       pg 148 of 199
First Word of Jesus on the Cross.

As soon as the executioners had crucified the two thieves and divided the garment of
Jesus between them, they gathered up their tools, addressed a few more insulting words to
our Lord, and went away. The Pharisees, likewise, rode up to Jesus, looked at him
scornfully, made use of some opprobrious expression, and then left the place. The Roman
soldiers, of whom a hundred had been posted round Calvary, were marched away, and their
places filled by fifty others, the command of whom was given to Abenadar, an Arab by
birth, who afterwards took the name of Ctesiphon in baptism; and the second in command
was Cassius, who, when he became a Christian, was known by the name of Longinus:
Pilate frequently made use of him as a messenger. Twelve Pharisees, twelve Sadducees, as
many scribes, and a few ancients, accompanied by those Jews who had been endeavouring
to persuade Pilate to change the inscription on the Cross of Jesus, then came up: they were
furious, as the Roman governor had given them a direct refusal. They rode round the
platform, and drove away the Blessed Virgin, whom St. John led to the holy women. When
they passed the Cross of Jesus, they shook their heads disdainfully at him, exclaiming at the
same time, ‘Vah! thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days buildest it up again, save
thyself, coming down from the Cross. Let Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the Cross,
that we may see and believe.’ The soldiers, likewise, made use of deriding language.
The countenance and whole body of Jesus became even more colourless: he appeared to
be on the point of fainting, and Gesmas (the wicked thief) exclaimed, ‘The demon by whom
he is possessed is about to leave him.’ A soldier then took a sponge, filled it with vinegar,
put it on a reed, and presented it to Jesus, who appeared to drink. ‘If thou art the King of the
Jews,’ said the soldier, ‘save thyself, coming down from the Cross.’ These things took place
during the time that the first band of soldiers was being relieved by that of Abenadar. Jesus
raised his head a little, and said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And
Gesmas cried out, ‘If thou art the Christ, save thyself and us.’ Dismas (the good thief) was
silent, but he was deeply moved at the prayer of Jesus for his enemies. When Mary heard
the voice of her Son, unable to restrain herself, she rushed forward, followed by John,
Salome, and Mary of Cleophas, and approached the Cross, which the kind-hearted
centurion did not prevent. The prayers of Jesus obtained for the good thief a moist powerful
grace; he suddenly remembered that it was Jesus and Mary who had cured him of leprosy in
his childhood, and he exclaimed in a loud and clear voice, ‘How can you insult him when
he prays for you? He has been silent, and suffered all your outrages with patience; he is truly
a Prophet—he is our King—he is the Son of God.’ This unexpected reproof from the lips of
a miserable malefactor who was dying on a cross caused a tremendous commotion among
the spectators; they gathered up stones, and wished to throw them at him; but the centurion
Abenadar would not allow it.
The Blessed Virgin was much comforted and strengthened by the prayer of Jesus, and
Dismas said to Gesmas, who was still blaspheming Jesus, ‘Neither dost thou fear God, seeing
thou art under the same condemnation. And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our
deeds; but this man hath done no evil. Remember thou art now at the point of death, and
repent.’ He was enlightened and touched: he confessed his sins to Jesus, and said: ‘Lord, if
thou condemnest me it will be with justice.’ And Jesus replied, ‘Thou shalt experience my
mercy.’ Dismas, filled with the most perfect contrition, began instantly to thank God for the
great graces he had received, and to reflect over the manifold sins of his past life. All these
events took place between twelve and the half-hour shortly after the crucifixion; but such a
surprising change had taken place in the appearance of nature during that time as to
astonish the beholders and fill their minds with awe and terror.


CHAPTER XLIII.       pg 149 of 199
Eclipse of the Sun.

Second and Third Word of Jesus on the Cross.
A little hail had fallen at about ten o’clock,—when Pilate was passing sentence,—and
after that the weather cleared up, until towards twelve, when the thick red-looking fog began
to obscure the sun. Towards the sixth hour, according to the manner of counting of the
Jews, the sun was suddenly darkened. I was shown the exact cause of this wonderful
phenomenon; but I have unfortunately partly forgotten it, and what I have not forgotten I
cannot find words to express; but I was lifted up from the earth, and beheld the stars and the
planets moving about out of their proper spheres. I saw the moon like an immense ball of
fire rolling along as if flying from the earth. I was then suddenly taken back to Jerusalem,
and I beheld the moon reappear behind the Mountain of Olives, looking pale and full, and
advancing rapidly towards the sun, which was dim and over-shrouded by a fog. I saw to the
east of the sun a large dark body which had the appearance of a mountain, and which soon
entirely hid the sun. The centre of this body was dark yellow, and a red circle like a ring of
fire was round it. The sky grew darker and the stars appeared to cast a red and lurid light.
Both men and beasts were struck with terror; the enemies of Jesus ceased reviling him,
while the Pharisees endeavoured to give philosophical reasons for what was taking place,
but they failed in their attempt, and were reduced to silence. Many were seized with
remorse, struck their breasts, and cried out, ‘May his blood fall upon his murderers!’
Numbers of others, whether near the Cross or at a distance, fell on their knees and entreated
forgiveness of Jesus, who turned his eyes compassionately upon them in the midst of his
sufferings. However, the darkness continued to increase, and everyone excepting Mary and
the most faithful among the friends of Jesus left the Cross. Dismas then raised his head, and
in a tone of humility and hope said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy
kingdom.’ And Jesus made answer, ‘Amen, I say to thee, This day thou shalt be with me in
Paradise.’ Magdalen, Mary of Cleophas, and John stood near the Cross of our Lord and
looked at him, while the Blessed Virgin, filled with intense feelings of motherly love,
entreated her Son to permit her to die with him; but he, casting a look of ineffable
tenderness upon her, turned to John and said, ‘Woman, behold thy son;’ then he said to John,
‘Behold thy mother.’ John looked at his dying Redeemer, and saluted this beloved mother
(whom he henceforth considered as his own) in the most respectful manner. The Blessed
Virgin was so overcome by grief at these words of Jesus that she almost fainted, and was
carried to a short distance from the Cross by the holy women.
I do not know whether Jesus really pronounced these words, but I felt interiorly that he
gave Mary to John as a mother, and John to Mary as a son. In similar visions a person is
often conscious of things which are not written, and words can only express a portion of
them, although to the individual to whom they are shown they are so clear as not to require
explanation. For this reason it did not appear to me in the least surprising that Jesus should
call the Blessed Virgin ‘Woman,’ instead of ‘Mother.’ I felt that he intended to demonstrate
that she was that woman spoken of in Scripture who was to crush the head of the serpent,
and that then was the moment in which that promise was accomplished in the death of her
Son. I knew that Jesus, by giving her as a mother to John, gave her also as a mother to all
who believe in him, who become children of God, and are not born of flesh and blood, or of the will of
man, but of God. Neither did it appear to me surprising that the most pure, the most humble,
and the most obedient among women, who, when saluted by the angel as ‘full of grace,’
immediately replied, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word,’
and in whose sacred womb the Word was instantly made flesh,—that she, when informed by
her dying Son that she was to become the spiritual mother of another son, should repeat the
same words with humble obedience, and immediately adopt as her children all the children
of God, the brothers of Jesus Christ. These things are much easier to feel by the grace of
God than to be expressed in words. I remember my celestial Spouse once saying to me,
‘Everything is imprinted in the hearts of those children of the Church who believe, hope,
and love.’


CHAPTER XLIV.       pg 151 of 199
The Fear felt by the Inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Fourth Word of Jesus on the Cross.

It was about half-past one o’clock when I was taken into Jerusalem to see what was going
on there. The inhabitants were perfectly overcome with terror and anxiety; the streets dark
and gloomy, and some persons were feeling their way about, while others, seated on the
ground with their heads veiled, struck their breasts, or went up to the roofs of their houses,
looked at the sky, and burst forth in bitter lamentations. Even the animals uttered mournful
cries, and hid themselves; the birds flew low, and fell to the ground. I saw Pilate conferring
with Herod on the alarming state of things: they were both extremely agitated, and
contemplated the appearance of the sky from that terrace upon which Herod was standing
when he delivered up Jesus to be insulted by the infuriated rabble. ‘These events are not in
the common course of nature,’ they both exclaimed: ‘they must be caused by the anger of
the gods, who are displeased at the cruelty which has been exercised towards Jesus of
Nazareth.’ Pilate and Herod, surrounded by guards, then directed their hasty trembling
steps through the forum to Herod’s palace. Pilate turned away his head when he passed
Gabbatha, from whence he had condemned Jesus to be crucified. The square was almost
empty; a few persons might be seen re-entering their houses as quickly as possible, and a few
others running about and weeping, while two or three small groups might be distinguished
in the distance. Pilate sent for some of the ancients and asked them what they thought the
astounding darkness could possible portend, and said that he himself considered it a terrific
proof of the anger of their God at the crucifixion of the Galilean, who was most certainly
their prophet and their king: he added that he had nothing to reproach himself with on that
head, for he had washed his hands of the whole affair, and was, therefore, quite innocent.
The ancients were as hardened as ever, and replied, in a sullen tone, that there was nothing
unnatural in the course of events, that they might be easily accounted for by philosophers,
and that they did not repent of anything they had done. However, many persons were
converted, and among others those soldiers who fell to the ground at the words of our Lord
when they were sent to arrest him in the Garden of Olives.
The rabble assembled before Pilate’s house, and instead of the cry of ‘Crucify him, crucify
him!’ which had resounded in the morning, you might have heard vociferations of ‘Down
with the iniquitous judge!’ ‘May the blood of the just man fall upon his murderers!’ Pilate
was much alarmed; he sent for additional guards, and endeavoured to cast all the blame
upon the Jews. He again declared that the crime was not his; that he was no subject of this
Jesus, whom they had put to death unjustly, and who was their king, their prophet, their
Holy One; that they alone were guilty, as it must be evident to all that he condemned Jesus
solely from compulsion.
The Temple was thronged with Jews, who were intent on the immolation of the Paschal
lamb; but when the darkness increased to such a degree that it was impossible to distinguish
the countenance of one from that of the other, they were seized with fear, horror, and dread,
which they expressed by mournful cries and lamentations. The High Priests endeavoured to
maintain order and quiet. All the lamps were lighted; but the confusion became greater
every moment, and Annas appeared perfectly paralysed with terror. I saw him endeavouring
to hide first in one place, and then in another. When I left the Temple, and walked through
the streets, I remarked that, although not a breath of wind was stirring, yet both the doors
and windows of the houses were shaking as if in a storm, and the darkness was becoming
every moment more dense.
The consternation produced by the sudden darkness at Mount Calvary was indescribable.
When it first commenced, the confusion of the noise of the hammers, the vociferations of
the rabble, the cries of the two thieves on being fastened to their crosses, the insulting
speeches of the Pharisees, the evolutions of the soldiers, and the drunken shouts of the
executioners, had so completely engrossed the attention of everyone, that the change which
was gradually coming over the face of nature was not remarked; but as the darkness
increased, every sound ceased, each voice was hushed, and remorse and terror took
possession of every heart, while the bystanders retired one by one to a distance from the
Cross. Then it was that Jesus gave his Mother to St. John, and that she, overcome by grief,
was carried away to a short distance. As the darkness continued to grow more and more
dense, the silence became perfectly astounding; everyone appeared terror struck; some
looked at the sky, while others, filled with remorse, turned towards the Cross, smote their
breasts, and were converted. Although the Pharisees were in reality quite as much alarmed
as other persons, yet they endeavoured at first to put a bold face on the matter, and declared
that they could see nothing unaccountable in these events; but at last even they lost
assurance, and were reduced to silence. The disc of the sun was of a dark-yellow tint, rather
resembling a mountain when viewed by moonlight, and it was surrounded by a bright fiery
ring; the stars appeared, but the light they cast was red and lurid; the birds were so terrified
as to drop to the ground; the beasts trembled and moaned; the horses and the asses of the
Pharisees crept as close as possible to one another, and put their heads between their legs.
The thick fog penetrated everything.
Stillness reigned around the Cross. Jesus hung upon it alone; forsaken by all,—disciples,
followers, friends, his Mother even was removed from his side; not one person of the
thousands upon whom he had lavished benefits was near to offer him the slightest
alleviation in his bitter agony,—his soul was overspread with an indescribable feeling of
bitterness and grief,—all within him was dark, gloomy, and wretched. The darkness which
reigned around was but symbolical of that which overspread his interior; he turned,
nevertheless, to his Heavenly Father, he prayed for his enemies, he offered the chalice of his
sufferings for their redemption, he continued to pray as he had done during the whole of his
Passion, and repeated portions of those Psalms the prophecies of which were then receiving
their accomplishment in him. I saw angels standing around. Again I looked at Jesus—my
beloved Spouse—on his Cross, agonising and dying, yet still in dreary solitude. He at that
moment endured anguish which no mortal pen can describe,—he felt that suffering which
would overwhelm a poor weak mortal if deprived at once of all consolation, both divine and
human, and then compelled, without refreshment, assistance, or light, to traverse the stormy
desert of tribulation upheld by faith, hope, and charity alone.
His sufferings were inexpressible; but it was by them that he merited for us the grace
necessary to resist those temptations to despair which will assail us at the hour of death,—
that tremendous hour when we shall feel that we are about to leave all that is dear to us here
below. When our minds, weakened by disease, have lost the power of reasoning, and even
our hopes of mercy and forgiveness are become, as it were, enveloped in mist and
uncertainty,—then it is that we must fly to Jesus, unite our feelings of desolation with that
indescribable dereliction which he endured upon the Cross, and be certain of obtaining a
glorious victory over our infernal enemies. Jesus then offered to his Eternal Father his
poverty, his dereliction, his labours, and, above all, the bitter sufferings which our
ingratitude had caused him to endure in expiation for our sins and weakness; no one,
therefore, who is united to Jesus in the bosom of his Church must despair at the awful
moment preceding his exit from this life, even if he be deprived of all sensible light and
comfort; for he must then remember that the Christian is no longer obliged to enter this dark
desert alone and unprotected, as Jesus has cast his own interior and exterior dereliction on
the Cross into this gulf of desolation, consequently he will not be left to cope alone with
death, or be suffered to leave this world in desolation of spirit, deprived of heavenly
consolation. All fear of loneliness and despair in death must therefore be cast away; for
Jesus, who is our true light, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, has preceded us on that dreary
road, has overspread it with blessings, and raised his Cross upon it, one glance at which will
calm our every fear. Jesus then (if we may so express ourselves) made his last testament in
the presence of his Father, and bequeathed the merits of his Death and Passion to the
Church and to sinners. Not one erring soul was forgotten; he thought of each and everyone;
praying, likewise, even for those heretics who have endeavoured to prove that, being God,
he did not suffer as a man would have suffered in his place. The cry which he allowed to
pass his lips in the height of his agony was intended not only to show the excess of the
sufferings he was then enduring, but likewise to encourage all afflicted souls who
acknowledge God as their Father to lay their sorrows with filial confidence at his feet. It was
towards three o’clock when he cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani?’ ‘My
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ These words of our Lord interrupted the dead
silence which had continued so long; the Pharisees turned towards him, and one of them
said, ‘Behold, he calleth Elias;’ and another, ‘Let us see whether Elias will come to deliver him.’
When Mary heard the voice of her divine Son, she was unable to restrain herself any longer,
but rushed forwards, and returned to the foot of the Cross, followed by John, Mary the
daughter of Cleophas, Mary Magdalen, and Salome. A troop of about thirty horsemen from
Judea and the environs of Joppa, who were on their way to Jerusalem for the festival,
passed by just at the time when all was silent round the Cross, both assistants and spectators
being transfixed with terror and apprehensions. When they beheld Jesus hanging on the
Cross, saw the cruelty with which he had been treated, and remarked the extraordinary
signs of God’s wrath which overspread the face of nature, they were filled with horror, and
exclaimed, ‘If the Temple of God were not in Jerusalem, the city should be burned to the
ground for having taken upon itself so fearful a crime.’ These words from the lips of
strangers—strangers too who bore the appearance of persons of rank—made a great
impression on the bystanders, and loud murmurs and exclamations of grief were heard on
all sides; some individuals gathered together in groups, more freely to indulge their sorrow,
although a certain portion of the crowd continued to blaspheme and revile all around them.
The Pharisees were compelled to assume a more humble tone, for they feared great existing
excitement among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They therefore held a consultation with
Abenadar, the centurion, and agreed with him that the gate of the city, which was in the
vicinity, should be closed, in order to prevent farther communication, and that they should
send to Pilate and Herod for 500 men to guard against the chance of an insurrection, the
centurion, in the mean time, doing all in his power to maintain order, and preventing the
Pharisees from insulting Jesus, lest it should exasperate the people still more.
Shortly after three o’clock the light reappeared in a degree, the moon began to pass away
from the disc of the sun, while the sun again shone forth, although its appearance was dim,
being surrounded by a species of red mist; by degrees it became more bright, and the stars
vanished, but the sky was still gloomy. The enemies of Jesus soon recovered their arrogant
spirit when they saw the light returning; and it was then that they exclaimed, ‘Behold, he
calleth Elias.’


CHAPTER XLV.       pg 154 of 199
Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Words of Jesus on the Cross.
His Death.

The light continued to return by degrees, and the livid exhausted countenance of our
Lord again became visible. His body was become much more white from the quantity of
blood he had lost; and I heard him exclaim, ‘I am pressed as the grape, which is trodden in the
winepress. My blood shall be poured out until water cometh, but wine shall here be made no more.’ I
cannot be sure whether he really pronounced these words, so as to be heard by others, or
whether they were only an answer given to my interior prayer. I afterwards had a vision
relating to these words, and in it I saw Japhet making wine in this place.
Jesus was almost fainting; his tongue was parched, and he said: ‘I thirst.’ The disciples
who were standing round the Cross looked at him with the deepest expression of sorrow,
and he added, ‘Could you not have given me a little water?’ By these words he gave them to
understand that no one would have prevented them from doing so during the darkness.
John was filled with remorse, and replied: ‘We did not think of doing so, O Lord.’ Jesus
pronounced a few more words, the import of which was: ‘My friends and my neighbours
were also to forget me, and not give me to drink, that so what was written concerning me
might be fulfilled.’ This omission had afflicted him very much. The disciples then offered
money to the soldiers to obtain permission to give him a little water: they refused to give it,
but dipped a sponge in vinegar and gall, and were about to offer it to Jesus, when the
centurion Abenadar, whose heart was touched with compassion, took it from them,
squeezed out the gal, poured some fresh vinegar upon it, and fastening it to a reed, put the
reed at the end of a lance, and presented it for Jesus to drink. I heard our Lord say several
other things, but I only remember these words: ‘When my voice shall be silent, the mouths of the
dead shall be opened.’ Some of the bystanders cried out: ‘He blasphemeth again.’ But
Abenadar compelled them to be silent.
The hour of our Lord was at last come; his death-struggle had commenced; a cold sweat
overspread every limb. John stood at the foot of the Cross, and wiped the feet of Jesus with
his scapular. Magdalen was crouched to the ground in a perfect frenzy of grief behind the
Cross. The Blessed Virgin stood between Jesus and the good thief, supported by Salome and
Mary of Cleophas, with her eyes rivetted on the countenance of her dying Son. Jesus then
said: ‘It is consummated;’ and, raising his head, cried out in a loud voice, ‘Father, into thy hands
I commend my spirit.’ These words, which he uttered in a clear and thrilling tone, resounded
through heaven and earth; and a moment after, he bowed down his head and gave up the
ghost. I saw his soul, under the appearance of a bright meteor, penetrate the earth at the foot
of the Cross. John and the holy women fell prostrate on the ground. The centurion
Abenadar had kept his eyes steadfastly fixed on the disfigured countenance of our Lord, and
was perfectly overwhelmed by all that had taken place. When our Lord pronounced his last
words, before expiring, in a loud tone, the earth trembled, and the rock of Calvary burst
asunder, forming a deep chasm between the Cross of our Lord and that of Gesmas. The
voice of God—that solemn and terrible voice—had re-echoed through the whole universe; it
had broken the solemn silence which then pervaded all nature. All was accomplished. The
soul of our Lord had left his body: his last cry had filled every breast with terror. The
convulsed earth had paid homage to its Creator: the sword of grief had pierced the hearts of
those who loved him. This moment was the moment of grace for Abenadar: his horse
trembled under him; his heart was touched; it was rent like the hard rock; he threw his lance
to a distance, struck his breast, and cried out: ‘Blessed be the Most High God, the God of
Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; indeed this Man was the Son of God!’ His words convinced
many among the soldiers, who followed his example, and were likewise converted.
Abenadar became from this moment a new man; he adored the true God, and would no
longer serve his enemies. He gave both his horse and his lance to a subaltern of the name of
Longinus, who, having addressed a few words to the soldiers, mounted his horse, and took
the command upon himself. Abenadar then left Calvary, and went through the Valley of
Gihon to the caves in the Valley of Hinnom, where the disciples were hidden, announced
the death of our Lord to them, and then went to the town, in order to see Pilate. No sooner
had Abenadar rendered public testimony of his belief in the divinity of Jesus, than a large
number of soldiers followed his example, as did also some of the bystanders, and even a few
Pharisees. Many struck their breasts, wept, and returned home, while others rent their
garments, and cast dust on their heads, and all were filled with horror and fear. John arose;
and some of the holy women who were at a short distance came up to the Blessed Virgin,
and led her away from the foot of the Cross.
When Jesus, the Lord of life and death, gave up his soul into the hands of his Father, and
allowed death to take possession of his body, this sacred body trembled and turned lividly
white; the countless wounds which were covered with congealed blood appeared like dark
marks; his cheeks became more sunken, his nose more pointed, and his eyes, which were
obscured with blood, remained but half open. He raised his weary head, which was still
crowned with thorns, for a moment, and then dropped it again in agony of pain; while his
parched and torn lips, only partially closed, showed his bloody and swollen tongue. At the
moment of death his hands, which were at one time contracted round the nails, opened and
returned to their natural size, as did also his arms; his body became stiff, and the whole
weight was thrown upon the feet, his knees bent, and his feet twisted a little on one side.
What words can, alas, express the deep grief of the Blessed Virgin? Her eyes closed, a
death-like tint overspread her countenance; unable to stand, she fell to the ground, but was
soon lifted up, and supported by John, Magdalen, and the others. She looked once more
upon her beloved Son—that Son whom she had conceived by the Holy Ghost, the flesh of
her flesh, the bone of her bone, the heart of her heart—hanging on a cross between two
thieves; crucified, dishonoured, contemned by those whom he came on earth to save; and
well might she at this moment be termed ‘the queen of martyrs.’
The sun still looked dim and suffused with mist; and during the time of the earthquake
the air was close and oppressive, but by degrees it became more clear and fresh.
It was about three o’clock when Jesus expired. The Pharisees were at first much alarmed
at the earthquake; but when the first shock was over they recovered themselves, began to
throw stones into the chasm, and tried to measure its depth with ropes. Finding, however,
that they could not fathom its bottom, they became thoughtful, listened anxiously to the
groans of the penitents, who were lamenting and striking their breasts, and then left
Calvary. Many among the spectators were really converted, and the greatest part returned to
Jerusalem perfectly overcome with fear. Roman soldiers were placed at the gates, and in
other principal parts of the city, to prevent the possibility of an insurrection. Cassius
remained on Calvary with about fifty soldiers. The friends of Jesus stood round the Cross,
contemplated our Lord, and wept; many among the holy women had returned to their
homes, and all were silent and overcome with grief.


CHAPTER XLVI.       pg 156 of 199
The Earthquake.
Apparitions of the Dead in Jerusalem.

I saw the soul of Jesus, at the moment he expired, appear under the form of a bright orb,
and accompanied by angels, among whom I distinguished the angel Gabriel penetrate the
earth at the foot of the Cross. I likewise saw these angels cast a number of evil spirits into
the great abyss, and I heard Jesus order several of the souls in Limbo to re-enter the bodies
in which they once dwelt, in order that the sight might fill sinners with a salutary terror, and
that these souls might render a solemn testimony to his divinity.
The earthquake which produced the deep chasm at Calvary did much damage in
different parts of Palestine, but ifs effects were even more fatal in Jerusalem. Its inhabitants
were just beginning to be a little reassured by the return of light, when their terror was
reawakened with double force by the shocks of the earthquake, and the terrible noise and
confusion caused by the downfall of houses and walls on all sides, which panic was still
farther increased by the sudden appearance of dead persons, confronting the trembling
miscreants who were flying to hide themselves, and addressing them in the most severe and
reproachful language.
The High Priests had recommenced the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb (which had been
stopped by the unexpected darkness), and they were triumphing at the return of light, when
suddenly the ground beneath them trembled, the neighbouring buildings fell down, and the
veil of the Temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom. Excess of terror at first
rendered those on the outside speechless, but after a time they burst forth into cries and
lamentations. The confusion in the interior of the Temple was not, however, as great as
would naturally have been expected, because the strictest order and decorum were always
enforced there, particularly with regard to the regulation to be followed by those who
entered to make their sacrifice, and those who left after having offered it. The crowd was
great, but the ceremonies were so solemnly carried out by the priests, that they totally
engrossed the minds of the assistants. First came the immolation of the lamb, then the
sprinkling of its blood, accompanied by the chanting of canticles and the sounding of
trumpets. The priests were endeavouring to continue the sacrifices, when suddenly an
unexpected and most appalling pause ensued; terror and astonishment were depicted on
each countenance; all was thrown into confusion; not a sound was heard; the sacrifices
ceased; there was a general rush to the gates of the Temple; everyone endeavoured to fly as
quickly as possible. And well might they fly, well might they fear and tremble; for in the
midst of the multitude there suddenly appeared persons who had been dead and buried for
many years! These persons looked at them sternly, and reproved them most severely for the
crime they had committed that day, in bringing about the death of ‘the just man,’ and
calling down his blood upon their heads. Even in the midst of this confusion, some attempts
were, however, made by the priests to preserve order; they prevented those who were in the
inner part of the Temple from rushing forward, pushing their way through the crowds who
were in advance of them, and descending the steps which led out of the Temple: they even
continued the sacrifices in some parts, and endeavoured to calm the fears of the people.
The appearance of the Temple at this moment can only be described by comparing it to
an ant-hill on which persons have thrown stones, or which has been disturbed by a sick
being driven into its centre. The ants in those parts on which the stones have fallen, or
which the stick had disturbed, are filled with confusion and terror; they run to and fro and
do nothing; while the ants in those parts which have not been disturbed continue to labour
quietly, and even begin to repair the damaged parts.
The High Priest Caiphas and his retinue did not lose their presence of mind, and by the
outward tranquillity which their diabolical hardness of heart enabled them to preserve, they
calmed the confusion in a great degree, and then did their utmost to prevent the people from
looking upon these stupendous events as testimonies of the innocence of Jesus. The Roman
garrison belonging to the fortress of Antonia likewise made great efforts to maintain order;
consequently, the disturbance of the festival was not followed by an insurrection, although
every heart was fixed with fear and anxiety, which anxiety the Pharisees endeavoured (and
in some instances with success) to calm.
I remember a few other striking incidents: in the first place, the two columns which were
placed at the entrance of their Holy of Holies, and to which a magnificent curtain was
appended, were shaken to the very foundations; the column on the left side fell down in a
southerly, and that on the right side in a northerly direction, thus rending the veil in two
from the top to the bottom with a fearful sound, and exposing the Holy of Holies uncovered
to the public gaze. A large stone was loosened and fell from the wall at the entrance of the
sanctuary, near where the aged Simeon used to kneel, and the arch was broken. The ground
was heaved up, and many other columns were thrown down in other parts of the Temple.
An apparition of the High Priest Zacharias, who was slain between the porch and the
altar, was seen in the sanctuary. He uttered fearful menaces, spoke of the death of the
second Zacharias, and of that of St. John Baptist, as also of the violent deaths of the other
prophets.8 The two sons of the High Priest Simon, surnamed the Just (ancestors of the aged
Simeon who prophesied when Jesus was presented in the Temple), made their appearance
in the part usually occupied by the doctors of the law; they also spoke in terrific terms of the
deaths of the prophets, of the sacrifice of the old law which was now about to cease, and
they exhorted all present to be converted, and to embrace the doctrines which had been
preached by him whom they had crucified. The prophet Jeremiah likewise appeared; he
stood near the altar, and proclaimed, in a menacing tone, that the ancient sacrifice was at an
end, and that a new one had commenced. As these apparitions took place in parts where
none but priests were allowed to enter, Caiphas and a few others were alone cognisant of
them, and they endeavoured, as far as possible, either to deny their reality, or to conceal
them. These prodigies were followed by others still more extraordinary. The doors of the
sanctuary flew open of themselves, and a voice was heard to utter these words: ‘Let us leave
this place;’ and I saw all the angels of the Lord instantly leave the Temple. The thirty-two
Pharisees who went to Calvary a short time before our Lord expired were almost all
converted at the foot of the Cross. They returned to the Temple in the midst of the
confusion, and were perfectly thunderstruck at all which had taken place there. They spoke
most sternly, both to Annas and to Caiphas, and left the Temple. Annas had always been
the most bitter of the enemies of Jesus, and had headed every proceeding against him; but
the supernatural events which had taken place had completely unnerved him that he knew
not where to hide himself. Caiphas was, in realty excessively alarmed, and filled with
anxiety, but his pride was so great that he concealed his feelings as far as possible, and
endeavoured to reassure Annas. He succeeded for a time; but the sudden appearance of a
person who had been dead many years marred the effect of his words, and Annas became
again a prey to the most fearful terror and remorse.
Whilst these things were going on in the Temple, the confusion and panic were not less
in Jerusalem. Dead persons were walking about, and many walls and buildings had been
shaken by the earthquake, and parts of them fallen down. The superstition of Pilate
rendered him even more accessible to fear; he was perfectly paralysed and speechless with
terror; his palace was shaken to the very foundation, and the earth quaked beneath his feet.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8 The Zacharias here referred to was the father of John the Baptist, who was tortured and afterwards put to
death by Herod, because he would not betray John into the hands of the tyrant. He was buried by his friends
within the precincts of the Temple.
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pg 159 of 199

He ran wildly from room to room, and the dead constantly stood before him, reproaching
him with the unjust sentence he had passed upon Jesus. He thought that they were the gods
of the Galilean, and took refuge in an inner room, where he offered incense, and made vows
to his idols to invoke their assistance in his distress. Herod was usually alarmed; but he shut
himself up in his palace, out of the sight of everyone.
More than a hundred persons who had died at different epochs re-entered the bodies they
had occupied when on earth, made their appearance in different parts of Jerusalem, and
filled the inhabitants with inexpressible consternation. Those souls which had been released
by Jesus from Limbo uncovered their faces and wandered to and fro in the streets, and
although their bodies were the same as those which they had animated when on earth, yet
these bodies did not appear to touch the ground as they walked. They entered the houses of
their descendants, proclaimed the innocence of Jesus, and reproved those who had taken
part in his death most severely. I saw them passing through the principal streets; they were
generally in couples, and appeared to me to glide through the airs without moving their feet.
The countenances of some were pale; others of a yellow tint; their beards were long, and
their voices sounded strange and sepulchral. Their grave-clothes were such as it was
customary to use at the period of their decease. When they reached the place where
sentence of death was proclaimed on Jesus before the procession started for Calvary, they
paused for a moment, and exclaimed in a loud voice: ‘Glory be to Jesus for ever and ever,
and destruction to his enemies!’ Towards four o’clock all the dead returned to their graves.
The sacrifices in the Temple had been so interrupted, and the confusion caused by the
different prodigies was so great, that very few persons ate the Paschal lamb on that evening.

CHAPTER XLVII.
The Request of Joseph of Arimathea
to be allowed to have the Body of Jesus.

Scarcely had the commotion which the town had been thrown into begun to subside in a
degree, when the Jews belonging to the Council sent to Pilate to request that the legs of the
criminals might be broken, in order to put an end to their lives before the Sabbath-day
dawned. Pilate immediately dispatched executioners to Calvary to carry out their wishes.
Joseph of Arimathea then demanded an audience; he had heard of the death of Jesus,
and he and Nicodemus had determined to bury him in a new sepulchre which he had made
at the end of his garden, not far from Calvary. Pilate was still filled with anxiety and
solicitude, and was much astonished at seeing a person holding a high position like Joseph
so anxious for leave to give honourable burial to a criminal whom he had sentenced to be
ignominiously crucified. He sent for the centurion Abenadar, who returned to Jerusalem
after he had conferred with the disciples who were hidden in the caverns, and asked him
whether the King of the Jews was really dead. Abenadar gave Pilate a full account of the
death of our Lord, of his last words, and of the loud cry he uttered immediately before
death, and of the earthquake which had rent the great chasm in the rock. The only thing at
which Pilate expressed surprise was that the death of Jesus should have taken place so
quickly, as those who were crucified usually lived much longer; but although he said so
little, every word uttered by Joseph increased his dismay and remorse. He instantly gave
Joseph an order, by which he was authorised to take down the body of the King of the Jews
from the Cross, and to perform the rites of sepulture at once. Pilate appeared to endeavour,
by his readiness in granting this request, to wish to make up, in a degree, for his previous
cruel and unjust conduct, and he was likewise very glad to do what he was certain would
annoy the priests extremely, as he knew their wish was to have Jesus buried ignominiously
between the two thieves. He dispatched a messenger to Calvary to see his orders executed. I
believe the messenger was Abenadar, for I saw him assisting in taking Jesus down from the
Cross.
When Joseph of Arimathea left Pilate’s palace, he instantly rejoined Nicodemus, who
was waiting for him at the house of a pious woman, which stood opposite to a large street,
and was not far from that alley where Jesus was so shamefully ill-treated when he first
commenced carrying his Cross. The woman was a vendor of aromatic herbs, and
Nicodemus had purchased many perfumes which were necessary for embalming the body of
Jesus from her. She procured the more precious kinds from other places, and Joseph went
away to procure a fine winding-sheet. His servants then fetched ladders, hammers, pegs, jars
of water, and sponges, from a neighbouring shed, and placed them in a hand-barrow similar
to that on which the disciples of John the Baptist put his body when they carried it off from
the castle of Macherus.


CHAPTER XLVIII.        pg 160 of 199
The Opening of the Side of Jesus.
Death of the two thieves.

Whilst these events were taking place in Jerusalem, silence reigned around Calvary. The
crowd which had been for a time so noisy and tumultuous, was dispersed; all were panicstricken;
in some that panic had produced sincere repentance, but on others it had had no
beneficial effects. Mary, John, Magdalen, Mary of Cleophas, and Salome had remained,
either standing or sitting before the Cross, closely veiled and weeping silently. A few soldiers
were leaning over the terrace which enclosed the platform; Cassius rode up and down; the
sky was lowering, and all nature wore a garb of mourning. Six archers soon after made their
appearance, bringing with them ladders, spades, ropes, and large iron staves for the purpose
of breaking the legs of the criminals, in order to hasten their deaths. When they approached
our Lord’s Cross, his friends retired a few paces back, and the Blessed Virgin was seized
with fear lest they should indulge their hatred of Jesus by insulting even his dead body. Her
fears were not quite unfounded, for when they first placed their ladders against the Cross
they declared that he was only pretending to be dead; in a few moments, however, seeing
that he was cold and stiff, they left him, and removed their ladders to the crosses on which
the two thieves were still hanging alive. They took up their iron staves and broke the arms of
the thieves above and below the elbow; while another archer at the same moment broke
their legs, both above and below the knee. Gesmas uttered frightful cries, therefore the
executioner finished him off by three heavy blows of a cudgel on his chest. Dismas gave a
deep groan, and expired: he was the first among mortals who had the happiness of rejoining
his Redeemer. The cords were then loosened, the two bodies fell to the ground, and the
executioners dragged them to a deep morass, which was between Calvary and the walls of
the town, and buried them there.
The archers still appeared doubtful whether Jesus was really dead, and the brutality they
had shown in breaking the legs of the thieves made the holy women tremble as to what
outrage they might next perpetrate on the body of our Lord. But Cassius, the subaltern
officer, a young man of about five-and-twenty, whose weak squinting eyes and nervous
manner had often excited the derision of his companions, was suddenly illuminated by
grace, and being quite overcome at the sight of the cruel conduct of the soldiers, and the
deep sorrow of the holy women, determined to relieve their anxiety by proving beyond
dispute that Jesus was really dead. The kindness of his heart prompted him, but
unconsciously to himself he fulfilled a prophecy. He seized his lance and rode quickly up to
the mound on which the Cross was planted, stopped just between the cross of the good thief
and that of our Lord, and taking his lance in both hands, thrust it so completely into the
right side of Jesus that the point went through the heart, and appeared on the left side.
When Cassius drew his lance out of the wound a quantity of blood and water rushed from
it, and flowed over his face and body. This species of washing produced effects somewhat
similar to the vivifying waters of Baptism: grace and salvation at once entered his soul. He
leaped from his horse, threw himself upon his knees, struck his breast, and confessed loudly
before all his firm belief in the divinity of Jesus.
The Blessed Virgin and her companions were still standing near, with their eyes fixed
upon the Cross, but when Cassius thrust his lance into the side of Jesus they were much
startled, and rushed with one accord up to it. Mary looked as if the lance had transfixed her
heart instead of that of her Divine Son, and could scarcely support herself. Cassius
meantime remained kneeling and thanking God, not only for the grace he had received but
likewise for the cure of the complaint in his eyes, which had caused the weakness and the
squint. This cure had been effected at the same moment that the darkness with which his
soul was previously filled was removed. Every heart was overcome at the sight of the blood
of our Lord, which ran into a hollow in the rock at the foot of the Cross. Mary, John, the
holy women, and Cassius, gathered up the blood and water in flasks, and wiped up the
remainder with pieces of linen.9
Cassius, whose sight was perfectly restored at the same moment that the eyes of his soul
were opened, was deeply moved, and continued his humble prayer of thanksgiving. The
soldiers were truck with astonishment at the miracle which had taken place, and cast
themselves on their knees by his side, at the same time striking their breasts and confessing
Jesus. The water and blood continued to flow from the large wound in the side of our Lord;
it ran into the hollow in the rock, and the holy women put it in vases, while Mary and
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9 Sister Emmerich added: ‘Cassius was baptised by the name of Longinus; and was ordained deacon, and
preached the faith. He always kept some of the blood of Christ,—it dried up, but was found in his coffin in
Italy. He was buried in a town at no great distance from the locality where St. Clare passed her life. There is a
lake with an island upon it near this town, and the body of Longinus must have been taken there.’ Sister
Emmerich appears to designate Mantua by this description, and there is a tradition preserved in that town to
the effect. I do not know which St. Clare lived in the neighbourhood.
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pg 162 of 199

Magdalen mingled their tears. The archers, who had received a message from Pilate,
ordering them not to touch the body of Jesus, did not return at all.
All these events took place near the Cross, at a little before four o’clock, during the time
that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were gathering together the articles necessary for
the burial of Jesus. But the servants of Joseph having been sent to clean out the tomb,
informed the friends of our Lord that their master intended to take the body of Jesus and
place it in his new sepulchre. John immediately returned to the town with the holy women;
in the first place, that Mary might recruit her strength a little, and in the second, to purchase
a few things which would be required for the burial. The Blessed Virgin had a small lodging
among the buildings near the Cenaculum. They did not re-enter the town through the gate
which was the nearest to Calvary, because it was closed, and guarded by soldiers placed
there by the Pharisees; but they went through that gate which leads to Bethlehem.


CHAPTER XLIX.
A Description of some Parts of ancient Jerusalem.

This chapter will contain some descriptions of places given by Sister Emmerich on
various occasions. They will be followed by a description of the tomb and garden of Joseph
of Arimathea, that so we may have no need to interrupt the account of the burial of our
Lord.
The first gate which stood on the eastern side of Jerusalem, to the south of the south-east
angle of the Temple, was the one leading to the suburb of Ophel. The gate of the sheep was
to the north of the north-east angle of the Temple. Between these two gates there was a
third, leading to some streets situated to the east of the Temple, and inhabited for the most
part by stonemasons and other workmen. The houses in these streets were supported by the
foundations of the Temple; and almost all belonged to Nicodemus, who had caused them to
be built, and who employed nearly all the workmen living there. Nicodemus had not long
before built a beautiful gate as an entrance to these streets, called the Gate of Moriah. It was
but just finished, and through it Jesus had entered the town on Palm Sunday. Thus he
entered by the new gate of Nicodemus, through which no one had yet passed, and was
buried in the new monument of Joseph of Arimathea, in which no one had yet been laid.
This gate was afterwards walled up, and there was a tradition that the Christians were once
again to enter the town through it. Even in the present day, a walled-up gate, called by the
Turks the Golden Gate, stands on this spot.
The road leading to the west from the gate of the sheep passed almost exactly between
the north-western side of Mount Sion and Calvary. From this gate to Golgotha the distance
was about two miles and a quarter; and from Pilate’s palace to Golgotha about two miles.
The fortress Antonia was situated to the north-west of the mountain of the Temple, on a
detached rock. A person going towards the west, on leaving Pilate’s palace, would have had
this fortress to his left. On one of its walls there was a platform commanding the forum, and
from which Pilate was accustomed to make proclamations to the people: he did this, for
instance, when he promulgated new laws. When our Divine Lord was carrying his Cross, in
the interior of the town, Mount Calvary was frequently on his right hand. This road, which
partly ran in a south-westerly direction, led to a gate made in an inner wall of the town,
towards Sion. Beyond this wall, to the left, there was a sort of suburb, containing more
gardens than houses; and towards the outer wall of the city stood some magnificent
sepulchres with stone entrances. On this side was a house belonging to Lazarus, with
beautiful gardens, extending towards that part where the outer western wall of Jerusalem
turned to the south. I believe that a little private door, made in the city wall, and through
which Jesus and his disciples often passed by permission of Lazarus, led to these gardens.
The gate standing at the north-western angle of the town led to Bethsur, which was situated
more towards the north than Emmaus and Joppa. The western part of Jerusalem was lower
than any other: the land on which it was built first sloped in the direction of the surrounding
wall, and then rose again when close to it; and on this declivity there stood gardens and
vineyards, behind which wound a wide road, with paths leading to the walls and towers. On
the other side, without the wall, the land descended towards the valley, so that the walls
surrounding the lower part of the town looked as if built on a raised terrace. There are
gardens and vineyards even in the present day on the outer hill. When Jesus arrived at the
end of the Way of the Cross, he had on his left hand that part of the town where there were
so many gardens; and it was from thence that Simon of Cyrene was coming when he met
the procession. The gate by which Jesus left the town was not entirely facing the west, but
rather the south-west. The city wall on the left-hand side, after passing through the gate, ran
somewhat in a southerly direction, then turned towards the west, and then again to the
south, round Mount Sion. On this side there stood a large tower, like a fortress. The gate by
which Jesus left the town was at no great distance from another gate more towards the
south, leading down to the valley, and where a road, turning to the left in the direction of
Bethlehem, commenced. The road turned to the north towards Mount Calvary shortly after
that gate by which Jesus left Jerusalem when bearing his Cross. Mount Calvary was very
steep on its eastern side, facing the town, and a gradual descent on the western; and on this
side, from which the road to Emmaus was to be seen, there was a field, in which I saw Luke
gather several plants when he and Cleophas were going to Emmaus, and met Jesus on the
way. Near the walls, to the east and south of Calvary, there were also gardens, sepulchres,
and vineyards. The Cross was buried on the north-east side, at the foot of Mount Calvary.
The garden of Joseph of Arimathea was situated near the gate of Bethlehem, at about a
seven minutes’ walk from Calvary: it was a very fine garden, with tall trees, banks, and
thickets in it, which gave much shade, and was situated on a rising ground extending to the
walls of the city.10 A person coming from the northern side of the valley, and entering the
garden, had on his left hand a slight ascent extending as far as the city wall; and on his right,
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10 We must here remark that, in the four years during which Sister Emmerich had her visions, she described
everything that had happened to the holy places from the earliest times down to our own. More than once she
beheld them profaned and laid waste, but always venerated, either publicly or privately. She saw many stones
and pieces of rock, which had been silent witnesses of the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord, placed by St.
Helena in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre upon occasion of the foundation of that sacred building. When
Sister Emmerich visited it in spirit she was accustomed to venerate the spots where the Cross had stood and
the Holy Sepulchre been situated. It must be observed, however, that she used sometimes to see a greater
distance between the actual position of the Tomb and the spot where the Cross stood than there is between the
chapels which bear their names in the church at Jerusalem.
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pg 164 of 199

at the end of the garden, a detached rock, where the cave of the sepulchre was situated. The
grotto in which it was made looked to the east; and on the south-western and north-western
sides of the same rock were two other smaller sepulchres, which were also new, and with
depressed fronts. A pathway, beginning on the western side of this rock, ran all round it.
The ground in front of the sepulchre was higher than that of the entrance, and a person
wishing to enter the cavern had to descend several steps. The cave was sufficiently large for
four men to be able to stand close up to the wall on either side without impeding the
movements of the bearers of the body. Opposite the door was a cavity in the rock, in which
the tomb was made; it was about two feet above the level of the ground, and fastened to the
rock by one side only, like an altar: two persons could stand, one at the head and one at the
foot; and there was a place also for a third in front, even if the door of the cavity was closed.
This door was made of some metal, perhaps of brass, and had two folding doors. These
doors could be closed by a stone being rolled against them; and the stone used for this
purpose was kept outside the cavern. Immediately after our Lord was placed in the
sepulchre it was rolled in front of the door. It was very large, and could not be removed
without the united effort of several men. Opposite the entrance of the cavern there stood a
stone bench, and by mounting on this a person could climb on to the rock, which was
covered with grass, and from whence the city walls, the highest parts of Mount Sion, and
some towers could be seen, as well as the gate of Bethlehem and the fountain of Gihon. The
rock inside was of a white colour, intersected with red and blue veins.


CHAPTER L.
The Descent from the Cross.

At the time when everyone had left the neighbourhood of the Cross, and a few guards
alone stood around it, I saw five persons, who I think were disciples, and who had come by
the valley from Bethania, draw nigh to Calvary, gaze for a few moments upon the Cross,
and then steal away. Three times I met in the vicinity two men who were making
examinations and anxiously consulting together. These men were Joseph of Arimathea and
Nicodemus. The first time was during the Crucifixion (perhaps when they caused the
clothes of Jesus to be brought back from the soldiers), and they were then at no great
distance from Calvary. The second was when, after standing to look whether the crowd was
dispersing, they went to the town to make some preparations. The third was on their return
from the tomb to the Cross, when they were looking around in every direction, as if waiting
for a favourable moment, and then concerted together as to the manner in which they
should take the body of our Lord down from the Cross, after which they returned to the
town.
Their next care was to make arrangements for carrying with them the necessary articles
for embalming the body, and their servants took some tools with which to detach it from the
Cross, as well as two ladders which they found in a barn close to Nicodemus’s house. Each
of these ladders consisted of a single pole, crossed at regular intervals by pieces of wood,
which formed the steps. There were hooks which could be fastened on any part of the pole,
and by means of which the ladder could be steadied, or on which, perhaps, anything
required for the work could also be hung.
The woman from whom they had bought their spices had packed the whole neatly
together. Nicodemus had bought a hundred pounds’ weight of roots, which quantity is
equal to about thirty-seven pounds of our measure, as has been explained to me. They
carried these spices in little barrels make of bark, which were hung round their necks, and
rested on their breasts. One of these barrels contained some sort of powder. They had also
some bundles of herbs in bags made of parchment or leather, and Joseph carried a box of
ointment; but I do not know what this box was made of. The servants were to carry vases,
leathern bottles, sponges, and tools, on a species of litter, and they likewise took fire with
them in a closed lantern. They left the town before their master, and by a different gate
(perhaps that of Bethania), and then turned their steps towards Mount Calvary. As they
walked through the town they passed by the house where the Blessed Virgin; St. John, and
the holy women had gone to seek different things required for embalming the body of Jesus,
and John and the holy women followed the servants at a certain distance. The women were
about five in number, and some of them carried large bundles of linen under their mantles.
It was the custom for women, when they went out in the evening, or if intending to perform
some work of piety secretly, to wrap their persons carefully in a long sheet at least a yard
wide. They began by one arm, and then wound the linen so closely round their body that
they could not walk without difficulty. I have seen them wrapped up in this manner, and the
sheet not only extended to both arms, but likewise veiled the head. On the present occasion,
the appearance of this dress was most striking in my eyes, for it was a real mourning
garment. Joseph and Nicodemus were also in mourning attire, and wore black sleeves and
wide sashes. Their cloaks, which they had drawn over their heads, were both wide and long,
of a common grey colour, and served to conceal everything that they were carrying. They
turned their steps in the direction of the gate leading to Mount Calvary. The streets were
deserted and quiet, for terror kept everyone at home. The greatest number were beginning to
repent, and but few were keeping the festival. When Joseph and Nicodemus reached the
gate they found it closed, and the road, streets, and every corner lined with soldiers. These
were the soldiers whom the Pharisees had asked for at about two o’clock, and whom they
had kept under arms and on guard, as they still feared a tumult among the people. Joseph
showed an order, signed by Pilate, to let them pass freely, and the soldiers were most willing
that they should do so, but explained to him that they had endeavoured several times to
open the gate, without being able to move it; that apparently the gate had received a shock,
and been strained in some part; and that on this account the archers sent to break the legs of
the thieves had been obliged to return to the city by another gate. But when Joseph and
Nicodemus seized hold of the bolt, the gate opened as if of itself, to the great astonishment
of all the bystanders.
It was still dark and the sky cloudy when they reached Mount Calvary, where they found
the servants who had been sent on already arrived, and the holy women sitting weeping in
front of the Cross. Cassius and several soldiers who were converted remained at a certain
distance, and their demeanour was respectful and reserved. Joseph and Nicodemus
described to the Blessed Virgin and John all they had done to save Jesus from an
ignominious death, and learned from them how they had succeeded in preventing the bones
of our Lord from being broken, and how the prophecy had been fulfilled. They spoke also of
the wound which Cassius had made with his lance. No sooner was the centurion Abenadar
arrived than they began, with the deepest recollection of spirit, their mournful and sacred
labour of taking down from the Cross and embalming the adorable body of our Lord.
The Blessed Virgin and Magdalen were seated at the foot of the Cross; while, on the
right-hand side, between the cross of Dismas and that of Jesus, the other women were
engaged in preparing the linen, spices, water, sponges, and vases. Cassius also came
forward, and related to Abenadar the miraculous cure of his eyes. All were deeply affected,
and their hearts overflowing with sorrow and love; but, at the same time, they preserved a
solemn silence, and their every movement was full of gravity and reverence. Nothing broke
the stillness save an occasional smothered word of lamentation, or a stifled groan, which
escaped from one or other of these holy personages, in spite of their earnest eagerness and
deep attention to their pious labour. Magdalen gave way unrestrainedly to her sorrow, and
neither the presence of so many different persons, nor any other consideration, appeared to
distract her from it.
Nicodemus and Joseph placed the ladders behind the Cross, and mounted them, holding
in their hands a large sheet, to which three long straps were fastened. They tied the body of
Jesus, below the arms and knees, to the tree of the Cross, and secured the arms by pieces of
linen placed underneath the hands. Then they drew out the nails, by pushing them from
behind with strong pins pressed upon the points. The sacred hands of Jesus were thus not
much shaken, and the nails fell easily out of the wounds; for the latter had been made wider
by the weight of the body, which, being now supported by the cloths, no longer hung on the
nails. The lower part of the body, which since our Lord’s death had sunk down on the
knees, now rested in a natural position, supported by a sheet fastened above to the arms of
the Cross. Whilst Joseph was taking out the nail from the left hand, and then allowing the
left arm, supported by its cloth, to fall gently down upon the body, Nicodemus was
fastening the right arm of Jesus to that of the Cross, as also the sacred crowned head, which
had sunk on the right shoulder. Then he took out the right nail, and having surrounded the
arm with its supporting sheet, let it fall gently on to the body. At the same time, the
centurion Abenadar, with great difficulty, drew out the large nail which transfixed the feet.
Cassius devoutly received the nails, and laid them at the feet of the Blessed Virgin.
Then Joseph and Nicodemus, having placed ladders against the front of the Cross, in a
very upright position, and close to the body, untied the upper strap, and fastened it to one of
the hooks on the ladder; they did the same with the two other straps, and passing them all
on from hook to hook, caused the sacred body to descend gently towards the centurion,
who having mounted upon a stool received it in his arms, holding it below the knees; while
Joseph and Nicodemus, supporting the upper part of the body, came gently down the
ladder, stopping at every step, and taking every imaginable precaution, as would be done by
men bearing the body of some beloved friend who had been grievously wounded. Thus did
the bruised body of our Divine Saviour reach the ground.
It was a most touching sight. They all took the same precautions, the same care, as if they
had feared to cause Jesus some suffering. They seemed to have concentrated on the sacred
body all the love and veneration which they had felt for their Saviour during his life. The
eyes of each were fixed upon the adorable body, and followed all its movements; and they
were continually uplifting their hands towards Heaven, shedding tears, and expressing in
every possible way the excess of their grief and anguish. Yet they all remained perfectly
calm, and even those who were so busily occupied about the sacred body broke silence but
seldom, and, when obliged to make some necessary remark, did so in a low voice. During
the time that the nails were being forcible removed by blows of the hammer, the Blessed
Virgin, Magdalen; and all those who had been present at the Crucifixion, felt each blow
transfix their hearts. The sound recalled to their minds all the sufferings of Jesus, and they
could not control their trembling fear, lest they should again hear his piercing cry of
suffering; although, at the same time they grieved at the silence of his blessed lips, which
proved, alas too surely, that he was really dead. When the body was taken down it was
wrapped in linen from the knees to the waist, and then placed in the arms of the Blessed
Virgin, who, overwhelmed with sorrow and love, stretched them forth to receive their
precious burden.


CHAPTER LI.        pg 167 of 199
The Embalming of the Body of Jesus.  

The Blessed Virgin seated herself upon a large cloth spread on the ground, with her right
knee, which was slightly raised, and her back resting against some mantles, rolled together
so as to from a species of cushion. No precaution had been neglected which could in any
way facilitate to her—the Mother of Sorrows—in her deep affliction of soul, the mournful
but most sacred duty which she was about to fulfil in regard to the body of her beloved Son.
The adorable head of Jesus rested upon Mary’s knee, and his body was stretched upon a
sheet. The Blessed Virgin was overwhelmed with sorrow and love. Once more, and for the
last time, did she hold in her arms the body of her most beloved Son, to whom she had been
unable to give any testimony of love during the long hours of his martyrdom. And she gazed
upon his wounds and fondly embraced his blood-stained cheeks, while Magdalen pressed
her face upon his feet.
The men withdrew into a little cave, situated on the south-west side of Calvary, there to
prepare the different things needful for the embalming; but Cassius, with a few other soldiers
who had been converted, remained at a respectful distance. All ill-disposed persons were
gone back to the city, and the soldiers who were present served merely to form a guard to
prevent any interruption in the last honours which were being rendered to the body of Jesus.
Some of these soldiers even gave assistance when desired. The holy women held the vases,
sponges, linen, unction, and spices, according as required; but when not thus employed,
they remained at a respectful distance, attentively gazing upon the Blessed Virgin as she
proceeded in her mournful task. Magdalen did not leave the body of Jesus; but John gave
continual assistance to the Blessed Virgin, and went to and fro from the men to the women,
lending aid to both parties. The women had with them some large leathern bottles and a
vase filled with water standing upon a coal fire. They gave the Blessed Virgin and
Magdalen, according as they required, vases filled with clear water, and sponges, which
they afterwards squeezed in the leathern bottles.
The courage and firmness of Mary remained unshaken even in the midst of her
inexpressible anguish.11 It was absolutely impossible for her to leave the body of her Son in
the awful state to which it had been reduced by his sufferings, and therefore she began with
indefatigable earnestness to wash and purify it from the traces of the outrages to which it
had been exposed. With the utmost care she drew off the crown of thorns, opening it
behind, and then cutting off one by one the thorns which had sunk deep into the head of
Jesus, in order that she might not widen the wounds. The crown was placed by the side of
the nails, and then Mary drew out the thorns which had remained in the skin with a species
of rounded pincers, and sorrowfully showed them to her friends.12 These thorns were placed
with the crown, but still some of them must have been preserved separately.
The divine face of our Saviour was scarcely recognisable, so disfigured was it by the
wounds with which it was covered. The beard and hair were matted together with blood.
Mary washed the head and face, and passed damp sponges over the hair to remove the
congealed blood. As she proceeded in her pious office, the extent of the awful cruelty which
had been exercised upon Jesus became more and more apparent, and caused in her soul
emotions of compassion and tenderness which increased as she passed from one wound to
another. She washed the wounds of the head, the eyes filled with blood, the nostrils, and the
ears, with a sponge and a small piece of linen spread over the fingers of her right hand; and
then she purified, in the same manner, the half-opened mouth, the tongue, the teeth, and the
lips. She divided what remained of our Lord’s hair into three parts, a part falling over each
temple, and the third over the back of his head; and when she had disentangled the front
hair and smoothed it, she passed it behind his ears.13
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11 On Good Friday, March 30th, 1820, as Sister Emmerich was contemplating the descent from the Cross she
suddenly fainted, in the presence of the writer of these lines, and appeared to be really dead. But after a time
she recovered her senses and gave the following explanation, although still in a state of great suffering: ‘As I
was contemplating the body of Jesus lying on the knees of the Blessed Virgin I said to myself: “How great is
her strength! She has not fainted even once!” My guide reproached me for this thought – in which there was
more astonishment than compassion – and said to me, “Suffer then what she has suffered!” And at the same
moment a sensation of the sharpest anguish transfixed me like a sword, so that I believed I must have died
from it.’ She had had an illness which reduced her almost to the brink of the grave.
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12 Sister Emmerich said that the shape of these pincers reminded her of the scissors with which Samson’s hair
was cut off. In her visions of the third year of the public life of Jesus she had seen our Lord keep the Sabbathday
at Misael – a town belonging to the Levites, of the tribe of Aser – and as a portion of the Book of Judges
was read in the synagogue, Sister Emmerich beheld upon that occasion the life of Samson.
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13 Sister Emmerich was accustomed, when speaking of persons of historical importance, to explain how they
divided their hair. ‘Eve,’ she said, ‘divided her hair in two parts, but Mary into three.’ And she appeared to
attach importance to these words. No opportunity presented itself for her to give any explanation upon the
subject, which probably would have shown what was done with the hair in sacrifices, funerals, consecrations,
or vows, etc. She once said of Samson: ‘His fair hair, which was long and thick, was gathered up on his head
in seven tresses, like a helmet, and the ends of these tresses were fastened upon his forehead and temples. His
hair was not in itself the source of his strength, but only as the witness to the vow which he had made to let it
grow in God’s honour. The powers which depended upon these seven tresses were the seven gifts of the Holy
Ghost. He must have already broken his vows and lost many graces, when he allowed this sign of being a
Nazarene to be cut off. I did not see Dalila cut off all his hair, and I think one lock remained on his forehead.
He retained the grace to do penance and of that repentance by which he recovered strength sufficient to
destroy his enemies. The life of Samson is figurative and prophetic.’
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pg 169 of 199

When the head was thoroughly cleansed and purified, the Blessed Virgin covered it with
a veil, after having kissed the sacred cheeks of her dear Son. She then turned her attention to
the neck, shoulders, chest, back, arms, and pierced hands. All the bones of the breast and
the joints were dislocated, and could not be bent. There was a frightful wound on the
shoulders which had borne the weight of the Cross, and all the upper part of the body was
covered with bruises and deeply marked with blows of the scourges. On the left breast there
was a small wound where the point of Cassius’s lance had come out, and on the right side
was the large wound made by the same lance, and which had pierced the heart through and
through. Mary washed all these wounds, and Magdalen, on her knees, helped her from time
to time; but without leaving the sacred feet of Jesus, which she bathed with tears and wiped
with her hair.
The head, bosom, and feet of our Lord were now washed, and the sacred body, which
was covered with brown stains and red marks in those places where the skin had been torn
off, and of a bluish-white colour, like flesh that has been drained of blood, was resting on
the knees of Mary, who covered the parts which she had washed with a veil, and then
proceeded to embalm all the wounds. The holy women knelt by her side, and in turn
presented to her a box, out of which she took some precious ointment, and with it filled and
covered the wounds. She also anointed the hair, and then, taking the sacred hands of Jesus
in her left hand, respectfully kissed them, and filled the large wounds made by the nails with
this ointment or sweet spice. She likewise filled the ears, nostrils, and wound in the side
with the same precious mixture. Meanwhile Magdalen wiped and embalmed our Lord’s
feet, and then again washed them with her tears, and often pressed her face upon them.
The water which had been used was not thrown away, but poured into the leathern
bottles in which the sponges had been squeezed. I saw Cassius or some other soldier go
several times to fetch fresh water from the fountain of Gihon, which was at no great
distance off. When the Blessed Virgin had filled all the wounds with ointment, she wrapped
the head up in linen cloths, but she did not as yet cover the face. She closed the half-open
eyes of Jesus, and kept her hand upon them for some time. She also closed the mouth, and
then embraced the sacred body of her beloved Son, pressing her face fondly and reverently
upon his. Joseph and Nicodemus had been waiting for some time, when John drew near to
the Blessed Virgin, and besought her to permit the body of her Son to be taken from her,
that the embalming might be completed, because the Sabbath was close at hand. Once more
did Mary embrace the sacred body of Jesus, and utter her farewells in the most touching
language, and then the men lifted it from her arms on the sheet, and carried it to some
distance. The deep sorrow of Mary had been for the time assuaged by the feelings of love
and reverence with which she had accomplished her sacred task; but now it once more
overwhelmed her, and she fell, her head covered with her veil, into the arms of the holy
women. Magdalen felt almost as though her Beloved were being forcibly carried away from
her, and hastily ran forward a few steps, with her arms stretched forth; but then, after a
moment, returned to the Blessed Virgin.
???
The sacred body was carried to a spot beneath the level of the top of Golgotha, where the
smooth surface of a rock afforded a convenient platform on which to embalm the body. I
first saw a piece of open-worked linen, looking very much like lace, and which made me
think of the large embroidered curtain hung between the choir and nave during Lent.14 It
was probably worked in that open stitch for the water to run through. I also saw another
large sheet unfolded. The body of our Saviour was placed on the open-worked piece of
linen, and some of the other men held the other sheet spread above it. Nicodemus and
Joseph then knelt down, and underneath this covering took off the linen which they had
fastened round the loins of our Saviour, when they took his body down from the Cross.
They then passed sponges under this sheet, and washed the lower parts of the body; after
which they lifted it up by the help of pieces of linen crossed beneath the loins and knees, and
washed the back without turning it over. They continued washing until nothing but clear
water came from the sponges when pressed. Next they poured water of myrrh over the
whole body, and then, handling it with respect, stretched it out full length, for it was still in
the position in which our Divine Lord had died—the loins and knees bent. They then placed
beneath his hips a sheet which was a yard in width and three in length, laid upon his lap
bundles of sweet-scented herbs, and shook over the whole body a powder which Nicodemus
had brought. Next they wrapped up the lower part of the body, and fastened the cloth which
they had placed underneath round it strongly. After this they anointed the wounds of the
thighs, placed bundles of herbs between the legs, which were stretched out to their full
length, and wrapped them up entirely in these sweet spices.
Then John conducted the Blessed Virgin and the other holy women once more to the side
of the body. Mary knelt down by the head of Jesus, and placed beneath it a piece of very
fine linen which had been given her by Pilate’s wife, and which she had worn round her
neck under her cloak; next, assisted by the holy women, she placed from the shoulders to
the cheeks bundles of herbs, spices, and sweet-scented powder, and then strongly bound this
piece of linen round the head and shoulders. Magdalen poured besides a small bottle of
balm into the wound of the side, and the holy women placed some more herbs into those of
the hands and feet. Then the men put sweet spices around all the remainder of the body,
crossed the sacred stiffened arms on the chest, and bound the large white sheet round the
body as high as the chest, in the same manner as if they had been swaddling a child. Then,
having fastened the end of a large band beneath the armpits, they rolled it round the head
and the whole body. Finally, they placed our Divine Lord on the large sheet, six yards in
length, which Joseph of Arimathea had bought, and wrapped him in it. He was lying
diagonally upon it, and one corner of the sheet was raised from the feet to the chest, the
other drawn over the head and shoulders, while the remaining two ends were doubled
round the body.
The Blessed Virgin, the holy women, the men—all were kneeling round the body of Jesus
to take their farewell of it, when a most touching miracle took place before them. The sacred
body of Jesus, with all its wounds, appeared imprinted upon the cloth which covered it, as
though he had been pleased to reward their care and their love, and leave them a portrait of
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14 This refers to a custom of the Diocese of Munster. During Lent there was hung up in the churches a curtain,
embroidered in open work, representing the Five Wounds, the instruments of the Passion, etc.
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pg 171 of 199

himself through all the veils with which he was enwrapped. With tears they embraced the
adorable body, and then reverently kissed the wonderful impression which it had left. Their
astonishment increased when, on lifting up the sheet, they saw that all the bands which
surrounded the body had remained white as before, and that the upper cloth alone had been
marked in this wonderful manner. It was not a mark made by the bleeding wounds, since
the whole body was wrapped up and covered with sweet spices, but it was a supernatural
portrait, bearing testimony to the divine creative power ever abiding in the body of Jesus. I
have seen many things relative to the subsequent history of this piece of linen, but I could
not describe them coherently. After the resurrection it remained in the possession of the
friends of Jesus, but fell twice into the hands of the Jews, and later was honoured in several
different places. I have seen it in a city of Asia, in the possession of some Christians, who
were not Catholics. I have forgotten the name of the town, which is situated in a province
near the country of the Three Kings.


CHAPTER LII.
The Body of our Lord placed in the Sepulchre.   

The men placed the sacred body on a species of leathern hand-barrow, which they
covered wit a brown-coloured cloth, and to which they fastened two long stakes. This
forcibly reminded me of the Ark of the Covenant. Nicodemus and Joseph bore on their
shoulders the front shafts, while Abenadar and John supported those behind. After them
came the Blessed Virgin, Mary of Heli, her eldest sister, Magdalen and Mary of Cleophas,
and then the group of women who had been sitting at some distance—Veronica, Johanna
Chusa, Mary Salome, Salome of Jerusalem, Susanna, and Anne the niece of St. Joseph.
Cassius and the soldiers closed the procession. The other women, such as Marone of Naïm,
Dina the Samaritaness, and Mara the Suphanitess, were at Bethania, with Martha and
Lazarus. Two soldiers, bearing torches in their hands, walked on first, that there might be
some light in the grotto of the sepulchre; and the procession continued to advance in this
order for about seven minutes, the holy men and women singing psalms in sweet but
melancholy tones. I saw James the Greater, the brother of John, standing upon a hill the
other side of the valley, to look at them as they passed, and he returned immediately
afterwards, to tell the other disciples what he had seen.
The procession stopped at the entrance of Joseph’s garden, which was opened by the
removal of some stakes, afterwards used as levers to roll the stone to the door of the
sepulchre. When opposite the rock, they placed the Sacred Body on a long board covered
with a sheet. The grotto, which had been newly excavated, had been latterly cleaned by the
servants of Nicodemus, so that the interior was neat and pleasing to the eye. The holy
women sat down in front of the grotto, while the four men carried in the body of our Lord,
partially filled the hollow couch destined for its reception with aromatic spices, and spread
over them a cloth, upon which they reverently deposited the sacred body. After having once
more given expression to their love by tears and fond embraces, they left the grotto. Then
the Blessed Virgin entered, seated herself close to the head of her dear Son, and bent over
his body with many tears. When she left the grotto, Magdalen hastily and eagerly came
forward, and flung on the body some flowers and branches which she had gathered in the
garden. Then she clasped her hands together, and with sobs kissed the feet of Jesus; but the
men having informed her that they must close the sepulchre, she returned to the other
women. They covered the sacred body with the extremities of the sheet on which it was
lying, placed on the top of all the brown coverlet, and closed the folding-doors, which were
made of a bronze-coloured metal, and had on their front two sticks, one straight down and
the other across, so as to form a perfect cross.
The large stone with which they intended to close the sepulchre, and which was still lying
in front of the grotto, was in shape very like a chest or tomb;15 its length was such that a man
might have laid himself down upon it, and it was so heavy that it was only by means of
levers that the men could roll it before the door of the sepulchre. The entrance of the grotto
was closed by a gate made of branches twined together. Everything that was done within the
grotto had to be accomplished by torchlight, for daylight never penetrated there.


CHAPTER LIII.        pg 171 of 199
The Return from the Sepulchre.
Joseph of Arimathea is put in Prison.

The Sabbath was close at hand, and Nicodemus and Joseph returned to Jerusalem by a
small door not far from the garden, and which Joseph had been allowed by special favour to
have made in the city wall. They told the Blessed Virgin, Magdalen, John, and some of the
women, who were returning to Calvary to pray there, that this door, as well as that of the
super-room, would be opened to them whenever they knocked. The elder sister of the
Blessed Virgin, Mary of Heli, returned to the town with Mary the mother of Mark, and
some other women. The servants of Nicodemus and Joseph went to Calvary to fetch several
things which had been left there.
The soldiers joined those who were guarding the city gate near Calvary; and Cassius
went to Pilate with the lance, related all that he had seen, and promised to give him an exact
account of everything that should happen, if he would put under his command the guards
whom the Jews would not fail to ask to have put round the tomb. Pilate listened to his
words with secret terror, but only told him in reply that his superstition amounted to
madness.
Joseph and Nicodemus met Peter and the two Jameses in the town. They all shed many
tears, but Peter was perfectly overwhelmed by the violence of this grief. He embraced them,
reproached himself for not having been present at the death of our Saviour, and thanked
them for having bestowed the rites of sepulture upon his sacred body. It was agreed that the
door of the supper-room should be opened to them whenever they knocked, and then they
went away to seek some other disciples who were dispersed in various directions. Later I
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15 Apparently Sister Emmerich here spoke of the ancient cases in which her poor countrymen keep their
clothes. The lower part of these cases is smaller than the upper, and this gives them some likeness to a tomb.
She had one of these cases, which she called her chest. She often described the stone by this comparison, but
her descriptions have not, nevertheless, given us a very clear idea of its shape.
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pg 173 of 199

saw the Blessed Virgin and her companions enter the upper-room; Abenadar next came and
was admitted; and by degrees the greatest part of the Apostles and disciples assembled there.
The holy women retired to that part of the building where the Blessed Virgin was living.
They took some food, and spent a few minutes more in tears, and in relating to one another
what each had seen. Then men changed their dresses, and I saw them standing under the
lamp, and keeping the Sabbath. They ate some lambs in the supper-room, but without
observing any ceremony, for they had eaten the Paschal lamb the evening before. They were
all perturbed in spirit, and filled with grief. The holy women also passed their time in
praying with the Blessed Virgin under the lamp. Later, when night had quite fallen,
Lazarus, the widow of Naïm, Dina the Samaritan woman, and Mara of Suphan, came from
Bethania, and then, once more, descriptions were given of all that had taken place, and
many tears shed.

[According to the visions of Sister Emmerich, the three women named in the text had been living for some
time at Bethania, in a sort of community established by Martha for the purpose of providing for the
maintenance of the disciples when our Lord was moving about, and for the division and distribution of the
alms which were collected. The widow of Naïm, whose son Martial was raised from the dead by Jesus,
according to Sister Emmerich, on the 28th Marcheswan (the 18th of November), was named Maroni. She was
the daughter of an uncle, on the father’s side, of St. Peter. Her first husband was the son of a sister of
Elizabeth, who herself was the daughter of a sister of the mother of St. Anne. Maroni’s first husband having
died without children, she had married Elind, a relation of St. Anne, and had left Chasaluth, near Tabor, to
take up her abode at Naïm, which was not far off, and where she soon lost her second husband.
Dina, the Samaritan woman, was the same who conversed with Jesus by Jacob’s well. She was born near
Damascus, of parents who were half Jewish and half Pagan. They died while she was yet very young, and she
being brought up by a woman of bad character, the seeds of the most evil passions were early sown in her
heart. She had had several husbands, who supplanted one another in turn, and the last lived at Sichar, whither
she had followed him and changed her name from Dina to Salome. She had three grown-up daughters and
two sons, who afterwards joined the disciples. Sister Emmerich used to say that the life of this Samaritan
woman was prophetic—that Jesus had spoken to the entire sect of Samaritans in her person, and that they
were attached to their errors by as many ties as she had committed adulteries.
Mara of Suphan was a Moabitess, came from the neighbourhood of Suphan, and was a descendant of
Orpha, the widow of Chelion, Noëmi’s son. Orpha had married again in Moab. By Orpha, the sister-in-law of
Ruth, Mara was connected with the family of David, from whom our Lord was descended. Sister Emmerich
saw Jesus deliver Mara from four devils and grant her forgiveness of her sins on the 17th Elud (9th September)
of the second year of his public life. She was living at Ainon, having been repudiated by her husband, a rich
Jew, who had kept the children he had had by her with him. She had with her tree others, the offspring of her
adulteries.
‘I saw,’ Sister Emmerich would say,—‘I saw how the stray branch of the stock of David was purified
within her by the grace of Jesus, and admitted into the bosom of the Church. I cannot express how many of
these roots and offshoots I see become entwined with each other, lost to view, and then once more brought to
light.’]

Joseph of Arimathea returned home late from the supper-room, and he was sorrowfully
walking along the streets of Sion, accompanied by a few disciples and women, when all on a
sudden a band of armed men, who were lying in ambuscade in the neighbourhood of
Caiphas’s tribunal, fell upon them, and laid hands upon Joseph, whereupon his companions
fled, uttering loud cries of terror. He was confined in a tower contiguous to the city wall, not
far from the tribunal. These soldiers were pagans, and had not to keep the Sabbath,
therefore Caiphas had been able to secure their services on this occasion. The intention was
to let Joseph die of hunger, and keep his disappearance a secret.
Here conclude the descriptions of all that occurred on the day of the Passion of our Lord;
but we will add some supplementary matter concerning Holy Saturday, the Descent into
Hell, and the Resurrection.


CHAPTER LIV.        pg 174 of 199
On the Name of Calvary.

Whilst meditating on the name of Golgotha, Calvary, the place of skulls, borne by the rock
upon which Jesus was crucified, I became deeply absorbed in contemplation, and beheld in
spirit all ages from the time of Adam to that of Christ, and in this vision the origin of the
name was made known to me. I here give all that I remember on this subject.
I saw Adam, after his expulsion from Paradise, weeping in the grotto where Jesus
sweated blood and water, on Mount Olivet. I saw how Seth was promised to Eve in the
grotto of the manger at Bethlehem, and how she brought him forth in that same grotto. I
also saw Eve living in some caverns near Hebron, where the Essenian Monastery of Maspha
was afterwards established.
I then beheld the country where Jerusalem was built, as it appeared after the Deluge, and
the land was all unsettled, black, stony, and very different from what it had been before. At
an immense dept below the rock which constitutes Mount Calvary (which was formed in
this spot by the rolling of the waters), I saw the tomb of Adam and Eve. The head and one
rib were wanting to one of the skeletons, and the remaining head was placed within the
same skeleton, to which it did not belong. The bones of Adam and Eve had not all been left
in this grave, for Noah had some of them with him in the ark, and they were transmitted
from generation to generation by the Patriarchs. Noah, and also Abraham, were in the
habit, when offering sacrifice, of always laying some of Adam’s bones upon the altar, to
remind the Almighty of his promise. When Jacob gave Joseph his variegated robe, he at the
same time gave him some bones of Adam, to be kept as relics. Joseph always wore them on
his bosom, and they were placed with his own bones in the first reliquary which the children
of Israel brought out of Egypt. I have seen similar things, but some I have forgotten, and the
others time fails me to describe.
As regards the origin of the name of Calvary, I here give all I know. I beheld the
mountain which bears this name as it was in the time of the Prophet Eliseus. It was not the
same then as at the time of our Lord’s Crucifixion, but was a hill, with many walls and
caverns, resembling tombs, upon it. I saw the Prophet Eliseus descend into these caverns, I
cannot say whether in reality or only in a vision, and I saw him take out a skull from a stone
sepulchre in which bones were resting. Someone who was by his side —I think an angel—
said to him, ‘This is the skull of Adam.’ The prophet was desirous to take it away, but his
companion forbade him. I saw upon the skull some few hairs of a fair colour.
I learned also that the prophet having related what had happened to him, the spot
received the name of Calvary. Finally, I saw that the Cross of Jesus was placed vertically
over the skull of Adam. I was informed that this spot was the exact centre of the earth; and at
the same time I was shown the numbers and measures proper to every country, but I have
forgotten them, individually as well as in general. Yet I have seen this centre from above,
and as it were from a bird’s-eye view. In that way a person sees far more clearly than on a
map all the different countries, mountains, deserts, seas, rivers, towns, and even the smallest
places, whether distant or near at hand.


CHAPTER LV.        pg 175 of 199
The Cross and the Winepress.

As I was meditating upon these words or thoughts of Jesus when hanging on the Cross: ‘I
am pressed like wine placed here under the press for the first time; my blood must continue
to flow until water comes, but wine shall no more be made here,’ an explanation was given
me by means of another vision relating to Calvary.
I saw this rocky country at a period anterior to the Deluge; it was then less wild and less
barren than it afterwards became, and was laid out in vineyards and fields. I saw there the
Patriarch Japhet, a majestic dark-complexioned old man, surrounded by immense flocks
and herds and a numerous posterity: his children as well as himself had dwellings excavated
in the ground, and covered with turf roofs, on which herbs and flowers were growing. There
were vines all around, and a new method of making wine was being tried on Calvary, in the
presence of Japhet. I saw also the ancient method of preparing wine, but I can give only the
following description of it. At first men were satisfied with only eating the grapes; then they
pressed them with pestles in hollow stones, and finally in large wooden trenches. Upon this
occasion a new wine-press, resembling the holy Cross in shape, had been devised; it
consisted of the hollow trunk of a tree placed upright, with a bag of grapes suspended over
it. Upon this bag there was fastened a pestle, surmounted by a weight; and on both sides of
the trunk were arms joined to the bag, through openings made for the purpose, and which,
when put in motion by lowering the ends, crushed the grapes. The juice flowed out of the
tree by five openings, and fell into a stone vat, from whence it flowed through a channel
made of bark and coated with resin, into the species of cistern excavated in the rock where
Jesus was confined before his Crucifixion. At the foot of the winepress, in the stone vat,
there was a sort of sieve to stop the skins, which were put on one side. When they had made
their winepress, they filled the bag with grapes, nailed it to the top of the trunk, placed the
pestle, and put in motion the side arms, in order to make the wine flow. All this very
strongly reminded me of the Crucifixion, on account of the resemblance between the
winepress and the Cross. They had a long reed, at the end of which there were points, so
that it looked like an enormous thistle, and they ran this through the channel and trunk of
the tree when there was any obstruction. I was reminded of the lance and sponge. There
were also some leathern bottles, and vases made of bark and plastered with resin. I saw
several young men, with nothing but a cloth wrapped round their loins like Jesus, working
at this winepress. Japhet was very old; he wore a long beard, and a dress made of the skins
of beasts; and he looked at the new winepress with evident satisfaction. It was a festival day,
and they sacrificed on a stone altar some animals which were running loose in the vineyard,
young asses, goats, and sheep. It was not in this place that Abraham came to sacrifice Isaac;
perhaps it was on Mount Moriah. I have forgotten many of the instructions regarding the
wine, vinegar, and skins, and the different ways in which everything was to be distributed to
the right and to the left; and I regret it, because the veriest trifles in these matters have a
profound symbolical meaning. If it should be the will of God for me to make them known,
he will show them to me again.


CHAPTER LVI.       pg 176 of 199
Apparitions on Occasion of the Death of Jesus.

Among the dead who rose from their graves, and who were certainly a hundred in
number, at Jerusalem, there were no relations of Jesus. I saw in various parts of the Holy
Land others of the dead appear and bear testimony to the divinity of Jesus. Thus I saw
Sadoch, a most pious man, who had given all his property to the poor and to the Temple,
appear to many persons in the neighbourhood of Hebron. This Sadoch had lived a century
before Jesus, and was the founder of a community of Essenians: he had ardently sighed for
the coming of the Messias, and had had several revelations upon the subject. I saw some
others of the dead appear to the hidden disciples of our Lord, and give them different
warnings.
Terror and desolation reigned even in the most distant parts of Palestine, and it was not
in Jerusalem only that frightful prodigies took place. At Thirza, the towers of the prison in
which the captives delivered by Jesus had been confined fell down. In Galilee, where Jesus
had travelled so much, I saw many buildings, and in particular the houses of those Pharisees
who had been the foremost in persecuting our Saviour, and who were then all at the festival,
shaken to the ground, crushing their wives and children. Numerous accidents happened in
the neighbourhood of the Lake of Genazareth. Many buildings fell down at Capharnaum;
and the wall of rocks which was in front of the beautiful garden of the centurion Zorobabel
cracked across. The lake overflowed into the valley, and its waters descended as far as
Capharnaum, which was a mile and a half distant. Peter’s house, and the dwelling of the
Blessed Virgin in front of the town, remained standing. The lake was strongly convulsed; its
shores crumbled in several places, and its shape was very much altered, and became more
like what it is at the present day. Great changes took place, particularly at the south-eastern
extremity, near Tarichea, because in this part there was a long causeway made of stones,
between the lake and a sort of marsh, which gave a constant direction to the course of the
Jordan when it left the lake. The whole of this causeway was destroyed by the earthquake.
Many accidents happened on the eastern side of the lake, on the spot where the swine
belonging to the inhabitants of Gergesa cast themselves in, and also at Gergesa, Gerasa, and
in the entire district of Chorazin. The mountain where the second multiplication of the
loaves took place was shaken, and the stone upon which the miracle had been worked split
in two. In Decapolis, whole towns crumbled to the earth; and in Asia, in several localities,
the earthquake was severely felt, particularly to the east and north-east of Paneas. In Upper
Galilee, many Pharisees found their houses in ruins when they returned from keeping the
feast. A number of them, while yet at Jerusalem, received the news of what had happened,
and it was on that account that the enemies of Jesus made such very slight efforts against the
Christian community at Pentecost.
A part of the Temple of Garizim crumbled down. An idol stood there above a fountain,
in a small temple, the roof of which fell into the fountain with the idol. Half of the
synagogue of Nazareth, out of which Jesus had been drive, fell down, as well as that part of
the mountain from which his enemies had endeavoured to precipitate him. The bed of the
Jordan was much changed by all these shocks, and its course altered in many places. At
Macherus, and at the other towns belonging to Herod, everything remained quiet, for that
country was out of the sphere of repentance and of threats, like those men who did not fall
to the ground in the Garden of Olives, and, consequently, did not rise again.
In many other parts where there were evil spirits, I saw the latter disappear in large
bodies amid the falling mountains and buildings. The earthquakes reminded me of the
convulsions of the possessed, when the enemy feels that he must take to flight. At Gergesa,
a part of the mountain from which the devils had cast themselves with the swine into a
marsh, fell into this same marsh; and I then saw a band of evil spirits cast themselves into
the abyss, like a dark cloud.
It was at Nice, unless I am mistaken, that I saw a singular occurrence, of which I have
only an imperfect remembrance. There was a port there with many vessels in it; and near
this port stood a house with a high tower, in which I saw a pagan whose office was to watch
these vessels. He had often to ascend this tower, and see what was going on at sea. Having
heard a great noise over the vessels in the port, he hurriedly ascended the tower to discover
what was taking place, and he saw several dark figures hovering over the port, and who
exclaimed to him in plaintive accents: ‘If thou desirest to preserve the vessels, cause them to
be sailed out of this port, for we must return to the abyss: the great Pan is dead.’ They told
him several other things; laid injunctions upon him to make known what they were then
telling him upon his return from a certain voyage which he was soon to make, and to give a
good reception to the messengers who would come to announce the doctrine of him who
had just died. The evil spirits were forced in this manner by the power of God to inform this
good man of their defeat, and announce it to the world. He had the vessels put in safety, and
then an awful storm arose: the devils cast themselves howling into the sea, and half the city
fell down. His house remained standing. Soon afterwards he went on a great journey, and
announced the death of the great Pan, if that is the name by which our Saviour had been
called. Later he came to Rome, where much amazement was caused by what he related. His
name was something like Thamus or Thramus.


CHAPTER LVII.       pg 177 of 199
Guards are placed around the Tomb of Jesus.  

Late on Friday night, I saw Caiphas and some of the chief men among the Jews holding
a consultation concerning the best course to pursue with regard to the prodigies which had
taken place, and the effect they had had upon the people. They continued their deliberations
quite into the morning, and then hurried to Pilate’s house, to tell him that, as that seducer
said, while he was yet alive, ‘After three days I will rise again,’ it would be right to command the
sepulchre to be guarded until the third day, as otherwise his disciples might come and steal him
away, and say to the people, ‘He is risen from the dead,’ and the last error would be worse that the
first. Pilate was determined to have nothing more to do with the business, and he only
answered: ‘You have a guard; go, guard it as you know.’ However, he appointed Cassius to keep
a watch over all that took place, and give him an exact account of every circumstance. I saw
these men, twelve in number, leave the town before sunrise, accompanied by some soldiers
who did not wear the Roman uniform, being attached to the Temple. They carried lanterns
fastened to the end of long poles, in order that they might be able to see every surrounding
object, in spite of the darkness of the night, and also that they might have some light in the
dark cave of the sepulchre.
No sooner had they reached the sepulchre than, having first seen with their own eyes that
the body of Jesus was really there, they fastened one rope across the door of the tomb, and a
second across the great stone which was placed in front, sealing the whole with a seal of
half-circular shape. They then returned to the city, and the guards stationed themselves
opposite the outer door. They were five or six in number, and watched three and three
alternately. Cassius never left his post, and usually remained sitting or standing in front of
the entrance to the cave, so as to see that side of the tomb where the feet of our Lord rested.
He had received many interior graces, and been given to understand many mysteries. Being
wholly unaccustomed to this state of spiritual enlightenment, he was perfectly transported
out of himself, and remained nearly all the time unconscious of the presence of exterior
things. He was entirely changed, had become a new man, and spent the whole day in
penance, in making fervent acts of gratitude, and in humbly adoring God.


CHAPTER LVIII.        pg 178 of 199
A Glance at the Disciples of Jesus on Holy Saturday.   

The faithful disciples of our Lord assembled together in the Cenaculum, to keep the eve
of the Sabbath. They were about twenty in number, clothed in long white dresses, and with
their waists girded. The room was lighted up by a lamp; and after their repast they
separated, and for the most part returned home. They again assembled on the following
morning, and sat together reading and praying by turns; and if a friend entered the room,
they arose and saluted him cordially.
In that part of the house inhabited by the Blessed Virgin there was a large room, divided
into small compartments like cells, which were used by the holy women for sleeping in at
night. When they returned from the sepulchre, one of their number lighted a lamp which
was hanging in the middle of the room, and they all assembled around the Blessed Virgin,
and commenced praying in a mournful but recollected manner. A short time afterwards,
Martha, Maroni, Dina, and Mara, who were just come with Lazarus from Bethania, where
they had passed the Sabbath, entered the room. The Blessed Virgin and her companions
gave them a detailed account of the death and burial of our Lord, accompanying each
relation with many tears. The evening was advancing, and Joseph of Arimathea came in
with a few other disciples, to ask whether any of the women wished to return to their
homes, as they were ready to escort them. A few accepted the proposition, and set off
immediately; but before they reached the tribunal of Caiphas, some armed men stopped
Joseph of Arimathea, arrested, and shut him up in an old deserted turret.
Those among the holy women who did not leave the Cenaculum retired to take their rest
in the cell-like compartments spoken of above: they fastened long veils over their heads,
seated themselves sorrowfully on the floor, and leaned upon the couches which were placed
against the wall. After a time they stood up, spread out the bedclothes which were rolled up
on the couches, took off their sandals, girdles, and a part of their clothing, and reclined for a
time in order to endeavour to get a little sleep. At midnight, they arose, clothed themselves,
put up their beds, and reassembled around the lamp to continue their prayer with the
Blessed Virgin.
When the Mother of Jesus and her pious companions had finished their nocturnal prayer
(that holy duty which has been practised by all faithful children of God and holy souls, who
have either felt themselves called to it by a special grace, or who follow a rule given by God
and his Church), they heard a knock at the door, which was instantly opened, and John and
some of the disciples who had promised to conduct them to the Temple, entered, upon
which the women wrapped their cloaks about them, and started instantly. It was then about
three in the morning, and they went straight to the Temple, it being customary among many
Jews to get there before day dawned, on the day after they had eaten the Paschal lamb; and
for this reason the Temple was open from midnight, as the sacrifices commenced very early.
They started at about the same hour as that at which the priests had put their seal upon the
sepulchre. The aspect of things in the Temple was, however, very different from what was
usually the case at such times, for the sacrifices were stopped, and the place was empty and
desolate, as everyone had left on account of the events on the previous day which had
rendered it impure. The Blessed Virgin appeared to me to visit it for the sole purpose of
taking leave of the place where she had passed her youth.
The Temple was, however, open; the lamps lighted, and the people at liberty to enter the
vestibule of the priests, which was the customary privilege of this day, as well as of that
which followed the Paschal supper. The Temple was, as I said before, quite empty, with the
exception of a chance priest or server who might be seen wandering about; and every part
bore the marks of the confusion into which all was thrown on the previous day by the
extraordinary and frightful events that had taken place; besides which it had been defiled by
the presence of the dead, and I reflected and wondered in my own mind whether it would
be possible ever to purify if again.
The sons of Simeon, and the nephew of Joseph of Arimathea, were much grieved when
they heard of the arrest of their uncle, but they welcomed the Blessed Virgin and her
companions, and conducted them all over the Temple, which they did without difficulty, as
they held the offices of inspectors of the Temple. The holy women stood in silence and
contemplated all the terrible and visible marks of the anger of God with feelings of deep
awe, and then listened with interest to the many stupendous details recounted by their
guides. The effects of the earthquake were still visible, as little had been done towards
repairing the numerous rents and cracks in the floor, and in the walls. In that part of the
Temple where the vestibule joined the sanctuary, the wall was so tremendously shaken by
the shock of the earthquake, as to produce a fissure wide enough for a person to walk
through, and the rest of the wall looked unsteady, as if it might fall down at any moment.
The curtain which hung in the sanctuary was rent in two and hung in shreds at the sides;
nothing was to be seen around but crumbled walls, crushed flagstones, and columns either
partly or quite shaken down.
The Blessed Virgin visited all those parts which Jesus had rendered sacred in her eyes;
she prostrated, kissed them, and with tears in her eyes explained to the others her reasons
for venerating each particular spot, whereupon they instantly followed her example. The
greatest veneration was always shown by the Jews for all places which had been rendered
sacred by manifestations of the Divine power, and it was customary to place the hands
reverently on such places, to kiss them, and to prostrate to the very earth before them. I do
not think there was anything in the least surprising in such a custom, for they both knew,
saw, end felt that the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, was a living God, and that
his dwelling among his people was in the Temple at Jerusalem; consequently it would have
been infinitely more astonishing if they had not venerated those holy parts where his power
had been particularly demonstrated, for the Temple and the holy places were to them what
the Blessed Sacrament is to Christians.
Deeply penetrated with these feelings of respect, the Blessed Virgin walked trough the
Temple with her companions, and pointed out to them the spot where she was presented
when still a child, the parts where she passed her childhood, the place where she was
affianced to St. Joseph, and the spot where she stood when she presented Jesus and heard
the prophecy of Simeon: the remembrance of his words made her weep bitterly, for the
prophecy was indeed fulfilled, and the sword of grief had indeed transfixed her heart; she
again stopped her companions when she reached the part of the Temple where she found
Jesus teaching when she lost him at the age of twelve, and she respectfully kissed the ground
on which he then stood. When the holy women had looked at every place sanctified by the
presence of Jesus, when they had wept and prayed over them, they returned to Sion.
The Blessed Virgin did not leave the Temple without shedding many tears, as she
contemplated the state of desolation to which it was reduced, an aspect of desolation which
was rendered still more depressing by the marked contrast it bore to the usual state of the
Temple on the festival day. Instead of songs and hymns of jubilee, a mournful silence
reigned throughout the vast edifice, and in place of groups of joyful and devout worshippers,
the eye wandered over a vast and dreary solitude. Too truly, alas, did this change betoken
the fearful crime which had been perpetrated by the people of God, and she remembered
how Jesus had wept over the Temple, and said, ‘Destroy the Temple and in three days I will
build it up again.’ She thought over the destruction of the Temple of the Body of Jesus which
had been brought about by his enemies, and she sighed with a longing desire for the
dawning of that third day when the words of eternal truth were to be accomplished.
It was about daybreak when Mary and her companions reached the Cenaculum, and
they retired into the building which stood on its right-hand side, while John and some of the
disciples re-entered the Cenaculum, where about twenty men, assembled around a lamp,
were occupied in prayer. Every now and then new-comers drew nigh to the door, came in
timidity, approached the group round the lamp, and addressed them in a few mournful
words, which they accompanied with tears. Everyone appeared to regard John with feelings
of respect; because he had remained with Jesus until he expired; but with these sentiments
of respect was mingled a deep feeling of shame and confusion, when they reflected on their
own cowardly conduct in abandoning their Lord and Master in the hour of need. John
spoke to everyone with the greatest charity and kindness; his manner was modest and
unassuming as that of a child, and he seemed to fear receiving praise. I saw the assembled
group take one meal during that day, but its members were, for the most part, silent; not a
sound was to be heard throughout the house, and the doors were tightly closed, although, in
fact, there was no likelihood of anyone disturbing them, as the house belonged to
Nicodemus, and he had let it to them for the time of the festival.
The holy women remained in this room until nightfall; it was lighted up by a single lamp;
the doors were closed, and curtains drawn over the windows. Sometimes they gathered
round the Blessed Virgin and prayed under the lamp; at other times they retired to the side
of the room, covered their heads with black veils, and either sat on ashes (the sign of
mourning), or prayed with their faces turned towards the wall; those whose health was
delicate took a little food, but the others fasted.
I looked at them again and again, and I saw them ever occupied in the same manner, that
is to say, either in prayer or in mourning over the sufferings of their beloved Master. When
my thoughts wandered from the contemplation of the Blessed Virgin to that of her Divine
Son, I beheld the holy sepulchre with six or seven sentinels at the entrance—Cassius
standing against the door of the cave, apparently in deep meditation, the exterior door
closed, and the stone rolled close to it. Notwithstanding the thick door which intervened
between the body of our Saviour and myself I could see it plainly; it was quite transparent
with a divine light, and two angels were adoring at the side. But my thoughts then turned to
the contemplation of the blessed soul of my Redeemer, and such an extensive and
complicated picture of his descent into hell was shown to me, that I can only remember a
small portion of it, which I will describe to the best of my power.


CHAPTER LIX.        pg 181 of 199
A Detached Account of the Descent into Hell.   

When Jesus, after uttering a loud cry, expired, I saw his heavenly soul under the form of
a bright meteor pierce the earth at the foot of the Cross, accompanied by the angel Gabriel
and many other angels. His Divine nature continued united to his soul as well as to his
body, which still remained hanging upon the Cross, but I cannot explain how this was,
although I saw it plainly in my own mind. The place into which the soul of Jesus entered
was divided into three parts, which appeared to me like three worlds; and I felt that they
were round, and that each division was separated from the other by a hemisphere.
I beheld a bright and beautiful space opposite to Limbo; it was enamelled with flowers,
delicious breezes wafted through it; and many souls were placed there before being admitted
into Heaven after their deliverance from Purgatory. Limbo, the place where the souls were
waiting for the Redemption, was divided into different compartments, and encompassed by
a thick foggy atmosphere. Our Lord appeared radiant with light and surrounded by angels,
who conducted him triumphantly between two of these compartments; the one on the left
containing the patriarchs who lived before the time of Abraham, and that on the right those
who lived between the days of Abraham and St. John the Baptist. These souls did not at first
recognise Jesus, but were filled nevertheless with sensations of joy and hope. There was not
a spot in those narrow confines which did not, as it were, dilate with feelings of happiness.
The passage of Jesus might be compared to the wafting of a breath of air, to a sudden flash
of light, or to a shower of vivifying dew, but it was swift as a whirlwind. After passing
through the two compartments, he reached a dark spot in which Adam and Eve were
standing; he spoke to them, they prostrated and adored him in a perfect ecstasy of joy, and
they immediately joined the band of angels, and accompanied our Lord to the compartment
on the left, which contained the patriarchs who lived before Abraham. This compartment
was a species of Purgatory, and a few evil spirits were wandering about among the souls and
endeavouring to fill them with anxiety and alarm. The entrance through a species of door
was closed, but the angels rapped, and I thought I heard them say, ‘Open these doors.’
When Jesus entered in triumph the demons dispersed, crying out at the same time, ‘What is
there between thee and us? What art thou come to do here? Wilt thou crucify us likewise?’
The angels hunted them away, having first chained them. The poor souls confined in this
place had only a slight presentiment and vague idea of the presence of Jesus; but the
moment he told them that it was he himself, they burst out into acclamations of joy, and
welcomed him with hymns of rapture and delight. The soul of our Lord then wended its
way to the right, towards that part which really constituted Limbo; and there he met the
soul of the good thief which angels were carrying to Abraham’s bosom, as also that of the
bad thief being dragged by demons into Hell. Our Lord addressed a few words to both, and
then entered Abraham’s bosom, accompanied by numerous angels and holy souls, and also
by those demons who had been chained and expelled from the compartment.
This locality appeared to me more elevated than the surrounding parts; and I can only
describe my sensations on entering it, by comparing them to those of a person coming
suddenly into the interior of a church, after having been for some time in the burial vaults.
The demons, who were strongly chained, were extremely loth to enter, and resisted to the
utmost of their power, but the angels compelled them to go forwards. All the just who had
lived before the time of Christ were assembled there; the patriarchs, Moses, the judges, and
the kings on the left-hand side; and on the right side, the prophets, and the ancestors of our
Lord, as also his near relations, such as Joachim, Anna, Joseph, Zacharias, Elizabeth, and
John. There were no demons in this place, and the only discomfort that had been felt by
those placed there was a longing desire for the accomplishment of the promise; and when
our Lord entered they saluted him with joyful hymns of gratitude and thanksgiving for its
fulfilment, they prostrated and adored him, and the evil spirits who had been dragged into
Abraham’s bosom when our Lord entered were compelled to confess with shame that they
were vanquished. Many of these holy souls were ordered by our Lord to return to the earth,
re-enter their own bodies, and thus render a solemn and impressive testimony to the truth. It
was at this moment that so many dead persons left their tombs in Jerusalem; I regarded
them less in the light of dead persons risen again than as corpses put in motion by a divine
power, and which, after having fulfilled the mission entrusted to them, were laid aside in the
same manner as the insignia of office are taken off by a clerk when he has executed the
orders of his superiors.
I next saw our Lord, with his triumphant procession, enter into a species of Purgatory
which was filled with those good pagans who, having had a faint glimmering of the truth,
had longed for its fulfilment: this Purgatory was very deep, and contained a few demons
compelled to confess the deception they had practised with regard to these idols, and the
souls of the poor pagans cast themselves at the feet of Jesus, and adored him with
inexpressible joy: here, likewise, the demons were bound with chains and dragged away. I
saw our Saviour perform many other actions; but I suffered so intensely at the same time,
that I cannot recount them as I should have wished.
Finally, I beheld him approach to the centre of the great abyss, that is to say, to Hell
itself; and the expression of his countenance was most severe.
The exterior of Hell was appalling and frightful; it was an immense, heavy-looking
building, and the granite of which it was formed, although black, was of metallic brightness;
and the dark and ponderous doors were secured with such terrible bolts that no one could
behold them without trembling. Deep groans and cries of despair might be plainly
distinguished even while the doors were tightly closed; but, O, who can describe the
dreadful yells and shrieks which burst upon the ear when the bolts were unfastened and the
doors flung open; and, O, who can depict the melancholy appearance of the inhabitants of
this wretched place!
The form under which the Heavenly Jerusalem is generally represented in my visions is
that of a beautiful and well-regulated city, and the different degrees of glory to which the
elect are raised are demonstrated by the magnificence of their palaces, or the wonderful fruit
and flowers with which the gardens are embellished. Hell is shown to me under the same
form, but all within it is, on the contrary, close, confused, and crowded; every object tends
to fill the mind with sensations of pain and grief; the marks of the wreath and vengeance of
God are visible everywhere; despair, like a vulture, gnaws every heart, and discord and
misery reign around. In the Heavenly Jerusalem all is peace and eternal harmony, the
beginning, fulfilment, and end of everything being pure and perfect happiness; the city is
filled with splendid buildings, decorated in such a manner as to charm every eye and
enrapture every sense; the inhabitants of this delightful abode are overflowing with rapture
and exultation, the gardens gay with lovely flowers, and the trees covered with delicious
fruits which give eternal life. In the city of Hell nothing is to be seen but dismal dungeons,
dark caverns, frightful deserts, fetid swamps filled with every imaginable species of
poisonous and disgusting reptile. In Heaven you behold the happiness and peaceful union of
the saints; in Hell, perpetual scenes of wretched discord, and every species of sin and
corruption, either under the most horrible forms imaginable, or represented by different
kinds of dreadful torments. All in this dreary abode tends to fill the mind with horror; not a
word of comfort is heard or a consoling idea admitted; the one tremendous thought, that the
justice of an all-powerful God inflicts on the damned nothing but what they have fully
deserved is the absorbing tremendous conviction which weighs down each heart. Vice
appears in its own grim disgusting colours, being stripped of the mask under which it is
hidden in this world, and the infernal viper is seen devouring those who have cherished or
fostered it here below. In a word, Hell is the temple of anguish and despair, while the
kingdom of God is the temple of peace and happiness. This is easy to understand when
seen; but it is almost impossible to describe clearly.
The tremendous explosion of oaths, curses, cries of despair, and frightful exclamations
which, like a clap of thunder, burst forth when the gates of Hell were thrown open by the
angels, would be difficult even to imagine; our Lord spoke first to the soul of Judas, and the
angels then compelled all the demons to acknowledge and adore Jesus. They would have
infinitely preferred the most frightful torments to such a humiliation; but all were obliged to
submit. Many were chained down in a circle which was placed round other circles. In the
centre of Hell I saw a dark and horrible-looking abyss, and into this Lucifer was cast, after
being first strongly secured with chains; thick clouds of sulphureous black smoke arose from
its fearful depths, and enveloped his frightful form in the dismal folds, thus effectually
concealing him from every beholder. God himself had decreed this; and I was likewise told,
if I remember right, that he will be unchained for a time fifty or sixty years before the year of
Christ 2000. The dates of many other events were pointed out to me which I do not now
remember; but a certain number of demons are to be let loose much earlier than Lucifer, in
order to tempt men, and to serve as instruments of the divine vengeance. I should think that
some must be loosened even in the present day, and others will be set free in a short time.
It would be utterly impossible for me to describe all the things which were shown to me;
their number was so great that I could not reduce them sufficiently to order to define and
render them intelligible. Besides which my sufferings are very great, and when I speak on
the subject of my visions I behold them in my mind’s eye portrayed in such vivid colours,
that the sight is almost sufficient to cause a weak mortal like myself to expire.
I next saw innumerable bands of redeemed souls liberated from Purgatory and from
Limbo, who followed our Lord to a delightful spot situated above the celestial Jerusalem, in
which place I, a very short time ago, saw the soul of a person who was very dear to me. The
soul of the good thief was likewise taken there, and the promise of our Lord, ‘This day thou
shalt be with me in Paradise,’ was fulfilled.
It is not in my power to explain the exact time that each of these events occurred, nor can
I relate one-half of the things which I saw and heard; for some were incomprehensible even
to myself, and others would be misunderstood if I attempted to relate them. I have seen our
Lord in many different places. Even in the sea he appeared to me to sanctify and deliver
everything in the creation. Evil spirits fled at his approach, and cast themselves into the dark
abyss. I likewise beheld his soul in different parts of the earth, first inside the tomb of Adam,
under Golgotha; and when he was there the souls of Adam and Eve came up to him, and he
spoke to them for some time. He then visited the tombs of the prophets, who were buried at
an immense depth below the surface; but he passed through the soil in the twinkling of an
eye. Their souls immediately re-entered their bodies, and he spoke to them, and explained
the most wonderful mysteries. Next I saw him, accompanied by a chosen band of prophets,
among whom I particularly remarked David, visit those parts of the earth which had been
sanctified by his miracles and by his sufferings. He pointed out to them, with the greatest
love and goodness, the different symbols in the old law expressive of the future; and he
showed them how he himself had fulfilled every prophecy. The sight of the soul of our Lord,
surrounded by these happy souls, and radiant with light, was inexpressibly grand as he
glided triumphantly through the air, sometimes passing, with the velocity of lightning, over
rivers, then penetrating though the hardest rocks to the very centre of the earth, or moving
noiselessly over its surface.
I can remember nothing beyond the facts which I have just related concerning the descent
of Jesus into Limbo, where he went in order to present to the souls there detained the grace
of the Redemption which he had merited for them by his death and by his sufferings; and I
saw all these things in a very short space of time; in fact, time passed so quickly that it
seemed to me but a moment. Our Lord, however, displayed before me, at the same time,
another picture, in which I beheld the immense mercies which he bestows in the present day
on the poor souls in Purgatory; for on every anniversary of this great day, when his Church
is celebrating the glorious mystery of his death, he casts a look of compassion on the souls in
Purgatory, and frees some of those who sinned against him before his crucifixion. I this day
saw Jesus deliver many souls; some I was acquainted with, and others were strangers to me,
but I cannot name any of them.
Our Lord, by descending into Hell, planted (if I may thus express myself), in the spiritual
garden of the Church, a mysterious tree, the fruits of which—namely, his merits—are
destined for the constant relief of the poor souls in Purgatory. The Church militant must
cultivate the tree, and gather its fruit, in order to present them to that suffering portion of the
Church which can do nothing for itself. Thus it is with all the merits of Christ; we must
labour with him if we wish to obtain our share of them; we must gain our bread by the
sweat of our brow. Everything which our Lord has done for us in time must produce fruit
for eternity; but we must gather these fruits in time, without which we cannot possess them
in eternity. The Church is the most prudent and thoughtful of mothers; the ecclesiastical
year is an immense and magnificent garden, in which all those fruits for eternity are
gathered together, that we may make use of them in time. Each year contains sufficient to
supply the wants of all; but woe be to that careless or dishonest gardener who allows any of
the fruit committed to his care to perish; if he fails to turn to a proper account those graces
which would restore health to the sick; strength to the weak, or furnish food to the hungry!
When the Day of Judgment arrives, the Master of the garden will demand a strict account,
not only of every tree, but also of all the fruit produced in the garden.


CHAPTER LX.       pg 185 of 199
The Eve of the Resurrection.  

Towards the close of the Sabbath-day, John came to see the holy women. He
endeavoured to give some consolation, but could not restrain his own tears, and only
remained a short time with them. They had likewise a short visit from Peter and James the
Greater, after which they retired to their cells, and gave free vent to grief, sitting upon ashes,
and veiling themselves even more closely.
The prayer of the Blessed Virgin was unceasing. She ever kept her eyes fixed interiorly on
Jesus, and was perfectly consumed by her ardent desire of once more beholding him whom
she loved with such inexpressible love. Suddenly an angel stood by her side, and bade her
arise and go to the door of the dwelling of Nicodemus, for that the Lord was very near. The
heart of the Blessed Virgin leaped for joy. She hastily wrapped her cloak about her, and left
the holy women, without informing them where she was going. I saw her walk quickly to a
small entrance which was cut in the town wall, the identical one through which she had
entered when returning with her companions from the sepulchre.
It was about nine o’clock at night, and the Blessed Virgin had almost reached the
entrance, when I saw her stop suddenly in a very solitary spot, and look upwards in an
ecstasy of delight, for on the top of the town wall she beheld the soul of our Lord,
resplendent with light, without the appearance of a wound, and surrounded by patriarchs.
He descended towards her, turned to his companions, and presenting her to them, said,
‘Behold Mary, behold my Mother.’ He appeared to me to salute her with a kiss, and he then
disappeared. The Blessed Virgin knelt down, and most reverently kissed the ground on
which he had stood, and the impression of her hands and knees remained imprinted upon
the stones. The sight filled her with inexpressible joy, and she immediately rejoined the holy
women, who were busily employed in preparing the perfumes and spices. She did not tell
them what she had seen, but her firmness and strength of mind was restored. She was
perfectly renovated, and therefore comforted all the rest, and endeavoured to strengthen
their faith.
All the holy women were sitting by a long table, the cover of which hung down to the
floor, when Mary returned; bundles of herbs were heaped around them, and these they
mixed together and arranged; small flasks, containing sweet unctions and water of
spikenard, were standing near, as also bunches of natural flowers, among which I remarked
one in particular, which was like a streaked iris or a lily. Magdalen, Mary the daughter of
Cleophas, Salome, Johanna, and Mary Salome, had bought all these things in the town
during the absence of Mary. Their intention was to go to the sepulchre before sunrise on the
following day, in order to strew these flowers and perfumes over the body of their beloved
Master.


CHAPTER LVI.       pg 186 of 199
Joseph of Arimathea miraculously set at large.

A short time after the return of the Blessed Virgin to the holy women, I was shown the
interior of the prison in which the enemies of Joseph of Arimathea had confined him. He
was praying fervently, when suddenly a brilliant light illuminated the whole place, and I
heard a voice calling him by name, while at the same moment the roof opened, and a bright
form appeared, holding out a sheet resembling that in which he had wrapped the body of
Jesus. Joseph grasped it with both hands, and was drawn up to the opening, which closed
again as soon as he had passed through; and the apparition disappeared the instant he was
in safety at the tope of the tower. I know not whether it was our Lord himself or an angel
who thus set Joseph free.
He walked on the summit of the wall until he reached the neighbourhood of the
Cenaculum, which was near to the south wall of Sion, and then climbed down and knocked
at the door of that edifice, as the doors were fastened. The disciples assembled there had
been much grieved when they first missed Joseph, who they thought had been thrown into a
sink, a report to that effect having become current. Great, therefore, was their joy when they
opened the door and found that it was he himself; indeed, they were almost as much
delighted as when Peter was miraculously delivered from prison some years after. When
Joseph had related what had taken place, they were filled with astonishment and delight;
and after thanking God fervently gave him some refreshment, which he greatly needed. He
left Jerusalem that same night, and fled to Arimathea, his native place, where he remained
until he thought he could return safely to Jerusalem.
I likewise saw Caiphas towards the close of the Sabbath-day, at the house of Nicodemus.
He was conversing with him and asking many questions with pretended kindness.
Nicodemus answered firmly, and continued to affirm the innocence of Jesus. They did not
remain long together.


CHAPTER LXII.       pg 187 of 199
The Night of Resurrection.  

I soon after beheld the tomb of our Lord. All was calm and silent around it. There were
six soldiers on guard, who were either seated or standing before the door, and Cassius was
among them. His appearance was that of a person immersed in meditation and in the
expectation of some great event. The sacred body of our Blessed Redeemer was wrapped in
the winding-sheet, and surrounded with light, while two angels sat in an attitude of
adoration, the one at the head, and the other at the feet. I had seen them in the same posture
ever since he was first put into the tomb. These angels were clothed as priests. Their
position, and the manner in which they crossed their arms over their breasts, reminded me
of the cherubim who surrounded the Ark of the covenant, only they were without wings; at
least I did not see any. The whole of the sepulchre reminded me of the Ark of the Covenant
at different periods of its history. It is possible that Cassius was sensible of the presence of
the angels, and of the bright light which filled the sepulchre, for his attitude was like that of
a person in deep contemplation before the Blessed Sacrament.
I next saw the soul of our Lord accompanied by those among the patriarchs whom he
had liberated enter into the tomb through the rock. He showed them the wounds with which
his sacred body was covered; and it seemed to me that the winding-sheet which previously
enveloped it was removed, and that Jesus wished to show the souls the excess of suffering
he had endured to redeem them. The body appeared to me to be quite transparent, so that
the whole depth of the wounds could be seen; and this sight filled the holy souls with
admiration, although deep feelings of compassion likewise drew tears from their eyes.
My next vision was so mysterious that I cannot explain or even relate it in a clear
manner. It appeared to me that the soul and body of Jesus were taken together out of the
sepulchre, without, however, the former being completely reunited to the latter, which still
remained inanimate. I thought I saw two angels who were kneeling and adoring at the head
and feet of the sacred body, raise it—keeping it in the exact position in which it was lying in
the tomb—and carry it uncovered and disfigured with wounds across the rock, which
trembled as they passed. It then appeared to me that Jesus presented his body, marked with
the stigmas of the Passion, to his Heavenly Father, who, seated on a throne, was
surrounded by innumerable choirs of angels, blissfully occupied in pouring forth hymns of
adoration and jubilee. The case was probably the same when at the death of our Lord, so
many holy souls re-entered their bodies, and appeared in the Temple and in different parts
of Jerusalem; for it is not likely that the bodies which they animated were really alive, as in
that case they would have been obliged to die a second time, whereas they returned to their
original state without apparent difficulty; but it is to be supposed that their appearance in
human form was similar to that of our Lord, when he (if we may thus express it)
accompanied his body to the throne of his Heavenly Father.
At this moment the rock was so violently shaken, from the very summit to the base, that
three of the guards fell down and became almost insensible. The other four were away at the
time, being gone to the town to fetch something. The guards who were thus thrown
prostrate attributed the sudden shock to an earthquake; but Cassius, who, although
uncertain as to what all this might portend, yet felt an inward presentiment that it was the
prelude to some stupendous event, stood transfixed in anxious expectation, waiting to see
what would follow next. The soldiers who were gone to Jerusalem soon returned.
I again beheld the holy women: they had finished preparing the spices, and were resting
in their private cells; not stretched out on the couches, but leaning against the bedclothes,
which were rolled up. They wished to go to the sepulchre before the break of day, because
they feared meeting the enemies of Jesus; but the Blessed Virgin, who was perfectly
renovated and filled with fresh courage since she had seen her Son, consoled and
recommended them to sleep for a time, and then go fearlessly to the tomb, as no harm
would come to them; whereupon they immediately followed her advice, and endeavoured
to sleep.
It was towards eleven o’clock at night when the Blessed Virgin, incited by irrepressible
feelings of love, arose, wrapped a grey cloak around her, and left the house quite alone.
When I saw her do this, I could not help feeling anxious, and saying to myself, ‘How is it
possible for this holy Mother, who is so exhausted from anguish and terror, to venture to
walk all alone through the streets at such an hour?’ I saw her go first to the house of
Caiphas, and then to the palace of Pilate, which was at a great distance off; I watched her
through the whole of her solitary journey along that part which had been trodden by her
Son, loaded with his heavy Cross; she stopped at every place where our Saviour had
suffered particularly, or had received any fresh outrage from his barbarous enemies. Her
appearance, as she walked slowly along, was that of a person seeking something; she often
bent down to the ground, touched the stones with her hands, and then inundated them with
kisses, if the precious blood of her beloved Son was upon them. God granted her at this time
particular lights and graces, and she was able without the slightest degree of difficulty to
distinguish every place sanctified by his sufferings. I accompanied her through the whole of
her pious pilgrimage, and I endeavoured to imitate her to the best of my power, as far as my
weakness would permit.
Mary then went to Calvary; but when she had almost reached it, she stopped suddenly,
and I saw the sacred body and soul of our Saviour standing before her. An angel walked in
front; the two angels whom I had seen in the tomb were by his side, and the souls whom he
had redeemed followed him by hundreds. The body of Jesus was brilliant and beautiful, but
its appearance was not that of a living body, although a voice issued from it; and I heard
him describe to the Blessed Virgin all he had done in Limbo, and then assure her that he
should rise again with his glorified body; that he would then show himself to her, and that
she must wait near the rock of Mount Calvary, and that part where she saw him fall down,
until he appeared. Our Saviour then went towards Jerusalem, and the Blessed Virgin,
having again wrapped her veil about her, prostrated on the spot which he had pointed out. It
was then, I think, past midnight, for the pilgrimage of Mary over the Way of the Cross had
taken up at least an hour; and I next saw the holy souls who had been redeemed by our
Saviour traverse in their turn the sorrowful Way of the Cross, and contemplate the different
places where he had endured such fearful sufferings for their sakes. The angels who
accompanied them gathered sacred flesh which had been torn off by the frequent blows he
received, as also the blood with which the ground was sprinkled on those spots where he
had fallen.
I once more saw the sacred body of our Lord stretched out as I first beheld it in the
sepulchre; the angels were occupied in replacing the garments they had gathered up of his
flesh, and they received supernatural assistance in doing this. When next I contemplated
him it was in his winding-sheet, surrounded with a bright light and with two adoring angels
by his side. I cannot explain how all these things came to pass, for they are far beyond our
human comprehension; and even if I understand them perfectly myself when I see them,
they appear dark and mysterious when I endeavour to explain them to others.
As soon as a faint glimmering of dawn appeared in the east, I saw Magdalen, Mary the
daughter of Cleophas, Johanna Chusa, and Salome, leave the Cenaculum, closely wrapped
up in their mantles. They carried bundles of spices; and one of their number had a lighted
candle in her hand, which she endeavoured to conceal under her cloak. I saw them direct
their trembling steps towards the small door at the house of Nicodemus.


CHAPTER LXIII.       pg 189 of 199
The Resurrection of our Lord.  

I beheld the soul of our Lord between two angels, who were in the attire of warriors: it
was bright, luminous, and resplendent as the sun at mid-day; it penetrated the rock, touched
the sacred body, passed into it, and the two were instantaneously united, and became as
one. I then saw the limbs move, and the body of our Lord, being reunited to his soul and to
his divinity, rise and shake off the winding-sheet: the whole of the cave was illuminated and
lightsome.
At the same moment I saw a frightful monster burst from the earth underneath the
sepulchre. It had the tail of a serpent, and it raised its dragon head proudly as if desirous of
attacking Jesus; and had likewise, if I remember correctly, a human head. But our Lord held
in his hand a white staff, to which was appended a large banner; and he placed his foot on
the head of the dragon, and struck its tail three times with his staff, after which the monster
disappeared. I had had this same vision many times before the Resurrection, and I saw just
such a monster, appearing to endeavour to hide itself, at the time of the conception of our
Lord: it greatly resembled the serpent which tempted our first parents in Paradise, only it
was more horrible. I thought that this vision had reference to the prophetic words, that ‘by
the seed of the woman the head of the serpent should be crushed,’ and that the whole was intended
to demonstrate the victory of our Lord over death, for at the same moment that I saw him
crush the head of the monster, the tomb likewise vanished from my sight.
I then saw the glorified body of our Lord rise up, and it passed through the hard rock as
easily as if the latter had been formed of some ductile substance. The earth shook, and an
angel in the garb of a warrior descended from Heaven with the speed of lightning, entered
the tomb, lifted the stone, placed it on the right side, and seated himself upon it. At this
tremendous sight the soldiers fell to the ground, and remained there apparently lifeless.
When Cassius saw the bright light which illuminated the tomb, he approached the place
where the sacred body had been placed, looked at and touched the linen clothes in which it
had been wrapped, and left the sepulchre, intending to go and inform Pilate of all that had
happened. However, he tarried a short time to watch the progress of events; for although he
had felt the earthquake, seen the angel move the stone, and looked at the empty tomb, yet
he had not seen Jesus.
At the very moment in which the angel entered the sepulchre and the earth quaked, I saw
our Lord appear to his holy Mother on Calvary. His body was beautiful and lightsome, and
its beauty was that of a celestial being. He was clothed in a large mantle, which at one
moment looked dazzlingly white, as it floated through the air, waving to and fro with every
breath of wind, and the next reflected a thousand brilliant colours as the sunbeams passed
over it. His large open wounds shone brightly, and could be seen from a great distance: the
wounds in his hands were so large that a finger might be put into them without difficulty;
and rays of light proceeded from them, diverging in the direction of his fingers. The souls of
the patriarchs bowed down before the Mother of our Saviour, and Jesus spoke to her
concerning his Resurrection, telling her many things which I have forgotten. He showed her
his wounds; and Mary prostrated to kiss his sacred feet; but he took her hand, raised her,
and disappeared.
When I was at some distance from the sepulchre I saw fresh lights burning there, and I
likewise beheld a large luminous spot in the sky immediately over Jerusalem.


CHAPTER LXIV.       pg 190 of 199
The holy Women at the Sepulchre.  

The holy women were very near the door of Nicodemus’s house at the moment of our
Lord’s Resurrection; but they did not see anything of the prodigies which were taking place
at the sepulchre. They were not aware that guards had been placed around the tomb, for
they had not visited it on the previous day, on account of its being the Sabbath. They
questioned one another anxiously concerning what would have to be done about the large
stone at the door, as to who would be the best person to ask about removing it, for they had
been so engrossed by grief that they had not thought about it before. Their intention was to
pour precious ointments upon the body of Jesus, and then to strew over it flowers of the
most rare and aromatic kinds, thus rendering all the honour possible to their Divine Master
in his sepulchre. Salome, who had brought more things than anyone else, was a rich lady,
who lived in Jerusalem, a relation of St. Joseph, but not the mother of John. The holy
women came to the determination of putting down their spices on the stone which closed
the door of the monument, and waiting until someone came to roll it back.
The guards were still lying on the ground, and the strong convulsions which even then
shook them clearly demonstrated how great had been their terror, and the large stone was
cast on one side, so that the door could be opened without difficulty. I could see the linen
cloth in which the body of Jesus had been wrapped scattered about in the tomb, and the
large winding-sheet lying in the same place as when they left it, but doubled together in such
a manner that you saw at once that it no longer contained anything but the spices which had
been placed round the body, and the bandages were on the outside of the tomb. The linen
cloth in which Mary had enveloped the sacred head of her Son was still there.
I saw the holy women coming into the garden; but when they perceived the light given by
the lamps of the sentinels, and the prostrate forms of the soldiers round the tomb, they for
the most part became much alarmed, and retreated towards Golgotha. Mary Magdalen was,
however, more courageous, and, followed by Salome, entered the garden while the other
women remained timidly on the outside.
Magdalen started, and appeared for a moment terrified when she drew near the sentinels.
She retreated a few steps and rejoined Salome, but both quickly recovered their presence of
mind, and walked on together through the midst of the prostrate guards, and entered into
the cave which contained the sepulchre. They immediately perceived that the stone was
removed, but the doors were closed, which had been done in all probability by Cassius.
Magdalen opened them quickly, looked anxiously into the sepulchre, and was much
surprised at seeing that the cloths in which they had enveloped our Lord were lying on one
side, and that the place where they had deposited the sacred remains was empty. A celestial
light filled the cave, and an angel was seated on the right side. Magdalen became almost
beside herself from disappointment and alarm. I do not know whether she heard the words
which the angel addressed to her, but she left the garden as quickly as possible, and ran to
the town to inform the Apostles who were assembled there of what had taken place. I do not
know whether the angel spoke to Mary Salome, as she did not enter the sepulchre; but I saw
her leaving the garden directly after Magdalen, in order to relate all that had happened to
the rest of the holy women, who were both frightened and delighted at the news, but could
not make up their minds as to whether they would go to the garden or not.
In the mean time Cassius had remained near the sepulchre in hopes of seeing Jesus, as he
thought he would be certain to appear to the holy women; but seeing nothing, he directed
his steps towards Pilate’s palace to relate to him all that had happened, stopping, however,
first at the place where the rest of the holy women were assembled, to tell them what he had
seen, and to exhort them to go immediately to the garden. They followed his advice, and
went there at once. No sooner had they reached the door of the sepulchre than they beheld
two angels clothed in sacerdotal vestments of the most dazzling white. The women were
very much alarmed, covered their faces with their hands, and prostrated almost to the
ground; but one of the angels addressed them, bade them not fear, and told them that they
must not seek for their crucified Lord there, for that he was alive, had risen, and was no
longer an inhabitant of the tomb. He pointed out to them at the same moment the empty
sepulchre, and ordered them to go and relate to the disciples all that they had seen and
heard. He likewise told them that Jesus would go before them into Galilee, and recalled to
their minds the words which our Saviour had addressed to them on a former occasion: ‘The
Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of sinners, he will be crucified, and the third day rise
again.’ The angels then disappeared, and left the holy women filled with joy, although of
course greatly agitated; they wept, looked at the empty tomb and linen clothes, and
immediately started to return to the town. But they were so much overcome by the many
astounding events which had taken place, that they walked very slowly, and stopped and
looked back often, in hopes of seeing our Lord, or at least Magdalen.
In the mean time Magdalen reached the Cenaculum. She was so excited as to appear like
a person beside herself, and knocked hastily at the door. Some of the disciples were still
sleeping, and those who were risen were conversing together. Peter and John opened the
door, but she only exclaimed, without entering the house, ‘They have taken away the body of
my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him,’ and immediately returned to the garden.
Peter and John went back into the house, and after saying a few words to the other disciples
followed her as speedily as possible, but John far outstripped Peter. I then saw Magdalen reenter
the garden, and direct her steps towards the sepulchre; she appeared greatly agitated
partly from grief, and partly from having walked so fast. Her garments were quite moist
with dew, and her veil hanging on one side, while the luxuriant hair in which she had
formerly taken so much pride fell in dishevelled masses over her shoulders, forming a
species of mantle. Being alone, she was afraid of entering the cave, but stopped for a
moment on the outside, and knelt down in order to see better into the tomb. She was
endeavouring to push back her long hair, which fell over her face and obscured her vision,
when she perceived the two angels who were seated in the tomb, and I heard one of them
address her thus: ‘Woman, why weepest thou?’ She replied, in a voice choked with tears (for
she was perfectly overwhelmed with grief at finding that the body of Jesus was really gone),
‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.’ She said no
more, but seeing the empty winding-sheet, went out of the sepulchre and began to look
about in other parts. She felt a secret presentiment that not only should she find Jesus, but
that he was even then near to her; and the presence of the angels seemed not to disturb her
in the least; she did not appear even to be aware that they were angels, every faculty was
engrossed with the one thought, ‘Jesus is not here! Where is Jesus?’ I watched her
wandering about like an insane person, with her hair floating loosely in the wind: her hair
appeared to annoy her much, for she again endeavoured to push it from off her face, and
having divided it into two parts, threw it over her shoulders.
She then raised her head, looked around, and perceived a tall figure, clothed in white,
standing at about ten paces from the sepulchre on the east side of the garden, where there
was a slight rise in the direction of the town; the figure was partly hidden from her sight by a
palm-tree, but she was somewhat startled when it addressed her in these words: ‘Woman,
why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?’ She thought it was the gardener; and, in fact, he had a
spade in his hand, and a large hat (apparently made of the bark of trees) on his head. His
dress was similar to that worn by the gardener described in the parable which Jesus had
related to the holy women at Bethania a short time before his Passion. His body was not
luminous, his hole appearance was rather that of a man dressed in white and seen by
twilight. At the words, ‘Whom seekest thou?’ she looked at him, and answered quickly, ‘Sir, if
thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him; and I will take him away.’ And she
looked anxiously around. Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She then instantly recognised his beloved
voice, and turning quickly, replied, ‘Rabboni (Master)!’ She threw herself on her knees before
him, and stretched out her hands to touch his feet; but he motioned her to be still, and said,
‘Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say to them: I
ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God.’ He then disappeared.
The reason of the words of Jesus, ‘Do not touch me,’ was afterwards explained to me, but I
have only an indistinct remembrance of that explanation. I think he made use of those
words because of the impetuosity of Magdalen’s feelings, which made her in a certain
degree forget the stupendous mystery which had been accomplished, and feel as if what she
then beheld was still mortal instead of a glorified body. As for the words of Jesus, ‘I am not
yet ascended to my Father,’ I was told that their meaning was that he had not presented
himself to his Father since his Resurrection, to return him thanks for his victory over death,
and for the work of the redemption which he had accomplished. He wished her to infer
from these words, that the first-fruits of joy belong to God, and that she ought to reflect and
return thanks to him for the accomplishment of the glorious mystery of the redemption, and
for the victory which he had gained over death; and if she had kissed his feet as she used
before the Passion, she would have thought of nothing but her Divine Master, and in her
raptures of love have totally forgotten the wonderful events which were causing such
astonishment and joy in Heaven. I saw Magdalen arise quickly, as soon as our Lord
disappeared, and run to look again in the sepulchre, as if she believed herself under the
influence of a dream. She saw the two angels still seated there, and they spoke to her
concerning the resurrection of our Lord in the same words as they had addressed the two
other women. She likewise saw the empty winding-sheet, and then, feeling certain that she
was not in a state of delusion, but that the apparition of our Lord was real, she walked
quickly back towards Golgotha to seek her companions, who were wandering about to and
fro, anxiously looking out for her return, and indulging a kind of vague hope that they
should see or hear something of Jesus.
The whole of this scene occupied a little more than two or three minutes. It was about
half-past three when our Lord appeared to Magdalen, and John and Peter entered the
garden just as she was leaving it. John, who was a little in advance of Peter, stopped at the
entrance of the cave and looked in. He saw the linen clothes lying on one side, and waited
until Peter came up, when they entered the sepulchre together, and saw the winding-sheet
empty as has been before described. John instantly believed in the Resurrection, and they
both understood clearly the words addressed to them by Jesus before his Passion, as well as
the different passages in Scripture relating to that event, which had until then been
incomprehensible to them. Peter put the linen clothes under his cloak, and they returned
hastily into the town through the small entrance belonging to Nicodemus.
The appearance of the holy sepulchre was the same when the two Apostles entered as
when Magdalen first saw it. The two adoring angels were seated, one at the head, and the
other at the extremity of the tomb, in precisely the same attitude as when his adorable body
was lying there. I do not think Peter was conscious of their presence. I afterwards heard
John tell the disciples of Emmaus, that when he looked into the sepulchre he saw an angel.
Perhaps he was startled by this sight, and therefore drew back and let Peter enter the
sepulchre first; but it is likewise very possible that the reason of his not mentioning the
circumstance in his gospel was because humility made him anxious to conceal the fact of his
having been more highly favoured than Peter.
The guards at this moment began to revive, and rising, gathered up their lances, and took
down the lamps, which were on the door, from whence they cast a glimmering weak light
on surrounding objects. I then saw them walk hastily out of the garden in evident fear and
trepidation, in the direction of the town.
In the mean time Magdalen had rejoined the holy women, and given them the account of
her seeing the Lord in the garden, and of the words of the angels afterwards, whereupon
they immediately related what had been seen by themselves, and Magdalen wended her
way quickly to Jerusalem, while the women returned to that side of the garden where they
expected to find the two Apostles. Just before they reached it, Jesus appeared to them. He
was clothed in a long white robe, which concealed even his hands, and said to them, ‘All
hail.’ They started with astonishment, and cast themselves at his feet; he spoke a few words,
held forth his hand as if to point out something to them, and disappeared. The holy women
went instantly to the Cenaculum, and told the disciples who were assembled there that they
had seen the Lord; the disciples were incredulous, and would not give credence either to
their account or to that of Magdalen. They treated both the one and the other as the effects
of their excited imaginations; but when Peter and John entered the room and related what
they likewise had seen, they knew not what to answer, and were filled with astonishment.
Peter and John soon left the Cenaculum, as the wonderful events which had taken place
rendered them extremely silent and thoughtful, and before long they met James the Less
and Thaddeus, who had wished to accompany them to the sepulchre. Both James and
Thaddeus were greatly overcome, for the Lord had appeared to them a short time before
they met Peter and John. I also saw Jesus pass quite close to Peter and John. I think the
former recognised him, for the started suddenly, but I do not think the latter saw him.


CHAPTER LXV.       pg 194 of 199
The Relation which was given by the Sentinels
who were placed around the Sepulchre.  

Cassius hastened to the house of Pilate about an hour after the Resurrection, in order to
give him an account of the stupendous events which had taken place. He was not yet risen,
but Cassius was allowed to enter his bedroom. He related all that had happened, and
expressed his feelings in the most forcible language. He described how the rock had been
rent, and how an angel had descended from Heaven and pushed aside the stone; he also
spoke of the empty winding-sheet, and added that most certainly Jesus was the Messiah, the
Son of God, and that he was truly risen. Pilate listened to this account; he trembled and
quivered with terror, but concealed his agitation to the best of his power, and answered
Cassius in these words: ‘Thou art exceedingly superstitious; it was very foolish to go to the
Galilean’s tomb; his gods took advantage of thy weakness, and displayed all these ridiculous
visions to alarm thee. I recommend thee to keep silence, and not recount such silly tales to
the priests, for thou wouldst get the worst of it from them.’ He pretended to believe that the
body of Jesus had been carried away by his disciples, and that the sentinels, who had been
bribed, and had fallen asleep, or perhaps been deceived by witchcraft, had fabricated these
accounts in order to justify their conduct. When Pilate had said all he could on the subject,
Cassius left him, and he went to offer sacrifice to his gods.
The four soldiers who had guarded the tomb arrived shortly after at Pilate’s palace, and
began to tell him all that he had already heard from Cassius; but he would listen to nothing
more, and sent them to Caiphas. The rest of the guards were assembled in a large court near
the Temple which was filled with aged Jews, who, after some previous consultation, took
the soldiers on one side, and by dint of bribes and threats endeavoured to persuade them to
say that they fell asleep, and that while they were asleep the disciples came and carried away
the body of our Lord. The soldiers, however, demurred, because the statement which their
comrades were gone to make to Pilate would contradict any account which they could now
fabricate, but the Pharisees promised to arrange everything with the governor. Whilst they
were still disputing, the four guards returned from their interview with Pilate, and the
Pharisees endeavoured to persuade them to conceal the truth; but this they refused to do,
and declared firmly that they would not vary their first statement in the smallest degree. The
miraculous deliverance of Joseph of Arimathea from prison was become public, and when
the Pharisees accused the soldiers of having allowed the Apostles to carry off the body of
Jesus, and threatened them with the infliction of the most severe punishment if they did not
produce the body, they replied, that it would be as utterly impossible for them to produce
the body of Jesus, as it was for the soldiers who had charge of Joseph of Arimathea to bring
him back into his prison again. They spoke with the greatest firmness and courage; promises
and menaces were equally ineffectual. They declared that they would speak the truth and
nothing but the truth; that the sentence of death which had been passed upon Jesus was both
unjust and iniquitous; and that the crime which was perpetrated in putting him to death was
the sole cause of the interruption in the Paschal solemnity. The Pharisees, being perfectly
furious, caused the four soldiers to be arrested and thrown into prison, and the others, who
had accepted the bribes they offered, then affirmed that the body of Jesus had been carried
off by the disciples while they slept; and the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians
endeavoured to disseminate this lie to the utmost of their power, not only in the synagogue
but also among the people; and they accompanied this false statement by the most
slanderous lies concerning Jesus.
All these precautions, however, availed but little, for, after the Resurrection, many
persons who had been long dead arose from their graves, and appeared to those among their
descendants who were not sufficiently hardened to be impervious to grace, and exhorted
them to be converted. These dead persons were likewise seen by many of the disciples, who,
overcome with terror, and shaken in faith, had fled into the country. They both exhorted
and encouraged them to return, and restored their drooping courage. The resurrection of
these dead persons did not in the slightest degree resemble the Resurrection of Jesus. He
arose with a glorified body, which was no longer susceptible of either corruption or death,
and ascended into heaven with this glorified body in the sight of all his disciples; but the
dead bodies of which we spoke above were motionless corpses, and the souls which once
inhabited them were only allowed to enter and reanimate them for a time, and after
performing the mission given them, the souls again quitted these bodies, which returned to
their original state in the bowels of the earth, where they will remain until the resurrection at
the day of judgment. Neither could their return to life be compared to the raising of Lazarus
from the dead; for he really returned to a new life, and died a second time.


CHAPTER LXVI.      pg 196 of 199
The End of the Lenten Meditations.

On the following Sunday, if I remember right, I saw the Jews washing and purifying the
Temple.16 They offered up expiatory sacrifices, cleared away the rubbish, and endeavoured
to conceal the effects of the earthquake by placing planks and carpets over the chasms and
fissures made by it in the walls and on the pavement; and they recommenced the Paschal
solemnities, which had been interrupted in the midst, declared that the disturbance had been
caused by the presence of impure persons, and endeavoured to explain away the apparition
of the dead. They referred to a vision of Ezechiel, but how I can no longer remember. They
threatened all who dared to say a syllable concerning the events which had taken place, or
who presumed to murmur, with excommunication and other severe punishments. They
succeeded in silencing some few hardened persons who, conscious of their own guilt,
wished to banish the subject from their minds, but they made no impression on those whose
hearts still retained some remains of virtue; they remained silent for a time, concealing their
inward belief, but later, regaining courage, proclaimed their faith in Jesus loudly to the
world. The High Priests were much disconcerted, when they perceived how rapidly the
doctrines of Christ spread over the country. When Stephen was deacon, the whole of Ophel
and the eastern side of Sion was too small to contain the numerous Christian communities,
and a portion were obliged to take up their residence in the country between Jerusalem and
Bethania.
I saw Annas in such a state of frenzy as to act like one possessed; he was at last obliged to
be confined, and never again to make his appearance in public. Caiphas was outwardly less
demonstrative, but he was inwardly devoured with such rage and extreme jealousy that his
reason was affected.
I saw Pilate on Easter Thursday; he was instituting a search for his wife in every part of
the city, but his efforts for her recovery were fruitless; she was concealed in the house of
Lazarus, in Jerusalem. No one thought of looking there, as the house contained no other
female; but Stephen carried food to her there, and let her know all that was going on in the
city. Stephen was first-cousin to St. Paul. They were the sons of two brothers. On the day
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16 The above relation was given later, and it is impossible to say whether it relates to the day of the
Resurrection or to the following Sunday.
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pg 197 of 199

after the Sabbath, Simon of Cyrene went to the Apostles and begged to be instructed and to
receive baptism.
The visions of Sister Emmerich, which had continued from the 18th of February to the 6th
of April 1823, here came to a conclusion.


APPENDIX.
Detached Account of Longinus.  

On the 15th of March 1821, Sister Emmerich gave the following detached account of parts
of a vision which she had had the previous night concerning St. Longinus, whose festival
happened to fall upon that very day, although she did not know it.
Longinus, who had, I think, another name, held on office, partly civil and partly military,
in the household of Pilate, who entrusted him with the duty of superintending all that
passed, and making a report of it to him. He was trustworthy and ready to do a service, but
previous to his conversion was greatly wanting in firmness and strength of character. He
was excessively impetuous in all that he did, and anxious to be thought a person of great
importance, and as he squinted and had weak eyes, he was often jeered at and made the
laughing-stock of his companions. I have seen him frequently during the course of this
night, and in connection with him I have at the same time seen all the Passion, I do not
know in what manner; I only remember that it was in connection with him.
Longinus was only in a subordinate position, and had to give an account to Pilate of all
that he saw. On the night that Jesus was led before the tribunal of Caiphas he was in the
outer court among the soldiers, and unceasingly going backwards and forwards. When Peter
was alarmed at the words of the maid-servant standing near the fire, it was he who said
once: ‘Art thou not also one of this man’s disciples?’
When Jesus was being led to Calvary, Longinus, by Pilate’s orders, followed him closely,
and our Divine Lord gave him a look which touched his heart. Afterwards I saw him on
Golgotha with the soldiers. He was on horseback, and carried a lance; I saw him at Pilate’s
house, after the death of our Lord, saying that the legs of Jesus ought not to be broken. He
returned at once to Calvary. His lance was made of several pieces which fitted one into the
other, so that by drawing them out, the lance could be made three times its original length.
He had just done this when he came to the sudden determination of piercing the side of our
Saviour. He was converted upon Mount Calvary, and a short time afterwards expressed to
Pilate his conviction that Jesus was the Son of God. Nicodemus prevailed upon Pilate to let
him have Longinus’s lance, and I have seen many things concerning the subsequent history
of this lance. Longinus, after his conversion, left the army, and joined the disciples. He and
two other soldiers, who were converted at the foot of the cross, were among the first
baptised after Pentecost.
I saw Longinus and these two men, clothed in long white garments, return to their native
land. They lived there in the country, in a barren and marshy locality. Here it was that the
forty martyrs died. Longinus was not a priest, but a deacon, and travelled here and there in
that capacity, preaching the name of Christ, and giving, as an eye-witness, a history of his
Passion and Resurrection. He converted a large number of persons, and cured many of the

pg 198 of 199

sick, by allowing them to touch a piece of the sacred lance which he carried with him. The
Jews were much enraged at him and his two companions because they made known in all
parts the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus, and the cruelty and deceits of his enemies. At
their instigation, some Roman soldiers were dispatched to Longinus’s country to take and
judge him on the plea of his having left the army without leave, and being a disturber of
public peace. He was engaged in cultivating his field when they arrived, and he took them to
his house, and offered them hospitality. They did not know him, and when they had
acquainted him with the object of their journey, he quietly called his two companions who
were living in a sort of hermitage at no great distance off, and told the soldiers that they and
himself were the men for whom they were seeking. The same thing happened to the holy
gardener, Phocas. The soldiers were really distressed, for they had conceived a great
friendship for him. I saw him led with his two companions to a small neighbouring town,
where they were questioned. They were not put in prison, but permitted to go whither they
pleased, as prisoners on their word, and only made to wear a distinctive park on the
shoulder. Later, they were all three beheaded on a hill, situated between the little town and
Longinus’s house, and there buried. The soldiers put the head of Longinus at the end of a
spear, and carried it to Jerusalem, as a proof that they had fulfilled their commission. I think
I remember that this took place a very few years after the death of our Lord.
Afterwards I had a vision of things happening at a later period. A blind countrywoman of
St. Longinus went with her son on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, in hopes of recovering her
sight in the holy city where the eyes of Longinus had been cured. She was guided by her
child, but he died, and she was left alone and disconsolate. Then St. Longinus appeared to
her, and told her that she would recover her sight when she had drawn his head out of a sink
into which the Jews had thrown it. This sink was a deep well, with the sides bricked, and all
the filth and refuse of the town flowed into it through several drains. I saw some persons
lead the poor woman to the spot; she descended into the well up to her neck, and drew out
the sacred head, whereupon she recovered her sight. She returned to her native land, and
her companions preserved the head. I remember no more upon this subject.


Detached Account of Abenadar.

On the 1st of April 1823, Sister Emmerich said that that day was the feast of St.
Ctesiphon, the centurion who had assisted at the Crucifixion, and that she had seen during
the night various particulars concerning his life. But she had also suffered greatly, which,
combined with exterior distractions, had caused her to forget the greatest part of what she
had seen. She related what follows:
Abenadar, afterwards called Ctesiphon, was born in a country situated between Babylon
and Egypt in Arabia Felix, to the right of the spot where Job dwelt during the latter half of
his life. A certain number of square houses, with flat roofs, were built there on a slight
ascent. There were many small trees growing on this spot, and incense and balm were
gathered there. I have been in Abenadar’s house, which was large and spacious, as might be
expected of a rich man’s house, but it was also very low. All these houses were built in this
manner, perhaps on account of the wind, because they were much exposed. Abenadar had
joined the garrison of the fortress Antonia, at Jerusalem, as a volunteer. He had entered the
Roman service for the purpose of enjoying more facilities in his study of the fine arts, for he
was a learned man. His character was firm, his figure short and thick-set, and his
complexion dark.
Abenadar was early convinced, by the doctrine which he heard Jesus preach, and by a
miracle which he saw him work; that salvation was to be found among the Jews, and he had
submitted to the law of Moses. Although not yet a disciple of our Lord, he bore him no illwill,
and held his person in secret veneration. He was naturally grave and composed, and
when he came to Golgotha to relieve guard, he kept order on all sides, and forced everybody
to behave at least with common decency, down to the moment when truth triumphed over
him, and he rendered public testimony to the Divinity of Jesus. Being a rich man, and a
volunteer, he had no difficulty in resigning his post at once. He assisted at the descent from
the Cross and the burial of our Lord, which put him into familiar connection with the
friends of Jesus, and after the day of Pentecost he was one of the first to receive baptism in
the Pool of Bethsaida, where he took the name of Ctesiphon. He had a brother living in
Arabia, to whom he related the miracles he had beheld, and who was thus called to the path
of salvation, came to Jerusalem, was baptised by the name of Cecilius, and was charged,
together with Ctesiphon, to assist the deacons in the newly-formed Christian community.
Ctesiphon accompanied the Apostle St. James the Greater into Spain, and also returned
with him. After a time, he was again sent into Spain by the Apostles, and carried there the
body of St. James, who had been martyred at Jerusalem. He was made a bishop, and
resided chiefly in a sort of island or peninsula at no great distance from France, which he
also visited, and where he made some disciples. The name of the place where he lived was
rather like Vergui, and it was afterwards laid waste by an inundation. I do not remember
that Ctesiphon was ever martyred. He wrote several books containing details concerning the
Passion of Christ; but there have been some books falsely attributed to him, and others,
which were really from his pen, ascribed to different writers. Rome has since rejected these
books, the greatest part of which were apocryphal, but which nevertheless did contain some
few things really from his pen. One of the guards of our Lord’s sepulchre, who would not let
himself be bribed by the Jews, was his fellow countryman and friend. His name was
something like Sulei or Suleii. After being detained some time in prison, he retired into a
cavern of Mount Sinai, where he lived seven years. God bestowed many special graces upon
this man, and he wrote some very learned books in the style of Denis the Areopagite.
Another writer made use of his works, and in this manner some extracts from them have
come down to us. Everything concerning these facts was made known to me, as well as the
name of the book, but I have forgotten it. This countryman of Ctesiphon, afterwards
followed him into Spain. Among the companions of Ctesiphon in that country were this
brother Cecilius, and some other men, whose name were Intalecius, Hesicius, and
Euphrasius. Another Arab, called Sulima, was converted in the very early days of the
Church, and a fellow countryman of Ctesiphon, with a name like Sulensis, became a
Christian later, in the time of the deacons.

   THE END.


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Anna Katharina Emmerick - THE NATIVITY

 





 
 
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