JESUS SPEAKS TO THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM
We adore Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, and bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.
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 a 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 southwest, 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 paps 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 them, which I do not exactly remember.
The procession made a momentary halt. The executioners, who set off 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.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
V. Lord Jesus, Showing love when your energies were completely spent,
R. Have mercy on us.
NEXT STATION: STATION NINE
|STATIONS OF THE CROSS INDEX|
|STATION ONE||JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH|
|STATION TWO||JESUS ACCEPTS HIS CROSS|
|STATION THREE||JESUS FALLS FOR THE FIRST TIME|
|STATION FOUR||JESUS MEETS HIS SORROWFUL MOTHER|
|STATION FIVE||SIMON OF CYRENE HELPS JESUS CARRY THE CROSS|
|STATION SIX||VERONICA WIPES THE BLOODY FACE OF JESUS|
|STATION SEVEN||JESUS FALLS FOR THE SECOND TIME|
|STATION EIGHT||JESUS SPEAKS TO THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM|
|STATION NINE||JESUS FALLS FOR THE THIRD TIME|
|STATION TEN||JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS|
|STATION ELEVEN||JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS|
|STATION TWELVE||JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS|
|STATION THIRTEEN||JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS|
|STATION FOURTEEN||JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB|