The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ
by Anne Catherine Emmerich
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 rims 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.