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Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Passion of Christ - Mary's Own Words



St. Bridget of Sweden
The Revelations of Saint Birgitta, 
Chapter 10:15-33

(Words of Our Holy Mother Mary to St. Birgitta regarding Her Son's Most Bitter Agony & Death)

15 When the time of my Son's passion arrived, his enemies seized him. They struck him on his cheek and neck and spat at him as they made sport of him. When he was led to the pillar, he took off his clothes himself and placed his own hands on the pillar, and his enemies then mercilessly bound them. 16 Bound to the pillar, without any kind of covering, just as he had been born, he stood there and suffered the embarrassment of being naked. His friends had fled, but his enemies were ready for action. They stood there on all sides and scourged his body that was clean from every stain and sin. 17 I was standing nearby and, at the first lash, I fell down as if I were dead. When I revived, I could see his body whipped and scourged to the ribs. What was even more horrible was that when they pulled the whips back, the weighted thongs tore his flesh.


Sorrowful Mother Mary
18 As my Son was standing there all bloody and covered with wounds, so that no sound spot was left on him that could be whipped, then someone, aroused in spirit, asked: 'Are you going to kill him thus unsentenced?' And straightaway he cut his bonds. 19 Then my Son himself put his clothes back on. I saw that the place where my Son had been standing was covered with blood, and by his footprints I could tell which way he walked, for the ground seemed to be soaked with blood wherever he went. 20 They had no patience with him to let him get dressed, but pushed and dragged him to hurry him on. As my Son was being led off like a thief, he dried the blood from his eyes. Once he was sentenced, they placed the cross on him to carry. He did carry it for a while, but then someone came along and undertook to carry it for him. 

Instruments of crucifixion
21 As my Son was going to the place of his passion, same people struck him on the neck, while others hit him in the face. He was hit so hard and with so much force that, although I did not see who hit him, I heard the sound of the blow clearly. When I reached the place of the passion with him, I saw all the instruments of his death ready. When my Son got there, he took off his clothes himself, while the servants said to each other: 'These are our clothes and he will not get them back since he is condemned to death.' 

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22 My Son was standing there, naked as he had been born, when someone came running up and offered him a veil with which he joyfully covered his shame. Then his cruel executioners seized him and stretched him out on the cross, nailing first his right hand to the crossbeam that had a hole in it for the nail. They pierced his hand at the point where the bone was more solid. With a rope they pulled his other hand and attached it to the crossbeam in similar fashion. 

23 Then they crucified his right foot with the left on top of it using two nails so that all his sinews and veins became overstrained and burst. After that they put the crown of thorns on his head and it cut so deeply into my Son's venerable head that the blood filled his eyes as it flowed, blocked up his ears and stained his beard as it ran down.

As he stood on the cross wounded and bloody, he felt compassion for me who was standing by in tears and, looking with his bloodied eyes in the direction of John, my nephew, he commended me to him.



24 At the time I could hear some people saying that my Son was a thief, others that he was a liar, still others that no one was more deserving of death than my Son. My sorrow was renewed from hearing all this. But, as I said before, when the first nail was driven into him, that first blow shook me so much that I fell down as if dead, my eyes covered in darkness, my hands trembling, my feet unsteady. In the bitterness of my grief I was not able to watch until he had been fastened entirely to the cross. 

25 When I got up, I saw my Son hanging there in misery and, in my thorough dismay, I his most unhappy Mother, could hardly stand on my feet due to grief. Seeing me and his friends weeping inconsolably, my Son cried out in a loud and doleful voice to his Father, saying, 'Father, why have you abandoned me?' It was as if to say: 'There is no one who takes pity on me but you, Father.' 26 At that stage his eyes looked half-dead, his cheeks were sunken, his face mournful, his mouth open and his tongue bloody. His stomach was sucked in toward his back, all the liquid having been consumed, as if he had no vital organs. All his body was pale and languid due to the loss of blood. His hands and feet were rigidly extended, being pulled toward the cross and shaped like the shape of the cross. His beard and hair were completely covered with blood.




27 There he stood, bruised and livid, and only his heart was still fresh, since it was of the best and strongest constitution. From my flesh he had received a most pure and well-wrought body. 28 His skin was so thin and tender that if it was even slightly scourged the blood would flow out immediately. His blood was so fresh that it could be seen in his pure skin. Precisely because he had the very best constitution, life contended with death in his wounded body. 

29 At certain moments the pain in the limbs and sinews of his wounded body rose up to his still vigorous and unbroken heart and inflicted incredible pain and suffering on him. At other moments the pain went down from his heart into his wounded limbs and, in so doing, bitterly prolonged his death.



30 Surrounded by these sorrows, my Son looked at his friends who were weeping and who would rather have borne his pain themselves through his help or have burned in hell forever than to see him tortured so. His sorrow at his friends' sorrow exceeded all the bitterness and tribulations that he had endured in body and heart, due to the tender love he had for them. Then, out of the exceeding bodily anguish of his human nature, he cried out to the Father: 'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.' 31 When I his most sorrowful Mother, heard those words, my whole body shook with the bitter pain of my heart. As often as I have thought on that cry since then, it has still remained present and fresh in my ears. As his death drew near and his heart burst from the violence of the pain, his whole body convulsed and his head raised itself a little and then drooped back down again, his mouth fell open and his tongue could be seen to be all bloody. 32 His hands pulled back a little from the place of perforation and his feet had to bear more of the weight of his body. His fingers and arms stretched themselves out somewhat and his back stiffened tightly against the cross.



Jesus's body is pierced with a lance
33 Then some people said to me: 'Mary, your Son is dead.' Others said: 'He has died but he will rise again.' As everyone was going away, a man came and drove a lance into his side with such force that it almost went out the other side. When the spear was withdrawn, its point appeared red with blood. And it seemed to me as if my own heart had been pierced when I saw my beloved Son's heart pierced.

34 Then he was taken down from the cross. I took his body on my lap; it was like a leper's, all livid. His eyes were lifeless and full of blood, his mouth as cold as ice, his beard like twine, his face grown stiff. His hands had become so rigid that they could not be bent farther down than to about his naval. I had him on my knee just as he had been on the cross, like a man stiff in all his limbs. 35 After that they laid him in a clean linen and with my linen cloth I dried his wounds and his limbs and then closed his eyes and mouth, which had been opened when he died. 

36 Then they placed him in the sepulcher. How I would rather have been placed in there alive with my Son, if it had been his will! 37 These things done, dear John came and brought me to his house. 

See, then, my daughter, [my son]
what my Son has endured for you!





 http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Revelations_of_Saint_Birgitta#Chapter_10_-_On_Mary.27s_Childhood.2C_the_Annunciation.2C_and_Her_Son.27s_Birth_and_Passion