The Fifth Dolor of Mary
Of the Death of Jesus


Christ on the Cross between the Two Thieves - by RUBENS, Pieter Pauwel -
from Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

Then the Jewish Authorities asked Pilate to allow them to-Break the Legs-of the Men who had been Crucified, and to take the Bodies down-from the Crosses. They requested this because it was Friday, and they did not want the Bodies to stay-on the Crosses on the Sabbath, since the coming Sabbath was especially Holy. So the Soldiers went and broke the Legs-of the first Man, and then of the other Man, who had been Crucified-with Jesus. But, when they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already Dead, so they did not Break His Legs. One of the Soldiers, however, Plunged his Spear into Jesus' Side, and at-once, Blood and Water poured-out. (It has been Confirmed-by extensive-Experimentation that the Blow-of the Lance, which was given to the Right Side-of Jesus, reached the Right Auricle of the Heart, perforating the Pericardium). The One who saw this happen has spoken-of it, so that you also may Believe. What he said is True, and he knows that he speaks the Truth. This was done to make the Scripture come-True: "Not one of His Bones will be Broken". And there is another Scripture that says, "People will look at Him Whom they Pierced". The Blessed Virgin and Saint John-the-Evangelist, momentarily turn-away in Horror, at the Extreme Brutality of this Scene, Powerfully depicted-above by Rubens. But God, always brings-forth Greater-Good, from Evil and Suffering.

Blood and Water are seen pouring-out from the Side of Christ (Click on Image to enlarge). According to Saint John Chrysostom, and other Church Fathers, Water and Blood Symbolize Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. From these Two (2) Sacraments, God's Church is Born: from Baptism, the Cleansing Water that gives Rebirth and Renewal from the Holy Spirit, and from the Blood, Holy Eucharist. Since the Symbols-of Baptism and the Eucharist flowed-from His Side, it was from His Side that Christ 'Fashioned' Holy-Mother-the-Church, as He had 'Fashioned' Eve from the Side-of-Adam.

Eve, our Physical Mother, came from the Side-of-Adam
God's Holy Church, our Spiritual Mother, came from the Side-of-Christ

In Theology, Christ is often Referred-to as the Second Adam, and Mary is often Referred-to as the Second Eve.

 

 

Of the Death of Jesus

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

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We have now to-Witness a New Kind-of Martyrdom - a Mother Condemned to-See an Innocent Son, and One Whom she Loves-with the Whole Affection-of her Soul, Cruelly Tormented and put-to Death, before her own Eyes: "There stood-by the Cross-of Jesus, His Mother". Saint John believed-that in these Words, he had Said-enough of Mary's Martyrdom. Consider her at the Foot-of the Cross in the Presence-of her Dying Son, and then see if there be Sorrow like-unto her Sorrow. Let us Remain-for awhile this Day on-Calvary, and consider the Fifth (5th) Sword which, in the Death-of Jesus, Transfixed the Heart-of Mary.

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Raising of the Cross (detail) -
by RUBENS, Pieter Pauwel -
from O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp

As-soon-as our Agonized Redeemer had reached the Mount-of-Calvary, the Executioners 'Stripped' Him of His Clothes, and Piercing His Hands and Feet "not with Sharp, but with Blunt Nails", as Saint Bernard says, "to Torment Him more", they Fastened Him on the Cross. Having Crucified Him, they Planted the Cross, and thus left Him to-Die.

The Executioners left Him; but not-so Mary. She then drew nearer-to the Cross, to be Present-at His Death: "I did not leave Him" (thus the Blessed Virgin revealed-to Saint Bridget), "but stood nearer-to the Cross". "But what did it avail thee, O Lady", says Saint Bonaventure, "to go to Calvary, and see this Son Expire? Shame should have Prevented thee; for His Disgrace was thine, since thou wert His Mother. At least, Horror-of Witnessing such a Crime, as the Crucifixion-of a God by His own Creatures, should have Prevented thee from going there", But the same Saint answers, "Ah, thy Heart did not then Think-of its own Sorrows, but of the Sufferings and Death of thy Dear Son", and therefore thou wouldst thyself be-Present, at least to-'Compassionate' Him. "Ah, True Mother", says the Abbot William, "most Loving Mother, whom not even the Fear-of Death, could Separate-from thy Beloved Son".

But, O God, what a Cruel Sight was it, there to-Behold this Son in Agony, on the Cross; and at its Foot, this Mother in Agony, Suffering all the Torments endured-by her Son! Listen-to the Words in which Mary revealed-to Saint Bridget, the Sorrowful State in-which she saw her Dying Son on the Cross: "My Dear Jesus was Breathless, Exhausted, and in His Last Agony on the Cross; His Eyes were Sunk, Half-closed, and Lifeless; His Lips Hanging, and His Mouth Open; His Cheeks Hollow and Drawn-in; His Face Elongated; His Nose Sharp; His Countenance Sad: His Head had Fallen-on His Breast, His Hair was Black with Blood, His Stomach Collapsed, His Arms and Legs Stiff, and His Whole Body covered-with Wounds and Blood".

All these Sufferings-of Jesus, were also those-of Mary: "Every Torture Inflicted-on the Body of Jesus", says Saint Jerome, "was a Wound-in the Heart-of the Mother". "Whoever then was present on the Mount-of-Calvary", says Saint John Chrysostom, "might see Two Altars, on which Two Great Sacrifices were Consummated; the One in the Body-of Jesus, the Other in the Heart-of Mary". Nay, better still may we say with Saint Bonaventure, "there was but One Altar - that of the Cross-of the Son, on which, together with this Divine Lamb, the Victim, the Mother was also Sacrificed"; therefore the Saint asks this Mother, "O Lady, where art thou? Near the Cross? Nay, rather, thou art on the Cross, Crucified, Sacrificing thyself, with thy Son". Saint Augustine assures us of the same thing: "The Cross and Nails of the Son, were also those of His Mother; with Christ Crucified, the Mother was also Crucified". Yes; for, as Saint Bernard says, "Love, Inflicted-on the Heart-of Mary the Tortures caused-by the Nails in the Body of Jesus". So-much-so that, as Saint Bernardine writes, "At the same-Time that the Son Sacrificed His Body, the Mother Sacrificed her Soul".

Mothers ordinarily Fly-from the Presence-of their Dying Children; but when a Mother is Obliged-to Witness such a Scene, she Procures all-possible Relief-for her Child; she Arranges his Bed, that he may be more-at-Ease; she Administers Refreshments to him; and thus the Poor Mother, Soothes her own Grief. Ah, most Afflicted-of all Mothers! O Mary, thou hast to-Witness the Agony-of the Dying Jesus; but thou canst Administer Him no Relief. Mary heard her Son 'Exclaim', "I Thirst", but she could not even give-Him a Drop-of Water to-Refresh Him, in that Great Thirst. She could only say, as Saint Vincent Ferrer remarks, "My Son, I have only the Water-of Tears". She saw that on that Bed-of-Torture her Son, Suspended-by Three (3) Nails, could find no Repose; she would have 'Clasped' Him in her Arms, to-give Him Relief, or that at-least He might-there, have Expired; but she could not.

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The Mystical Wine-Press - by Marco dal Pino (Marco da Siena) - from Vatican Museum
(Click to see entire Painting)

"I have Trodden the Winepress alone; I looked about, and there was None-to Help;
I Sought, and there was None-to give Aid
".
 

 

"In Vain", says Saint Bernard, "did she Extend her Arms; they Sank-back Empty, on her Breast". She beheld that Poor Son, Who in His Sea-of-Grief, sought Consolation, as it was Foretold-by the Prophet, but in Vain: "I have Trodden the Winepress Alone; I looked about, and there was None to Help; I Sought, and there was None to give Aid". But, who amongst Men would Console Him, since All were Enemies? Even on the Cross, He was Taunted and Blasphemed on all Sides: "and they that passed-by, Blasphemed Him, wagging their Heads". Some said in His Face, "If thou be the Son of God, come down from the Cross". Others, "He Saved others, Himself He cannot Save". Again, "If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the Cross". Our Blessed Lady herself said-to Saint Bridget, "I heard some say that my Son was a Thief; others, that He was an Impostor; others, that no one deserved Death more-than He did; and every Word was a new Sword-of-Grief, to my Heart".

But that which most-Increased the Sorrows which Mary Endured, through Compassion-for her Son, was hearing Him Complain-on the Cross, that even His Eternal Father had Abandoned Him: "My God, My God, why hast Thou Forsaken Me"? Words which the Divine Mother told the same Saint Bridget, could never, during her Whole Life, depart-from her Mind. So that the Afflicted Mother saw her Jesus Suffering on-every-side; she Desired-to 'Comfort' Him, but could not. And that which Grieved her the most, was to see that she herself, by her Presence and Sorrow, Increased the Sufferings-of her Son. "The Grief", says Saint Bernard, "which filled Mary's Heart, as a Torrent Flowed-into and Embittered the Heart-of Jesus". "So much so", says the same Saint, "that Jesus, on the Cross, Suffered-more from Compassion-for His Mother, than from His own Torments". He thus speaks-in the Name-of our Blessed Lady: "I stood with my eyes Fixed on-Him, and His on-me, and He Grieved more for-me, than for-Himself". And then, speaking-of Mary beside her Dying Son, he says, "that she lived Dying, without being able-to Die". "Near the Cross-of Christ, His Mother stood half-Dead; she Spoke not; Dying she Lived, and Living she Died; nor could she Die, for Death was her very Life". Passino writes that Jesus Christ Himself one-day, speaking-to Blessed Baptista-Varani-of-Camerino, assured her that when on the Cross, so-Great was His Affliction, at-Seeing His Mother at His Feet, in such Bitter Anguish, that Compassion-for her, caused-Him to Die, without Consolation; so-much-so, that the Blessed Baptista, being Supernaturally Enlightened as-to the Greatness-of this Suffering-of Jesus, 'Exclaimed', "O Lord, tell me no more of this Thy Sorrow, for I can no-longer Bear it".

"Woman, Behold thy son"

(Click on Image to Enlarge, and see the Image-of-Christ
speaking to them, in both their Eyes)
 

"All", says Simon-of-Cassia, "who then saw this Mother silent, and not uttering a Complaint in the midst of such Great Suffering, were Filled-with Astonishment". But, if Mary's Lips were Silent, her Heart was not so, for she Incessantly Offered the Life-of her Son, to the Divine Justice, for our Salvation. Therefore we know that by the Merits-of her Dolors, she Cooperated-in our Birth-to the Life-of-Grace; and hence we are the Children-of her Sorrows. "Christ", says Lanspergius, "was pleased that she, the Cooperatress in our Redemption, and whom He had determined to-give us for our Mother, should be-there Present; for it was at the Foot-of the Cross that she was to bring us, her Children, forth". If any Consolation entered that Sea-of-Bitterness, the Heart of Mary, the only One was this, that she knew that by her Sorrows, she was Leading us to Eternal (∞) Salvation, as Jesus Himself revealed-to Saint Bridget: "My Mother Mary, on account of her Compassion and Love, was made the Mother-of all in Heaven and on Earth". And indeed these were the Last Words with-which Jesus bid her 'Farewell', before His Death: this was His Last Recommendation, leaving us to her for her Children, in the Person-of Saint John: "Woman, Behold thy son". From that Time, Mary began-to Perform this Good 'Office', of a Mother for us; for Saint-Peter-Damian attests, "that by the Prayers of Mary, who stood between the Cross-of the Good Thief, and that of her Son, the Thief was Converted and Saved, and thereby she Repaid a former Service". For, as other Authors also-Relate, this Thief (Dismas) had been Kind-to Jesus and Mary on their Journey-to Egypt; and this same 'Office', the Blessed Virgin has ever-Continued, and still-Continues, to-Perform.

 

- End of Liguori Sermon -

 

Example

A Young Man in Perugia promised the Devil, that if he would enable him to-Attain a Sinful Object, he had in-View, he would give him his Soul; and he gave him a Written Contract, to this Effect, Signed-in his Own Blood. When the Crime had been committed, the Devil demanded the Performance-of the Promise; and for this Purpose, led him to the Brink-of a Well, at the same-Time Threatening, that if he did not throw himself in, he would Drag him, Body and Soul, to Hell. The Wretched Youth, thinking that it would be Impossible-to Escape-from his hands, got on the little Parapet, to Cast himself in; but Terrified at the Idea-of Death, he told the Devil that he had not-Courage to-take the Leap, but that if he was Determined-on his Death, he must Push him in. The Young Man wore a Scapular-of the Dolors-of Mary; the Devil therefore said, "Take off that Scapular, and then I will Push thee in". But the Youth, discovering in the Scapular, the Protection 'still' Vouchsafed-to him by the Divine Mother, Refused-to do so, and at-length, after much Altercation, the Devil, filled-with Confusion, departed; and the Sinner, Grateful-to the Sorrowful Mother, went to-Thank her, and, Penitent-for his Sins, Presented as a Votive Offering to her Altar, in the Church-of Santa-Maria-la-Nuova, in Perugia, a Picture-of what had taken place.

 

Prayer

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Ah, Mother, the most Sorrowful of all mothers, thy Son is, then, Dead; that Son so Amiable, and Who Loved thee so much! Weep, then, for thou hast Reason to Weep. Who can ever Console thee? The Thought alone, that Jesus, by His Death, Conquered Hell, Opened Heaven, until then closed-to Men, and Gained so-many Souls, can Console thee.

From that Throne-of the Cross He will Reign-in so, many Hearts, which, conquered-by His Love, will serve Him with Love. Disdain not, in the meantime, O my Mother, to Keep me near thee, to Weep with thee, since I have so much Reason to-Weep, for the Crimes by-which I have Offended Him. Ah, Mother-of-Mercy, I Hope, First, through the Death-of my Redeemer, and then through thy Sorrows, to obtain Pardon and Eternal Salvation.

Amen

 

crown.gif (115337 bytes) Many of us have taken the Passion and Crucifixion-of Our Lord Jesus Christ, more-or-less, for-granted. We have Grown 'Callous' to its Absolute Horror, Brutality and Terror, via a too-easy Familiarity-with the Accounts-of the Four (4) Gospels, which are Lacking-in Specific Detail, and Paint no-Definite Picture (Remember that the Writers of the Four (4) Gospels, assumed-that Readers-of their Gospels, would be Intimately Familiar-with the Brutality-of-Crucifixion, and that the Reader had probably 'Witnessed' one-or-more of these 'Public' Executions, in their Lifetime).

From the Public Secular Web Site, "Wikipedia", which gives Accurate and Unbiased Historical Information, on all Subjects: Crucifixion was Performed-to Humiliate and Punish the Victim; and to Terrorize and Dissuade its Witnesses. Although Artists have depicted the Figure-on a Cross, with a Loin Cloth or a covering-of the Genitals, writings by Seneca-the-Younger, suggest that Victims were Crucified completely-Nude (i.e., to Humiliate). When the Victim had to Urinate or Defecate, they had to do so in the Open, in view-of Passers-by, resulting in Discomfort and the Attraction-of Insects. Enough!!! Even Mel Gibson's great "Passion-of-the-Christ", which is criticized-by the Secular Press as too-Graphic, stops way-short-of these Accurate Considerations.

If a close Member-of our Family, had undergone such Terrible Treatment, we would be Searching-out every Detail; therefore, it is only fitting that we Search-out every Detail-of the Death-of the One Who Loves us more-than Life itself, so that we may more-Fully Appreciate the Vast Extent and Depth-of His Love, and the Love of His Mother. We may also see the Horrific Damage, done-by our Sins. At this 'Culminating' Point-of Human History, the smallest-detail has Infinite (∞) Value.

Although no Written-Record or Corpse, remains-for us to-examine, God Almighty has given us Graphically-Detailed, Hard-Evidence-of the Horrors and Brutality, which His Son Jesus 'Sustained', in-order-to Pay-the- Price for our Redemption. God has also separately-given Twentieth Century Mankind the Analytical Tools and Empirical Data necessary-to Fully-examine this Multitude-of Evidence, regarding the Brutality-of the Roman Scourging and Crucifixion, contained-in the Holy Shroud; all of which God's Holy Mother was Forced-to Endure, through Love-for her Son. She would not 'Abandon' Him, and Prayed that she be allowed-to go-to the Grave with Him.