"Dolorous Passion" Excerpts
DITC: Mel Gibson has stated that one of his main inspiration for The
Passion came from the book The Dolorous Passion by Anne Catherine Emmerich.
He has produced this film with an image of "Christ" that is based on the
apparitions of the Catholic
mystic, Anne Catherine Emmerich, who claimed to have seen visions of the passion, death and resurrection of "Christ" which were recorded in her book.
CHAPTER I: Jesus in the Garden of Olives
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?’(personal aside: quotes are word for word in movie)
(I saw) 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… (After asking the disciples why they slept), 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.’ (Jesus then went back to pray and 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.
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… for she beheld in spirit Jesus bathed in
a bloody sweat. I saw the interior movements of her soul towards Jesus,
who thought of her, and turned his eyes in her direction, as if to seek
assistance. I beheld the spiritual communication which they had with each other, under the form of rays passing to and fro
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.
CHAPTER II: Judas and his Band
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 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. 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…
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 inclinations, and struck Jesus with such violence that they threw him off the bridge …They pulled him up again in the most cruel manner, struck him with cords, and fastened the ends of his garment to the belt…
(personal aside): 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 ii. chap. i.) (almost word for word how Mel Gibson was quoted as describing how he was healed of his own wounds).
CHAPTER XI: 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…
Mary drew close to (Peter), 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, ‘0, 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.’(personal aside: In Bible Peter never called Mary Mother. Yet the Catholic Church calls Mary the Mother of All)… Mary was with Jesus in spirit, and
Jesus was with her…she listened and heard not only his moans, but also the abusive language of those around him…(yet) the
Blessed Virgin, by a special grace from Almighty God, maintained a calm and dignified exterior in the midst of her sufferings.
CHAPTER XVIII: 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. 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.
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.
CHAPTER XXII: The Scourging of Jesus
… 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…Jesus trembled and shuddered as he stood before the pillar…he turned his face once towards his Mother, who was standing overcome with grief; this look quite unnerved her… 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, fording a kind of touching accompaniment to the hissing of the instruments of torture. 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…and they recommenced scourging him with even greater fury than before (personal aside: this was totally against their law of being able to deliver no more than 39 lashes to the back of a person).
CHAPTER XXIII: Mary during the Flagellation 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. When Jesus fell down at the foot of the pillar, after the flagellation, I saw Claudia Procles, the wife of Pilate, send some large pieces of linen to the Mother of God…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 scourging: 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 (personal aside: there is no mention of this in the Bible)
CHAPTER XXXI: The First Fall of Jesus
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 some one 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
CHAPTER XXXII: The Second Fall of Jesus
Then came her (Mary’s) 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.
CHAPTER XXIV: The Veil of Veronica
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…(Later in her house) 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.
CHAPTER XXXVIII: The Nailing of Jesus to the Cross
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.
CHAPTER XLIII: Eclipse of the Sun.—Second and Third Word of Jesus on the Cross
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, (personal aside: this is Catholic
doctrine of Mary being Co-Redeemer) 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...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.
CHAPTER XLV: Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Words of Jesus on the Cross.—His Death
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,
(personal aside: these were words Mary spoke in movie as she addressed Jesus. They are not found in that context in
the Bible) the bone of her bone, the heart of her heart—well might she at this moment be termed ‘the queen of martyrs.’
The Descent From the Cross
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. (personal aside: like is reminiscent of Michelangelo’s Pieta where Mary is the dominant figure not Jesus.