Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Fourteenth Station

Holy Saturday:
Jesus' Body is Placed in the Tomb

THE men placed the sacred body on a species of leathern hand-barrow, which they covered with a brown-coloured cloth, and to which they fastened two long stakes. This forcibly reminded me of the Ark of the Covenant. Nicodemus and Joseph bore on their shoulders the front shafts, while Abenadar and John supported those behind. After them came the Blessed Virgin, Mary of Heli, her eldest sister, Magdalen and Mary of Cleophas, and then the group of women who had been sitting at some distance —Veronica, Johanna Chusa, Mary the mother of Mark, Salome the wife of Zebedee, Mary Salome, Salome of Jerusalem, Susanna, and Anne the niece of St. Joseph. Cassius and the soldiers closed the procession. The other women, such as Marone of Naïm, Dina the Samaritaness, and Mara the Suphanitess, were at Bethania, with Martha and Lazarus. Two soldiers, bearing torches in their hands, walked on first, that there might be some light in the grotto of the sepulchre; and the procession continued to advance in this order for about seven minutes, the holy men and women singing psalms in sweet but melancholy tones. I saw James the Greater, the brother of John, standing upon a hill the other side of the valley, to look at them as they passed, and he returned immediately afterwards, to tell the other disciples what he had seen.

The procession stopped at the entrance of Joseph’s garden, which was opened by the removal of some stakes, afterwards used as levers to roll the stone to the door of the sepulchre. When opposite the rock, they placed the Sacred Body on a long board covered with a sheet. The grotto, which had been newly excavated, had been lately cleaned by the servants of Nicodemus, so that the interior was neat and pleasing to the eye. The holy women sat down in front of the grotto, while the four men carried in the body of our Lord, partially tilled the hollow couch destined for its reception with aromatic spices, and spread over them a cloth, upon which they reverently deposited the sacred body. After having once more given expression to their love by tears and fond embraces, they left the grotto. Then the Blessed Virgin entered, seated herself close to the head of her dear Son, and bent over his body with many tears. When she left the grotto, Magdalen hastily and eagerly came forward, and flung on the body some flowers and branches which she had gathered in the garden. Then she clasped her hands together, and with sobs kissed the feet of Jesus; but the men having informed her that they must close the sepulchre, she returned to the other women. They covered the sacred body with the extremities of the sheet on which it was lying, placed on the top of all the brown coverlet, and closed the folding-doors, which were made of a bronze-coloured metal, and had on their front two sticks, one straight down and the other across, so as to form a perfect cross.
The large stone with which they intended to close the sepulchre, and which was still lying in front of the grotto, was in shape very like a chest* or tomb; its length was such that a man might have laid himself down upon it, and it was so heavy that it was only by means of levers that the men could roll it before the door of the sepulchre. The entrance of the grotto was closed by a gate made of branches twined together. Everything that was done within the grotto had to be accomplished by torchlight, for daylight never penetrated there.

*Apparently Sister Emmerich here spoke of the ancient cases in which her poor countrymen keep their clothes. The lower part of these cases is smaller than the upper, and this gives them some likeness to a tomb. She had one of these cases, which she called her chest. She often described the stone by this comparison, but her descriptions have not, nevertheless, given us a very clear idea of its shape.

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

The Fourteenth Station (St. Francis de Liguori)
Jesus Is Placed in the Sepulcher

V: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. (Genuflect)
R: Because, by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (Rise)

V: Consider how the disciples carried the body of Jesus to its burial, while His holy Mother went with them and arranged it in the sepulcher with her own hands. They then closed the tomb and all departed. (Kneel)

R: Oh, my buried Jesus, / I kiss the stone that closes You in. / But You gloriously did rise again on the third day. / I beg You by Your resurrection that I may be raised gloriously on the last day, / to be united with You in heaven, to praise You and love You forever. / I love You, Jesus, and I repent of ever having offended You. / Grant that I may love You always; and then do with me as You will.

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.)

Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine

Fourteenth Station (St. Francis of Asissi)
Jesus' Body is Laid in the Tomb

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

The body of Jesus is laid in a stranger’s tomb. He Who in this world had not whereon to rest His head, would have no grave of His own after death. You whose heart is still attached to this world, despise it that you may not perish with it.

O Jesus, * Thou hast singled me out from the world, * what then shall I seek in it? * Thou hast created me for Heaven, * what then shall I desire upon earth? * Depart from me, deceitful world, with thy vanities! Henceforth I will walk the way of the Cross * traced out for me by my Redeemer, * and journey onward to my heavenly home, * where my rest and my joy shall be forever.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

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