The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Ninth Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
The Fruit: Patience in Daily Trials; Submission to the Will of God


1. To the great satisfaction of the priests and pharisees Pilate then decreed the sentence of death on the Cross against Life itself, Jesus Our Savior. [First Station of the Cross.] Having announced it to the One they had thus condemned in spite of His innocence, they brought Him to another part of the house of Pilate, where they stripped Him of the purple mantle, in which they had derided Him as mock-king. All happened by the mysterious dispensation of God; though on their part it was due to the concerted malice of the Jews; for they wished to see Him Undergo the punishment of the Cross in His Own clothes so that in them He might be recognized by all. Only by His garments could He now be recognized by the people, since His Face had been disfigured beyond recognition by the scourging, the impure spittle, and the crown of thorns. They again clothed Him with the seamless tunic, which at the command of the Queen was brought to Him by the Angels; for the executioners had thrown it into a corner of another room in the house, where they left it to place upon Him the mocking and scandalous purple cloak.

2. The sentence of Pilate against Our Savior having been published in a loud voice before all the people, the executioners loaded the heavy Cross, on which He was to be crucified, upon His tender and wounded shoulders. In order that He might carry it they loosened the bonds holding His hands, but not the others, since they wished to drag Him along by the loose ends of the ropes that bound His body. In order to torment Him the more they drew two loops around His throat. The Cross was fifteen feet long, of thick and heavy timbers. [Second Station of the Cross.]

The executioners, bare of all human compassion and kindness, dragged Our Savior Jesus along with incredible cruelty and insults. Some of them jerked Him forward by the ropes in order to accelerate His passage, while others pulled from behind in order to retard it. On account of this jerking and the weight of the Cross they caused Him to sway to and fro and He fell the first time. [Third Station of the Cross.]
4. From the house of Pilate the Sorrowful and Stricken Mother followed with the multitudes on the way of Her Divine Son, accompanied by Saint John and the pious women. As the surging crowds hindered Her from getting very near to the Lord, She asked the Eternal Father to be permitted to stand at the Foot of the Cross of Her Blessed Son and see Him die with Her own eyes. With the Divine consent She ordered Her Holy Angels to manage things in such a way as to make it possible for Her to execute Her wishes. The Holy Angels obeyed Her with great reverence; and they speedily led the Queen through some bystreet, in order that She might meet Her Son. Thus it came that both of Them met face to face in sweetest recognition of each Other and in mutual renewal of each Other's interior sorrows. Yet They did not speak to one another, nor would the fierce cruelty of the executioners have permitted such an intercourse. [Fourth Station of the Cross.]

But the most prudent Mother adored Her Divine Son and True God, laden with the Cross; and interiorly besought Him, that, since She could not relieve Him of the weight of the Cross and since She was not permitted to command Her Holy Angels to lighten it, He would inspire these ministers of cruelty to procure some one for His assistance. This prayer was heard by the Lord Christ; and so it happened, that Simon of Cyrene was afterwards impressed to carry the Cross with the Lord (Matth. 27:32). [Fifth Station of the Cross.]

Mary of Agreda is abbreviated at this point, so we continue with our meditations with the assistance of the Stations: Jesus' face was so swollen and encrusted with His Sacred Blood that He evoked much pity from the women who were along the Via Dolorosa. Among them was a holy woman, Veronica who offered her veil to the Savior as some small relief. [Sixth Station of the Cross.]

7. Weighed down with the heavy Cross and now so depleted by the loss of His Blood, prodded on  by the soldiers, Our Lord fell a second time. [Seventh Station of the Cross.]

8. There were a number of pious women who were weeping on the Way to Calvary, grieved by the torture to the Son of God. Ever conscious of His Mission as he was from the moment of His conception in the virginal womb of Mary, Our Savior stopped to speak with the women, telling them not to weep for Him but for their children and themselves. (Luke 23:28 ff.) [Eighth Station of the Cross.]

9. Again Jesus fell to the ground, almost crushed by the Cross and weak from loss of Blood and lack of water to relieve His thirst. [Ninth Station of the Cross.]

And when they arrived at Golgotha or the Place of the Skull, they stripped Him of His garments, which they would divide among themselves when He was crucified. (Matth. 27:35). [Tenth Station of the Cross.]


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