Jesus Scourged at the Pillar

Source: THE SCHOOL OF JESUS CRUCIFIED, Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus,
TAN BOOKS, with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1895



PILATE, perceiving the obstinacy of the people in requiring that Jesus should be crucified,
sentenced Him, in the first place, to the shameful punishment of scourging, and consigned Him to the hands of the soldiers, that his orders might be executed.

1. Jesus before the scourging.

   The soldiers having received orders to scourge Jesus Christ, fall furiously upon Him, and lead Him to the public place where it is customary to flagellate the lowest criminals. The Jews rejoice at seeing their hated Saviour at length condemned to so dreadful a punishment, but Jesus rejoices even more at beholding the long sighed for hour arrived at last, in which He is to shed His Blood for my salvation through the instrumentality of the scourges. He is consumed with an ardent desire of suffering for my sake, and therefore it is that He allows Himself to be led by His executioners wherever they will, and offers not the slightest resistance. Learn to accept with patience all the sufferings God sends you in expiation of your sins. Jesus being arrived at the spot appointed, His enemies fall upon Him with the fury of wild beasts, unbind His chains, strip off His clothes, and, binding Him tightly to a pillar, expose Him in this state of nakedness and humiliation to the sight and undisguised scorn of the insolent rabble. Oh, what ignominy, what shame, what painful confusion must our blessed Jesus have experienced on beholding His virginal purity thus exposed to the derision and insults of a large crowd of people! And yet He endures everything in silence, and offers all with infinite charity to His Eternal Father, in satisfaction for my sins of immodesty and pride. The force of love alone is sufficient to bind Him to that pillar, ready and willing to submit to the scourges, and to shed every drop of His Blood. O beloved Son of God! I thank Thee for such infinite charity.

2. Jesus during the time of scourging.

   The executioners having prepared instruments proper for the purpose of inflicting intense suffering on Jesus, now strike that virginal and immaculate flesh with unparalleled fierceness and cruelty. That most Holy Body is soon all wounds. From the top of His head down to the soles of the feet, it is so lacerated that at length all the bones may be counted. And yet out of all the vast number of persons who behold this heart-rending sight, there is not one to compassionate our suffering Jesus. Hard indeed must your heart be if it be not moved to compassion at the sight of your blessed Lord enduring such a martyrdom. The executioners continue to strike Him, encouraging one another in their cruel labor. Wound succeeds wound, the suffering thus inflicted becomes more and more acute, and the Body of Jesus is one entire wound. The scourges fall heavily upon His tender limbs, tearing, rending, and even carrying away portions of the flesh, which fall on all sides. The blood flows in streams, blood bathes the whole person of our blessed Redeemer, blood trickles down the pillar, blood soaks the earth, and blood is sprinkled on the executioners, who feel no emotions of pity even at such a sight. The cruelty of the executioners is at length exhausted, but the patience of Jesus wearies not; He suffers excruciating torments, it is true, and each blow inflicts fresh torture, alone sufficient to cause His death, but yet He rejoices to shed so much blood, to suffer agony so unspeakable, to give us incontestable proofs of the greatness of His love for us, and to show us the enormity of sin. Jesus is scourged, for no crime of His own, but to expiate, in His innocent flesh, those sins of impurity with which you have so often defiled your body. Contemplate Jesus at the pillar, bleeding and lacerated from head to foot, and learn hence all that your sins of impurity have cost Him. Beseech Him to cleanse all the stains of your soul with His Divine Blood.

3. Jesus after the scourging.

   The executioners, weary of inflicting further torture upon Jesus, unbind Him from the pillar, and He, unable from exhaustion and excess of suffering to support Himself on His feet, falls to the ground bathed in His own Precious Blood. Ah, who would not have been touched at so mournful a sight? The Jews alone feel no compassion for Jesus. Behold, my soul, behold thy loving Redeemer lying prostrate and almost powerless, on the ground, and recognize in His Wounds the effect of thy sins, and of the excess of His charity, which has thus opened to thee new sources of grace. Compassionate Him who has suffered so much for thy sake, and love Him who has so much loved thee. Draw near to Jesus as He lies bleeding on the ground, with no one to assist Him to rise, and do thou afford His afflicted Heart some relief by the affections of thine. See with what meekness He endures the derision and contempt of His enemies in this His state of humiliation and suffering. Acknowledge how deeply thou art indebted to Jesus, who has bestowed on thee a bath of His own most precious Blood in which thou mayest cleanse thy corrupted sores, and who, by so plentiful a Redemption, has delivered thee from the eternal maledictions thy sins deserved.

The Fruit

Resolve to endure any inconvenience which may befall you, and to deprive yourself of some lawful gratification, in punishment of your sins, which have cost Jesus so dear. Determine upon what particular points you will mortify yourself, and take great care to mortify those senses by which you have so often offended God. And offer to Jesus tears of sincere repentance for your sins, and of loving compassion for His sufferings, as some slight testimony of gratitude for all the Blood which He has shed for you.


   Blessed Serafino d'Ascoli, a Capuchin Friar, not satisfied with spending whole nights in meditating on the Passion of Christ, passing entire weeks almost without food for love of Him, and paying his suffering Lord the tribute of plentiful tears and sighs, offered Him, moreover, the sacrifice of his own blood. When meditating on Jesus scourged at the pillar, he would enter into so holy an indignation against himself, scourge his body so severely, and draw forth such streams of blood, through his love of Christ, and through his great desire of resembling Him, that he seemed bent on rendering his body one wound, like that of Jesus in His scourging. Jesus Christ asks not so much of you, but at least do not refuse to endure some slight penance for love of Him.


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