Christ Carrying the Cross



The Meeting Between Jesus and His Blessed Mother

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



OUR blessed Redeemer, on His way to Calvary, has an interview with His most holy Mother,
who is following Him, together with the other holy women.

1. The anguish of heart experienced by Jesus at the sight of Mary.

    He beholds her sorrowing, weeping, overwhelmed with the bitterest grief, and when the eyes of the Mother and of the Son meet, how deep a wound is inflicted on the tender Heart of Jesus! Jesus loves Mary as His Mother. Jesus, the most loving of Sons, entertains the most indescribable feelings of affection for Mary, the most amiable of mothers. How great, then, and how bitter must be His grief at beholding this beloved Mother so deeply afflicted and anguish-stricken on His account? Oh, hard indeed must that heart be which does not compassionate Jesus in this new suffering! The Cross of Jesus is heavy, the thorns pierce His sacred Head, His adorable Body is one single wound, but His Heart is transfixed with a sword of still deeper and more painful sorrow, from beholding the interior of the heart of Mary, in which love and compassion imprint, as in a clear mirror all His wounds, His thorns, His Cross, and His sufferings, and thus inflict the keenest anguish. What mind can conceive the indescribable sorrow experienced by the Heart of Jesus at this mournful spectacle! He would willingly bestow upon His Mother a last token of affection, speak one word of comfort to her sorrowing heart, and bid her a last farewell, but the fury of the Jews does not permit Him to linger one moment by her side. But if these two most holy personages speak not with their lips, their eyes and hearts certainly are not silent, but communicate to one another their mutual sorrows. Beseech Jesus to give you a share in His sufferings, and to touch your heart, that so it may be filled with compassion for them, and with contrition for your sins.

2. The grief of Mary on beholding Jesus.

    Mary is anxious to bestow upon her adorable Son proofs of the most faithful love, which never forsakes the beloved object even amid the severest trials. She therefore leaves Jerusalem, and follows her dear Son to Mount Calvary, to be present at His most painful sacrifice of Himself. If you really love Jesus, you should follow Him to Mount Calvary, willingly bearing the Cross of your trials for His sake. Mary also bears her heavy Cross, for she bears in her heart an immense weight of sorrow and suffering, which renders her the most afflicted of mothers. Great, nay, incomprehensible, is her love for Jesus, her Son and her God, and therefore proportionally great and incomprehensible is the grief of her soul on beholding His sufferings. Jesus sympathizes in the anguish of Mary, and Mary partakes of all the sufferings of her beloved Son Jesus, which, as so many sharp swords, rend and transfix her virginal heart. But the most acute pain endured by this afflicted Mother, is caused by the appearance of Jesus when He turns to address the holy woman. How is it, O Mary, that thou dost not die of grief and horror? How is it that thy heart does not break with sorrow? She beholds her dear Son sinking with exhaustion, His Body covered with wounds, and streaming with Blood, His head crowned with thorns, His face defiled with spittle, His whole adorable Person trembling, powerless and suffering; His neck encircled with a cord, and His shoulders burdened with the heavy and all but insupportable weight of the Cross. She beholds Him overwhelmed with insults by the people, dragged onward by the soldiers, and His sacred Heart bleeding with agony at the sight of her, His sorrowing Mother. "My Son!" would Mary have said, "My beloved Son!" but her excessive sorrow deprives her of the power of utterance. She would willingly draw nigh to Jesus, relieve His sufferings, and enfold Him in a last embrace, but any such comfort is denied her, and she is permitted to give expression to her feelings by tears alone. My soul, contemplate this most afflicted mother, and understand that her sufferings are occasioned by the cruelty with which thou hast maltreated Jesus in committing sin. Art thou desirous of diminishing her woes, and of alleviating her bitter sufferings? Bewail thy sins, and never more inflict such torments upon her beloved Son. Compassionate her in her sufferings, and love her as thy Mother.

  3. The sorrows of Jesus and Mary at the sight of the sins of men.

     Jesus suffers, and Mary suffers, but oh, how far more do they suffer from the sins of men than from all the present and future torments of the Passion! In the insensibility and hard-heartedness of those crowds of people who line the road to Calvary, and who behold the sufferings of the Son, and the agony of the Mother, without a feeling of compassion for either, they see an image of the
  ingratitude of so many Christians, perhaps even of yourself, who never bestow even a single thought or feeling of affection upon Jesus Crucified, and upon Mary the Queen of Dolors. In the insults, outrages, and derisive words heaped upon Jesus in His sufferings by His enemies, they see an image of all those sins by which men will, with equal treachery and barbarity, renew His torments. Oh, what words can describe the sufferings of these two most sacred Hearts! The furious rage with which the Jews are hurrying Jesus to be crucified brings before them in strong colors the mortal sins by which multitudes of souls will, to the end Of time, crucify Jesus anew. Alas, that Jesus should have beheld me also on that mountain crucifying Him by my sins! Alas, that Mary also should have seen me; for oh, what a source of sorrow was to her tender heart! Never more, my soul, never more must thy sins renew the bitter anguish then endured by the adorable Hearts of Jesus and Mary.


   If you love Mary, never be unmindful of her dolors. If you are desirous of consoling her, save some soul from sin at least by your prayers, and be most careful never to offend her Divine Son. If you wish to please her, imitate her following Jesus in the way of the Cross, by your patience under affliction, and by your pious remembrance of all He suffered for your sake in His painful journey to Calvary.


   St. Pellegrino Laziosi of the Order of the Servites of Mary, [St. Peregrine], shown on the left, was distinguished by his devotion to Jesus' suffering, and by his tender love and compassion for the Queen of Dolors. Having retired into a cave near Siena, he for a long time passed whole days and nights in the contemplation of these two great objects of his love.

For the space of thirty years he never sat down, having imposed so severe a penance upon himself in honor of the sufferings of Jesus, and of the sorrows of Mary. Our blessed Lord was so well pleased with this devotion of His faithful servant, that He vouchsafed to manifest by a miracle how acceptable it was to Him. The Saint being under the necessity of having one of his legs cut off by the surgeon on account of a gangrened wound in it, the figure of our Crucified Redeemer unfastened itself from the Cross, and, touching the affected part, instantly healed it. (Bollandists, May 1).