The bitter Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ – Part 15

Joseph of Arimathea miraculously set at large.

A short time after the return of the Blessed Virgin to the holy women, I was shown the
interior of the prison in which the enemies of Joseph of Arimathea had confined him. He
was praying fervently, when suddenly a brilliant light illuminated the whole place, and I
heard a voice calling him by name, while at the same moment the roof opened, and a bright
form appeared, holding out a sheet resembling that in which he had wrapped the body of
Jesus. Joseph grasped it with both hands, and was drawn up to the opening, which closed
again as soon as he had passed through; and the apparition disappeared the instant he was
in safety at the tope of the tower. I know not whether it was our Lord himself or an angel
who thus set Joseph free.
He walked on the summit of the wall until he reached the neighbourhood of the
Cenaculum, which was near to the south wall of Sion, and then climbed down and knocked
at the door of that edifice, as the doors were fastened. The disciples assembled there had
been much grieved when they first missed Joseph, who they thought had been thrown into a
sink, a report to that effect having become current. Great, therefore, was their joy when they
opened the door and found that it was he himself; indeed, they were almost as much
delighted as when Peter was miraculously delivered from prison some years after. When
Joseph had related what had taken place, they were filled with astonishment and delight;
and after thanking God fervently gave him some refreshment, which he greatly needed. He
left Jerusalem that same night, and fled to Arimathea, his native place, where he remained
until he thought he could return safely to Jerusalem.
I likewise saw Caiphas towards the close of the Sabbath-day, at the house of Nicodemus.
He was conversing with him and asking many questions with pretended kindness.
Nicodemus answered firmly, and continued to affirm the innocence of Jesus. They did not
remain long together.

The Night of Resurrection.

I soon after beheld the tomb of our Lord. All was calm and silent around it. There were
six soldiers on guard, who were either seated or standing before the door, and Cassius was
among them. His appearance was that of a person immersed in meditation and in the
expectation of some great event. The sacred body of our Blessed Redeemer was wrapped in
the winding-sheet, and surrounded with light, while two angels sat in an attitude of
adoration, the one at the head, and the other at the feet. I had seen them in the same posture
ever since he was first put into the tomb. These angels were clothed as priests. Their
position, and the manner in which they crossed their arms over their breasts, reminded me
of the cherubim who surrounded the Ark of the covenant, only they were without wings; at
least I did not see any. The whole of the sepulchre reminded me of the Ark of the Covenant
at different periods of its history. It is possible that Cassius was sensible of the presence of
the angels, and of the bright light which filled the sepulchre, for his attitude was like that of
a person in deep contemplation before the Blessed Sacrament.
I next saw the soul of our Lord accompanied by those among the patriarchs whom he
had liberated enter into the tomb through the rock. He showed them the wounds with which
his sacred body was covered; and it seemed to me that the winding-sheet which previously
enveloped it was removed, and that Jesus wished to show the souls the excess of suffering
he had endured to redeem them. The body appeared to me to be quite transparent, so that
the whole depth of the wounds could be seen; and this sight filled the holy souls with
admiration, although deep feelings of compassion likewise drew tears from their eyes.
My next vision was so mysterious that I cannot explain or even relate it in a clear
manner. It appeared to me that the soul and body of Jesus were taken together out of the
sepulchre, without, however, the former being completely reunited to the latter, which still
remained inanimate. I thought I saw two angels who were kneeling and adoring at the head
and feet of the sacred body, raise it—keeping it in the exact position in which it was lying in
the tomb—and carry it uncovered and disfigured with wounds across the rock, which
trembled as they passed. It then appeared to me that Jesus presented his body, marked with
the stigmas of the Passion, to his Heavenly Father, who, seated on a throne, was
surrounded by innumerable choirs of angels, blissfully occupied in pouring forth hymns of
adoration and jubilee. The case was probably the same when at the death of our Lord, so
many holy souls re-entered their bodies, and appeared in the Temple and in different parts
of Jerusalem; for it is not likely that the bodies which they animated were really alive, as in
that case they would have been obliged to die a second time, whereas they returned to their
original state without apparent difficulty; but it is to be supposed that their appearance in
human form was similar to that of our Lord, when he (if we may thus express it)
accompanied his body to the throne of his Heavenly Father.
At this moment the rock was so violently shaken, from the very summit to the base, that
three of the guards fell down and became almost insensible. The other four were away at the
time, being gone to the town to fetch something. The guards who were thus thrown
prostrate attributed the sudden shock to an earthquake; but Cassius, who, although
uncertain as to what all this might portend, yet felt an inward presentiment that it was the
prelude to some stupendous event, stood transfixed in anxious expectation, waiting to see
what would follow next. The soldiers who were gone to Jerusalem soon returned.
I again beheld the holy women: they had finished preparing the spices, and were resting
in their private cells; not stretched out on the couches, but leaning against the bedclothes,
which were rolled up. They wished to go to the sepulchre before the break of day, because
they feared meeting the enemies of Jesus; but the Blessed Virgin, who was perfectly
renovated and filled with fresh courage since she had seen her Son, consoled and
recommended them to sleep for a time, and then go fearlessly to the tomb, as no harm
would come to them; whereupon they immediately followed her advice, and endeavoured
to sleep.
It was towards eleven o’clock at night when the Blessed Virgin, incited by irrepressible
feelings of love, arose, wrapped a grey cloak around her, and left the house quite alone.
When I saw her do this, I could not help feeling anxious, and saying to myself, ‘How is it
possible for this holy Mother, who is so exhausted from anguish and terror, to venture to
walk all alone through the streets at such an hour?’ I saw her go first to the house of
Caiphas, and then to the palace of Pilate, which was at a great distance off; I watched her
through the whole of her solitary journey along that part which had been trodden by her
Son, loaded with his heavy Cross; she stopped at every place where our Saviour had
suffered particularly, or had received any fresh outrage from his barbarous enemies. Her
appearance, as she walked slowly along, was that of a person seeking something; she often
bent down to the ground, touched the stones with her hands, and then inundated them with
kisses, if the precious blood of her beloved Son was upon them. God granted her at this time
particular lights and graces, and she was able without the slightest degree of difficulty to
distinguish every place sanctified by his sufferings. I accompanied her through the whole of
her pious pilgrimage, and I endeavoured to imitate her to the best of my power, as far as my
weakness would permit.
Mary then went to Calvary; but when she had almost reached it, she stopped suddenly,
and I saw the sacred body and soul of our Saviour standing before her. An angel walked in
front; the two angels whom I had seen in the tomb were by his side, and the souls whom he
had redeemed followed him by hundreds. The body of Jesus was brilliant and beautiful, but
its appearance was not that of a living body, although a voice issued from it; and I heard
him describe to the Blessed Virgin all he had done in Limbo, and then assure her that he
should rise again with his glorified body; that he would then show himself to her, and that
she must wait near the rock of Mount Calvary, and that part where she saw him fall down,
until he appeared. Our Saviour then went towards Jerusalem, and the Blessed Virgin,
having again wrapped her veil about her, prostrated on the spot which he had pointed out. It
was then, I think, past midnight, for the pilgrimage of Mary over the Way of the Cross had
taken up at least an hour; and I next saw the holy souls who had been redeemed by our
Saviour traverse in their turn the sorrowful Way of the Cross, and contemplate the different
places where he had endured such fearful sufferings for their sakes. The angels who
accompanied them gathered sacred flesh which had been torn off by the frequent blows he
received, as also the blood with which the ground was sprinkled on those spots where he
had fallen.
I once more saw the sacred body of our Lord stretched out as I first beheld it in the
sepulchre; the angels were occupied in replacing the garments they had gathered up of his
flesh, and they received supernatural assistance in doing this. When next I contemplated
him it was in his winding-sheet, surrounded with a bright light and with two adoring angels
by his side. I cannot explain how all these things came to pass, for they are far beyond our
human comprehension; and even if I understand them perfectly myself when I see them,
they appear dark and mysterious when I endeavour to explain them to others.
As soon as a faint glimmering of dawn appeared in the east, I saw Magdalen, Mary the
daughter of Cleophas, Johanna Chusa, and Salome, leave the Cenaculum, closely wrapped
up in their mantles. They carried bundles of spices; and one of their number had a lighted
candle in her hand, which she endeavoured to conceal under her cloak. I saw them direct
their trembling steps towards the small door at the house of Nicodemus.

The Resurrection of our Lord.

I beheld the soul of our Lord between two angels, who were in the attire of warriors: it
was bright, luminous, and resplendent as the sun at mid-day; it penetrated the rock, touched
the sacred body, passed into it, and the two were instantaneously united, and became as
one. I then saw the limbs move, and the body of our Lord, being reunited to his soul and to
his divinity, rise and shake off the winding-sheet: the whole of the cave was illuminated and
At the same moment I saw a frightful monster burst from the earth underneath the
sepulchre. It had the tail of a serpent, and it raised its dragon head proudly as if desirous of
attacking Jesus; and had likewise, if I remember correctly, a human head. But our Lord held
in his hand a white staff, to which was appended a large banner; and he placed his foot on
the head of the dragon, and struck its tail three times with his staff, after which the monster
disappeared. I had had this same vision many times before the Resurrection, and I saw just
such a monster, appearing to endeavour to hide itself, at the time of the conception of our
Lord: it greatly resembled the serpent which tempted our first parents in Paradise, only it
was more horrible. I thought that this vision had reference to the prophetic words, that ‘by
the seed of the woman the head of the serpent should be crushed,’ and that the whole was intended
to demonstrate the victory of our Lord over death, for at the same moment that I saw him
crush the head of the monster, the tomb likewise vanished from my sight.
I then saw the glorified body of our Lord rise up, and it passed through the hard rock as
easily as if the latter had been formed of some ductile substance. The earth shook, and an
angel in the garb of a warrior descended from Heaven with the speed of lightning, entered
the tomb, lifted the stone, placed it on the right side, and seated himself upon it. At this
tremendous sight the soldiers fell to the ground, and remained there apparently lifeless.
When Cassius saw the bright light which illuminated the tomb, he approached the place
where the sacred body had been placed, looked at and touched the linen clothes in which it
had been wrapped, and left the sepulchre, intending to go and inform Pilate of all that had
happened. However, he tarried a short time to watch the progress of events; for although he
had felt the earthquake, seen the angel move the stone, and looked at the empty tomb, yet
he had not seen Jesus.
At the very moment in which the angel entered the sepulchre and the earth quaked, I saw
our Lord appear to his holy Mother on Calvary. His body was beautiful and lightsome, and
its beauty was that of a celestial being. He was clothed in a large mantle, which at one
moment looked dazzlingly white, as it floated through the air, waving to and fro with every
breath of wind, and the next reflected a thousand brilliant colours as the sunbeams passed
over it. His large open wounds shone brightly, and could be seen from a great distance: the
wounds in his hands were so large that a finger might be put into them without difficulty;
and rays of light proceeded from them, diverging in the direction of his fingers. The souls of
the patriarchs bowed down before the Mother of our Saviour, and Jesus spoke to her
concerning his Resurrection, telling her many things which I have forgotten. He showed her
his wounds; and Mary prostrated to kiss his sacred feet; but he took her hand, raised her,
and disappeared.
When I was at some distance from the sepulchre I saw fresh lights burning there, and I
likewise beheld a large luminous spot in the sky immediately over Jerusalem.

The holy Women at the Sepulchre.

The holy women were very near the door of Nicodemus’s house at the moment of our
Lord’s Resurrection; but they did not see anything of the prodigies which were taking place
at the sepulchre. They were not aware that guards had been placed around the tomb, for
they had not visited it on the previous day, on account of its being the Sabbath. They
questioned one another anxiously concerning what would have to be done about the large
stone at the door, as to who would be the best person to ask about removing it, for they had
been so engrossed by grief that they had not thought about it before. Their intention was to
pour precious ointments upon the body of Jesus, and then to strew over it flowers of the
most rare and aromatic kinds, thus rendering all the honour possible to their Divine Master
in his sepulchre. Salome, who had brought more things than anyone else, was a rich lady,
who lived in Jerusalem, a relation of St. Joseph, but not the mother of John. The holy
women came to the determination of putting down their spices on the stone which closed
the door of the monument, and waiting until someone came to roll it back.
The guards were still lying on the ground, and the strong convulsions which even then
shook them clearly demonstrated how great had been their terror, and the large stone was
cast on one side, so that the door could be opened without difficulty. I could see the linen
cloth in which the body of Jesus had been wrapped scattered about in the tomb, and the
large winding-sheet lying in the same place as when they left it, but doubled together in such
a manner that you saw at once that it no longer contained anything but the spices which had
been placed round the body, and the bandages were on the outside of the tomb. The linen
cloth in which Mary had enveloped the sacred head of her Son was still there.
I saw the holy women coming into the garden; but when they perceived the light given by
the lamps of the sentinels, and the prostrate forms of the soldiers round the tomb, they for
the most part became much alarmed, and retreated towards Golgotha. Mary Magdalen was,
however, more courageous, and, followed by Salome, entered the garden while the other
women remained timidly on the outside.
Magdalen started, and appeared for a moment terrified when she drew near the sentinels.
She retreated a few steps and rejoined Salome, but both quickly recovered their presence of
mind, and walked on together through the midst of the prostrate guards, and entered into
the cave which contained the sepulchre. They immediately perceived that the stone was
removed, but the doors were closed, which had been done in all probability by Cassius.
Magdalen opened them quickly, looked anxiously into the sepulchre, and was much
surprised at seeing that the cloths in which they had enveloped our Lord were lying on one
side, and that the place where they had deposited the sacred remains was empty. A celestial
light filled the cave, and an angel was seated on the right side. Magdalen became almost
beside herself from disappointment and alarm. I do not know whether she heard the words
which the angel addressed to her, but she left the garden as quickly as possible, and ran to
the town to inform the Apostles who were assembled there of what had taken place. I do not
know whether the angel spoke to Mary Salome, as she did not enter the sepulchre; but I saw
her leaving the garden directly after Magdalen, in order to relate all that had happened to
the rest of the holy women, who were both frightened and delighted at the news, but could
not make up their minds as to whether they would go to the garden or not.
In the mean time Cassius had remained near the sepulchre in hopes of seeing Jesus, as he
thought he would be certain to appear to the holy women; but seeing nothing, he directed
his steps towards Pilate’s palace to relate to him all that had happened, stopping, however,
first at the place where the rest of the holy women were assembled, to tell them what he had
seen, and to exhort them to go immediately to the garden. They followed his advice, and
went there at once. No sooner had they reached the door of the sepulchre than they beheld
two angels clothed in sacerdotal vestments of the most dazzling white. The women were
very much alarmed, covered their faces with their hands, and prostrated almost to the
ground; but one of the angels addressed them, bade them not fear, and told them that they
must not seek for their crucified Lord there, for that he was alive, had risen, and was no
longer an inhabitant of the tomb. He pointed out to them at the same moment the empty
sepulchre, and ordered them to go and relate to the disciples all that they had seen and
heard. He likewise told them that Jesus would go before them into Galilee, and recalled to
their minds the words which our Saviour had addressed to them on a former occasion: ‘The
Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of sinners, he will be crucified, and the third day rise
again.’ The angels then disappeared, and left the holy women filled with joy, although of
course greatly agitated; they wept, looked at the empty tomb and linen clothes, and
immediately started to return to the town. But they were so much overcome by the many
astounding events which had taken place, that they walked very slowly, and stopped and
looked back often, in hopes of seeing our Lord, or at least Magdalen.
In the mean time Magdalen reached the Cenaculum. She was so excited as to appear like
a person beside herself, and knocked hastily at the door. Some of the disciples were still
sleeping, and those who were risen were conversing together. Peter and John opened the
door, but she only exclaimed, without entering the house, ‘They have taken away the body of
my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him,’ and immediately returned to the garden.
Peter and John went back into the house, and after saying a few words to the other disciples
followed her as speedily as possible, but John far outstripped Peter. I then saw Magdalen reenter
the garden, and direct her steps towards the sepulchre; she appeared greatly agitated
partly from grief, and partly from having walked so fast. Her garments were quite moist
with dew, and her veil hanging on one side, while the luxuriant hair in which she had
formerly taken so much pride fell in dishevelled masses over her shoulders, forming a
species of mantle. Being alone, she was afraid of entering the cave, but stopped for a
moment on the outside, and knelt down in order to see better into the tomb. She was
endeavouring to push back her long hair, which fell over her face and obscured her vision,
when she perceived the two angels who were seated in the tomb, and I heard one of them
address her thus: ‘Woman, why weepest thou?’ She replied, in a voice choked with tears (for
she was perfectly overwhelmed with grief at finding that the body of Jesus was really gone),
‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.’ She said no
more, but seeing the empty winding-sheet, went out of the sepulchre and began to look
about in other parts. She felt a secret presentiment that not only should she find Jesus, but
that he was even then near to her; and the presence of the angels seemed not to disturb her
in the least; she did not appear even to be aware that they were angels, every faculty was
engrossed with the one thought, ‘Jesus is not here! Where is Jesus?’ I watched her
wandering about like an insane person, with her hair floating loosely in the wind: her hair
appeared to annoy her much, for she again endeavoured to push it from off her face, and
having divided it into two parts, threw it over her shoulders.
She then raised her head, looked around, and perceived a tall figure, clothed in white,
standing at about ten paces from the sepulchre on the east side of the garden, where there
was a slight rise in the direction of the town; the figure was partly hidden from her sight by a
palm-tree, but she was somewhat startled when it addressed her in these words: ‘Woman,
why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?’ She thought it was the gardener; and, in fact, he had a
spade in his hand, and a large hat (apparently made of the bark of trees) on his head. His
dress was similar to that worn by the gardener described in the parable which Jesus had
related to the holy women at Bethania a short time before his Passion. His body was not
luminous, his hole appearance was rather that of a man dressed in white and seen by
twilight. At the words, ‘Whom seekest thou?’ she looked at him, and answered quickly, ‘Sir, if
thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him; and I will take him away.’ And she
looked anxiously around. Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She then instantly recognised his beloved
voice, and turning quickly, replied, ‘Rabboni (Master)!’ She threw herself on her knees before
him, and stretched out her hands to touch his feet; but he motioned her to be still, and said,
‘Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say to them: I
ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God.’ He then disappeared.
The reason of the words of Jesus, ‘Do not touch me,’ was afterwards explained to me, but I
have only an indistinct remembrance of that explanation. I think he made use of those
words because of the impetuosity of Magdalen’s feelings, which made her in a certain
degree forget the stupendous mystery which had been accomplished, and feel as if what she
then beheld was still mortal instead of a glorified body. As for the words of Jesus, ‘I am not
yet ascended to my Father,’ I was told that their meaning was that he had not presented
himself to his Father since his Resurrection, to return him thanks for his victory over death,
and for the work of the redemption which he had accomplished. He wished her to infer
from these words, that the first-fruits of joy belong to God, and that she ought to reflect and
return thanks to him for the accomplishment of the glorious mystery of the redemption, and
for the victory which he had gained over death; and if she had kissed his feet as she used
before the Passion, she would have thought of nothing but her Divine Master, and in her
raptures of love have totally forgotten the wonderful events which were causing such
astonishment and joy in Heaven. I saw Magdalen arise quickly, as soon as our Lord
disappeared, and run to look again in the sepulchre, as if she believed herself under the
influence of a dream. She saw the two angels still seated there, and they spoke to her
concerning the resurrection of our Lord in the same words as they had addressed the two
other women. She likewise saw the empty winding-sheet, and then, feeling certain that she
was not in a state of delusion, but that the apparition of our Lord was real, she walked
quickly back towards Golgotha to seek her companions, who were wandering about to and
fro, anxiously looking out for her return, and indulging a kind of vague hope that they
should see or hear something of Jesus.
The whole of this scene occupied a little more than two or three minutes. It was about
half-past three when our Lord appeared to Magdalen, and John and Peter entered the
garden just as she was leaving it. John, who was a little in advance of Peter, stopped at the
entrance of the cave and looked in. He saw the linen clothes lying on one side, and waited
until Peter came up, when they entered the sepulchre together, and saw the winding-sheet
empty as has been before described. John instantly believed in the Resurrection, and they
both understood clearly the words addressed to them by Jesus before his Passion, as well as
the different passages in Scripture relating to that event, which had until then been
incomprehensible to them. Peter put the linen clothes under his cloak, and they returned
hastily into the town through the small entrance belonging to Nicodemus.
The appearance of the holy sepulchre was the same when the two Apostles entered as
when Magdalen first saw it. The two adoring angels were seated, one at the head, and the
other at the extremity of the tomb, in precisely the same attitude as when his adorable body
was lying there. I do not think Peter was conscious of their presence. I afterwards heard
John tell the disciples of Emmaus, that when he looked into the sepulchre he saw an angel.
Perhaps he was startled by this sight, and therefore drew back and let Peter enter the
sepulchre first; but it is likewise very possible that the reason of his not mentioning the
circumstance in his gospel was because humility made him anxious to conceal the fact of his
having been more highly favoured than Peter.
The guards at this moment began to revive, and rising, gathered up their lances, and took
down the lamps, which were on the door, from whence they cast a glimmering weak light
on surrounding objects. I then saw them walk hastily out of the garden in evident fear and
trepidation, in the direction of the town.
In the mean time Magdalen had rejoined the holy women, and given them the account of
her seeing the Lord in the garden, and of the words of the angels afterwards, whereupon
they immediately related what had been seen by themselves, and Magdalen wended her
way quickly to Jerusalem, while the women returned to that side of the garden where they
expected to find the two Apostles. Just before they reached it, Jesus appeared to them. He
was clothed in a long white robe, which concealed even his hands, and said to them, ‘All
hail.’ They started with astonishment, and cast themselves at his feet; he spoke a few words,
held forth his hand as if to point out something to them, and disappeared. The holy women
went instantly to the Cenaculum, and told the disciples who were assembled there that they
had seen the Lord; the disciples were incredulous, and would not give credence either to
their account or to that of Magdalen. They treated both the one and the other as the effects
of their excited imaginations; but when Peter and John entered the room and related what
they likewise had seen, they knew not what to answer, and were filled with astonishment.
Peter and John soon left the Cenaculum, as the wonderful events which had taken place
rendered them extremely silent and thoughtful, and before long they met James the Less
and Thaddeus, who had wished to accompany them to the sepulchre. Both James and
Thaddeus were greatly overcome, for the Lord had appeared to them a short time before
they met Peter and John. I also saw Jesus pass quite close to Peter and John. I think the
former recognised him, for the started suddenly, but I do not think the latter saw him.

The Relation which was given by the Sentinels

who were placed around the Sepulchre.
Cassius hastened to the house of Pilate about an hour after the Resurrection, in order to
give him an account of the stupendous events which had taken place. He was not yet risen,
but Cassius was allowed to enter his bedroom. He related all that had happened, and
expressed his feelings in the most forcible language. He described how the rock had been
rent, and how an angel had descended from Heaven and pushed aside the stone; he also
spoke of the empty winding-sheet, and added that most certainly Jesus was the Messiah, the
Son of God, and that he was truly risen. Pilate listened to this account; he trembled and
quivered with terror, but concealed his agitation to the best of his power, and answered
Cassius in these words: ‘Thou art exceedingly superstitious; it was very foolish to go to the
Galilean’s tomb; his gods took advantage of thy weakness, and displayed all these ridiculous
visions to alarm thee. I recommend thee to keep silence, and not recount such silly tales to
the priests, for thou wouldst get the worst of it from them.’ He pretended to believe that the
body of Jesus had been carried away by his disciples, and that the sentinels, who had been
bribed, and had fallen asleep, or perhaps been deceived by witchcraft, had fabricated these
accounts in order to justify their conduct. When Pilate had said all he could on the subject,
Cassius left him, and he went to offer sacrifice to his gods.
The four soldiers who had guarded the tomb arrived shortly after at Pilate’s palace, and
began to tell him all that he had already heard from Cassius; but he would listen to nothing
more, and sent them to Caiphas. The rest of the guards were assembled in a large court near
the Temple which was filled with aged Jews, who, after some previous consultation, took
the soldiers on one side, and by dint of bribes and threats endeavoured to persuade them to
say that they fell asleep, and that while they were asleep the disciples came and carried away
the body of our Lord. The soldiers, however, demurred, because the statement which their
comrades were gone to make to Pilate would contradict any account which they could now
fabricate, but the Pharisees promised to arrange everything with the governor. Whilst they
were still disputing, the four guards returned from their interview with Pilate, and the
Pharisees endeavoured to persuade them to conceal the truth; but this they refused to do,
and declared firmly that they would not vary their first statement in the smallest degree. The
miraculous deliverance of Joseph of Arimathea from prison was become public, and when
the Pharisees accused the soldiers of having allowed the Apostles to carry off the body of
Jesus, and threatened them with the infliction of the most severe punishment if they did not
produce the body, they replied, that it would be as utterly impossible for them to produce
the body of Jesus, as it was for the soldiers who had charge of Joseph of Arimathea to bring
him back into his prison again. They spoke with the greatest firmness and courage; promises
and menaces were equally ineffectual. They declared that they would speak the truth and
nothing but the truth; that the sentence of death which had been passed upon Jesus was both
unjust and iniquitous; and that the crime which was perpetrated in putting him to death was
the sole cause of the interruption in the Paschal solemnity. The Pharisees, being perfectly
furious, caused the four soldiers to be arrested and thrown into prison, and the others, who
had accepted the bribes they offered, then affirmed that the body of Jesus had been carried
off by the disciples while they slept; and the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians
endeavoured to disseminate this lie to the utmost of their power, not only in the synagogue
but also among the people; and they accompanied this false statement by the most
slanderous lies concerning Jesus.
All these precautions, however, availed but little, for, after the Resurrection, many
persons who had been long dead arose from their graves, and appeared to those among their
descendants who were not sufficiently hardened to be impervious to grace, and exhorted
them to be converted. These dead persons were likewise seen by many of the disciples, who,
overcome with terror, and shaken in faith, had fled into the country. They both exhorted
and encouraged them to return, and restored their drooping courage. The resurrection of
these dead persons did not in the slightest degree resemble the Resurrection of Jesus. He
arose with a glorified body, which was no longer susceptible of either corruption or death,
and ascended into heaven with this glorified body in the sight of all his disciples; but the
dead bodies of which we spoke above were motionless corpses, and the souls which once
inhabited them were only allowed to enter and reanimate them for a time, and after
performing the mission given them, the souls again quitted these bodies, which returned to
their original state in the bowels of the earth, where they will remain until the resurrection at
the day of judgment. Neither could their return to life be compared to the raising of Lazarus
from the dead; for he really returned to a new life, and died a second time.

The End of the Lenten Meditations.

On the following Sunday, if I remember right, I saw the Jews washing and purifying the
Temple.16 They offered up expiatory sacrifices, cleared away the rubbish, and endeavoured
to conceal the effects of the earthquake by placing planks and carpets over the chasms and
fissures made by it in the walls and on the pavement; and they recommenced the Paschal
solemnities, which had been interrupted in the midst, declared that the disturbance had been
caused by the presence of impure persons, and endeavoured to explain away the apparition
of the dead. They referred to a vision of Ezechiel, but how I can no longer remember. They
threatened all who dared to say a syllable concerning the events which had taken place, or
who presumed to murmur, with excommunication and other severe punishments. They
succeeded in silencing some few hardened persons who, conscious of their own guilt,
wished to banish the subject from their minds, but they made no impression on those whose
hearts still retained some remains of virtue; they remained silent for a time, concealing their
inward belief, but later, regaining courage, proclaimed their faith in Jesus loudly to the
world. The High Priests were much disconcerted, when they perceived how rapidly the
doctrines of Christ spread over the country. When Stephen was deacon, the whole of Ophel
and the eastern side of Sion was too small to contain the numerous Christian communities,
and a portion were obliged to take up their residence in the country between Jerusalem and
I saw Annas in such a state of frenzy as to act like one possessed; he was at last obliged to
be confined, and never again to make his appearance in public. Caiphas was outwardly less
demonstrative, but he was inwardly devoured with such rage and extreme jealousy that his
reason was affected.
I saw Pilate on Easter Thursday; he was instituting a search for his wife in every part of
the city, but his efforts for her recovery were fruitless; she was concealed in the house of
Lazarus, in Jerusalem. No one thought of looking there, as the house contained no other
female; but Stephen carried food to her there, and let her know all that was going on in the
city. Stephen was first-cousin to St. Paul. They were the sons of two brothers. On the day
16 The above relation was given later, and it is impossible to say whether it relates to the day of the
Resurrection or to the following Sunday.
after the Sabbath, Simon of Cyrene went to the Apostles and begged to be instructed and to
receive baptism.
The visions of Sister Emmerich, which had continued from the 18th of February to the 6th
of April 1823, here came to a conclusion.
Detached Account of Longinus.
On the 15th of March 1821, Sister Emmerich gave the following detached account of parts
of a vision which she had had the previous night concerning St. Longinus, whose festival
happened to fall upon that very day, although she did not know it.
Longinus, who had, I think, another name, held on office, partly civil and partly military,
in the household of Pilate, who entrusted him with the duty of superintending all that
passed, and making a report of it to him. He was trustworthy and ready to do a service, but
previous to his conversion was greatly wanting in firmness and strength of character. He
was excessively impetuous in all that he did, and anxious to be thought a person of great
importance, and as he squinted and had weak eyes, he was often jeered at and made the
laughing-stock of his companions. I have seen him frequently during the course of this
night, and in connection with him I have at the same time seen all the Passion, I do not
know in what manner; I only remember that it was in connection with him.
Longinus was only in a subordinate position, and had to give an account to Pilate of all
that he saw. On the night that Jesus was led before the tribunal of Caiphas he was in the
outer court among the soldiers, and unceasingly going backwards and forwards. When Peter
was alarmed at the words of the maid-servant standing near the fire, it was he who said
once: ‘Art thou not also one of this man’s disciples?’
When Jesus was being led to Calvary, Longinus, by Pilate’s orders, followed him closely,
and our Divine Lord gave him a look which touched his heart. Afterwards I saw him on
Golgotha with the soldiers. He was on horseback, and carried a lance; I saw him at Pilate’s
house, after the death of our Lord, saying that the legs of Jesus ought not to be broken. He
returned at once to Calvary. His lance was made of several pieces which fitted one into the
other, so that by drawing them out, the lance could be made three times its original length.
He had just done this when he came to the sudden determination of piercing the side of our
Saviour. He was converted upon Mount Calvary, and a short time afterwards expressed to
Pilate his conviction that Jesus was the Son of God. Nicodemus prevailed upon Pilate to let
him have Longinus’s lance, and I have seen many things concerning the subsequent history
of this lance. Longinus, after his conversion, left the army, and joined the disciples. He and
two other soldiers, who were converted at the foot of the cross, were among the first
baptised after Pentecost.
I saw Longinus and these two men, clothed in long white garments, return to their native
land. They lived there in the country, in a barren and marshy locality. Here it was that the
forty martyrs died. Longinus was not a priest, but a deacon, and travelled here and there in
that capacity, preaching the name of Christ, and giving, as an eye-witness, a history of his
Passion and Resurrection. He converted a large number of persons, and cured many of the
sick, by allowing them to touch a piece of the sacred lance which he carried with him. The
Jews were much enraged at him and his two companions because they made known in all
parts the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus, and the cruelty and deceits of his enemies. At
their instigation, some Roman soldiers were dispatched to Longinus’s country to take and
judge him on the plea of his having left the army without leave, and being a disturber of
public peace. He was engaged in cultivating his field when they arrived, and he took them to
his house, and offered them hospitality. They did not know him, and when they had
acquainted him with the object of their journey, he quietly called his two companions who
were living in a sort of hermitage at no great distance off, and told the soldiers that they and
himself were the men for whom they were seeking. The same thing happened to the holy
gardener, Phocas. The soldiers were really distressed, for they had conceived a great
friendship for him. I saw him led with his two companions to a small neighbouring town,
where they were questioned. They were not put in prison, but permitted to go whither they
pleased, as prisoners on their word, and only made to wear a distinctive park on the
shoulder. Later, they were all three beheaded on a hill, situated between the little town and
Longinus’s house, and there buried. The soldiers put the head of Longinus at the end of a
spear, and carried it to Jerusalem, as a proof that they had fulfilled their commission. I think
I remember that this took place a very few years after the death of our Lord.
Afterwards I had a vision of things happening at a later period. A blind countrywoman of
St. Longinus went with her son on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, in hopes of recovering her
sight in the holy city where the eyes of Longinus had been cured. She was guided by her
child, but he died, and she was left alone and disconsolate. Then St. Longinus appeared to
her, and told her that she would recover her sight when she had drawn his head out of a sink
into which the Jews had thrown it. This sink was a deep well, with the sides bricked, and all
the filth and refuse of the town flowed into it through several drains. I saw some persons
lead the poor woman to the spot; she descended into the well up to her neck, and drew out
the sacred head, whereupon she recovered her sight. She returned to her native land, and
her companions preserved the head. I remember no more upon this subject.

Detached Account of Abenadar.
On the 1st of April 1823, Sister Emmerich said that that day was the feast of St.
Ctesiphon, the centurion who had assisted at the Crucifixion, and that she had seen during
the night various particulars concerning his life. But she had also suffered greatly, which,
combined with exterior distractions, had caused her to forget the greatest part of what she
had seen. She related what follows:
Abenadar, afterwards called Ctesiphon, was born in a country situated between Babylon
and Egypt in Arabia Felix, to the right of the spot where Job dwelt during the latter half of
his life. A certain number of square houses, with flat roofs, were built there on a slight
ascent. There were many small trees growing on this spot, and incense and balm were
gathered there. I have been in Abenadar’s house, which was large and spacious, as might be
expected of a rich man’s house, but it was also very low. All these houses were built in this
manner, perhaps on account of the wind, because they were much exposed. Abenadar had
joined the garrison of the fortress Antonia, at Jerusalem, as a volunteer. He had entered the
Roman service for the purpose of enjoying more facilities in his study of the fine arts, for he
was a learned man. His character was firm, his figure short and thick-set, and his
complexion dark.
Abenadar was early convinced, by the doctrine which he heard Jesus preach, and by a
miracle which he saw him work; that salvation was to be found among the Jews, and he had
submitted to the law of Moses. Although not yet a disciple of our Lord, he bore him no illwill,
and held his person in secret veneration. He was naturally grave and composed, and
when he came to Golgotha to relieve guard, he kept order on all sides, and forced everybody
to behave at least with common decency, down to the moment when truth triumphed over
him, and he rendered public testimony to the Divinity of Jesus. Being a rich man, and a
volunteer, he had no difficulty in resigning his post at once. He assisted at the descent from
the Cross and the burial of our Lord, which put him into familiar connection with the
friends of Jesus, and after the day of Pentecost he was one of the first to receive baptism in
the Pool of Bethsaida, where he took the name of Ctesiphon. He had a brother living in
Arabia, to whom he related the miracles he had beheld, and who was thus called to the path
of salvation, came to Jerusalem, was baptised by the name of Cecilius, and was charged,
together with Ctesiphon, to assist the deacons in the newly-formed Christian community.
Ctesiphon accompanied the Apostle St. James the Greater into Spain, and also returned
with him. After a time, he was again sent into Spain by the Apostles, and carried there the
body of St. James, who had been martyred at Jerusalem. He was made a bishop, and
resided chiefly in a sort of island or peninsula at no great distance from France, which he
also visited, and where he made some disciples. The name of the place where he lived was
rather like Vergui, and it was afterwards laid waste by an inundation. I do not remember
that Ctesiphon was ever martyred. He wrote several books containing details concerning the
Passion of Christ; but there have been some books falsely attributed to him, and others,
which were really from his pen, ascribed to different writers. Rome has since rejected these
books, the greatest part of which were apocryphal, but which nevertheless did contain some
few things really from his pen. One of the guards of our Lord’s sepulchre, who would not let
himself be bribed by the Jews, was his fellow countryman and friend. His name was
something like Sulei or Suleii. After being detained some time in prison, he retired into a
cavern of Mount Sinai, where he lived seven years. God bestowed many special graces upon
this man, and he wrote some very learned books in the style of Denis the Areopagite.
Another writer made use of his works, and in this manner some extracts from them have
come down to us. Everything concerning these facts was made known to me, as well as the
name of the book, but I have forgotten it. This countryman of Ctesiphon, afterwards
followed him into Spain. Among the companions of Ctesiphon in that country were this
brother Cecilius, and some other men, whose name were Intalecius, Hesicius, and
Euphrasius. Another Arab, called Sulima, was converted in the very early days of the
Church, and a fellow countryman of Ctesiphon, with a name like Sulensis, became a
Christian later, in the time of the deacons.