Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 4

This document is: ACE_4_0301

[click an item below to go to other documents]

Previous document: ACE_4_0281 List of documents Next document: ACE_4_0321
Table of Contents for this Volume
Cover page with links to All Volumes (1 to 4)

The Holy of Holies


 by degrees, carried with them to their homes, and which was there for the most part by the activ­ity of the Pharisees finally extinguished.

And so it was in general. I remember the follow­ing striking incidents: The two great columns at the entrance of the Holy of Holies in the Temple, between which hung a magnificent curtain, fell in opposite directions, the left-hand one to the south, the right-hand to the north. The beam which they supported gave way and the great curtain was, with a hissing noise, rent from top to bottom so that, opening on either side, it fell. This curtain was red, blue, white, and yellow. Many celestial spheres were described upon it, also figures like the brazen serpent. The peo­ple could now see into the Holy of Holies. In the northern wall near it was the little cell in which Simeon used to pray. A great stone was hurled upon it, and the roof fell in. In some of the halls the floor sank here and there, beams were displaced, and pil­lars gave way.

In the Holy of Holies, between the porch and the altar, an apparition of the murdered High Priest Zacharias was seen. He uttered threatening words, spoke of the death of the other Zacharias, also that of John, denominating the High Priests the murder­ers of the Prophets. He came from the opening made by the falling stone near Simeon's place of prayer, and addressed the priests in the Holy of Holies. Simon Justus was a pious High Priest, an ancestor of the aged priest Simeon who had prophesied on the occa­sion of Jesus' Presentation in the Temple. His two prematurely deceased sons now appeared as tall phan­toms near the principal chair of instruction, and in menacing terms spoke of the murder of the Prophets, of the sacrifice of the Old Law, which was now at an end, and admonished all present to embrace the doc­trine of the Crucified.

Jeremias appeared at the altar and uttered words of denunciation. The sacrifice of the Old Law was


Life of Jesus Christ

 ended, he said, and a new one had begun. These speeches and apparitions in places to which Caiaphas or the priests alone had access, were hushed up and denied. It was forbidden to speak of them under penalty of excommunication. And now there arose a great clamor, the doors of the sanctuary sprang open, a voice cried out: "Let us go hence!" and I saw the angels departing from the Temple. The altar of incense was elevated to some height and a vessel of incense tilted over. The shelf that held the rolls of Scripture fell in, and the rolls were scattered around. The confusion increased to such a degree that the time of day was forgotten. Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and many others left the Tem­ple and went away. Corpses were lying here and there, others were wandering through the halls and uttering warning words to the people. At the sound of the voice of the angels fleeing from the Temple, the dead returned to their graves. The teacher's chair in the outer porch fell to pieces. Many of the thir­ty-two Pharisees who had ridden to Calvary just before Jesus expired, returned in the midst of this confusion to the Temple. As they had been converted at the foot of the cross, they looked upon all these signs with still greater consternation and, address­ing some stern reproaches to Annas and Caiaphas, they quickly retired.

Annas, who was really, though in secret, Jesus' principal enemy who for a long time had headed all the hidden intrigues against Him and the disciples, and who had also instructed the false witnesses as to what they were to say, was so terrified that he became like one bereft of reason. He fled from cor­ner to corner through the most retired apartments of the Temple. I saw him moaning and crying, his muscles contracted as if in convulsions, conveyed to a secret room where he was surrounded by several of his followers. Once Caiaphas clasped him tightly in his arms in order to raise his courage, but in

The Tomb of Zacharias


 vain. The apparition of the dead cast him into utter despair. Caiaphas, although excessively alarmed, had in him so proud and obstinate a devil that he would not allow his terror to be seen. He bade defi­ance to all and, with a bold front, set his rage and pride against the warning signs of God and his own secret fright. But as he could no longer continue the sacred ceremonies, he hid and commanded others to hide all the events and apparitions not already known to the people. He gave out, and caused others to do the same, that these apparitions, indicative of God's anger, were due to the followers of the crucified Galilean, for their coming to the Temple had pol­luted it. Only the enemies of the sacred Law, he said, which Jesus had tried to overturn, had expe­rienced any alarm, and many of the things that had happened could be ascribed to the witchcraft of the Galilean who, in death as in life, had disturbed the peace of the Temple. And so it came to pass that he silenced some by such words, and frightened others with threats. Many, however, were deeply impressed, though they concealed their sentiments. The feast was postponed until the Temple could be purified. Many of the lambs were not slaughtered, and the people dispersed by degrees.

The tomb of Zacharias under the Temple wall was sunken and destroyed, and in consequence, some stones fell out of the wall. Zacharias left it, but did not again return to it. I know not where he again laid off his body. Simon Justus' sons, who had arisen from their graves, laid theirs down again in the vault under the Temple mount, when Jesus' body was being prepared for burial.

While all these things were going on in the Tem­ple, a similar panic was experienced in many other quarters of Jerusalem. Just after three o'clock, many tombs were violently shattered, especially in the northwestern section of the city where there were numerous gardens. I saw here and there the dead


Life of Jesus Christ

 lying in their winding sheets. In other places, there were only masses of rottenness, in others skeletons, and from many proceeded an intolerable stench. At Caiaphas' tribunal, the steps upon which Jesus stood when exposed to the mockery of the rabble were overturned, also a portion of the fireplace in the hall in which Peter's first denial took place. The destruc­tion here was so great that a new entrance had to be made. It was in this place that the corpse of the High Priest Simon Justus appeared, to whose race belonged Simeon who had prophesied at Jesus' Pre­sentation in the Temple. His apparition uttered some menacing words upon the unjust sentence that had here been pronounced. Several members of the San­hedrim were present. The individuals that on the preceding night had given entrance to Peter and John, were converted. They fled to the caves in which the disciples were concealed. At Pilate's palace, the stone was shattered and the whole place upon which Pilate had exhibited Jesus to the multitude fell in. All things reeled under the powerful shaking-up they got, and in the court of the neighboring judgment hall, the place in which the bodies of the innocents murdered by Herod's orders were interred, fell in. In many other parts of the city, walls were over­turned and others cracked, but no edifices were entirely destroyed. Pilate, perplexed and supersti­tious, was in the greatest consternation and wholly incapable of discharging the duties of his charge. The earthquake shook his palace. It rocked and trem­bled under him as he fled from room to room. The dead from the court below proclaimed to him his false judgment and contradictory sentence. He thought that those voices proceeded from the gods of Jesus the Prophet, so he locked himself up in a secret corner of his palace, where he burned incense and sacrificed to his own deities, to whom he also made a vow, that they might render those of the Galilean innocuous to him. Herod too was in his own

The Dead Arise


 palace and, like one crazed from fear, he ordered every entrance to be bolted and barred.

There were about one hundred deceased belong­ing to all periods of time who arose in body from their shattered tombs both in Jerusalem and its environs. They went mostly in couples to certain parts of the city, encountering the frightened inhab­itants in their flight, and testifying to Jesus in denun­ciatory words, few but vigorous. Most of the sepulchers stood solitary in the valleys, though there were many in the newly laid out portions of the city, especially among the gardens toward the northwest, between the corner gate and that leading to the place of crucifixion. There were besides, around and under the Temple, many secret graves long since forgotten.

Not all the dead whose corpses were exposed to view by the falling of their tombs arose. Many a one became merely visible, because the graves were in common. But many others, whose souls Jesus sent to earth from Limbo, arose, threw off the covering from their face and went, not walking, but as if float­ing, along the streets of Jerusalem to their friends and relatives. They entered the houses of their pos­terity, and rebuked them severely for the part they had taken in the murder of Jesus. I saw some of them meeting, as if they were friends or relatives, and going in couples through the streets of the city. I could see no movement of their feet under their long winding sheets. They passed along as if lightly hovering above the ground. The hands of some were enfolded in broad bands of linen, others hung down under the large sleeves that bound the arms. The covering of the face was thrown up over the head, and the pale, yellow countenance with its long beard looked dried and withered. Their voices sounded strange and unearthly, and these voices, joined to their incessant moving from place to place, uncon­cerned about all around, was their only external


Life of Jesus Christ

 expression; indeed they seemed almost nothing but voice. They were clothed somewhat differently, each according to the custom at the time of his death, his position in society, and his age. On the crossways upon which Jesus' punishment was trumpeted as the procession moved on to Golgotha, they stood still and proclaimed glory to Jesus and woe to His murder­ers. The people standing afar hearkened, shuddered, and fled, as the dead floated toward them. I heard them on the forum in front of Pilate's palace crying aloud in threatening terms. I remember the words: "Cruel Judge!" The people fled into the most secret corners of their houses and hid. Intense fear per­vaded the whole city. About four o'clock, the dead returned to their graves. Many other spirits appeared in different quarters after Christ's Resurrection. The sacrifice was interrupted and everything thrown into confusion. Only a very few of the people ate the Paschal lamb that evening.

Among the dead who arose on this occasion in and around Jerusalem (and there were at least one hun­dred), no relative of Jesus was found. The tombs in the northwestern section of Jerusalem were once beyond the precincts of the city, but when it was enlarged they were included in its limits. I had also a glimpse of other deceased persons who arose here and there in different parts of the Holy Land, appeared to their relatives, and bore witness to Jesus Christ's mission. I saw, for instance, Zadoch, a very pious man, who divided all his wealth between the poor and the Temple and founded an Essenian community near Hebron. He was one of the last Prophets before Christ. He had waited very earnestly for the appearance of the Messiah, he had many revelations upon the same, and communication with the ancestors of the Holy Family. This Zadoch, who lived about one hundred years before Jesus, I saw arise and appear to several persons in the region of Hebron. I saw once that his soul was among the first to return to his body, and

Darkness and Destruction in Distant Places


 then I saw all those souls walking around with Jesus, as if they had again laid their body down. I saw also various deceased persons appearing to the disciples of the Lord in their hiding places, and addressing to them words of admonition.

I saw that the darkness and earthquake were not confined to Jerusalem and its environs. They extended throughout other regions of the country, yes, even in far distant places they spread terror and destruc­tion. In Tirzah, the towers of the prison from which Jesus had released the captives were overthrown, as well as other buildings. In the land of Cabul, I saw that a great many places suffered injury. Through­out Galilee, where chiefly Jesus had journeyed, I saw isolated buildings in many places, and especially numerous houses belonging to the Pharisees who had persecuted the Lord most violently, toppling down over wife and child, while they themselves were away at the feast. The destruction around the Sea of Galilee was very remarkable. In Capharnaum many build­ings were overturned. The place between Tiberias and the garden of Zorobabel, the Centurion of Caphar­naum, was almost demolished. The entire rocky pro­jection belonging to the Centurion's beautiful gardens near Capharnaum was torn away. The lake rushed into the valley and its waters flowed near to Caphar­naum, which, before that, was fully half an hour's distance from it. Peter's house and the dwelling of the Blessed Virgin outside Capharnaum and toward the lake remained unharmed.

The Sea of Galilee was greatly disturbed. In some places its banks caved in, and in others they seemed to be pushed out, its shape thereby being notably changed. It began to assume that which it has at the present day, and, especially in its near surround­ings, it can no longer be readily recognized. The change was particularly great at the southwest end of the sea, just below Tarichaea, where the long dike of black stone which separated the marsh from the


Life of Jesus Christ

 sea and gave a fixed direction to the course of the Jordan entirely gave way and occasioned great destruction.

On the eastern side of the sea, where the swine of the Gerasens plunged into the marsh, many places sank in; the same happened likewise in Gergesa, Gerasa, and throughout the entire district of Corozain. The mountain upon which Jesus had twice multi­plied the loaves sustained a great shaking, and the stone upon which the bread was multiplied was rent in twain. In and around Paneas, many things were overturned. In the Decapolis half of the cities sank, and many places in Asia sustained severe damage: for instance, Nicaea, but chiefly many situated east and northeast of Paneas. In Upper Galilee too I saw great destruction. Most of the Pharisees found, on their return from the feast, dire distress in their homes, and news of it reached others while yet in Jerusalem. It was on this account that the enemies of Jesus were so dejected, and that they ventured not until Pentecost to molest His followers in any notable way.

On Mount Garizim I saw many objects belonging to the temple tumbling down. Above a well, which was protected by a little temple, stood an idol. Both idol and roof were precipitated into the well. At Nazareth, one half of the synagogue out of which His enemies had thrust Jesus, fell; and that part of the mountain down which they wanted to cast Him was torn away.

Many a mountain, valley, and city sustained great damage, and several changes were made in the bed of the Jordan. By the shocks upon the seashore and the inflowing of little streams, obstacles arose against the rushing water, so that the course of the river was in many places considerably turned aside. In Machaerus and the other cities under Herod's juris­diction, the earthquake was not felt. They were sit­uated outside the circle of warning and repentance,

Evil Spirits


 like those men who did not fall in the Garden of Olives and who consequently did not rise again.

In many regions, the sojourn of evil spirits, I saw those spirits falling in great crowds with the top­pling buildings and mountains. The quaking of the earth reminded me then of the convulsions of the possessed when the evil one felt that he had to depart. When, near Gerasa, a portion of that mountain from which the demon with the herd of swine had plunged into the swamp by the seashore rolled down into that same swamp, I saw rushing with it into the abyss, like an angry cloud, an immense multitude of evil spirits.

I think it was in Nicaea that I saw something of which I still remember, although imperfectly, the details. I saw a harbor in which lay many ships, and nearby a house from which rose a great tower. I saw there a man, a pagan, the custodian of the ships. It was his duty to climb up into the tower from time to time and gaze out over the sea, to find out whether ships were coming or if any assistance was needed. Hearing a roaring noise among the ships in the har­bor, he became apprehensive of an enemy's approach. Hurrying quickly up into the watchtower, and look­ing out upon the ships, he beheld floating over them numerous dark figures that cried out to him in mournful tones: "If you desire to save these ships, steer them away from here, for we have to go into the abyss! Great Pan is dead." These are the only words that I distinctly remember of the apparitions. But they told him other things, and gave him many directions as to where and how, on a voyage which he was destined to take, he should make known what they now imparted to him. They exhorted him also when messengers would come and announce the doctrine of Him who had just died, to receive them well.

Through the power of the Lord, the evil spirits were forced to warn that good man and proclaim


Life of Jesus Christ

 their own disgrace. Then a violent storm arose, but the ships had already been secured. I saw at the same time the devils plunging with loud bellowing into the sea, and one half of the city swallowed up by the earthquake. The good man's house remained standing. Soon after that he sailed around in his ship for a long time, executing his commissions and making known the death of "The great Pan," as they called the Lord. Later on he went to Rome, where his statements excited intense wonder. I saw many other things connected with this man, but I have for­gotten them. Among other things, I saw that one of the narratives of his travels became in repetition mixed up with what I had seen, and it was very far spread, but I do not clearly recollect how they were connected. I think the man's name sounded like Thamus, or Tramus.

56. Joseph of Arimathea Requests the Body of Jesus from Pilate

Quiet was scarcely restored to Jerusalem after all those frightful events, when Pilate, already so terrified, was assailed on all sides with accounts of what had occurred. The Council of the Jews also, as they had determined to do that morning, sent to him for permission to break the legs of the cruci­fied, and thus put an end to their life, for they wanted to take them down from the cross, that they might not hang thereon upon the Sabbath. Pilate dispatched some executioners to Calvary for this purpose.

Just after that I saw Joseph of Arimathea, a mem­ber of the Council, going to Pilate. He had already heard of Jesus' death, and with Nicodemus had con­cluded to bury the Lord's body in the new sepulcher hewn out of a rock in his own garden, not very far from Calvary. I think I saw him outside the gate as if examining, or reconnoitering, the premises. Some

Pilate Gives Jesus' Body to Joseph


 few of his servants were already in the garden, clean­ing it and arranging things inside the sepulcher. Nicodemus had gone to buy linen and spices for preparing the body for burial, and he was now wait­ing for Joseph.

Joseph found Pilate very anxious and perplexed, He begged openly and fearlessly that he might be allowed to take the body of Jesus, the King of the Jews, down from the cross, as he wanted to lay it in his own sepulcher. Pilate's anxiety increased on beholding so distinguished a man begging so earnestly to be permitted to honor the body of Jesus, whom he himself had caused to be ignominiously crucified. The innocence of Jesus recurred to him, making him still more uneasy, but he overcame him­self, and asked: "Is He, then, already dead?" for only a few moments had elapsed since he sent execu­tioners out to break the bones of the crucified, and thus end their life. He summoned the Centurion Abenadar, who was returned from the caves where he had spoken with some of the disciples, and asked him whether the King of the Jews was already dead. Abenadar in reply related to him the death of the Lord about three o'clock, His last words, and His loud cry, the quaking of the earth and the rending of the rock. Outwardly Pilate appeared merely to be surprised, since the crucified generally lived longer, but inwardly he was filled with trouble and alarm at the coincidence of those signs with Jesus' death. He wished perhaps to palliate in some mea­sure his cruelty by at once expediting an order for Joseph of Arimathea, by which he gave him the body of the King of the Jews with permission to take it down from the cross and bury it. He was glad by so doing to be able to annoy the High Priests, who would rather have had Jesus dishonorably buried along with the two thieves. It was probably Abenadar himself whom Pilate dispatched to see the order executed, for I saw him present at the


Life of Jesus Christ

 taking down of Jesus from the cross.

Joseph of Arimathea took leave of Pilate and went to meet Nicodemus, who was awaiting him at the house of a well-disposed woman. She lived on the broad street near that narrow alley in which Our Lord, just at the commencement of His bitter Way of the Cross, was made to endure such ignominy. Nicodemus had purchased here a lot of aromatic plants and herbs for the embalming, for the woman was a vendor of such things. She procured elsewhere many kinds of spices that she herself did not have, also linen and bandages for the same purpose, all of which she rolled together into a package that could be easily carried. Joseph of Arimathea went himself and bought a winding sheet of cotton, very fine and beautiful, six ells long and several wide. His servants collected under a shed near the house of Nicodemus ladders, hammers, strong iron nails, water bottles, vessels, sponges, and all that was nec­essary for the work before them. The smaller objects they packed on a light litter, or handbarrow, almost like that upon which the disciples carried the body of John the Baptist from Herod's citadel of Machaerus.

57. The Side of Jesus Opened. The Legs of the Thieves Broken

Meanwhile all was silent and mournful on Golgo­tha. The crowd had timidly dispersed to their homes. The Mother of Jesus, John, Magdalen, Mary Cleophas, and Salome were standing or sitting with veiled heads and in deep sadness opposite the cross. Some sol­diers were seated on the earthen wall, their spears stuck in the ground near them. Cassius was riding around, and the soldiers were interchanging words with their companions posted at some distance below. The sky was lowering; all nature appeared to be in mourning. Things were in this position when six exe­cutioners

Cassius to Fulfill a Prophecy


 were seen ascending the mount with lad­ders, spades, ropes, and heavy, triangular iron bars used for breaking the bones of malefactors.

When they entered the circle, the friends of Jesus drew back a little. New fear seized upon the heart of the Blessed Virgin lest the body of Jesus was to be still further outraged, for the executioners mounted up the cross, roughly felt the sacred body, and declared that He was pretending to be dead. Although they felt that He was quite cold and stiff, yet they were not convinced that He was already dead. John, at the entreaty of the Blessed Virgin, turned to the soldiers, to draw them off for a while from the body of the Lord. The executioners next mounted the lad­ders to the crosses of the thieves. Two of them with their sharp clubs broke the bones of their arms above and below the elbows, while a third did the same above the knees and ankles. Gesmas roared fright­fully, consequently the executioner finished him by three blows of the club on the breast. Dismas moaned feebly, and expired under the torture. He was the first mortal to look again upon His Redeemer. The executioners untwisted the cords, and allowed the bodies to fall heavily to the earth. Then tying ropes around them, they dragged them down into the val­ley between the mount and the city wall, and there buried them.

The executioners appeared still to have some doubts as to the death of the Lord, and His friends, after witnessing the terrible scene just described, were more anxious than ever for them to withdraw. Cassius, the subaltern officer, afterward known as Longinus, a somewhat hasty, impetuous man of twenty-five, whose airs of importance and officious­ness joined to his weak, squinting eyes often exposed him to the ridicule of his inferiors, was suddenly seized by wonderful ardor. The barbarity, the base fury of the executioners, the anguish of the Blessed Virgin, and the grace accorded him in that sudden


Life of Jesus Christ

 and supernatural impulse of zeal, all combined to make of him the fulfiller of a Prophecy. His lance, which was shortened by having one section run into another, he drew out to its full length, stuck the point upon it, turned his horse's head, and drove him boldly up to the narrow space on top of the eminence upon which the cross was planted. There was scarcely room for the animal to turn, and I saw Cassius reining him up in front of the chasm made by the cleft rock. He halted between Jesus' cross and that of the good thief, on the right of Our Saviour's body, grasped the lance with both hands, and drove it upward with such violence into the hollow, distended right side of the Sacred Body, through the entrails and the heart, that its point opened a little wound in the left breast. When with all his force he drew the blessed lance from the wide wound it had made in the right side of Jesus, a copious stream of blood and water rushed forth and flowed over his up-raised face, bedewing him with grace and salvation. He sprang quickly from his horse, fell upon his knees, struck his breast, and before all present proclaimed aloud his belief in Jesus.

The Blessed Virgin, John, and the holy women, whose eyes were riveted upon Jesus, witnessed with terror the sudden action, accompanied the thrust of the lance with a cry of woe, and rushed up to the cross. Mary, as if the thrust had transfixed her own heart, felt the sharp point piercing her through and through. She sank into the arms of her friends, while Cassius, still on his knees, was loudly confessing the Lord and joyfully praising God. He was enlightened; he now saw plainly and distinctly. The eyes of his body, like those of his soul, were healed and opened. All were seized with a sentiment of the deepest rev­erence at sight of the Redeemer's blood which, mixed with water, fell in a foamy stream into a hollow in the rock at the foot of the cross. Mary, Cassius, the

Preparations for Jesus' Burial


 holy women, and John scooped it up in the drink­ing cups they had with them, poured it into flasks, and dried the hollow with linen cloths.1

Cassius was entirely changed, deeply touched and humbled. He had received perfect sight. The soldiers present, touched also by the miracle they had wit­nessed, fell on their knees, striking their breast and confessing Jesus, from the wide opening of whose right side blood and water were copiously stream­ing. It fell upon the clean stone, and lay there foam­ing and bubbling. The friends of Jesus gathered it up with loving care, Mary and Magdalen mingling with it their tears. The executioners who meanwhile had received Pilate's order not to touch the body of Jesus, as he had given it to Joseph of Arimathea for burial, did not return.

The lance of Cassius was in several sections that slipped one into the other. When not drawn out, it looked like a stout staff of moderate length. The part that inflicted a wound was of iron, smooth and pear shaped, on the top of which a point could be stuck, and from the lower part two sharp, curved blades could be drawn when needed.

All the above took place around the cross of Jesus soon after four o'clock, while Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were making the purchase necessary for the burial of Christ. When the friends of Jesus on Golgotha were informed by Joseph of Arimathea's servants, who were come from cleaning and arrang­ing the sepulcher, that their master had Pilate's per­mission to take down the Sacred Body and lay it in his own new tomb, John and the holy women returned

1. Sister Emmerich added: "Cassius, baptized Longinus, later on was ordained deacon and preached Christ. He always carried about with him some of the sacred blood, now dried up. It was found in his grave in Italy, in a city not far from the place in which Saint Clare lived. Near the city is a green lake in which there is an island. His body must have been taken there." Sister Emmerich appears, by her description, to designate Mantua, where such a tradition is preserved. The writer is ignorant as to which Saint Clare lived in the neighborhood.


Life of Jesus Christ

 at once to the city, to the quarter on Mount Sion, that the Blessed Virgin might take a little rest. They wanted also to get some things still necessary for the burial. The Blessed Virgin had a little dwelling among the buildings belonging to the Coenaculum. They did not go by the nearest gate, for that was closed and guarded on the other side by the soldiers that the Pharisees had called for when they feared an uprising of the populace. They went by one more to the south, the one that led to Bethlehem.

58. Some Localities of Ancient Jerusalem

On the eastern side of Jerusalem was the first gate south of the southeast angle of the Temple, which led into that quarter of the city called Ophel. The one to the north of the northeast corner was the sheep gate. Between these two gates was a third (though not as yet long in existence) that led to some streets which ran one above another on the east side of the Temple mount, and in which principally stone­cutters and other laborers resided. Their dwellings adjoined the foundation walls of the Temple. Almost all the houses of these two streets belonged to Nicode­mus, who had had them built. The stonecutters that occupied them either paid him rent or worked for him, for they had business relations with him and his friend, Joseph of Arimathea. The last-named owned large quarries in his native place, and car­ried on an active trade in marble. Nicodemus had not long before built a beautiful new gate for these streets; it is now called the gate of Moriah. As it was just finished, Jesus was the first to pass through it on Palm Sunday. He went through Nicodemus' new gate, through which no one before Him had passed, and He was buried in Joseph of Arimathea's new sepulcher, in which before Him no one had rested. Later on, this gate was walled up, and there is a

Ancient Jerusalem


 saying that the Christians will once again enter the city through it. Even in the present day, there is a walled-up gate in this region, called by the Turks "The Golden Gate."

If there were no walls to obstruct the course, a straight road from the sheep gate toward the west would strike almost between the northwest end of Mount Sion and through the center of Golgotha. From this gate to Golgotha in a straight line the distance was perhaps three-quarters of an hour, but from Pilate's house to Golgotha, it was in a straight line about five-eighths of an hour. The fortress Anto­nia rose from a projecting rock on the northwest of the Temple mount. When one turned to the left from Pilate's palace and passed westward through the arch, the fortress lay on his left. On one of its walls was an elevated platform that overlooked the forum, and from it Pilate was accustomed to address the populace, to publish new laws, for instance. When Jesus was carrying His cross inside the city, He often had Mount Calvary on His right. (Jesus' jour­ney must have been made partly in a southwest­erly direction). It led through the gate of an inner wall which ran off toward Sion, which quarter of the city stood very high. Beyond this wall and to the west, there was another quarter that contained more gardens than houses. Toward the outer wall of the city there were magnificent sepulchers with beautifully sculptured entrances, and above many of them pretty little gardens. In this quarter stood the house owned by Lazarus. It has beautiful gar­dens that extended toward where the outer west­ern wall turned off to the south. There was, I think, near the great sheep gate a little private entrance through the city wall into those gardens. Jesus and His disciples, with Lazarus' permission, often made use of it in coming and going. The gate on the north­west corner opened in the direction of Bethsur, which lay more to the north than Emmaus and Joppa.


Life of Jesus Christ

 Several royal tombs stood to the north of the outer wall. This western and sparsely built portion of the city was the lowest of all. It sloped gently toward the city wall and then as gently rose again before reaching it. This second slope was covered with beau­tiful gardens and vineyards. Back of this ran a broad paved road inside the walls with paths lead­ing to them and to the towers. The latter were not like ours, which have their stairs inside. On the other side of the wall outside the city, there was a declivity toward the valley, so that the walls around this lower quarter looked as if built on a raised terrace. Here too were found gardens and vineyards. Jesus' way to Calvary did not run through these gardens, for the quarter in which they were lay at the end of His journey northward to the right. It was thence Simon of Cyrene was coming when he met Jesus. The gate through which Jesus was led out of the city was not directly toward the west, but rather facing the southwest. On passing out of that gate and turning to the left, one found the city wall running southward for a short distance when it made a sharp turn to the west, and then ran again to the south around Mount Sion. On this left side of the wall and on the way to Sion rose a very strong tower like a fortress. On this same side and very near the gate that led to the place of execu­tion, opened another. Of all the city gates, these two were nearest each other. The distance between them was not greater than that between the cas­tle gate and Luding's gate here in Dülmen. This last-mentioned gate of Jerusalem opened westward into the valley, and from it the road ran to the left and a little southward toward Bethlehem. Some­what beyond the gate of execution the road turned northward and ran straight to Calvary, which faced the city on the east and was very steep, but which on the west sloped gradually. Looking from this side toward the west, one could see for some distance

Jesus’ Tomb


 along the road leading to Emmaus. There was a field on the roadside, and there I saw Luke gath­ering herbs when, after the Resurrection, he and Cleophas on their way to Emmaus were met by Jesus. Toward ten o'clock on the morning of the Crucifixion, Jesus' face was turned to the north­west, that is, in the direction of the cross erected for Him on Calvary. When hanging on the cross, if He turned His head to the right, He could catch a glimpse of the fortress Antonia. All along the city wall, both north and east of Calvary, lay gardens, vineyards, and sepulchers. The cross of Jesus was buried on the northeast side and at the foot of Mount Calvary. Opposite the spot upon which the crosses were afterward discovered and to the north­east there were beautiful terraces covered with vines. Looking southward from the point upon which the cross stood on Calvary, one could see the house of Caiaphas away below the fortress of David.

59. Garden and Tomb Belonging to Joseph of Arimathea

This garden1 was at least seven minute's distance from Mount Calvary, near the Bethlehem gate, and on the height that sloped down to the city wall. It was very beautiful with its tall trees, its seats, and its shady nooks. On one side it extended up to the

1. We must here remark that, in the four years during which Sister Emmerich related her visions, she described many changes connected with the Holy Places profaned and laid waste, yet always venerated either secretly or openly. She herself venerated them in vision. She saw many stones and fragments of rock, the witnesses of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord, placed by St. Helena, after her discov­ery of the Holy Places, in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher built by her. They were placed in a narrow space near one another, and put under the protection of the city. Sister Emmerich honored in vision the church of the Crucifixion, that of the Holy Sepulcher, and several parts of the Sepulcher itself over which chapels are now raised. But some­times, when she venerated not so much the tomb itself as the site upon which the sepulcher stood, it seemed to her that she saw it in the vicinity, though still somewhat removed from the spot upon which the cross had stood.


Life of Jesus Christ

 height upon which rose the city wall. A person com­ing down into the valley from the northern side would perceive on entering the garden that the ground rose on his left up to the city wall. To the right and at the end of the garden lay a detached rock, in which was the sepulcher. Turning to the right, he would come to the entrance of the grotto which was facing the east, on rising ground and against the city wall. In either end of the same rock, north and south, there were two smaller grottos with low entrances. A narrow pathway ran around its western side. The ground in front of the grotto was higher than that of the entrance itself, so that to reach the door, one had to descend some steps, just as in another little tomb on the eastern side of the rock. The outer entrance was closed with lattice­work. The space inside the grotto was sufficiently great for four men to stand against the wall to the right and as many to the left, and yet permit the body to be carried between them by the bearers. The walls of the grotto rounded at the western side until they formed, just opposite the door, a broad but not very high niche. The rocky wall here formed an arching roof over the tomb, which was about two feet above the level of the ground, with space hol­lowed out on top to receive a corpse in its winding sheet. The tomb projected like an altar, being con­nected with the rock only on one side. There was room for one person to stand at the head, another at the foot, and still a third before the tomb even when the doors of the niche were closed. The doors were of copper, or some other metal, and opened to both sides, where there was space for them against the walls. They did not stand perpendicularly, but lay a little obliquely before the niche, and reached low enough to the ground for a stone laid against them to prevent their being opened. The stone intended for this purpose was now lying outside the entrance of the grotto. After the burial of the Lord

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 4

This document is: ACE_4_0301

[click an item below to go to other documents]

Previous document: ACE_4_0281 List of documents Next document: ACE_4_0321
Table of Contents for this Volume
Cover page with links to All Volumes (1 to 4)