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Via Crucis, Felix Anton Scheffler - 1757
Church of Saint Martin - Ischl, Seeon (Diocese of München) - Germany

Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Luke. 23:27-29, 31

A great number of people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him.  But Jesus turned to them and said:
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.  For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed!’.
For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”



The tears of the mothers of Jerusalem
flood with pity the path trod by the Convict,
soften the ferocity of an execution
and remind us that we are all children:
children come forth from a mother’s embrace.

But the tears of the mothers of Jerusalem
are but a small drop
in the river of tears shed by mothers:
mothers of the crucified, mothers of murderers,
mothers of drug addicts, mothers of terrorists,
mothers of rapists, mothers of psychopaths:
but mothers all the same!

Yet tears are not enough.
Tears must overflow into love that nurtures,
strength that gives direction, firmness that corrects,
dialogue that builds, a presence that speaks!

Tears must prevent other tears!



Lord Jesus,
you know well the tears of every mother,
you see in every home the corner of pain,
you hear the silent cry
of the many mothers hurt by their children:
bearing deadly wounds ... yet still alive!

Lord Jesus,
dissolve the clots of callousness
that prevent love from circulating
in the arteries of our families.
Make us, once again, conscious of being children,
so that we can give our mothers
– on earth and in heaven –
pride in having borne us,
and joy in blessing
the day of our birth.

Lord Jesus,
wipe away the tears of all mothers,
so that a smile may return to their children’s faces,
to the faces of all.



Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
pœnas mecum divide.


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