MEDITATE ON THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES OF THE HOLY ROSARY
with this free eBook, The Scriptural Rosary Volume 2: The Sorrowful Mysteries.
This special resource will guide you through the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. When we pray these Mysteries, we can stay with Jesus—as the disciples did not—in the Garden of Gethsemane. When we meditate on Scripture verses during the Rosary, it helps us understand each Mystery more and helps us to grow closer to Our Lord and Our Lady.
It is our prayer that this Scriptural Rosary will help you to better meditate on Our Lord’s Passion and Death.
During Holy Week, the faithful can attend Masses and special events at their parishes, such as the Stations of the Cross.
In addition, everyone can commemorate Holy Week at home. We can read the Scripture, particularly the passages that teach us about the events of Palm Sunday through Good Friday. We can also pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.
It is also a good week to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, if we haven’t been during Lent, and on Good Friday to begin the Divine Mercy Novena which leads up to Divine Mercy Sunday. Our Lord asked St. Faustina for these devotions that the graces of the Redemption may be more abundantly poured out on souls.
Holy Week, particularly Christ’s Passion and Death, is a great reminder of God’s Love for humanity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 604) says,
By giving up his own Son for our sins, God manifests that his plan for us is one of benevolent love, prior to any merit on our part: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.” God “shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
Why is it called Passion Week?
This is the week when we reflect on the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, beginning with the Gospel reading of Palm Sunday which recounts the events of Our Lord’s Pasch (Passover).
The days of Holy Week include Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday); Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday (sometimes called Spy Wednesday, in reference to Judas’ betrayal), Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), Good Friday (Holy Friday), and Holy Saturday – the days immediately preceding Easter Sunday.
Beginning with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening, the Church also refers to the period that includes Easter Sunday as the Sacred Triduum.
What is the most important day of Holy Week?
The most important events in Christianity are the death and later Resurrection of Jesus Christ. On Good Friday, we mourn the death of our Savior. On Easter Sunday, we joyously celebrate His triumph over death.
“Joyful acclamations at Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, followed by his humiliation. Festive cries, followed by brutal torture. This twofold mystery accompanies our entrance into Holy Week each year.” - Pope Francis
The Gospel of St. Matthew gives us this account:
And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If any one says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
“Tell the daughter of Zion,
Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on an ass,
and on a colt, the foal of an ass.”
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the ass and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:1-9)
Why is Palm Sunday also called Passion Sunday?
Although the Gospel account of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem is read at the beginning of Mass when the palms are blessed, the Gospel of the Passion is then read at the usual place for the Gospel during the Liturgy of the Word. This marks the solemn beginning of the commemoration of the Lord’s Passion and Death.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 559-560) explains the following:
How will Jerusalem welcome her Messiah? Although Jesus had always refused popular attempts to make him king, he chooses the time and prepares the details for his messianic entry into the city of “his father David.” Acclaimed as son of David, as the one who brings salvation (Hosanna means “Save!” or “Give salvation!”), the “King of glory” enters his City “riding on an ass.” Jesus conquers the Daughter of Zion, a figure of his Church, neither by ruse nor by violence, but by the humility that bears witness to the truth. And so the subjects of his kingdom on that day are children and God's poor, who acclaim him as had the angels when they announced him to the shepherds. Their acclamation, “Blessed be he who comes in the name of the Lord,” is taken up by the Church in the “Sanctus” of the Eucharistic liturgy that introduces the memorial of the Lord’s Passover.
Jesus' entry into Jerusalem manifested the coming of the kingdom that the King-Messiah was going to accomplish by the Passover of his Death and Resurrection. It is with the celebration of that entry on Palm Sunday that the Church’s liturgy solemnly opens Holy Week.
What does Palm Sunday symbolize?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 570) tells us:
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem manifests the coming of the kingdom that the Messiah-King, welcomed into his city by children and the humble of heart, is going to accomplish by the Passover of his Death and Resurrection.
“Palm Sunday tells us that ... it is the cross that is the true tree of life.” - Pope Benedict XVI
St. Matthew 21:12-17 tells us:
And Jesus entered the temple of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you make it a den of robbers.”
And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant; and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,
‘Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings
thou hast brought perfect praise’?”
And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.
What did Jesus do on Tuesday of Holy Week?
St. John 12:20-38 tells us what Jesus did the Tuesday before His Passion:
Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify thy name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show by what death he was to die. The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?” Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
When Jesus had said this, he departed and hid himself from them. Though he had done so many signs before them, yet they did not believe in him; it was that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
“Lord, who has believed our report,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
What did Jesus do on Wednesday of Holy Week?
Often called “Spy Wednesday,” this is the day when Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. The account of St. Luke 22:1-6 tells us,
Now the feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death; for they feared the people. Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the Twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and captains how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and engaged to give him money. So he agreed, and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of the multitude.
Mark 14:12-25 gives us one account of the Last Supper, which occurred on Holy Thursday.
And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the passover?” And he sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the householder, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I am to eat the passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the passover.
And when it was evening he came with the twelve. And as they were at table eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” They began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread in the same dish with me. For the Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”
And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
“Maundy” comes from the Latin word “mandatum” (command or commandment). At the Last Supper, Jesus gave His disciples this command: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).
Why do we wash feet on Holy Thursday?
We do this in imitation of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper, who illustrated the Christian nature of authority as service by this action.
St. John 13:1-17 tells us:
Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. And during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part in me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “You are not all clean.”
When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
“The washing of the feet and the sacrament of the Eucharist: two expressions of one and the same mystery of love entrusted to the disciples, so that, Jesus says, ‘as I have done… so also must you do (Jn 13: 15).’” – St. John Paul II
Mark 14:32-52 tells us about the events in the Garden of Gethsemane.
And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time, and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come; the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him and lead him away safely.” And when he came, he went up to him at once, and said, “Master!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him. But one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.” And they all forsook him, and fled.
And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body; and they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.
Mark 14:53-65 gives us this account:
And they led Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes were assembled. And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, and warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council sought testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, and their witness did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” Yet not even so did their testimony agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But he was silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am; and you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” And the high priest tore his mantle, and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
Jesus predicted Peter’s betrayal. Mark 14:26-31 tells us this conversation:
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” But he said vehemently, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.
St. Mark 14:66-72 tells us the story of Peter’s betrayal.
And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the maids of the high priest came; and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway. And the maid saw him, and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” But again he denied it. And after a little while again the bystanders said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” And immediately the cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
St. Peter “wept bitterly” (Mt. 26:75) when he realized his betrayal. After the Resurrection, when the Lord appeared to the Apostles in Galilee, the Lord affirmed His forgiveness when He re-confirming Peter’s role of feeding and guiding the Lord’s flock, as well as the manner of Peter’s own death (John 21:15-19). Peter would die in Nero’s Circus on Vatican Hill about 66 A.D., crucified up-side-down in mockery of Christ’s crucifixion.
“Even on the Cross, He did not hide himself from sight; rather, He made all creation witness to the presence of its maker. Then, having once left it be seen that is was truly dead, He did not allow that temple of his body to linger long, but forthwith on third day raised it up, impassible and incorrupt, the pledge and token of his victory.” – St. Athanasius of Alexandria
On Good Friday, Jesus was scourged, sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate, forced to carry His Cross to Calvary, and finally crucified on the Cross.
Here is the account from St. Mark 15:1-47.
And as soon as it was morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate wondered.
Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he was wont to do for them. And he answered them, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the praetorium); and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him. And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and they knelt down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh; but he did not take it. And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. And it was the third hour, when they crucified him. And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!” So also the chief priests mocked him to one another with the scribes, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that he thus breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome, who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered to him; and also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. And he bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
“Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.” – Ven. Fulton Sheen
It is called “Good” because through the horrific Passion and Death of Our Lord, He brought about mankind’s greatest good—our redemption and the possibility of eternal life with the Holy Trinity.
When did Jesus die on Good Friday?
He died at the “Ninth Hour,” which equates to 3 PM as we measure time. In the Divine Mercy Devotion given by Our Lord to St. Faustina it is called the Hour of Mercy.
How old was Jesus when He died?
No one knows exactly how old Jesus was when he died on the cross, but He is said to have been about 33 years of age. Luke tells us Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry (Luke 3:23) and was in ministry for three years.
What should I watch on Good Friday?
Here is the link to the programs that EWTN will air on Good Friday.
While Good Friday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, it is a day of Fast and Abstinence, as was Ash Wednesday.
The United States Bishops’ Conference instructs us:
For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.
Members of the Eastern Catholic Churches are to observe the particular law of their own sui iuris Church.
The faithful are also deeply encouraged to enter into the Passion of Jesus by participating in the Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday. Many parishes have public Stations of the Cross, as well, and some a Commemoration of the Seven Last Words. It is also a good day to privately pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chapel and to begin the Divine Mercy Novena.
“When we contemplate the sufferings of Jesus, He grants us, according to the measure of our faith, the grace to practice the virtues He revealed during those sacred hours.” – St. Angela Merici
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 597) says,
So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous Judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; and they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.
. . . [N]either all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his Passion. . . [T]he Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture.
Further, the Catechism teaches:
Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.” This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.
To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination,” he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness. (paragraphs 599-600)
“If My death has not convinced you of My love, what will?” - Jesus to St. Faustina
Known as the Seven Last Words, these are the phrases that Our Lord spoke according to the Gospel accounts of His crucifixion.
- Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
- Luke 23:43: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
- John 19:26–27: (To the Blessed Virgin) “Woman, behold, your son!” (To St. John) “Behold, your mother!”
- Matthew 27:46 (and Mark 15:34): “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
- John 19:28: “I thirst.”
- John 19:30: “It is finished.”
- Luke 23:46: “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!”
While significant pieces of the Cross are kept in Rome in the church called Holy Cross in Jerusalem, over the centuries a great many fragments have also been distributed as holy relics.
Does Jesus’ Crown of Thorns still exist?
Relics of the Crown are found in various places including Rome. The best known, however, is in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. In the fire of 2019, which almost destroyed Notre Dame, it was successfully rescued before the roof collapsed.
Here is the 2020 veneration of the Crown of Thorns at the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Videos About Holy Week
“It should be known that Pilate administered the Roman law, which enacted that every one who was crucified should first be scourged. Jesus then is given up to the soldiers to be beaten, and they tore with whips that most holy body and capacious bosom of God.” - St. Jerome
Jesus was resurrected, and His Body is in Heaven.
What does the Passion of Jesus mean?
The Passion is the greatest act of love in the history of mankind. Jesus sacrificed Himself for the sake of each one of us. Romans 5:8 says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 613-614) says,
Christ's death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the “blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and surpasses all other sacrifices. First, it is a gift from God the Father himself, for the Father handed his Son over to sinners in order to reconcile us with himself. At the same time it is the offering of the Son of God made man, who in freedom and love offered his life to his Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for our disobedience.
Pope Benedict XVI said,
Holy Saturday is the day when God remains hidden, we read in an ancient Homily: “What has happened? Today the earth is shrouded in deep silence, deep silence and stillness, profound silence because the King sleeps.... God has died in the flesh, and has gone down to rouse the realm of the dead” (Homily on Holy Saturday, PG 43, 439). In the Creed, we profess that Jesus Christ was “crucified under Pontius Pilate, died and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day, he rose again.”
Pope Benedict XVI also said,
Holy Saturday is a “no man's land” between the death and the Resurrection, but this “no man's land” was entered by One, the Only One, who passed through it with the signs of his Passion for man's sake: Passio Christi. Passio hominis. And the Shroud speaks to us precisely about this moment — testifying exactly to that unique and unrepeatable interval in the history of humanity and the universe in which God, in Jesus Christ, not only shared our dying but also our remaining in death — the most radical solidarity.
In this “time-beyond-time,” Jesus Christ “descended to the dead.” What do these words mean? They mean that God, having made himself man, reached the point of entering man’s most extreme and absolute solitude, where not a ray of love enters, where total abandonment reigns without any word of comfort: “hell.” Jesus Christ, by remaining in death, passed beyond the door of this ultimate solitude to lead us too to cross it with him.
Holy Saturday is a day of prayer, of recalling Christ’s suffering, and even feeling the emptiness which the Apostles and disciples must have experienced as Christ lay in the tomb. Since the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in another location after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the main tabernacle of a church is empty, the door left open, and it and the altar are free of covering or other decoration. Many Catholics take this time to pray before the empty tabernacle, experiencing Christ’s absence, and grateful for His Presence the rest of the year.
That evening Holy Saturday will end with the Easter Vigil Mass, when the Resurrection is celebrated, and those who have been studying the faith enter the Church through Baptism.
Is Holy Saturday a day of abstinence?
Holy Saturday is a day of mourning for the Church, thus the nature of the day is somber and reserved. Where it is possible to continue the fast and abstinence of Good Friday into Holy Saturday it is encouraged to do so (Pope Paul VI). It is not, however, obligatory.