II

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    The Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem - Reflection
    The 2nd Station: HERE Jesus carries the Cross

    Word went out in an instant. In the street below the fortress jubilation was evident. They were patting each other on the shoulder. They had succeeded in getting rid of another uncomfortable preacher. They now had to wait a few more hours and it will be settled once and for all.

    Word went out to all corners of the city that the Romans were preparing to execute three persons, amongst them the preacher of Galilee. Sure enough there where those who were stunned by the news. There were those who could not believe this news thinking it was some gossip propagated by their means of communication.

    But there were those who were terrified at the news. They were in hiding. If they were going to kill him, their leader, in a short while it might be their turn. On the outskirts of the city Peter was crying his heart out after denying his master three times.

    In despair Judas came back to to elders of the city to return their money. He was wrong. He thought that he could buy back the master. But his master was already sold to the Roman legions. Judas was in despair and ran away to meet his death!

    In the courtyard of the fortress all the necessary preparations were carried out. The two thieves were brought in and together with Jesus handed the cross-beam to carry. The stage is set. The solemn procession can start!

    And Jesus "carrying his own cross" (Jn 19,17) starts his "Way of the Cross". The gates of the fortress are opened. The soldiers come out and with them the condemned prisoners. Jesus is weak and he can hardly stand on his own feet. But with great dignity he comes out of the fortress.

    On his left he gazes to see again the perimeter walls of the Temple and in front of him the road leading to the gate outside the city. On the road sides there were many smilig faces. The bribed ones had made some money. The elders had won their "battle".

    And Jesus looked them straight in the eyes. He was not asking to be pitied. He had no time for this. He was preoccupied that he had to accomplish his mission to the end. He was aware that "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick" and he had "not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Lk 3,31-32).

    Looking at them he realized that he was "destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed" (Lk 2,34-35).

    A Prayer

    Dear Jesus, what did you think when the Roman soldiers presented you with the cross beam? What did you feel when the weight of the wooden beam was laid on your shoulders? Your humility made you accept the weight of the wood and by it accept on your shoulders the weight of our sins, to carry them with you up the "hill of redemption". Yes dear Jesus, I believe that your "obedience" brought us Redemption because you "being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made yourself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, you humbled yourself and became obedient to death - - even death on a cross!" (Phil. 2:6-8). Dear Jesus, teach me how to give up myself for the sake of the others!

    The Site

    The entrance of the Flagellation Friary - on its perimeter wall the Second Station

    Over a short ramp from the school you come down to the "Via Dolorosa" and find yourself in front of the Franciscan Flagellation Friary, seat of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum. Since January 1997 you meet also well armed Jewish soldiers "guarding" the exit of the Jerusalem archaeological tunnel just under the ramp. On the wall of the Franciscan Friary the words "II Statio" locate the second station.
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    The Franciscan Chapel of Flagellation

    Built in the twelfth century, the Chapel of the Flagellation has suffered many avatars since the pilgrims' reports mention it as a refuse dump, a stable and a weaver's shop. Such profanation did not diminish the pilgrims' piety, many of them felt obliged to fall on their knees before the door of the former sanctuary, which was usually closed. According to a sinister legend current in the 16th century, the interior echoed with the crack of whips, by which, in a sordid cell, those who had whipped Jesus were themselves whipped.
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    The interior of the Flagellation Chapel

    The place was only a mound of ruins, when in 1838, it was granted to the Franciscans by Ibrahim Pasha, conqueror of the Turks. Hastily rebuilt in the following year thanks to the generosity of Maximilian of Bavaria, the chapel was entirely restored in 1927-29 by A. Barluzzi, inspired here by the 12th century architecture. The three magnificent stained glass windows in the choir are the work of L. Picchiarini after the design of D. Cambellotti; they represent The Scourging, The Washing of Hands and The Triumph of Barabbas.
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    Detail of the stained glass internal fašade of the Chapel of Flagellation

    This is a dramatic representation of the scourging of Jesus at the hands of the Roman soldiers during his short stay in the hands of the civil authority of Jerusalem.


    The internal cloister of the Flagellation Friary in front of the Flagellation Chapel

    Within the walls of the Flagellation Friary, besides the seat of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum lies also an Archaeological Museum presenting a collection of objects retrieved by the Studium Biblicum Franciscarum in the Christian Sanctuaries of Palestine.
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    An exterior view of the Condemnation Chapel

    Pilgrims' accounts fail to mention the second chapel, which today is enclosed by the wall of the Flagellation Friary. Fr. F.M. Abel, professor at the Ecole Biblique, dated the construction from about the time of the truce which Jerusalem enjoyed in the years 1229-1239, and 1243-1244.
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    Another internal view of the Flagellation Chapel

    Under the central dome of the Flagellation Chapel, the mosaic on a golden ground representing the "Crown of Thorns pierced by Stars".


    Another view of the Condemnation Chapel

    The history of this chapel which has three naves and three apses appears to be very obscure right up to near the end of the 18th century. For Oriental Christians its ruins were those of the house of Caiaphas, while a local tradition linked them to the memory of the imposition of the cross. The debris and the rubbish piled up at this place gave rise to a legend according to which, the earth cleared away from Calvary at th time of the discovery of the Holy Cross, had been brought to this spot.


    Inside the Condemnation Chapel

    The chapel built in 1903-04 by a Franciscan architect, Br. Wendelin of Menden, commemorates both the condemnation and the imposition of the cross. Placed on its outside wall is the number of the Second Station, which before 1914 was located in front of the walled up barracks gate. The floor of the chapel is made of large paving stones some of which show grooves and games cut into the stone, just as on many Roman pavements. This floor extends to the north of the building as far as the stone museum of the Franciscans and the neighbouring Convent of the Sisters of Zion. It is generally considered to be the "Lithostratos of John" but probably dates back to the Aelia Capitolina of Hadrian.
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    Reflections and Prayers by John Abela ofm
    Descriptive text by John Abela, ofm and Michael Olteanu based on research by Albert Storm (SBF - Jerusalem)
    Hi-Res pictures prepared by Michael Olteanu
    Display pictures prepared by John Abela ofm

    THE WAY OF THE CROSS - Navigation
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