XI

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    The Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem - Reflection
    The 11th Station: HERE Jesus is nailed to the Cross

    The soldiers grab Jesus and lead him to the cross-beam on the ground. They almost push him down. He offers no resistence. He is forced to lie down face up. They stretch his arms. In an instant, too many things happen. The banging of hammers on the nails, the piercing pain of sharp metal entering the flesh, the echo of the wooden beam, his painful scream.

    He screamed aloud to relieve the pain. His voice echoed to the furthest corners of the city.

    With each hammer blow, the metal tore into the flesh at his wrists, broke the arteries and fractured the bones. It was unbearable. He was almost senseless and the sunbeams were blinding him.

    He had lost count of the hammer blows, of the orders yelled next to his ears, of the different voices talking or screaming. He could not follow the sequence of events any longer.

    His feeble body was contorted with pain. Blood was dripping from his pierced wrists. He closed his eyes. He could not take it anymore; he almost lost his senses.

    On the sides there where those who had come to see this "spectacle". They stood there motionless and impassive. But there were also a few women sobbing quietly in a corner.

    All was set. The body was nailed. The chords had been brought down from the wooden beams prepared to take the crucified body. And Jesus was now nailed to the Cross.

    A Prayer

    Dear Jesus, I cannot stand the pain you are suffering for me! I cannot bear to remember what you had to go through for my salvation! If I pierce my finger with a needle I scream! And you? A nail went through your wrists tearing into your flesh! How can we ever understand your suffering, Lord? And still with dignity you suffered through all of it!

    Lord, help me to never inflict pain on others and above all, Lord, help me put all my faith and hope in you! Visualizing your nailing to the cross, Lord, makes me realize how futile it is to put my hope in anyone except you. You know, Lord, how many times I got carried away thinking that someone or something might have been more important than you. You know too, that whenever this happened, many times I lived to regret it! Dear Jesus, I do need my faith in you!

    The Site


    The altar of the Nailing to the Cross

    Only a few steps separate the Tenth and the Eleventh Stations. The sombre mosaics on the ceiling were designed by P. D'Achiardi who has preserved a medieval figure of Christ. The lateral mosaics, done by L. Trifoglio, illustrate The Crucifixion, The holy women at the foot of the Cross and The sacrifice of Isaac, symbol of Christ.
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    Another view of the site where Jesus was nailed to the Cross

    This Latin nave was restored in 1937 by A. Barluzzi. The altar of silvered bronze is a gift of Ferdinand I de Medici. It is claimed to be the work of the Dominican Domenico Portigiani (1588) and was originally meant for the Stone of Unction. The altar panels represent the scenes of the Passion.
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    A view of the Latin (Franciscan) altar on Calvary

    On the right, a window protected by a grill opens onto the Chapel of the Franks, dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows and Saint John. Tradition makes it the site where Mary withdrew, during the preparation for the Crucifixion.
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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

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