On that same night a part of the Apostles, at Jesus’
bidding, betook themselves to Bethania, while the rest set
out for Jerusalem. The older disciples remained in Beth-
ania to teach the younger and weaker in the Faith, which
they did partly at the house of Lazarus and partly in the
synagogue. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were
staying at Lazarus’s. The holy women were in a neigh-
boring building surrounded by the same moat and court-
yard that enclosed Lazarus’s house. It had an entrance on
the street, and was formerly occupied by Magdalen and

The Apostles went with a troop of disciples, among
them Luke, in the direction of Sichar. Peter said joyfully
as they were setting out: “We shall go to the sea and
catch fish,” by which words he meant souls. They sepa-
rated and went different ways, teaching at the inns and in
the public places of the Passion and Resurrection of

Jesus. This was a preparation for the conversions of Pen-

They met together again at the inn outside Thanath-
Silo. Thomas also, with two disciples, joined them as
they were gathered at a meal prepared for them by
Sil van’s father, who had care of the inn. The Apostles
told Thomas of the apparition of the risen Saviour in
their midst. But he raised his hands to silence them, and
said that he would not believe it until he had touched His
wounds. He did the same before the disciples when they
declared to him that they had seen the Lord. Thomas had
kept a little aloof from the followers of Jesus, and was
thereby somewhat weakened in faith.

Peter taught till late at night in the school of Thanath-
Silo. He spoke out quite freely of how the Jews had dealt
with Jesus. He related many things of His last predictions
and teachings, of His unspeakable love, of His prayer on
Mount Olivet, and of Judas’s treachery and wretched
end. The people were very much amazed and troubled at
all they heard, for they loved Judas, who in Jesus 1 ab-
sence, had assisted many by his readiness to serve them,
and had even wrought miracles, Peter did not spare him-
self. He recounted his flight and denial with bitter tears.

His hearers wept with him. Then with still more vehe-

ment expressions of sorrow, he told of how cruelly the

Jews had treated Jesus, of His rising again on the third

day, of His appearing first to the women, then to some of

the others, and lastly to all in general, and he called upon

all present that had seen Him to witness to His words.

Upwards of a hundred hands were raised in answer to his

call. Thomas, however, remained silent and responded by

no sign. He could not bring himself to believe. Peter then

called upon the people to leave all things, to join the new

Community, and to follow Jesus. He invited the less

courageous to go to Jerusalem, where the Faithful would

share all they had with them. There was, he said, no

reason to fear the Jews, for they were now themselves

afraid. All were very much impressed by Peter’s words,

and many were converted. They wanted the Apostles to

remain longer with them, but Peter said that they must go

back to Jerusalem.

The Apostles cured many sick persons in Thanath-Silo,

among whom were some lunatics and some possessed.

They went about these cures just as Jesus had done, that

is, they breathed upon the sick, they imposed hands while

leaning over them. Some of these invalids Jesus had

passed without curing on the occasion of His last visit to

the place. The inhabitants of Thanath-Silo were very

friendly toward the Apostles. The disciples performed no

cures, but they served the others, carrying, lifting, and

leading the sick. Luke, who was a physician, now

became quite a nurse.

I saw the Mother of God in Bethania. She was quiet

and grave, more deeply absorbed in feelings of holy awe

than in natural sorrow. Mary Cleophas was remarkably

amiable and, of all the women, most like Mary. I often

saw her leaning over her gently and consoling her in the

most touching manner.

Magdalen, in her sorrow and love, was above all fear.

She was perfectly heroic and without a thought of

danger. She took no rest, but often left the house, hurried

through the streets with streaming hair, and wherever she

found listeners, whether in their homes or in public

places, she accused them as the murderers of the Lord,

vehemently recounting all they had done to the Saviour,

and announcing to them His Resurrection. If she found

no one to listen to her, she wandered through the gardens

and told it to the flowers, the trees, and the fountains.

Oftentimes a crowd gathered around her, some compas-

sionating her, others insulting her on account of her past

life. She was little esteemed by the crowd, for she had

once given great scandal. I saw that her present violent

conduct scandalized some of the Jews, and about five of

them wanted to seize her, but she passed straight through

them and went on as before. She had lost sight of the

whole world, she sighed only after Jesus.

During the dispersion of the disciples and the Passion

of the Lord, Martha had a heavy duty to fulfill and she

still discharged it. Though torn with grief, she had to see

to everything, to lend a helping hand everywhere. She

had to feed the dispersed and wandering, attend to their

wants, provide nourishment for all. Her assistant in all

this, as well as in the cooking, was Johanna Chusa, a

widow whose husband had been a servant of Herod.

Simon of Cyrene was now in Bethania with the disci-

ples, among whom he found his two sons. He was a pious

man from Cyrene who was accustomed to sojourn in

Jerusalem during the Paschal time, working for different

families that knew him, doing up gardens and cutting

hedges. He took his meals sometimes in this house, some-

times in that. He was perfectly silent and upright. His

sons were already some time among strangers and with

the disciples without his knowing it, as occasionally hap-

pens to the children of the poor.

In those days, the emissaries of the High Priests went

throughout Jerusalem, visiting all the houses whose

owners kept up communication with Jesus and the disci-

ples, discharging them from whatever public employ-

ments they might happen to hold, and arresting any of

Jesus’ followers found there. Nicodemus and Joseph of

Arimathea had, since Christ’s burial, nothing more to do

with the Jews, Joseph of Arimathea was something like

an Elder of a congregation. He always stood among the

Jews like a man who, by his unobtrusive merit and

multiplied good works modestly performed, had won the

esteem of even the wicked. What very much rejoiced me

was to see how Veronica’s husband condescended to her

when she told him that she would rather separate from

him than from the crucified Jesus. I saw that he too was

discharged from his public office. But I was informed

that he bore it more for love of his wife than for love of

Jesus. The Jews, moreover, caused the ways and paths to

the Holy Sepulcher on Mount Calvary to be obstructed

by ditches and hedges, because they had become a resort

for many, and diverse moving incidents and miracles took

place in them.

Pilate’s interior disquietude drove him from Jerusalem.

Herod, a couple of days previously, had gone to

Machaerus, but finding no rest there, he proceeded to Ma-

dian. Here, where they had once refused to receive the

Lord, they now opened the gates to the murderer.

I saw Jesus appearing in many places during these

days, and lastly in Galilee, in a valley across the Jordan

in which was a large school. Many people were standing

together, speaking about Him and expressing their doubts

upon the report of His Resurrection. He appeared among

them, and vanished again after some words. I saw Him

appearing in this way in different localities.

The Apostles very quickly returned from the region of

Sichar. They sent a messenger on ahead to Bethania, to

announce their return and to direct several of the disci-

ples to go to Jerusalem for the Sabbath. Others were

commanded to celebrate it in Bethania, for they already

had a certain law and order. The Apostles only passed

through the different places on the road without stopping.

Thaddeus, James the Less, and Eliud went in their trav-

elling dress, and ahead of the rest, to see the Blessed

Virgin and Mary Cleophas at John Mark’s. As they had

not seen the newcomers for a considerable time, the holy

women were very much rejoiced. I saw that James was

carrying on his arm a priestly vestment, a mantle, which

the holy women in Bethania had made for Peter, and

which he was taking to the house of the Last Supper.

It was so late when the Apostles assembled in the

house of the Last Supper that they could not partake of

the meal prepared for them. They had to begin the Sab-

bath solemnities. They at once put on their robes of

ceremony, preceded of course by the customary foot

washing. The lamps were lighted, and I already remarked

some departure from the Jewish Sabbatical ceremonies.

First, the curtains were opened in front of the Holy of

Holies, and the seat upon which Jesus had reclined at ta-

ble at the institution of the Holy Eucharist was placed

before it. They spread a cover over it, and laid upon it

their prayer rolls. Peter knelt before it, John and James a

little in the rear, the rest of the Apostles behind them,

and then came the disciples. When they knelt they bowed

their heads to the ground, burying their faces in their

hands. The cover was removed from the chalice, but the

white linen cloth was still left hanging over it. Only those

disciples were present who were already initiated into the

mystery of the Blessed Sacrament, just as those chiefly

had been taken on the journey to Sichar who had seen

the Lord after His Resurrection that they might be able

to attest the fact.

Peter, with John and James at his side, delivered a

meditation, or prayer, in which the holy Institution of the

Lord and also His Passion were considered, and an interior

sacrifice of prayer was offered. After that, standing under

the lamp, they began the usual ceremonies of the Sabbath.

When all was over, they took a repast in the outer hall. In

the Supper Hall itself, I saw no more eating going on after

the institution of the Holy Eucharist, excepting perhaps the

taking of bread and wine.

On the occasion of His apparition through the closed

doors, Jesus had taught the Apostles that addition to the

service of the Sabbath which relates to the Blessed Sacra-


The Blessed Virgin was taken to Jerusalem by Mary

Marcus; and Veronica, who now went round with her

openly, accompanied them, along with Johanna Chusa

from Bethania.

The Blessed Virgin liked to be in Jerusalem, for she

could there go alone in the twilight and darkness over the

Way of Jesus’ Passion, pray and meditate on the places

upon which He had suffered or had fallen. And as she

could not reach them all, on account of the Jews’ having

hedged some of them in and filled others up, she made

the Holy Way at home, also, or in the open air, for she

had all the distances and the numbers connected with it

deeply engraven in her soul, and thus she constantly

revived, in her compassionate contemplations, the whole

of that sorrowful journey of her Son.

It is a certainty that after the death of her Son, the

Blessed Virgin was the first to begin the devotion of the

Way of the Cross and the practice of meditating upon the

bitter Passion, a practice that she ever after continued.
— Fr. Stephen, o.f.m.

Posted on April 6, 2018 at 1:36 pm

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