The Incarnation

Mary’s Lamentation at the Death of Her Son

No one suffered more at the sight of Our Lord’s passion and death than Our Lady. In these conversions between Our Lady and Saint Anselm of Canterbury taken from The Passion of Christ Through the Eyes of Mary, Our Lady reveals the miraculous events that followed the death of her Son and her lamentation over His most cruel death.

The Death Of Christ and the Miraculous Signs That Followed

[Mary continues her reply to Anselm.]

After this, my Son prayed aloud, “Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.” This sincere and earnest prayer was accompanied by a great outflow of blood.

In this commendation of His spirit to God His Father, Christ commended also myself, His Mother. For I had served as the pure tabernacle of the spirit of which He spoke—that is, the Holy Spirit. And this commendation of myself to God the Father embraced also all the other souls who love and fear His name. For all holy souls become dwelling places of the same Holy Spirit. And, altogether, we shall be victorious at the end of time! 

After this, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two, from the top to the bottom. The earth shook, and the stones were torn apart. This was particularly the case with the large boulder upon which the cross itself stood. It was rent apart in such a way as to leave an opening large enough to insert a hand into. Tombs also opened up, and many of the bodies of the saints who rested within rose from the dead. Following the resurrection of my Son, many of these saints went out from their tombs and entered the holy city, where they were seen by many. 

The centurion and those soldiers who were with Him, keeping watch over Jesus, witnessed the earthquakes and feared very greatly. The centurion himself glorified God. He declared, “Truly, this man was the Son of God!” Behold! All things of the heavens and the earth were touched with deep compassion at the sufferings and death of Christ, even the inanimate and insensate elements of stone and earth! It was only those who persecuted Him who remained unmoved and whose hearts remained unsoftened. 

Indeed, all who were present and had witnessed what had taken place struck their chests in grief and anguish. And all His relatives and friends stood some distance off, together with the women who had followed Him from Jerusalem and looked on at the dreadful events which had transpired.

The Lamentation of the Mother for Her Son

Anselm: Most beloved Lady, had your sorrows reached their end at this point?

Mary: Alas no, Anselm! For the prophecy spoken by Simeon, that a sword would pass through my heart, had not yet been fully consummated. You shall hear now of that which is lamentable above all else. 

Being a day of preparation [for the Sabbath], the crowds requested that the bodies not remain on the cross for the Sabbath day itself, for it was a Sabbath of particular importance. They therefore asked Pilate that he should have the legs of the crucified men broken and their bodies removed. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two thieves who had been crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus Himself, they found that He was already dead. So they did not break His legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced His side with a lance, and immediately flowed forth blood mixed with water. 

Upon witnessing this horrendous act of cruelty, which inflicted injury upon the body of one Who was already dead, I became like one who is almost dead myself! Only then was the fateful prophecy uttered by Simeon fully completed, in which he declared that a sword would pass through my heart. 

And then I broke down and began to cry and wail uncontrollably. But my tears now failed me, for I had cried with such profusion on the proceeding night and on that day already that my eyes were reduced to dryness. I exclaimed, “Oh, my beloved Son! Where now is the sweet consolation which I have always found in You? If only I could die with You now, my Jesus!”

And with these and similar outpourings of grief, I mourned the death of my cherished and only-begotten Child.

This article is taken from a chapter in The Passion of Christ Through the Eyes of Mary by Saint Anselm of Canterbury and others which is available from TAN Books

The Passion of Christ



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