Last week we started looking at excerpts from Anne Catherine Emmerich’s book, “The Dolorous Passion” and how much material within her book of visions form the basis for most of Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ”. Many scenes from his movie are, in no small part, taken from visions depicted in Ms. Emmerich’s book.
To catch up on this study, see previous posts from lessons on “The Passion”
- Week 1: The Passion
- Week 2: “Dolorous Passion” – Excerpts In Line With the “Passion of the Christ” Movie, But Not in the Bible
In your reading, I ask that you pay particular attention to the passages in bold print. They designate that there is no mention in the Bible of what is recorded in the Ms. Emmerich’s book, but are clearly used in the movie.
CHAPTER XXIII: Mary during the Flagellation of our Lord
I saw the Blessed Virgin in a continual ecstasy during the time of the scourging of her Divine Son; she saw and suffered with inexpressible love and grief all the torments he was enduring. When Jesus fell down at the foot of the pillar, after the flagellation, I saw Claudia Procles, the wife of Pilate, send some large pieces of linen to the Mother of God…At the termination of the scourging, Mary came to herself for a time, and saw her Divine Son all torn and mangled, being led away by the archers after the scourging: he wiped his eyes, which were filled with blood, that he might look at his Mother, and she stretched out her hands towards him, and continued to look at the bloody traces of his footsteps. I soon after saw Mary and Magdalen approach the pillar where Jesus had been scourged; the mob were at a distance, and they were partly concealed by the other holy women, and by a few kind-hearted persons who had joined them; they knelt down on the ground near the pillar, and wiped up the sacred blood with the linen which Claudia Procles had sent .
See: Mt 26:57; Mk 14:53; Lk 22:54; Jn 18:13
Mary, Jesus’ mother, and Mary Magdalene are depicted as standing among the soldiers at the temple. In the Gospels, they don’t appear until much later in the narrative.
CHAPTER XXXI: The First Fall of Jesus
When Jesus reached this spot, his strength was perfectly exhausted; he was quite unable to move; and as the archers dragged and pushed him without showing the slightest compassion, he fell quite down against this stone, and the cross fell by his side. The cruel executioners were obliged to stop, they abused and struck him unmercifully, but the whole procession came to a standstill, which caused a degree of confusion. Vainly did he hold out his hand for some one to assist him to rise: ‘Ah!’ he exclaimed, ‘all will soon be over;’ and he prayed for his enemies. ‘Lift him up,’ said the Pharisees, ‘otherwise he will die in our hands.’…
CHAPTER XXXII: The Second Fall of Jesus
Then came her (Mary’s) beloved Son. He was almost sinking under the heavy weight of his cross, and his head, still crowned with thorns, was drooping in agony on his shoulder. He cast a look of compassion and sorrow upon his Mother, staggered, and fell for the second time upon his hands and knees. Mary was perfectly agonised at this sight; she forgot all else; she saw neither soldiers nor executioners; she saw nothing but her dearly-loved Son; and, springing from the doorway into the midst of the group who were insulting and abusing him, she threw herself on her knees by his side and embraced him.
Again, there is no mention of Jesus falling in the Bible nor is there any mention of Mary accompanying Jesus on His way to the cross. In this scene Mary becomes Jesus’ comforter, seeming to give Him the strength to go on. This concept is never suggested in the Bible. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. In addition, Jesus (Matthew 26:53) had already refused the help of thousands of angels to keep Him from this time.
CHAPTER XXIV: The Veil of Veronica
Those who were marching at the head of the procession tried to push her (Veronica) back; but she made her way through the mob, the soldiers, and the archers, reached Jesus, fell on her knees before him, and presented the veil, saying at the same time, ‘Permit me to wipe the face of my Lord.’ Jesus took the veil in his left hand, wiped his bleeding face, and returned it with thanks. kissed it, and put it under her cloak. The girl then timidly offered the wine, but the brutal soldiers would not allow Jesus to drink it. The suddenness of this courageous act of Veronica had surprised the guards, and caused a momentary although unintentional halt, of which she had taken advantage to present the veil to her Divine Master…(Later in her house) A friend who entered the room a short time after, found her thus kneeling, with the child weeping by her side, and saw, to his astonishment, the bloody countenance of our Lord imprinted upon the veil, a perfect likeness, although heartrending and painful to look upon.
This whole occurrence is not in the Bible but, rather, is the sixth of the Catholic Stations of the Cross).
CHAPTER XXXVIII: The Nailing of Jesus to the Cross
When the executioners had nailed the right hand of our Lord, they perceived that his left hand did not reach the hole they had bored to receive the nail, therefore they tied ropes to his left arm, and having steadied their feet against the cross, pulled the left hand violently until it reached the place prepared for it.
CHAPTER XLIII: Eclipse of the Sun.—Second and Third Word of Jesus on the Cross
Magdalen, Mary of Cleophas, and John stood near the Cross of our Lord and looked at him, while the Blessed Virgin, filled with intense feelings of motherly love, entreated her Son to permit her to die with him, but he, casting a look of ineffable tenderness upon her, turned to John and said, ‘Woman, behold thy son;’ then he said to John, ‘Behold thy mother’ John looked at his dying Redeemer, and saluted this beloved mother (whom he henceforth considered as his own) in the most respectful manner…I knew that Jesus, by giving her as a mother to John, gave her also as a mother to all who believe in him, who become children of God, and are not born of flesh and blood, or of the will of man, but of God.
This is the Catholic doctrine of Mary being Co-Redeemer whereby her pain and suffering were as great as His. It also contains the thought that Mary is everyone’s mother and is the one we approach to intercede with her son, a prominent Catholic doctrine.
On a personal level, one of the most distressing signs in the movie was to witness Mary embracing the bloody feet of Jesus and coming away with His blood covering her face and hands. There is only One whose blood is so precious and holy that it can remove our sins. He does not share His Glory with another. What can wash away our sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Mary is not a co-Redeemer. As she said in her Magnificat, she is a sinner in need of a Savior. To portray her as a co-Redeemer would, if she were alive today, appall her.
CHAPTER XLV: Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Words of Jesus on the Cross.—His Death
What words can, alas, express the deep grief of the Blessed Virgin? Her eyes closed, a death-like tint overspread her countenance; unable to stand, she fell to the ground, but was soon lifted up, and supported by John, Magdalen, and the others. She looked once more upon her beloved Son—that Son whom she had conceived by the Holy Ghost, the flesh of her flesh, the bone of her bone, the heart of her heart—well might she at this moment be termed ‘the queen of martyrs.’
Mary has no exalted titles in the Bible.
The Descent From the Cross
When the body was taken down it was wrapped in linen from the knees to the waist, and then placed in the arms of the Blessed Virgin, who, overwhelmed with sorrow and love, stretched them forth to receive their precious burden. (personal aside: this is reminiscent of Michelangelo’s Pieta where Mary is the dominant figure not Jesus)
It was only Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea who tended to Jesus as He was taken down from the cross.
Jesus Buried in Joseph’s Tomb
38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
– John 19:38-40 New King James Version (NKJV)
“HIS VERY MARIAN MOVIE”
Yet, with all these discrepancies between movie script and the Bible, another important point cannot be overlooked and that is that the intention of this movie was not necessarily to glorify Jesus Christ. Out of Mel Gibson’s own mouth he confessed it as “his very Marian movie” , which means it was meant to glorify Mary, Jesus’ mother, not primarily Jesus. (McMahon)
James Caviezel, the actor portraying Jesus, confirmed this thought when he stated, “This film is something that I believe was made by Mary for Her Son.” (McMahon, p. 84)
While in the Gospels’ narrative of the Passion, Mary appears only once in the Gospel of John, when Jesus on the Cross pointing to John says to His mother: “Woman, behold your son!” (John 19:26). In the movie Mary is present in all the major episodes, dressed like a Medieval nun, rather than a first-century Jewish woman and present in the Garden to comfort her Son. She meets Peter on the streets after his denial of Christ. Peter, in distress, looks Mary in the face and falls on his knees, calling Mary “Mother.” John also calls Mary “Mother,” in accordance to the Catholic devotion to Mary. Peter confesses his sin to Mary and asks for her forgiveness. Mary is ready to absolve Peter for his sin, but he jumps up and says, “No, I am not worthy.” The source is The Dolorous Passion where Peter, after his denial, rushes out to Mary exclaiming in a dejected tone, “O, Mother, speak not to me—thy Son is suffering more than words can express, speak not to me! They have condemned Him to death, and I have denied him three times.” The Catholic intercessory role of Mary is loud and clear.” (Bacchiocchi)
Mel Gibson Reveals True Purpose of the Passion – Leading People to Catholicism!
The Passion of the Christ: Definitive Edition is now available on DVD. This two disc set includes a tract that presents theological commentary by Mel Gibson, Father William J. Fulco, Father John Batunck, and Catholic apologist Gerry Matatics. The discussion is an analysis of the film explaining the Roman Catholic view that “Mary” shares a role in redemption and that “Jesus” is present in the Eucharist, along with numerous other comments supporting Roman Catholic extra-biblical dogma. (lighthousetrailsresearch.com)
For those of you who enjoy truly researching and delving through a slew of related topics, might I recommend resources compiled by Jesse Larsen. At the bottom this article you’ll see numerous links to supporting documentation on the subject and more! Link to “Passion Problem”
A VITAL QUESTION: Does it not become obvious after reading all this that the “inspiration” for the movie “The Passion of the Christ” originated less with the Holy Word of God than it did with the mystical writings of Saint Anne Catherine Emmerich? Click here to respond to the editor.
Comments? We don’t publish comments on the blog directly but would love your feedback! Click here to submit your questions and comments and I will respond at my earliest opportunity!
I would like to thank my fellow consultants for all their assistance in getting this blog published: Hannah Hall, Michelle Arrington, Ariel Mcgarry, Carol White, J.P.Wilhelm, and Tracy Yoder. Their encouragement and patience have been invaluable to me.
Bacchiocchi, Samuele. “PART TWO.” MEL GIBSONS SLAUGHTER OF CHRIST, 13 Feb. 2004, http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/endtimeissues/passion_of_christ2.html. vol.112 Works Cited