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  • Writer's picturePhil


Jesus is exhausted. His footsteps become more and more unsteady, and the soldiers are in a hurry to be finished. They take hold of a man who was coming in, a man called Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, and he is press-ganged into carrying the Cross of Jesus.

Simon of Cyrene - It wasn’t what I’d planned —

My pilgrimage to join the Passover

Ended cross-carrying,

glad My sons weren’t Witness to my shame.

But the man, bleeding in pain —

His dignity impressed: no cursing,

But forgiving words absorbing cruelty.

Although I had the cross,

it seemed He had the weight, almost as though World’s pain bore down on him. What should be memory of shame,

Stays with me as a turning point in love;

I felt compelled to go not just a mile,

But on an endless journey into life.

Ann Lewin – Watching for the Kingfisher – Canterbury Press

Dr Hans Feibusch was a German Jew, whose art was labelled 'decadent' by the Nazi regime. He came to England in 1933, and he was commissioned to create these fine Stations in St Alban, Holborn.

Mark 15: 21 " A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross."

In the whole context of the Passion, this help does not add up to very much. But for Jesus, that gesture was enough for him to pour out his grace bountifully on the soul of this new friend. Years later, Simon's sons, Christians by then, were to be known and held in high esteem among their brothers and sisters in the faith. And it all started with this unexpected meeting on the Way of the Cross.

Josemaría Escrivá and PHNC

FIFTH STATION: Carry this Cross – Simon of Cyrene


Why me?

Why pick on me to carry this cross?

I suppose I look strong.

I’m used to working outside,

but even for someone as strong as me this cross is rough and heavy.

I’ll have a sore back in the morning.

Nothing as bad as his, though....

He doesn’t look like a criminal or a trouble-maker

but then, you don’t need to be;

you only have to upset the Romans

that’s why I didn’t argue,

“Carry this cross”......


We’re nearly there;

I almost trip over him!

Soldiers man-handle him and drag him to his feet;

he stands, head bowed,

blood dripping from a thorny crown.

As they snatch the cross from my back,

he lifts his head towards me,

“Thank you”, he says,

his eyes reflecting pain that is more than his own.

I feel compelled to carry this further;

not just today, but from now on.

Heather Johnston / PHNC

Simon of Cyrene - the Church of the Holy Trinity in the Bavarian village of Gemünden am Main,

Jesus - Simon carried your cross......

and was privileged to share with you the burden of salvation;

May we see you and serve you in the burdens of others:

Jesus in the Hungry – to be fed.

Jesus in the Thirsty – whose thirst is to be quenched.

Jesus in the Naked – to be clothed.

Jesus in the Homeless – to be accommodated.

Jesus in the Lonely – to be loved.

Jesus in the Beggar – to be given a smile.

Jesus in the Drunkard – to whom to be listened.

Jesus in the Blind – to be their eyes and led.

Jesus in the Dumb – for whom to speak.

Jesus in the Crippled –with whom to walk.

Jesus in the Prostitute – to remove from danger and befriend.

Jesus in the Prisoner – to be visited and heard.

Jesus in the Elderly and housebound – to be served and valued.

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Lynda Swenk - Stations of the Cross at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, Winter Park, Florida

Simon is a mysterious figure. He was pressed to help, and we don’t really know how he felt about being compelled to abandon his own plans for the day and carry the cross of a convicted criminal. 

Lord, let me see those who are hurting through your eyes.

Show me how to follow through to relieve their physical and mental anguish.

And when I am suffering, may I share my suffering with you,

and please, help me carry my cross as Simon helped you carry yours.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.


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