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Michelangelo: Study for the Colonna Pieta (1538) [Public domain image]
Michelangelo: Study for the Colonna Pieta (1538) [Public domain image]

The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Anne Catherine Emmerich


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This is an account of the events leading up to the Crucifixion of Christ by a 19th century German stigmatic and visionary, Anne Catherine Emmerich. This once-obscure book recently achieved a much higher profile because it was used as an inspiration for the screenplay of Mel Gibson's controversial movie, The Passion of the Christ. A riveting 'you are there' account of this pivotal event, the story is told with great attention to small details, many not mentioned in the Gospels. This is not a novelization; it is a recounting of Emmerich's ecstatic visions, which were accompanied by painful and mysterious physical torments. Emmerich was practically illiterate and this book was dictated by her, which makes the fact that the narrative is so internally coherent all the more compelling.

Some readers will note passages which by contemporary standards might be considered anti-Semitic, particularly in the way that the Jewish population is presented as having collective responsibility for the death of Christ. Of course, without apologizing for this in the slightest, it is to be noted that religious and secular institutions of the time sanctioned anti-Semitism in one form or another, so this view was not atypical. On the whole, however, the account considers each of the numerous actors in the drama, Christian, Jewish, or Roman, as individuals with particular motivations, strengths and weaknesses.

Emmerich was beatified on Sunday, October 3rd, 2004 by Pope John Paul II, the final step before sainthood. Her feast day is the anniversary of her death on February 9th, 1824.

Title Page
Preface to the French Translation
Life of Anne Catherine Emmerich
To the Reader
Mediation I. Preparations for the Pasch
Meditation II. The Supper-Room
Meditation III. Arrangements for eating the Paschal Lamb
Meditation IV. The Chalice used at the Last Supper
Meditation V. Jesus goes up to Jerusalem
Meditation VI. The Last Pasch
Meditation VII. The Washing of the Feet
Meditation VIII. Institution of the Holy Eucharist
Meditation IX. Private Instructions and Consecrations

The Passion

Chapter I. Jesus in the Garden of Olives
Chapter II. Judas and his Band
Chapter III. Jesus is arrested
Chapter IV. Means employed by the enemies of Jesus for carrying out their designs against him
Chapter V. A Glance at Jerusalem
Chapter VI. Jesus before Annas
Chapter XVII. The Tribunal of Caiphas
Chapter VIII. Jesus before Caiphas
Chapter IX. The Insults received by Jesus in the Court of Caiphas
Chapter X. The Denial of St. Peter
Chapter XI. Mary in the House of Caiphas
Chapter XII. Jesus confined in the subterranean Prison
Chapter XIII. The Morning Trial
Chapter XIV. The Despair of Judas
Chapter XV. Jesus is taken before Pilate
Chapter XVI. Description of Pilate's Palace and the adjacent Buildings
Chapter XVII. Jesus before Pilate
Chapter XVIII. The Origin of the Way of the Cross
Chapter XIX. Pilate and his Wife
Chapter XX. Jesus before Herod
Chapter XXI. Jesus led back from the Court of Herod to that of Pilate
Chapter XXI. The Scourging of Jesus
Chapter XXIII. Mary, during the Flagellation of our Lord
Chapter XXIV. Interruption of the Visions of the Passion by the Appearance of St. Joseph under the form of a Child
Chapter XXV. Description of the personal Appearance of the Blessed Virgin
Chapter XXVI. The Crowning with Thorns
Chapter XXVII. Ecce Homo
Chapter XXVIII. Reflections on the Visions
Chapter XXIX. Jesus condemned to be crucified
Chapter XXX. The Carriage of the Cross
Chapter XXXI. The first Fall of Jesus
Chapter XXXII. The second Fall of Jesus
Chapter XXXIII. Simon of Cyrene.--Third Fall of Jesus
Chapter XXXIV. The Veil of Veronica
Chapter XXXV. The fourth and fifth Falls of Jesus.--The Daughters of Jerusalem
Chapter XXXVI. Jesus on Mount Golgotha.--Sixth and seventh Falls of Jesus
Chapter XXXVII. The Departure of Mary and the holy Women of Calvary
Chapter XXXVIII. The Nailing of Jesus to the Cross
Chapter XXXIX. Erection of the Cross
Chapter XL. Crucifixion of the Thieves
Chapter XLI. Jesus hanging an the Cross between two Thieves
Chapter XLII. First Word of Jesus on the Cross
Chapter XLIII. Eclipse of the Sun.--Second and third Word of Jesus on the Cross
Chapter XLIV. The Fear felt by the Inhabitants of Jerusalem.--Fourth Word of Jesus on the Cross
Chapter XLV. Fifth, sixth, and seventh Words of Jesus on the Cross.--His Death
Chapter XLVI. The Earthquake.--Apparitions of the Dead in Jerusalem
Chapter XLVII. The Request of Joseph of Arimathea to be allowed to have the Body of Jesus
Chapter XLVIII. The Opening Of the Side of Jesus.--Death of the two Thieves
Chapter XLIX. A Description of some Parts of ancient Jerusalem
Chapter L. The Descent from the Cross
Chapter LI. The Embalming of the Body of Jesus
Chapter LII. The Body of our Lord placed in the Sepulchre
Chapter LIII. The Return from the Sepulchre.--Joseph of Arimathea is put in Prison
Chapter LIV. On the Name of Calvary
Chapter LV. The Cross and the Wine-press
Chapter LVI. Apparitions on Occasion of the Death of Jesus
Chapter LVII. Guards are placed around the Tomb of Jesus
Chapter LVIII. A Glance at the Disciples of Jesus on Holy Saturday
Chapter LIX. A detached Account of the Descent into Hell
Chapter LX. The Eve of the Resurrection
Chapter LXI. Joseph of Arimathea miraculously set at large
Chapter LXII. The Night of Resurrection
Chapter LXIII. The Resurrection of our Lord
Chapter LXIV. The holy Women at the Sepulchre
Chapter LXV. The Relation which was given by the Sentinels who were placed around the Sepulchre
Chapter LXVI. The End of the Lenten Meditations


Detached Account of Longinus
Detached Account of Abenadar