The Dolorous Passion Of Our Lord Jesus Christ – Preparations for the Pasch

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Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich reveals little details in her book, The Dolorous Passion Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, about the what happen before the Last Supper. The backdrop is the Upper Room, or better know as the cenacle. It was in this room that 2 sacraments were ministered, Judas Iscariot left before the first Mass was finished, and Saint Peter told Our Lord that he would never deny him.

Yesterday evening it was that the last great public repast of our Lord and his friends took place in the house of Simon the Leper, at Bethania, and Mary Magdalen for the last time anointed the feet of Jesus with precious ointment. Judas was scandalized upon this occasion, and hastened forthwith to Jerusalem again to conspire with the high-priests for the betrayal of Jesus into their hands. After the repast, Jesus returned to the house of Lazarus, and some of the Apostles went to the inn situated beyond Bethania. During the night Nicodemus again came to Lazarus house, had a long conversation with our Lord, and returned before daylight to Jerusalem, being accompanied part of the way by Lazarus.


A lot of planning went into setting up the first Holy Mass. We see the little details of how the Apostles were preparing for the meal.

The disciples had already asked Jesus where he would eat the Pasch. Today, before dawn, our Lord sent for Peter, James, and John, spoke to them at some length concerning all they had to prepare and order at Jerusalem, and told them that when ascending Mount Sion, they would meet the man carrying a pitcher of water. They were already well acquainted with this man, for at the last Pasch, at Bethania, it had been him who prepared the meal for Jesus, and this is why St. Matthew says : a certain man. They were to follow him home, and say to him : The Master saith, My time is near at hand, with thee I make the pasch with my disciples, Matthew xxvi. 18. They were then to he shown the Supper Hoom, and make all necessary preparations.


Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich does a wonderful job at exciting the senses and brings the imagination right back to the Upper Room

I saw the two Apostles ascending towards Jerusalem, along a ravine, to the south of the Temple, and in the direction of the north side of Sion. On the southern side of the mountain on which the Temple stood, there were some rows of houses; and they walked opposite these houses, following the stream of an intervening torrent. When they had reached the summit of Mount Sion, which is higher than the mountain of the Temple, they turned their steps towards the south, and, just at the beginning of a small ascent met the man who had been named to them ; they followed and spoke to him as Jesus had commanded. He was much gratified by their words, and answered, that a supper had already been ordered to be prepared at his house (probably by Nicodemus), but that he had not been aware for who, and was delighted to learn that it was for Jesus.


We learn that the Supper room actually belonged to Nicodemos and Joseph of Arimetha, a sure way to know the room would be reserved and well cared for in preparation for the last Supper.

This man's name was Heli, and he was the brother in law of Zachary of Hebron, in whose house Jesus had in the preceding year announced the death of John the Baptist. He had only one son, who was a Levite, and a friend of St. Luke, before the latter was called by our Lord, and five daughters, all of whom were unmarried. He went up every year with his servants for the festival of the Pasch, hired a room and prepared the Pasch for persons who had no friend in the town to lodge with. This year he had hired a supper room which belonged to Nicodemos and Joseph of Arimetha. He showed the two apostles its position and interior arrangement.


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