The image below is a detail from the twelfth station of the Cross, which hangs in our chapel. ‘Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene’.

St Cyril of Alexandria wrote: ‘For we remember that the righteous Simeon, when he received the infant Lord into his arms, after having blessed Him, and said: “Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart, O Lord, according to Thy Word, in peace; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation”, he also said to the holy Virgin herself: “Behold, this Child is set for the falling and rising up of many in Israel; and for a sign which is spoken against; yea, and a sword shall pierce through thine own soul, that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed”. By a sword he meant the keen pang of suffering …’

Suffering is seen in the face of the Virgin, but also love and resignation. May the Holy Mother of God protect us and guide us; and may God bless your Good Friday.