Tag Archives: last words




Divine Jesus, Incarnate Son of God, Who for my salvation didst vouchsafe to be born in a stable, to pass thy life in poverty, trials, and misery, and to die amid the sufferings of the Cross, I entreat thee, say to thy Divine Father, at the hour of my death: “Father, forgive him,” say to thy beloved Mother: “Behold thy son,” and to my soul: “This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.”

My God, my God, forsake me not in that hour. I thirst, yes, my soul thirsts after thee, who art the fountain of living waters. My life passes like a shadow; yet a little while, and all will be consummated. Wherefore my adorable Saviour! from this moment, for all eternity, into thy hands I commend my spirit. Lord Jesus, receive my soul. Amen.

[His Holiness Pope Pius IX., by a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences, June 10th, 1856, confirmed an Indulgence of three hundred days, to be gained by all the faithful every time that they shall say the foregoing with contrite heart and devotion.] 

– From: St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,




I. “Such are the last words with which the Saviour, dying on the cross, accomplishes this day His sacrifice: such are the last sighs which the holy women and the beloved disciple gather from His dying lips; such the last instructions which they receive from their kind Master.

Thus it is that He leaves this earth, and that He leaves His dear disciples agitated equally by grief at losing Him, and by the profound mystery of this last utterance: ‘Consummatum est’? All is accomplished, as regards his Father’s justice, the malice of men, and His love.

Jesus Christ having nothing more to do for us on earth, the great sacrifice being offered, and all the ancient figures fulfilled; Jerusalem having filled up the measure of its fathers; all the oracles of the Prophets being explained, the true worship established, His Father’s glory vindicated, the course of His ministry ended; not being able to leave men any greater proofs of His love, He declares that all is accomplished: ‘Consummatum est.’ He bows His Head; He utters a loud cry to heaven; He dies, and gives back to his Father the life and soul which He had received from Him.

Look at this divine Saviour expiring on the cross, and looking to you alone as the reward of His sufferings; He dies your liberator, He dies in your stead; He dies in Time, in order that you may not die in Eternity; He dies because He loves you, He dies, because you do not love Him. Can your tenderness, your grief, your gratitude know any limits here? And are you not anathema if you love not Jesus Christ crucified?

II. Those who are looking upon Him dying say to Him: ‘Come down from the cross, and we will believe in You,’ but we ought to use quite different language towards Him.

‘It is because You are raised upon the cross, O my Saviour, it is because You are dying today for me, choosing this throne of ignominy on which to be our Victim and our Pontiff; it is for these very reasons that all our consolation is to believe in You, and to adore You as our mediator, and to consecrate to You what remains of our life.

Do not descend from this sacred wood, where You are the only hope of Your people. Rather draw us thither with You, as You have promised us; the more we see You saturated with reproaches, the more our faith is increased, our hope strengthened, our love inflamed.

Can so much pain and suffering offered for us, be of no avail? – Would You have redeemed our souls at such a great price, if You had been willing to let them perish? – And would You have died such a death of ignominy, if we were not by sharing in Your suffering, to become participators one day in the glory of our immortality?”
– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905


Tags: , , , ,


When we think of Jesus on the Cross we think of him dying, but often we forget the Gospels tell us that he hung upon the Cross for three hours and during those hours he spoke on seven distinct occasions. These seven occasions are called the seven last words. Lent is an opportunity for us to meditate on these last words spoken by Our Blessed Lord and to apply them to our own lives.

• “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mk 15:34; Matt 27:46).

This phrase is a direct quote from Psalm 22. During his dying agony on the Cross, Our Blessed Lord prayed. He used the familiar words of the psalms to help him express his anguish and feeling of abandonment by God. This first word reminds us of how deeply Jesus took on our sufferings. He allowed himself to experience fully the terrible feeling we can sometimes live through of being forgotten by everyone and even by God. Jesus entered this sorrow so that when we in our turn experience such suffering we will know that Jesus has been there before us and by uniting ourselves to him in such moments we immediately know that we are not alone and not abandoned.

• “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing” (Lk 23:34).

As Jesus was dying he was still filled with love. He had no hatred in his heart. Not only did he pray for the forgiveness of those who were executing him but he excused them by saying they did not realise what they were doing.

• “This day you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43).

This word spoken to “the good thief” shows clearly that Jesus knew that he was not dying in vain; he knew that his death was our salvation. By his dying he was opening the way to eternal life for all who turn to him. The gates he opened on that Good Friday remain still opened for each of us.

• “Woman behold your son. Son behold your mother” (Jn 19:26-27).

Jesus’ parting gift to each of us on our journey through life and suffering is the very same gift that he himself experienced as he went through his last suffering, the presence of his beloved Mother. As Mary was with Jesus she is also always with us. As Mary walked with Jesus the whole way to Calvary, she walks with us through this bitter valley of tears. As she did not abandon her beloved son she will never abandon us.

• “I thirst” (Jn 19:28).

Indeed Jesus was thirsty during his last agony but to fully understand this word of Jesus you must see that the only other time he used this word in St John’s Gospel was when he spoke with the woman at the well in Chapter 4. In that scene he says to the woman that he is thirsty and she is puzzled that he a Jew would ask her a Samaritan for a drink of water. But then he says to her “if you only knew the gift of God and who it is that says to you “I thirst” you would ask him and he would give you living water” (Jn 4:7-10). Here on the Cross Jesus is giving us the living water that wells up into eternal life. When his heart is pierced by the lance we are told that blood and water came forth. Jesus is saying to all of us that he thirsts for us and that all we have to do is to go to him and he will satisfy the deepest longing of our hearts to be loved and healed. On the Cross Christ’s thirsting for us is God’s answer to all our deepest thirsts in life.

• “Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46).

Here again we have Jesus praying from the psalms. The familiar prayers which Jesus used every day of his life become his own personal prayers. He is no longer simply praying – he has become prayer.

• “It is finished” (Jn 19:30).

[Jesus has obeyed the Father the whole way; we need to obey the Father’s loving will all the way, too.] For Jesus his Father’s will was everything and now he has fulfilled it perfectly. At the beginning of the Bible we see how our first parents Adam and Eve had refused to do God’s will and had chosen to go their own way. Now Jesus has cancelled out their disobedience by his obedience. Again God and humanity are in full communion. The long night of sin is ended and God and his human family are in full communion. The long night of sin is ended and God and his human family are again at peace. The work which Jesus came to do in his humanity is now finished; he has said a total and absolute YES to the Father.

These seven last words of Jesus must become our words in our relationship with God. No matter what we are going through these words guide us to a deeper and closer communication with God.
– This article by John Harris OP was published in Saint Martin Magazine, issue March 2011. For subscriptions etc. please contact: Saint Martin Apostolate, 42 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Ireland


Tags: , , ,


O Mary, if – as St Peter says – death is terrible even for the just, how much more so will it be for a sinner who has many times deserved hell. So when I think of that moment on which my lot for eternity depends, I begin exceedingly to fear and to tremble. O Mother of Perpetual Succour, in you is my hope, for you are the advocate of sinners and the patron of the dying. I place myself from now on in your blessed hands, I entrust to you the care of my sinful soul; dispose of me, do with me as you please, but preserve me from an evil death.

Reject, if you will, all my other prayers, provided you hear this one for a good death; or, rather, may a peaceful and holy death be the crowning answer to all the prayers I address to you from now to the end of my days. And when my last hour comes, grant, O my good Mother, that I worthily receive all the succours the Holy Church affords to the dying; and be pleased yourself to come then to my aid, to encourage, console and defend me from the assaults of Satan, and thus to secure the defeat of the enemy of your glory.

Grant that your blessed name, with that of Jesus, may be my last thought and my last sigh, so that I may go to heaven to sing your mercies. Come, O Lady of Perpetual Succour, to succour me at the hour of my death. Amen.


Tags: , , , , ,