The Return from the Sepulchre.—Joseph of Arimathea is put in Prison.
THE Sabbath was close at hand, and Nicodemus and Joseph returned to Jerusalem by a small door
not far from the garden, and which Joseph had been allowed by special favour to have made in
the city wall. They told the Blessed Virgin, Magdalen, John, and some of the women, who were
returning to Calvary to pray there, that this door, as well as that of the supper-room, would
be opened to them whenever they knocked. The elder sister of the Blessed Virgin, Mary of Heli,
returned to the town with Mary the mother of Mark, and some other women. The servants of
Nicodemus and Joseph went to Calvary to fetch several things which had been left there.
The soldiers joined those who were guarding the city gate near Calvary; and Cassius went to
Pilate with the lance, related all that he had seen, and promised to give him an exact account
of everything that should happen, if he would put under his command the guards whom the Jews
would not fail to ask to have put round the tomb. Pilate listened to his words with secret
terror, but only told him in reply that his superstition amounted to madness.
Joseph and Nicodemus met Peter and the two Jameses in the town. They all shed many tears, but
Peter was perfectly overwhelmed by the violence of his grief. He embraced them, reproached
himself for not having been present at the death of our Saviour, and thanked them for having
bestowed the rites of sepulture upon his sacred body. It was agreed that the door of the
supper-room should be opened to them whenever they knocked, and then they went away to seek
some other disciples who were dispersed in various directions. Later I saw the Blessed Virgin
and her companions enter the supper-room; Abenadar next came and was admitted; and by
degrees the greatest part of the Apostles and disciples
assembled there. The holy women retired to that part of the building where the Blessed Virgin
was living. They took some food, and spent a few minutes more in tears, and in relating to one
another what each had seen. The men changed their dresses, and I saw them standing under the
lamp, and keeping the Sabbath. They ate some lambs in the supper-room, but without observing
any ceremony, for they had eaten the Paschal lamb the evening before. They were all perturbed
in spirit, and filled with grief. The holy women also passed their time in praying with the
Blessed Virgin under the lamp. Later, when night had quite fallen, Lazarus, the widow of Naïm,
Dina the Samaritan woman, and Mara of Suphan,22 came from Bethania, and then, once more, descriptions
were given of all that had taken place, and many tears shed.
Joseph of Arimathea returned home late from the supper-room, and he was sorrowfully walking
along the streets of Sion, accompanied by a few disciples and women, when all on a sudden a
band of armed men, who were lying in ambuscade in the neighbourhood of Caiphas’s tribunal, fell
upon them, and laid hands upon Joseph, whereupon his companions fled, uttering loud cries of
terror. He was confined in a tower contiguous to the city wall, not far from the tribunal.
These soldiers were pagans, and had not to keep the Sabbath, therefore Caiphas had been able to
secure their services on this occasion. The intention was to let Joseph die of hunger, and keep
his disappearance a secret.
Here conclude the descriptions of all that occurred on the day of the Passion of our Lord;
but we will add some supplementary matter concerning Holy Saturday, the Descent into Hell, and