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We know that Jesus Christ predicted the ruin of Jerusalem. The city was destroyed in 70 AD. In the year 66 the Jews had slaughtered Roman soldiers in the fortress Antonia. Immediately the emperor Nero sent the general Vespasian with a strong army into Judea. During the campaign Nero died and Vespasian was proclaimed emperor. He handed over the command of the troops to his son Titus. Titus opened the trench around Easter 70 and soon the city, where 1.5 million Jews had gathered for the festival, was surrounded by an impassable circle, while the Christians had left the city and taken refuge in Pella beyond the Jordan. Soon famine broke out, and thousands died daily of hunger. In the month of May, 116,000 corpses were taken out of the city through one gate. 600,000 dead were thrown over the walls. Later on, these corpses gave rise to contagious diseases, which further increased the mortality rate. To make matters worse, three factions were at war in the city for the remaining supplies, and one day the high priest was massacred with 8000 of his followers. The proposals of peace of Titus were rejected with contempt, like dishonourable. Titus took his revenge by crucifying 300 Jews at the foot of Golgotha, and thereafter about 500 Jews were nailed to the cross daily. Others were disembowelled because the soldiers suspected that they had swallowed gold. The capture of the city was very difficult because the Jews fought back in desperation. It was only after a four-month siege that the Romans were able to take the temple, because with its terraced courtyards, surrounded by walls, it was an almost impregnable fortress. The Romans took control of the temple and put everything to the sword, setting fire to the city and the temple. Jerusalem burned for two days and two nights; by the third day it was a pile of rubble. More than 200,000 dead lay under the ruins. Women and children were killed by the thousands in the temple itself. In some areas the fire was extinguished with blood, which flowed in the streets. 97,000 Jews were dragged to Rome as prisoners and sold at a high price in the amphitheaters where they were forced to fight with ferocious beasts or to fight each other. 2000 nobles had to appear at the triumphal entry of Titus in Rome. Dressed in white robes, they were forced to carry themselves the rich booty that the victor brought back from Jerusalem. When they arrived at the capitol, they were put to the sword: it was the bloody culmination of this bloody war, which cost the lives of more than a million Jews. The historian Josephus, a contemporary scribe, who told us the story, claims that the horrors of the siege of Jerusalem were such that the world never saw anything like it.
It is remarkable that the Jews were punished in the year 70 in a way that was very similar to the crime he had committed, for: 1) It was around Easter that their evils began; it was also around the Passover feast that Jesus Christ was put to death. 2) The Jews had used Roman soldiers to crucify Jesus; Roman soldiers carried out the divine vengeance. 3. The Jews had seized Jesus Christ on the Mount of Olives and crucified Him on Calvary; it was on the Mount of Olives that Titus camped with his staff, and on Golgotha that hundreds of Jews were crucified by the Romans. 4° Christ was sold for 30 denarii; Titus sold 30 Jews for one denarius. 5° Christ was clothed in a white robe: at the triumphal entry of Titus 2000 Jews wore white robes in derision. 6° Before Pilate the Jews had cried out, “May His blood fall on us and on our children.” This wish was fulfilled in a terrible way in 70. It is indeed what Jesus Christ had said, “The measure you used for others will be used for you.”
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.
O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.
My Jesus, forgiveness and mercy!
By the merits of Thy holy Wounds and the sorrows of Thy Mother.