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Calvary, where Jesus Christ was crucified, takes its name from the Latin word calvaria (skull). This name is linked to a Jewish tradition reported by the Fathers. Noah is said to have put Adam’s skeleton in the ark at the time of the flood and later handed it over to his son Shem, who buried the bones on Calvary near Jerusalem. The cross where Jesus Christ died stood over these bones and the Savior’s blood gushed out through a crevice on the skull of the first man. This tradition led to the construction of the «Adam’s Chapel» on this site. This also explains why a skull is sometimes found at the foot of the cross.
The famous Viennese preacher, Emmanuel Veit, who was also a physician and poet, was Jewish by birth. As his father often read the Bible, the young man knew many passages by heart. After finishing his philosophy degree, Veit studied law at the University of Prague, and out of curiosity sometimes took courses in theology. One day he heard several Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah being fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. Back at his father’s house, the student began to search for the texts quoted by the professor from Prague. But the father, fearing that his son would become a Christian, tore up the pages containing these passages. When Emmanuel saw that some of the sheets were missing and some passages had been made illegible, he asked his father why. For all answer, he received a slap. But Veit studied the Bible even more intensely and became convinced of the truth of Christianity. As principal of the veterinary school he studied theology at the University of Vienna and was ordained a priest in 1821. Ten years later, he was a preacher at the Vienna Cathedral, where he acquired an extraordinary influence both through his lectures and his numerous writings.
The conviction that the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ led Emmanuel Veit and many other Jews to Christianity.
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.