Simon helps Jesus to carry the Cross

Simon, St Luke tells us, was coming in from the country, and made to shoulder the cross. We note the detail of these statues, the soldier’s uniform, its carved leather and metal gear, belted dagger at hand, contrasting with the flowing robes of Jesus and others. Despite being dragooned into his role, there is a look of acceptance and resignation on the work-worn face of Simon, the comforting hand of Jesus on Simon’s shoulder telling of gratitude for assistance given – support in fact, from the supported. Once again the mysterious flowers appear, at the feet of the soldier this time, and under the cross.

The lawn area round which these Fourth and Fifth Stations are situated was once the Monastery vegetable garden, tended by the Brothers and Seminarians of former days. As we leave the area we see hedges planted in 1944 to hide farm and work buildings – when according to Passionist Community records, 130 hedge plants, 14 Canary Island palm trees, 73 gums, 2 silky oaks and 12 Flame trees were added to the Monastery grounds.

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