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Matthew 27:32

And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
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Chromatius of Aquileia

AD 407
Finally, the Gospel reports in the present reading that as the Lord was being led to his Passion, “they found a certain man of Cyrene named Simon and compelled him to carry the cross.” The cross of Christ is the triumph of virtue and a trophy of victory. How blessed is Simon, who deserved to be the first to bear so great a sign of victory! He was compelled to carry the cross before the Lord because the Lord wanted to demonstrate his cross to be a singular grace of that heavenly mystery which is himself: God and man, Logos and flesh, Son of God and Son of man. He was crucified as man but triumphed as God in the mystery of the cross. His suffering was of the flesh, but his glorious victory was divine. Through his cross, Christ defeated both death and the devil. Through the cross, Christ mounted his chariot of victory and chose the four Evangelists, as though horses for his chariot, to announce so great a victory to all the world. Simon of Cyrene therefore was carrying the instrument of t...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
As they came out (either from Pilate"s house, so S. Jerome—or from the city, so Fr. Lucas and others) they found a man of Cyrene. Either Cyrene in Libya, or in Syria, or in Cyprus, from whence he came to Judæa. He was a Gentile (S. Hilary, S. Ambrose, S. Leo, Bede, and others), though Maldonatus and Fr. Lucas consider he was a Jew, having probably become a proselyte on coming to Judea. This signified that the Gentiles would believe in Christ, and that the Jews would be eventually converted by their means. Simon by name. Pererius mentions the tradition that he and his afterwards became Christians. S. Mark adds that he was the father of Alexander and Rufus, who, it seems, were well known in his day as Christians. (Rufus was first Bishop of Thebes and afterwards of Tortosa. He is mentioned by Polycarp (ad Philipp. chap. ix.). Alexander was martyred at Carthagena, March11.) Some suppose Simon or Niger ( Acts 13:1) to be the same person. Him they compelled. See above, chap. v41. It was a ...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
The Savior is led to the suffering that brings salvation. They laid his cross on Simeon of Cyrene. Another of the holy Evangelists said that Jesus himself carried the cross. Now surely both [accounts] are correct. For the Savior carried the cross, and, having met the Cyrene about half way, they transferred the cross to him. It is said about him through the voice of Isaiah that “a child has been born to us, and a son has been given to us, and the government shall be upon his shoulders.” Now the cross has become the means by which he governs, through which he continues to rule over all heaven, since it is true that even as “far as death” he has become “obedient, even to death of a cross. Therefore God has exalted him.” ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Cyrene was the capital of a province in Africa, near Lybia. See Acts ii. 10. Some are of opinion that this Simon was a Jew; his name favours that sentiment, and there were many Jews in that province. (Bible de Vence) St. John says that Christ went out carrying his own cross, while the other three evangelists state that they forced Simon of Cyrene to carry it for him. Both are true: for seeing Christ unequal to the weight, they compelled the other to take it up for him; not a part only, as some painters represent, but the whole, to Mount Calvary, as Jesus Christ had carried the whole before. (St. Augustine) The evangelists would not have been so particular in this part, had they not wished to inculcate, that all who desire to follow Christ, must also take up their cross and follow him. (St. Jerome and Jansenius) The latter says, in his Commentaries on the Gospels; as no one liked to carry the ignominious cross, the insolence of the soldiery compelled a stranger to carry it. By this w...

Leo of Rome

AD 461
But as the multitudes went with Jesus to the place of punishment, a certain Simon of Cyrene was found on whom to lay the wood of the cross, instead of the Lord. Even this act signified that faith would come to the Gentiles, to whom the cross of Christ was not to be shame but glory. It was not accidental therefore but symbolic and mystical, that while the Jewish rulers were raging against Christ, a foreigner was found to share his sufferings. Thus the apostle would say, “If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him.” Note that it was not a Hebrew or an Israelite but a foreigner who was drawn into service for the Savior in his most holy humiliation. By this transference the propitiation of the spotless Lamb and the fulfillment of all mysteries passed from the circumcision to the uncircumcision, from the sons according to the flesh to the sons according to the spirit. Hence the apostle would say, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” He offered himself to the Father as a new ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
The three evangelists say that Simon carried the cross of Jesus, while John says that the Lord carried it Himself. It is likely that both events occurred. At first Jesus carried the cross as no one else was willing to carry it; but along the way they found Simon and placed the cross on him. You, O reader, learn this as well, that "Simon" means "obedience"; therefore he who possesses obedience is he who carries the cross of Christ. And Cyrene was one of the five cities of Pentapolis, signifying the five senses that are compelled to bear the cross. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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