The Pieta

The Pieta

Here the Passion ends and compassion takes over.


Christ is no longer on the cross, he is with Mary, in her arms:


As she promised, she receives him until the end.


The Christ who suffered before everyone’s eyes, is once again concealed upon his mother’s lap.


The Church, through her arms, forever takes charge of her Beloved.


What comes from God, and what comes from the mother, and what comes from man,


All this is now under her mantel and remains with her forever.


She holds him, she watches, she prays, she laments, and she admires;


she is the shroud and the ointment, she is the tomb and the myrrh.


She is the priest and the altar; she is the vase and the Upper Room.


Here the cross ends and the tabernacle begins.



Paul Claudel (French poet, 1868-1955)