Traditions say that Jesus fell three times under the weight of the cross, out of which two instances took place after Simon of Cyrene had been entrusted to help Him carry the cross. One wonders whether Jesus had been hand-cuffed on the way to Calvary , on account of which He was not able to balance the weight of the cross over His shoulder. My question therefore is: Do the teachings of Catholic Church indicate that Jesus was hand-cuffed on the way to Calvary ?

  • I think you might want to adjust this question to go from "Teachings of the Catholic Church" to "Any Catholic Mystics or Seers" if you want any kind of answer except maybe no.
    – Peter Turner
    Apr 13, 2020 at 13:48
  • Doesn't answer your question directly, but keep in mind Jesus had been whipped before that. That may have had an impact on His ability to carry the cross more so than being handcuffed.
    – Chipster
    Apr 15, 2020 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


Was Jesus tied to the patibulum on the way to Calvary?

It is quite possible that Christ was tied to the patibulum or crossbar of his Cross, but the Catholic Church has no official stance on this subject. The Church has no traditions of such things being done to Jesus during his Passion.

Some might say that victims to be crucified were so weak after their scourging that there would be no reason to tie the condemned to their patibulums.

Some Catholic sources claim that yes victims were indeed tied to their crossbar, but the Church has no official pronouncements on it.

What was a typical crucifixion like?

After the flogging, the victim would carry his own cross bar (called a patibulum) from the flogging area inside the city to the crucifixion area outside of the city walls. The crucifixion area was always outside the city, because the process was horrible and disturbing to citizens.

The upright part of the cross (the stipe) was permanently mounted in the crucifixion area. The part that the victim carried was the cross bar, weighing in at 75 to 125 pounds. The cross bar would be balanced on the victims shoulders, and their arms would be tied to the crossbar. In this position, if the victim tripped or fell, they could not use their arms to break their fall, and they would likely fall face first into the ground.

The victim was escorted by a Roman guard (probably a centurion and several soldiers), who were responsible for guarding the victim until his death. One of the soldiers would display a sign with the crime written on it.

What was a typical crucifixion like?

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