There are some who are dissatisfied at the lack of specifics of some historical accounts found in Scripture. This is understandable as these are written as general accounts as witnessed by the author and/or based on the testimony of other witnesses. The Passion as recorded in the four Gospels are like that, simply stating each incident and then move on to the next. The accounts span a few pages and can easily be read in one sitting.
There have been various authentic mystics in the past two thousand years who have seen, to varying degrees of clarity and detail, visions of the Passion.
The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ is an account of the visions on the said subject according to St Anne Catherine Emmerich (b. 8 September 1774 – d. 9 February 1824), a German Augustinian nun and stigmatic. Clement Brentano, a German poet and author, acted as her scribe.
Although Emmerich never claimed these visions to be infallible (nor can she, they being private revelations and she having no authority to declare otherwise), her work had the support of certain clergy at the time who were in favor of its promulgation.
The account itself is written honestly and unpretentiously, with nothing that is glaringly contradictory to the Faith. There are parts where Emmerich herself admits to forgetting the details of and/or having a degree of uncertainty in what she saw. Nonetheless, it generally reads as authentic, especially if one takes into consideration the sufferings of this religious mystic’s life.
The book includes a biographical sketch of St Anne Catherine Emmerich. The account begins with meditations on The Last Supper and concludes just after the Resurrection of Our Lord. The amount of detail is intense and at times quite vivid to the point of being chilling. It is probably for these reasons, amongst others, that Emmerich’s account of the Passion is one of the more prominent ones. It is also no surprise that this was one of the sources used by Mel Gibson in the making of The Passion of the Christ.
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