Ecce Home (Praetorium)

Jesus was crucified. Who crucified Him? The answer that has been given to this question for ages is 'the Jews' and that is why so many crimes were committed against the Jewish people and why many Jews are so ashamed today.


 In the Jewish repetition of the Law, called Mishnah, the death penalty was allowed in the following ways: stoning, burning, beheading and strangling. Never crucifixion though, which was         probably Persian traditional execution adopted by Romans.


 Apostle Paul, himself being a Jew, however states:

“The Jews (or the Judeans, people from the region of Judea) who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets” (1Thessolonians 2:14).


The Gospel tells us also that it was the Jewish Temple aristocracy, the Sadducees, who plotted against Jesus. The position of Temple was already threatened by the rising influence of the Pharisees and the separatists of Qumran (perhaps called Essenes). That is why it was crucial to take Jesus away from the public eye. Many of Jesus' contemporaries were responsible for his death, but the Apostolic Creed says: 'He suffered under Pilate'


In the first century BC, Herod the Great built a large open-air pool. In the second century, Roman Emperor Hadrian added arched vaulting to enable pavement to be placed over the pool, making it a large cuboid shaped cistern to gather rainwater from guttering on the forum buildings.


Hadrian also built a triple-arched gated entrance to the eastern forum of the Aelia Capitoline in Jerusalem.

The northern arch is preserved under the apse (recess) of the Basilica of Ecce Homo.


By 1857, Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne, a French Jew and former atheist who converted to Catholicism and became a priest, purchased the site and started a convent. Between 1858 and 1862, he built a basilica (the Church of Ecce Homo), which overlaps part of the gateway arch.  


(to be continued...)