STATION 12. Jesus Dies on the Cross

Anjet van Linge: Compassion, 2018, Irish hardstone, 180 × 30 × 6 cm. Photo: Anjet van Linge. anjetvanlinge.nl

Kyrie eleison – “Lord, have mercy” – is a prayer that has been a part of the Christian tradition for two thousand years. In the medieval church of Eenrum in the northern Netherlands, artist Anjet van Linge chiseled it into stone in the place where the altar had once been. She worked in silence and alone, in the exact spot where pastors and priests have asked for the Lord’s mercy for centuries. But, she wonders, in our present age in which judgements and opinions are so quickly formed and expressed, is there still room for mercy? And here, in the red-light district of Amsterdam, where can one find mercy? Can it be ours to give? Can it run out? And then what? Carving ‘eleison’ into the stone – fourteen times, blow by blow, letter by letter – these questions became raw, real and rich. Now this stone is the twelfth station. Jesus dies on the cross. How much mercy did that take?

In the Chapel of Saint George, the chiseled stone is placed next to the baptismal font. The chapel is a place of quiet, inviting reflection and contemplation. Candles are burning, and you are invited to light one as well. The baptismal font is fed by an imaginary Jordan River, which we can pass through and come out cleansed and renewed on the other side.  

Behind the windows of the chapel, two watercolors by Paul van Dongen show the emotions on the face of the crucified Christ.

Location: Allemanskapel van Sint Joris (Chapel of Saint George), Oudezijds Achterburgwal 100 and 102. Here lives the Spe Gaudentes community, formed by people from all walks of life. In the very center of Amsterdam they strive to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ by offering help through various social-care programs.

text: Marleen Hengelaar