The Holy Face

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Ecce Homo

By Julia Lehnen

One Friday morning I went out to gather water from the well,
When to my ears came the shouts of soldiers and of yells.
The sound of whips against a man were carried down the street,
And in the sand were footsteps from a set of very bloody feet.

I followed the noise of angry crowds that passed not long ago,
And then I saw a figure standing, bent, beneath the flow.
Upon his torn and bleeding back, a cross had there been laid,
He seemed so weak from loss of blood, his strength began to fade.

A woman ran right up to him and there caressed his cheek.
I wondered why he was to die when he appeared so meek.
And then the soldiers roughly pushed her right out of the way,
And yanked and pulled him till he fell and on the ground he lay.

The soldiers whipped him till they found he had no strength to rise.
A man they pulled out from the crowd to help him to arise.
Then as the group did travel on, and the scourges rose and fell,
The man fell on the sand and lay amid the soldier’s kicks and yells.

I could no longer keep my place as he was pressed into the dirt.
While all the soldiers restrained the crowd I could see that he was hurt.
So going through the rush of soldiers that pelted ‘round like hail,
I made my way right up to him and offered him my veil.

His bloody hands did then meet mine and he looked into my face.
And I then saw a look of love that I never could erase.
He took the veil and lifted it and wiped the blood and dust.
And then I knew that here was one in whom I could so trust.

But then the soldiers came back in and thrust me far from him,
And beat and kicked him till the light of love had seemed to dim.
And as he then resumed his painful journey up the hill,
He looked at me with deepest love that hatred couldn’t kill.

And then I looked upon the veil that I had offered him,
And truly saw what he had done before his eyes went dim.
For on that cloth, in vivid hues of red and brown encased,
Was the image of that kingly, kind, and pure Holy Face.

By Julia Lehnen, 9th grade, Immaculate Conception Academy in Minnesota

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