5. Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the CrossHave you seen any of the pilgrims, the Christian pilgrims, kissing the hollowed stone to the right of the chapel on Tariq al-Suri Street? - Christian tradition sees in the hollow of the wall as the place where Jesus leaned against the wall and because of that, according to tradition, he created the hollow area here. This is the fifth stop in Via Dolorosa.
Here Jesus finds it hard to bear the cross. The Roman soldiers force Simon of Cyrene, a pilgrim who came to Jerusalem from the city of Cyrene in Libya, then a Greek colony, to help Jesus carry the unbearable cross.
"And when they brought him out of there, and brought them in one man, they came from the fie ld, and named after them a man of fire, and set up the threshing board to carry the other men" (Luk 23:26).
At this station, a Franciscan chapel was built that describes the event but does not enter it. The stone with the depression to the right of the chapel is the station and is an ancient stone that was incorporated in a church from the 19th century, when it was built here in 1889.
Who was Simon of Cyrene?There is considerable Christian controversy over Simon's act and his commemoration. What is known from the Bible is that he was a pilgrim, apparently a Jew, who came to Jerusalem from the city of Cyrene. Cyrene, a Greek city in present-day Libya, was a Greek colony at the time and Simon, who may have come to Jerusalem as a pilgrim for Passover.
It is known from the Bible that he was "the father of Alexander the Great" and the conclusion that he was a Jew is only according to his Jewish name.
Either way, Simon was commanded to help Jesus carry the unbearable crucifixion. Some see Simon as one of the first Jews to accept the Jesus, the so-called "scribes." Others maintain that this is not how things are described in the gospel according to Matthew and the Gospel according to Mark. In these letters it is written explicitly that the Romans forced Simon to help Jesus, against his will. So how does this relate to Simon's faith in Christ being the Messiah?