Now let us look at a document simply entitled The Death of Pilate, Who Condemned Jesus.
And when Tiberius Caesar, the emperor of the Romans, was laboring under a grievous disease, and understanding that there was at Jerusalem a certain physician, Jesus by name, who by a single word cured all infirmities, he, not knowing that the Jews and Pilate had put Him to death, ordered a certain friend of his named Volusianus: Go as quickly as possible across the seas; and thou shalt tell Pilate, my servant and friend, to send me this physician, that he may restore me to my former health. And this Volusianus, having heard the emperor’s command, immediately departed, and came to Pilate, as he had been commanded. And he related to the same Pilate what had been entrusted to him by Tiberius Caesar, saying: Tiberius Caesar, the emperor of the Romans, thy master, having heard that in this city there is a physician who by his word alone heals infirmities, begs thee earnestly to send him to him for the curing of his infirmity. Pilate, hearing this, was very much afraid, knowing that through envy he had caused Him to be put to death. Pilate answered the same messenger thus, saying: This man was a malefactor, and a man who drew to himself all the people; so a council of the wise men of the city was held, and I caused him to be crucified. And this messenger returning to his inn, met a certain woman named Veronica, who had been a friend of Jesus.
Only this womans spiritual name is known to us. It was Berenice or Veronici, meaning True Image. Here is the account of her given in the Gospel of Saint Mark:
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.1
Upon returning home, this woman commissioned a statue of Jesus to be made and had it set up in front of her house. This might be an indication that she was not Jewish. However, she was given the name True Image as an expression of the ideal that as she had had an image of earthly matter fashioned into the likeness of Jesus, so she would fashion her own consciousness into His likeness and thereby herself become a Christ.
Centuries later the image was taken from Berenices house and placed in the treasury of the church of Agia Sophia in Constantinople. When Constantinople fell in the sixteenth century the image was lost to the Christians and its fate is not known.
However the following account indicates that she at first planned to have a painting made to use as a model for the image.
And he said: O woman, a certain physician who was in this city, who cured the sick by a word alone, why have the Jews put him to death: And she began to weep, saying: Ah me! my lord, my God and my Lord, whom Pilate for envy delivered, condemned, and ordered to be crucified. Then he, being exceedingly grieved, said: I am vehemently grieved that I am unable to accomplish that for which my lord had sent me. And Veronica said to him: When my Lord was going about preaching, and I, much against my will, was deprived of His presence, I wished His picture to be painted for me, in order that, while I was deprived of His presence, the figure of His picture might at least afford me consolation. And when I was carrying the canvas to the painter to be painted, my Lord met me, and asked whither I was going. And when I had disclosed to Him the cause of my journey, He asked of me the cloth, and gave it back to me impressed with the image of His venerable face. Therefore, if thy lord will devoutly gaze upon His face [or, upon the sight of this], he shall obtain forthwith the benefit of health. And he said to her: Is a picture of such a sort procurable by gold or silver? She said to him: No; but by the pious influence of devotion. I shall therefore set out with thee, and shall carry the picture to be seen by Caesar, and shall come back again.
Volusianus therefore came with Veronica to Rome, and said to Tiberius the emperor: Jesus, whom thou hast been longing for, Pilate and the Jews have delivered to an unjust death, and have through envy affixed to the gibbet of the cross. There has therefore come with me a certain matron, bringing a picture of Jesus himself; and if thou wilt devoutly look upon it, thou shalt immediately obtain the benefit of thy health. Caesar therefore ordered the way to be strewn with silk cloths, and the picture to be presented to him; and as soon as he had looked upon it, he regained his former health.
Tiberius, who ruled 14-37 A.D., was the first Christian Emperor. Upon learning from Pilate of the execution of Jesus by the Roman authorities, he was afraid that Jesus, a god, would wreak vengeance upon the Empire and upon him since it was his representative that had given Jesus over to be crucified. He punished Pilate for his action and entreated the Roman Senate to declare Jesus one of the gods of the Roman pantheon to placate Him, but they refused. Riddled with venereal disease (which was thought to be a form of leprosy at that time) from his utterly dissolute way of life, Tiberius came to believe that Jesus could heal him. One of the disciples of Jesus, named Nathanael (not the Apostle), was brought to Rome along with Saint Berenice (Veronica). Through the cloth that bore the miraculous imprint of Jesus face, Tiberius was instantly healed, as were many of the Imperial court that had various maladies. Tiberius and his entire family then became Christians. According to ancient records he fully adopted the tenets of the Christian faith.
Pontius Pilate, therefore, by the command of Caesar, was taken and brought through to Rome. Caesar, hearing that Pilate had arrived at Rome, was filled with exceeding fury against him, and caused him to be brought to him. But Pilate brought down with him the seamless tunic of Jesus; and he wore it on him in presence of the emperor. And as soon as the emperor saw him, he laid aside all his anger, and forthwith rose up to meet him. Nor was he able to speak harshly to him in anything; and he who seemed so terrible and fierce in his absence, now in his presence is somehow found to be mild. And when he had sent him away, immediately he blazed out against him terribly, crying out that he was a wretch, inasmuch as he had not at all shown him the fury of his heart. And immediately he made him to be called back, swearing and declaring that he was the son of death, and that it was infamous that he should live upon the earth. And as soon as he saw him, he forthwith saluted him, and threw away all the ferocity of his mind. All wondered; and he himself wondered that he should thus blaze out against Pilate when he was absent, and that while he was present he could say nothing to him roughly. Then, by a divine impulse, or perhaps by the advice of some Christian, he caused him to be stripped of that tunic, and immediately resumed against him his former ferocity of mind. And when at this the emperor wondered very much, it was told him that that tunic had belonged to the Lord Jesus. Then the emperor ordered him to be kept in prison, until he should deliberate in a council of the wise men what ought to be done with him. And a few days after, sentence was therefore passed upon Pilate, that he should be condemned to the most disgraceful death. Pilate, hearing this, killed himself with his own knife, and by such a death ended his life.
When Caesar knew of the death of Pilate, he said: Truly he has died by a most disgraceful death, whom his own hand has not spared. He was therefore bound to a great mass, and sunk into the river Tiber. But malignant and filthy spirits in his malignant and filthy body, all rejoicing together, kept moving themselves in the waters, and in a terrible manner brought lightnings and tempests, thunders and hail-storms, in the air, so that all men were kept in horrible fear. Wherefore the Romans, drawing him out of the river Tiber, in derision carried him down to Vienna, and sunk him in the river Rhone. For Vienna is called, as it were Via Gehennae, the way of Gehenna, because it was then a place of cursing. But there evil spirits were present, working the same things in the same place. Those men therefore, not enduring such a visitation of demons, removed from themselves that vessel of malediction, and sent him to be buried in the territory of Losania [the Roman name of Lausanne]. And they, seeing that they were troubled by the aforesaid visitations, removed him from themselves, and sunk him in a certain pit surrounded by mountains, where to this day, according to the account of some, certain diabolical machinations are said to bubble up.
I have an idea that we must put both accounts together to get at the facts. Did Pilate commit suicide, or was he beheaded as the previous account says? Knowing the ways of the Contantinized church, it is likely that this second account is true and the other one is a gloss to make Pilate seem worthy of canonization. His being in limbo for two millennia is the kind thing that happens to suicides, as well.
The real significance of this account is its illustration of the fact that material objects can take on powerful psychic vibrations. Here we find two such: the tunic of Christ and the body of Pilate. One was imbued with such divine vibrations that no evil could manifest in its presence. The other was a channel for diabolical energies of great malignancy.
We should surround ourselves with blessed objects that will radiate holy energies to us. We must also eliminate objects that emanate negative energies. The house in which we live and the autos we drive should be magnetized through ritual blessing. And more important, we ourselves should be magnetized with higher consciousness through the constant practice of meditation.
Next: Chapter Ten–The Narrative of Joseph
1) Mark 5:25-34 [Go back]