The seven last words of Jesus Christ on Calvary as recorded by the Four Gospels in English and Latin
The Seven Last “Words” of Jesus Christ from the cross are actually 7 short phrases that Jesus uttered on Calvary that serve as an excellent holy week meditation. To find all of the seven last words of Jesus Christ, one must read all the gospels since none of the evangelists records all 7 last words. The sayings would have been originally uttered by Jesus in the Aramaic language, but only one of the last seven words of Jesus is preserved for us in the original Aramaic, namely “Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani” or “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me,” which is actually a direct quote of the opening verse of Psalm 22. The rest of the seven last words of Jesus are found in the gospels after having been translated into Greek by the four Evangelists. We reproduce them here in Latin as well as English, since the Latin version of the Seven Last Words of Christ has been used so extensively in sacred music, notably by composers such as Franz Josef Hayden. For centuries these seven last words of Jesus have been also used as meditation points for spiritual conferences, retreats, and Lenten missions. They are particularly wonderful to use for prayer during Holy Week, especially on Good Friday. For more food for prayer during Lent and Holy Week, visit the Lent and Holy Week on-line resource libraries of the Crossroads Initiative.
1. “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” Lk. 23: 34 Pater, dimitte illis, quia nesciunt, quid faciunt.
2. “This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.” Hodie mecum eris in Paradiso. Lk. 23: 43
3. “Woman, behold thy son.” Mulier, ecce filius tuus. Jn. 19: 26-7
4. “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Deus meus, Deus meus, utquid dereliquisti me? Mk. 15: 34 (Mt. 27: 46)
5. “I thirst.” Sitio. Jn. 19: 28.
6. “It is finished.” Consummatum est. Jn 19: 30
7. “Into thine hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.” In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum. Lk. 23: