Chapel of Simon of Cyrene

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The exterior of the Chapel of Simon of Cyrene, at the fifth station of the Via Dolorosa, in the Old City of Jerusalem

The Chapel of Simon of Cyrene is a Catholic chapel belonging to the Franciscans in the Old City of Jerusalem.[1]

The place marks the fifth station of Via Dolorosa, and refers to the biblical episode in which Simon of Cyrene takes Jesus' cross, and carries it for him.[2] Although this narrative is included in the three Synoptic Gospels, the Gospel of John does not mention Simon of Cyrene[3] but instead emphasizes the portion of the journey during which Jesus carried the cross himself.[4] The current traditional site for the station is located at the east end of the western fraction of the Via Dolorosa, adjacent to the Chapel of Simon of Cyrene, a Franciscan construction built in 1895. An inscription, in the architrave of the main entrance from the Via Dolorosa, bears the inscription "[line 1] Simoni - Cyrenaeo [line 2] Crux Imponitur" references the Synoptic events.[5]

Prior to the 15th century, this location was instead considered to be the House of the Poor Man, and honoured as the fifth station for that reason;[6] the name refers to the Lukan tale of Lazarus and Dives,[7] this Lazarus being a beggar, and Dives being the Latin word for [one who is] Rich. Adjacent to the alleged House of the Poor Man is an arch over the road; the house on the arch was thought to be the corresponding House of the Rich Man.[6] The houses in question are believed to date to the Middle Ages.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chapel of Simon of Cyrene".
  2. ^ Mark 15:21
  3. ^ John 19:17
  4. ^ Simon of Cyrene – Bible Study
  5. ^ Simon the Cross Bearer Inscription "Chapel of Simon of Cyrene". Madain Project. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b Dave Winter, Israel Handbook, page 126
  7. ^ Luke 16:19–31
  8. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, entry for Dives