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The ‘Repentance’ of Judas
Holy Week has just passed and our thoughts are still focused on Judas' betrayal. It is lamentable that Pope Francis, writers of L'Osservatore Romano and many other progressivists are constantly trying to absolve Judas, presenting him as a weak but good man who sincerely repented before he died.

We have even read commentaries by conservative and traditionalist Catholics who have fallen into this heretical-sentimental position.

So, it is opportune to rebuke this error by reminding our readers of the Tradition that for 2,000 years consistently taught that the Traitor died impenitent. To confirm this Tradition, nothing could be more fitting than to transcribe an excerpt from the Visions and Revelations of Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerick in which she gives a detailed description of what happened to Judas from after his betrayal until his suicide.

Sr. Anne Catherine Emmerick

The Despair of Judas

While they were taking Jesus to Pilate's house, the traitor Judas heard what was being said in town, words such as these:

"They are taking Him to Pilate. The Sanhedrim has condemned the Galilean to death. He has to die on the cross. He cannot live much longer for they have already treated Him shockingly. He has shown extreme patience. He speaks not, except to say that He is the Messiah and that He will sit at the right hand of God. That is all He says, therefore He must be crucified. If he had not said that, they could have brought no cause of death against Him, but now He must hang on the cross.

"The wretch who sold Him was one of His own disciples, and only a short time before he had eaten the Paschal Lamb with Him. I should not like to have a share in that deed. Whatever the Galilean may be, He has never delivered a friend to death for money. In truth, the wretch that sold Him deserves to be crucified!”

Then anguish, despair and remorse began to struggle in the soul of Judas. He ran away. The bag of thirty coins hanging from his girdle under his mantle was for him like a hellish spur. He grasped it tightly in his hand to prevent it from rattling and striking him at every step.

He ran at full speed, not toward Jesus to cast himself at His feet to implore forgiveness from the merciful Redeemer, not to die with Jesus. No, not to confess with contrition before God his awful crime, but to disburden himself of his guilt and the price of his treachery before men.

Like one bereft of his senses, he rushed to the Temple, where many members of the Council had gathered after the trial of Jesus. They looked at each other in astonishment, and then fixed their gaze with a proud and scornful smile upon Judas, who stood before them, his countenance distorted.

Distraught, he tore the bag of thirty pieces from his girdle and held it toward them with his right hand, while in a voice of despair he said: “Take back your money, with which you have led me to sell the Righteous One. Take back your money, and release Jesus! I recall my contract. I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”

The priests despised him: Raising their hands, they stepped back before the offered silver, as if not to stain themselves by touching the traitor’s reward, and they said to him: “What does it matter to us that you have sinned? If you think you have sold innocent blood, it is your business. We know what we have bought from you, and we find Him deserving of death. You have your money. We want none of it.”

With these and similar words spoken quickly and in the manner of men who have business at hand and wish to get away from an importunate visitor, they turned from Judas. Their treatment caused him such rage and despair that he became like one insane. His hair stood on end, and with both hands he rent asunder the chain that held the silver pieces together, scattered them in the Temple, and fled from the city.

I saw him running again like a madman in the Valley of Himmon with Satan, in a horrible form, at his side. The Evil One, to drive him to despair, was whispering into his ear all the curses the Prophets had ever invoked upon this valley, wherein the Jews had once sacrificed their own children to idols.

It seemed to him that all those maledictions were directed against himself, as, for instance: “They shall go forth, and behold the carcasses of those that have sinned against Me, whose worm dies not, and whose fire shall never be extinguished." Then sounded again in his ears: "Cain, where is your brother Abel? What have you done? His blood screams to me: Cursed be thou upon the earth, a wanderer and a fugitive!"

And then when he reached the brook Cedron and saw the Mount of Olives, he shuddered and turned his eyes away, while in his ears rang the words: "Friend, whereto hast thou come? Judas, dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss?"

Oh, then horror filled his soul! His reason began to fail and the Fiend again whispered into his ear: “It was here that David crossed the Cedron when fleeing from Absalom. Absalom died hanging on a tree. David also sang of you when he said: ‘And they repaid me evil for good. May he have a hard judge! May Satan stand at his right hand, and may every tribunal of justice condemn him! Let his days be few, and his bishopric let another take! May the iniquity of his father be remembered in the sight of the Lord, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out, because he persecuted the poor without mercy and put to death the broken in heart! He has loved cursing, and it shall come unto him. And he put on cursing like a garment, and like water it went into his entrails, like oil into his bones. May it be unto him like a garment which covers him, and like a girdle may it enclose him forever!’”

Amid these frightful torments of conscience, Judas reached a desolate spot full of rubbish, refuse and swampy water southeast of Jerusalem, at the foot of the Mountain of Scandals, where no one could see him. From the city came repeated sounds of the noisy tumult, and Satan whispered again: "Now He is being led to death! You have sold Him! Do you not know how the law runs: He who sells a soul among his brethren and receives the price of it, let him die the death? Put an end to yourself, you wretched one! Put an end to yourself!"

Overcome by despair, Judas took his girdle and hung himself on a tree. The tree was one that consisted of several trunks, and rose out of a hollow in the ground. As he hung, his body burst asunder, and his bowels poured out upon the earth.


Blason de Charlemagne
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La Dolorosa Passion de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo pp. 264-268
Posted on April 15, 2023

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