The Place of the Skull Became Paradise

St. Caesarius of Arles ca. 470-542

Blessed Jerome, a priest, wrote that he knew most certainly from the ancient Jews and elders that Christ our Lord was afterwards crucified in the place where Isaac was offered. Lastly, from the place whence blessed Abraham was commanded to depart, he arrived on the third day at the place where Christ our Lord was crucified. This, too, is mentioned in the account of the ancients, that in the very place where the Cross was fastened the first Adam once was buried. Moreover, it was called the place of Calvary for the very reason that the first head of the human race is said to have been buried there. Truly, brethren, not unfittingly is it believed that the physician was raised up where the sick man lay. It was right that divine mercy should bend down in the place where human pride had fallen. The precious Blood may be believed to have corporally redeemed the ashes of the sinner of old by deigning to touch it with its drops. (Sermon 84, On Abraham and His Son Isaac)

Note: Below the feet of Christ is four Slavonic letters meaning: “The place of the skull became Paradise”. Hidden in a cave under the earth is ‘the skull of Adam’. We are thus reminded that Adam our forefather lost Paradise through the tree from which he wrongly partook; Christ is the new Adam, bringing us Salvation and Paradise through the tree of the Cross.