These holy men and women were changed forever by what they saw on the Good Friday.
As those present at the Crucifixion of Jesus were part of the crowd who put him to death, there were also several men and women who were fundamentally changed after encountering the Christ’s suffering.
Few are mentioned in the Bible, but others are spoken of only when they are referred to what they did or said on that day. In that Case, various traditions continue their story and explain how they lived a saintly life and are now venerated as saints.
Here are five familiar names from the Passion story who became disciples of Christ after witnessing his passion.
Veronica is known as the woman who wiped the face of Jesus as he was led to Calvary. Various legends explain where she went afterwards, after which they regard her as a holy woman. There are also a relic that claim to be Veronica’s veil, which bears a miraculous image of Christ on it. One of the relics is kept in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and is often displayed on the 5th Sunday of Lent. And her feast day is July 12.
St. Simon of Cyrene
Simon, was believed to be a reluctant bystander when he was pressed into service to help Jesus carry his burden, became a changed man after carrying the wood of the cross and gazing into the eyes of the suffering Jesus. After the crucifixion, little is known of what happened to Simon, but tradition witnessed that he and his sons became faithful disciples. This is concluded from the fact that Mark mentions the sons, Alexander and Rufus, by name (Mark 15:21), which seems to show that they were known figures in the early Church. And his feast day is December 1.
He was only mentioned in the Gospel of Luke, he was the “good thief” who defended Jesus on the cross from the mockery of the other thief. Jesus saw the faith and repentance of the thief and He boldly said, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). Based on this statement Jesus made, the early Church admitted he was in heaven and therefore, a saint. Though, he was not named in the Gospel, he is given the name Dismas in an apocryphal account. And his feast day is March 25, which was taken as the traditional date of the crucifixion.
After Jesus died on the cross, a centurion pierced the side of Jesus and blood and water flowed out. The made us to believed that at that moment he became a faithful Christian. He is recorded in Mark when he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39). Though his name is not mentioned in Scripture, but he was given the name Longinus in later accounts. So many legends surround his life and some believe that he was martyred by order of Pontius Pilate. His feast day is March 15.
St. Joseph of Arimathea
A very wealthy man of Israel, he gave his own prepared tomb for the body of Jesus. And the tomb became the site of Jesus’ resurrection. The Gospel of John has it that he was, “a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, have fear of the Jews” (John 19:38). Some traditions claim he went to Britain with the Holy Grail and he founded a monastery at Glastonbury. While his feast day is March 17.