Freelance Cross-Bearers

Hadewijch claims that those who carry the cross of Christ out of some hope of reward are like “Simon [of Cyrene] who received pay because he carried our Lord’s cross” (Letter 6). I looked up Matthew 27:32 (the verse the translator cites) — just as I remembered, it said that Simon was forced to carry the cross. The Vulgate says, “exeuntes autem invenerunt hominem cyreneum nomine Simonem hunc angariaverunt ut tolleret crucem eius,” which also appears to mean that they forced Simon to bear the cross, without offering monetary compensation.

Where is Hadewijch getting this idea about Simon?

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