The Harmony Of The Gospels by St. Augustine
Chapter X.--Of the Method in Which We Can Reconcile the Statement Which is Made by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, to the Effect that Another Person Was Pressed into the Service of Carrying the Cross of Jesus, with that Given by John, Who Says that Jesus Bore It
37. Matthew, accordingly, goes on with his narrative in these terms: |And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear His cross.| In like manner, Mark says: |And they led Him out to be crucified. And they compelled one Simon, a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear His cross.| Luke's version is also to this effect: |And as they led Him away, they laid hold upon one Simon a Cyrenian, coming out of the country; and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.| On the other hand, John records the matter as follows: |And they took Jesus, and led Him away. And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew, Golgotha; where they crucified Him.| From all this we understand that Jesus was carrying the cross Himself as He went forth into the place mentioned. But on the way the said Simon, who is named by the other three evangelists, was pressed into the service, and got the cross to carry for the rest of the course until the spot was reached. Thus we find that both circumstances really took place; namely, first the one noticed by John, and thereafter the one instanced by the other three.