What Christ suffered during his Passion — for you — is a powerful source of reflection and meditation.
While we know that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem around A.D. 33, the details of his sufferings and death have been confused and obscured over the past two millennia. In What Christ Suffered: A Doctor’s Journey Through the Passion, Dr. Thomas W. McGovern provides the most accurate, up-to-date understanding of the physical sufferings of Jesus Christ, drawing on ancient Greek and Latin literature about crucifixion, discoveries of ancient images, archaeology, medical reenactment studies, and medical case reports. This volume corrects decades of myths and misunderstandings presented in books and articles and on websites — myths the author himself disseminated for years until he reanalyzed the data utilizing twenty-first-century advances in modern medicine and archaeological discoveries.
This medical investigation of the Passion allows readers to enter more fully than ever into the reality of what Jesus suffered for our redemption. Drawing on the teachings of Pope Saint John Paul II in Salvifici Doloris, this book invites the reader to a deeper understanding of the meaning and value of human suffering — and how to practically apply it in their lives. By his sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus has won salvation for the whole world, redeeming even our sufferings through his incredible act of love.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A native of Escanaba, Michigan, Dr. Thomas W. McGovern completed his M.D. at Mayo Medical School. His eight years in the U.S. Army included two years of infectious disease and vaccine research and a dermatology residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Denver. He trained in Mohs surgery and Cutaneous Oncology at the Yale University School of Medicine and has practiced Mohs Surgery and Reconstruction for skin cancer in Fort Wayne since 2000. He serves on the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) national board and chairs the Young Member Advisory Committee. He is “living the dream,” cohosting Doctor, Doctor, the official weekly radio program of the CMA, which airs on EWTN and is available as a podcast. He and his wife of 30 years, Sally, are raising seven homeschooled children who gladly get a break from his “dad jokes” when he speaks at conferences.
"Dr. Tom McGovern has done all Christians an excellent service by using his medical experience and knowledge to shed light on the harsh reality of Jesus’ sufferings. Cutting through many established traditions and well meant misunderstandings, he brings us face-to-face with the Holy Face and helps us glimpse in harrowing detail the physical torment and death of Jesus Christ. What Christ Suffered will remain on my shelves as a valuable resource for Good Friday meditation for years to come."
— - Fr. Dwight Longenecker, author of The Mystery of the Magi, blogger, speaker, and parish priest
"St. Augustine taught that faith seeks understanding, and in that spirit, McGovern offers a medical exposition of Jesus Christ’s Passion. But he does more than that, inviting the reader on a journey that will move this knowledge from the head to the heart. A journey well worth taking!"
— Curtis Martin, founder of FOCUS
"I am very happy and proud to recommend for your reading What Christ Suffered: A Doctor’s Journey Through the Passion by my friend from my university days, Dr. Thomas McGovern. It will inspire your faith and help you appreciate what we read in Isaiah: 'He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities.'"
—Archbishop Alexander Sample, Archdiocese of Portland
Dr. McGovern’s What Christ Suffered is not only a serious look at the medical dimensions of Christ’s suffering and death, it is rich in spiritual insights along the way. As you watch Jesus walk the way of the cross, you accompany him. You become aware of Jesus’ physical burdens and medical complications but also learn how to, ideally, walk with him in suffering. While others have attempted to analyze the medical facts of Christ’s suffering and death in the past, no one has scoured the literature and tested competing hypotheses with the consistency and determination of Dr. McGovern. It is a perfect blend of faith, science, apologetics, and spirituality."
— Al Kresta, CEO of Ave Maria Radio and host of Kresta in the Afternoon
"Dr. Thomas McGovern’s remarkable new book, What Christ Suffered: A Doctor’s Journey Through the Passion, marks a major contribution to the study of the Passion with arguably the most complete analysis and reflection on the suffering of Christ. There have been other scientific studies, such as A Doctor at Calvary by Pierre Barbet, MD, but McGovern’s work is unique in the way that it combines both the most recent medical understanding of what the Redeemer suffered and a powerful and rich theological and spiritual reflection on its meaning. McGovern’s book will be the standard text on the physical sufferings of Christ for many years to come."
— Dr. Matthew Bunson, author of The Encyclopedia of Catholic History
"This book needs to be on your reading list! Dr. McGovern presents medical, biblical, and archeological evidence to take readers to pivotal moments of Jesus’ suffering. His description of places and events awakens the senses to see, feel, and hear the salvific suffering endured for us. After reading this, you will understand the joy from suffering and love Jesus more."
—Dr. Michael Parker, President of the Catholic Medical Association
"When Dr. McGovern spoke to Benedictine College students about a doctor’s view of the Passion of Christ, our students began asking (demanding) that the presentation be written in a book so others would be able to be inspired and moved like they were — and now it is! Dr. McGovern looks at the Passion through a doctor’s eyes but also with an understanding of the suffering that Jesus went through for us. He is able to address the difficult facts of the Passion with faith in the love and compassion of Jesus Christ, knowing that this had to happen for God’s will to be done. This book should be required reading for all Christians during Lent."
— Stephen D. Minnis, President, Benedictine College