Hint: It wasn't the Gospels. I took some heat for mentioning this over on Amy's blog the other day. Some said "you haven't seen the movie, so how do you know Anne Catherine Emmerich's revelations were the inspiration behind the movie?" Well lo and behold, today I get an email from the "fans of the Passion" web site and here is what it says (from the email, not the website linked above):
WHAT BOOK INSPIRED MEL GIBSON?
Mel Gibson was inspired to make the film because of a book that he accidentally stumbled upon. The book is called "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ." To find out more about the book and to order it, please visit our website. We even have an audio quote of him talking about the book and how he first came to think about making the film over 10 years ago:
If you have never read the book, no need to buy it, you can read it online. It is very moving. If you are not Catholic, you are in for a surprise. Because you are going to find that Jesus clearly starts the Catholic Church in these revelations. Let me quote a piece to give you a sample from the beginning of the Passion from the account of the Last Supper as Our Lord revealed it to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich:
Jesus gave his Apostles some private instructions; he told them how they were to preserve the Blessed Sacrament in memory of him, even to the end of the world; he taught them the necessary forms for making use of and communicating it, and in what manner they were, by degrees, to teach and publish this mystery; finally he told them when they were to receive what remained of the consecrated Elements, when to give some to the Blessed Virgin, and how to consecrate, themselves, after he should have sent them the Divine Comforter. He then spoke concerning the priesthood, the sacred unction, and the preparation of the Chrism and HolyOils.* He had there three boxes, two of which contained a mixture of oil and balm. He taught them how to make this mixture, what parts of the body were to be anointed with them, and upon what occasions. I remember, among other things, that he mentioned a case in which the Holy Eucharist could not be administered; perhaps what he said had reference to Extreme Unction, for my recollections on this point are not very clear. He spoke of different kinds of anointing, and in particular of that of kings, and he said that even wicked kings who were anointed, derived from it especial powers. He put ointment and oil in the empty box, and mixed them together, but I cannot say for certain whether it was at this moment, or at the time of the consecration of the bread, that he blessed the oil.
*It was not without surprise that the editor, some years after these things had been related by Sister Emmerich, read, in the Latin edition of the Roman Catechism (Mayence, Muller), in reference to the Sacrament of Confirmation, that, according to the tradition of the holy Pope Fabian, Jesus taught his Apostles in what manner they were to prepare the Holy Chrism, after the institution of the Blessed Sacrament. The Pope says expressly, in the 54th paragraph of his Second Epistle to the Bishops of the East: ' Our predecessors received from the Apostles and delivered to us that our Saviour Jesus Christ, after having made the Last Supper with his Apostles and washed their feet, taught them how to prepare the Holy Chrism. '