25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.
Jerome: The Mary which in Mark and Matthew is called the mother of James and Joses was the wife of Alpheus, and sister of Mary the mother of our Lord: which Mary John here designates of Cleophas, either from her father, or family, or for some other reason. She need not be thought a different person, because she is called in one place Mary the mother of James the less, and here Mary of Cleophas, for it is customary in Scripture to give different names to the same person.
26 When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. 27 After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.
Theophylact: While the soldiers were doing their cruel work, He was thinking anxiously of His mother.
Augustine: The good Teacher shows us by His example how that pious sons should take care of their parents. The cross of the sufferer, is the chair of the Master.
Chrysostom: What honor does He pay to the disciple; who however conceals his name from modesty. For had he wished to boast, he would have added the reason why he was loved, for there must have been something great and wonderful to have caused that love. . . . Yet was it no small one to be honored with such a charge, to have the mother of our Lord, in her affliction, committed to his care by Himself on His departure.
Bede: By the disciple whom Jesus loved, the Evangelist means himself; not that the others were not loved, but he was loved more intimately on account of his estate of chastity.
Ambrose: If it was religious to give life to the thief, a much richer work of piety it is for a son to honor his mother with such affection. . . . Christ made His Testament from the cross, and divided the offices of piety between the Mother and the disciples. Our Lord made not only a public, but also a domestic Testament. And this His Testament John sealed a witness worthy of such a Testator. A good testament it was, not of money, but of eternal life, which was not written with ink, but with the spirit of the living God: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer [Ps 45:1].
Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. IV (London: Rivington, 1845).