Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What are The 14 Stations of the Cross

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The meaning of the Way of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem
The Way of the Cross is not a work of erudition. It is essentially a
devotional exercise, a means which men and women can use to make
contact with God, to adore Him, to thank Him, to increase their love
for Him. Devotion to the sufferings of Christ, is particularly recom-
mended for all who wish to live "upon the model of that charity which
Christ showed to us when he gave himself up on our behalf" (Eph 6,2).


Because the Passion was accomplished in a specific place, it is
obviously important to know its geographical and physical layout. This
includes the many changes the Holy Land has undergone since Gospel
times, together with the buildings and churches that have risen over the
actual spots, all of which could add to the confusion experienced by
certain pilgrims.


The road followed by Jesus on the day of his death has not escaped the
vicissitudes of history; so we will not yield to the temptation of making
stones the supreme arbiter in this matter. After all, it is by following the
Way of the Cross that pilgrims have understood what the carrying of the
cross was really like, through streets resembling those where crowds of
people, often impassible, sometimes curious, still gather in front of the
shops. (While the closing of the Moslem shops may be a help to piety, it
has taken from the Friday procession the teeming crowds which were
customary before 1967).


Finally, what really matters is to follow Christ on the Way of the Cross of
his Passion, as humble companions.


The Stations


"Via Dolorosa" or "Via Crucis" designates a stretch of road between the
Antonia fortress and Golgotha, along which Jesus Christ walked bowed
under the weight of the Cross. The name dates from the sixteenth century,
although the custom of retracing Jesus' steps to Golgotha began in the early
centuries of Christianity.

According to the most common tradition the Antonia fortress and the
Praetorium nearby were the sites where Jesus was brought before Pilate.
The fortress, which stood near the north-west corner of the Jewish Temple,
was the starting point for Jesus' painful walk toward Calvary, which at that
time was outside the city walls.


The Stations X through XIV are located inside the Church of the Holy
Sepulchre.


Every Friday afternoon, the Franciscans, who have been the Custodians of
the Holy Places since the thirteenth century, lead a pious procession winding
through the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem folowing in the footsteps of
the suffering Christ.


Sites of events preceeding the
"First Way of the Cross"



The Last Supper


The Garden of Gethsemane - Mount of Olives - Part I

The Garden of Gethsemane - Mount of Olives - Part II

The Holy Prison


Preliminary Stations and Reflections




Map of Via Dolorosa (Via Crucis) - small (19KB) - large (172KB)

Background - the mood of a city

The First Preliminary Station - Jesus goes down to Gethsemane

The Second Preliminary Station - Jesus is led to Caiaphas

The Third Preliminary Station - Jesus in front of Pilate


The Stations and Reflections



The First Station - HERE Jesus is sentenced to death

The Second Station - HERE Jesus is given the Cross

The Third Station - HERE Jesus falls for the first time

The Fourth Station - HERE Jesus meets His Mother

The Fifth Station - HERE Simon the Cyrenian helps carry
the Cross

The Sixth Station - HERE Veronica wipes Jesus' face

The Seventh Station - HERE Jesus falls for the second time


The Eighth Station - Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

The Ninth Station - Jesus falls for the third time


The Holy Sepulchre -
Stations 10 through 14



The Church of the Holy Sepulchre - Information

The Tenth Station - Jesus is stripped of His garments

The Eleventh Station - Jesus is nailed to the Cross

The Twelfth Station - Jesus dies on the Cross

The Thirteenth Station - Jesus is taken from the Cross

The Fourteenth Station - Jesus is laid in the Sepulchre


The Fifteenth Station


The Fifteenth Station - Jesus rises from the dead

The Franciscan Procession of the Stations of the Cross

© copyright 2001. Reflections, prayers and descriptive text
by John Abela ofm edited by Michael Olteanu
based on research by Albert Storm (SBF - Jerusalem)
Hi-Res pictures prepared by Michael Olteanu
Display pictures prepared by John Abela ofm

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