Why The Stations During Lent
Could you walk a mile in Jesus’ shoes?
The Stations of the Cross bring us closer to Christ as we meditate on the great love He showed for us in His most sorrowful Passion!
You can pray the Stations of the Cross (also known as the Way of the Cross) alone at anytime, but people most often pray them in a group setting Friday nights during Lent.
Tradition traces this loving tribute to our Lord back to the Blessed Mother’s retracing her son’s last steps along what became known as the Via Dolorosa (the Sorrowful Way) on His way to His Crucifixion at Calvary in Jerusalem.
Pilgrims to the Holy Land commemorated Christ’s Passion in a similar manner as early as the 4th century A.D. The Stations of the Cross developed as a devotion in earnest, however, around the 13th to 14th centuries.
It became a way of allowing those who could not make the long, expensive, arduous journey to Jerusalem to make a pilgrimage in prayer, at least, in their church! Although the original number of stations varied greatly, they became fixed at 14 in the 18th century.
The Stations of the Cross themselves are usually represented in churches by a series of 14 pictures or sculptures covering our Lord’s Passion. They are meant to be “stopping points” along the journey for prayer and meditation.
Although there are variations on this list below, these 14 scenes are taken from St. Alphonsus Liguori’s well-known setting of the Stations in prayers, his Way of the Cross.
The First Station: Pilate Condemns Jesus to Die
The Second Station: Jesus Accepts His Cross
The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time
The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Afflicted Mother
The Fifth Station: Simon Helps Jesus Carry the Cross
The Sixth Station: Veronica Offers Her Veil to Jesus
The Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time
The Eighth Station: Jesus Speaks to the Women
The Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time
The Tenth Station: Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments
The Eleventh Station: Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies Upon the Cross
The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Sepulcher