The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross and Via Dolorosa refers to Jesus and his cross from the time of condemnation, to the crucifixion, and to the burial. The stations began in Jerusalem with the first Christian tourists. Pilgrims then and today had a desire to walk the way of the cross and to follow the path of Jesus. It is customary to stop at each station saying prayers. Traditionally, there are 14 stations. They are:
1. Jesus is condemned to death by crucifixion
2. Jesus accepts the cross to carry
3. Jesus falls the first time from the weight of the cross
4. Jesus meets His Mother along the way
5. Simon of Cyrene carries the cross for Jesus
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7. Jesus falls the second time walking to Golgotha
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
9. Jesus falls the third time
10. Jesus is stripped of His garments
11. Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
12. Jesus dies on the cross
13. Jesus’ body is removed from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation)
14. Jesus’ body is laid in the tomb and covered in incense.
The stations of the cross may be prayed at any time but is often done during Lent especially on Good Friday. Traditionally, these stations are depicted in a series of paintings or carvings inside the Church but there are also items to remind you of the Way of the Cross that can be used at home.
Crucifixes from the Holy Land made of native olivewood can be found with the 14 stations represented in pictures made of silver plated zinc. Rosaries, dedicated to the Way of the Cross can also be found. These are not classic rosaries but chaplets in that there are 3 prayer beads between each station.
For Christians, the following the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem is as powerful today as it was for those pilgrims more than a thousand years ago. And today, as then, if you cannot go to Jerusalem, you may still make a spiritual pilgrimage following the Way of the Cross through prayer and meditation.
The following items may be purchased through Osmun Gifts to help with your devotions.