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Thursday, 14 March 2013

Prayers: Stations of the Cross

What are the Stations of the Cross?

Also known as the Way of the Cross, the stations of the cross can be found in any Catholic parish. The Stations of the Cross began as a pilgrimage through the path walked by Christ in Jerusalem, and the devotion began when it became dangerous to travel to Jerusalem. The Stations of the Cross is practiced especially during Lent. There are fourteen stations marking events that took place during Christ's passion and death.

Stained glass image courtesy of

What are the fourteen stations?
  1. Jesus is condemned to death. 
  2. Jesus carries His cross. 
  3. Jesus falls for the first time. 
  4. Jesus meets His mother. 
  5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry His cross. 
  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus. 
  7. Jesus falls the second time. 
  8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem. 
  9. Jesus falls a third time. 
  10. Jesus' clothes are taken away. 
  11. Jesus is nailed to the cross. 
  12. Jesus dies on the cross.
  13. Jesus is taken down from the cross. 
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb.
Some add a fifteenth station, the resurrection, although it is not traditionally part of the stations.

Stained glass image courtesy of

How do I pray the Stations of the Cross?
There is no set formula for the Stations of the Cross, aside from the fourteen stations. Many prayers and meditations for the Stations exist but you may simply have your own prayers as you meditate of the Stations. 

Links and Resources
Stations of the Cross with reflections by Mother Angelica (EWTN)
Stations of the Cross for Children
Meditations by Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman
Meditations by Bl. Pope John Paul II
The Way of the Cross - St. Josemaría Escrivá
A Salesian Method of Praying the Stations of the Cross
Stations Of The Cross According to the Method of St. Francis of Assisi

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