History of the Stations of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross are a Catholic devotion which commemorates the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Each of the fourteen stations represents a moment during Jesus' Passion and death at Calvary on Good Friday.
The Stations were originally performed many centuries ago by Christian pilgrims who visited the Holy Land and the sites of Jesus' Passion. Promotion of the devotion to the Stations began in earnest with the Franciscans, who were given custody of the Holy Places in the Holy Land in the 1300s. Countless Catholics have all enriched their spiritual lives with this powerful devotion.
The Stations of the Cross, also called The Way of the Cross, is a devotion to the passion of Christ consisting of prayers and meditations on fourteen occurrences that were experienced by Christ on His way to the crucifixion. During the time of the crusades (1095-1270), it became popular for pilgrims in the Holy Land to walk in the footsteps of Jesus to Calvary. After the Moslems recaptured the Holy Land pilgrimages were too dangerous. As a result, the Stations of the Cross became a popular substitute pilgrimage throughout Europe. The Stations represented critical events from Scripture or tradition of Jesus' journey to Calvary. Originally done only outdoors, the Stations were allowed inside churches in the mid-18th century. Eventually fixed at fourteen, the Stations soon became a familiar feature in all Catholic churches. The devotion may be conducted personally by the faithful, making their way from one station to another and saying the prayers, or by having an officiating celebrant move from cross to cross while the faithful make the responses.
The Stations of the Cross was first held at St Mary’s Seminary in the early 1980’s and a pilgrimage to St Mary's has become an integral component of many peoples Good Friday experience. We welcome you and encourage you to join us in walking together the Stations of the Cross.
The 14 Stations of the Cross
1. Jesus is Condemned to Die
2. Jesus is Made to Bear His Cross
3. Jesus Falls the First Time
4. Jesus Meets His Mother
5. Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
6. Veronica Wipes Jesus' Face
7. Jesus Falls the Second Time
8. Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
9. Jesus Falls the Third Time
10. Jesus is Stripped
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