STATIONS OF THE CROSS

A serious of images or pictures representing the different events in the Passion of Christ, each Station corresponding to a particular event. Usually, they are ranged round the church, the first Station being placed on one side of the high altar, the last on the other. The stations are among the most popular of Catholic devotion, and are to be found almost every church. Sometimes they are erected on roads which lead to some church or shrine standing on a hill.

The devotion began in the Fanciscan order. The Franciscans are the guardians of the holy places in Jerusalem, and these Stations are intended as a help to making in spirit a pilgrimage to the scene of Christ's suffering and death. Innocent XII, in 1694, authentically interpreting a brief of his predecessor, Innocent XI., in 1686, declared that the indulgences granted for devoutly visiting certain holy places in Palestine could be gained by all Franciscans and by all affiliated to the order, if they made the way of the cross devoutly—i. e. passed or turned from Station to Station meditating devoutly on the various stages of history.

Benedict XIII., in 1731 extended these indulgences to the faithful; Clement XII., in 173I, permitted persons to gain the indulgences at stations erected in churches which were not Franciscan, provided they were erected by a Franciscan with the sanction of the ordinary. At present the connection of the Stations with the Franciscan order is almost forgotten at least in England, except as a matter of history. Bishops can by Apostolic faculties, erect the Stations with the indulgences attached to them, and the constantly delegate this faculty to priests. The English bishops received faculties to this effect, provided there were no religious in the neighborhood to whom the privilege belonged, in 1857. In 1862 these were renewed without this limitation. The faculties are quinquennial. (Conc. Prov. Westmonast. II. Append. I. Concil, IV. Append. II.)

There are Fourteen Stations—

1 The sentence passed on our Lord by Pilate; 2 The receiving of the cross; 3 Our Lord's first fall; 4 His meeting with His mother; 5 The bearing of the cross by Simon of Cyrene 6 The wiping of Christ's face by Veronica 7 His second fall; 8 His words to to the women of Jerusalem "Weep not for me," 9 His third fall; 10 His being stripped of His garments; 11 His crucifixion; 12 His death; 13 The taking down of His body from the cross; 14 His burial;

In the diocese of Vienna the number of Stations at the end of the last century was reduced to eleven. On the other hand a fifteenth Station has been sometimes added The finding of the cross by Helena. These changes are unauthorized.

"O beloved wood, blessed nails O sweet burden"

THE WAY OF THE CROSS

INDULGENCECES: One plenary indulgence each time; another plenary indulgence for this exercise, if Holy Communion is received on the same day, or for ten ways of the Cross, if Holy Communion is received within the month following. It it remained unfinished, ten years for each station visited.

CONDITIONS:

ITo visit each station, unless it it impossible owing to the crowd.

II. To meditate as best one can on the Passion of the Saviour.

No vocal prayers are required. The Popes recommend the recitation of a Pater, and Ave and an Act of Contrition indicating at each station (April, 1771). When the Way of the Cross is made in public, a verse of the Stabat Mater or of the Vexilla Regis may be sung between station.

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INTRODUCTORY PRAYER

TO BE SAID KNEELING BEFORE THE ALTAR

O Jesus, our adorable Saviour, behold us prostate at Thy feet, imploring Thy mercy for  ourselves, and for the souls of the faithful departed. Vouchsafe to apply to us the infinite merits of Thy passion, on which we are now about to meditate. Grant that while we trace this path of sighs and tears, our hearts may be so touched with contrition and repentance, that we may be ready to embrace with joy all the crosses, sufferings, and humiliations of this our life and pilgrimage. V. Thou shalt open my lips, O Lord. R. And my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.

V. O God, come to my  assistance.R. Lord, make to help me.  V. Glory be etc.R. As it was, etc.

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STATION I

JESUS CHRIST  CONDEMNED TO DEATH

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee
R. Because by the holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

 Leaving the house of Caiphas, where He had been blasphemed and the House of Herod, where He had been mocked, Jesus is dragged before Pilate, His back torn with scourges, His head crowned with thorns: and He who on the last day will judge the living and the dead, is Himself condemned to a disgraceful death.

An Act of Contrition

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art allworthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my and to do Penance and to mend my lifeAmen.

OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
R May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peaceR. Amen

At the cross her station  keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping 
Close to Jesus to the last.

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STATION II

JESUS RECEIVES THE CROSS

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee
R. Because by the holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

A heavy cross is laid upon the bruised shoulders of Jesus. He  receives it with meekness, nay, with a secret joy, for it is the instrument with which He is to redeem the world.

 Act of Contrition: 

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest  all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of  hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art allworthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my and to do Penance and to mend my life.   Amen.

OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. R. Amen

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing ,
Now at length the sword had passed.

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 STATION III

JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
V. Because by Thy holy cross Thou shalt redeemed the world.

Bowed down under the weight of the cross. Jesus slowly sets  forth on the way to Calvary, amidst the mockeries and insults  of the crowd. His agony in the garden has exhausted His body;  He is sore with blows and wounds' His strength fails Him; He falls to the ground under the cross.

Act of Contrition :

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of  hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art all worthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy graceto confess my and to do Penance and to mend my life.   Amen.

OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.   R. Amen.

Oh, how sad and sore distressed,  
Was that Mother highly blessed,
Of the sole begotten one !

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 STATION IV

JESUS IS MET BY HIS MOTHER

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou shalt redeemed the world.

Still burden with His cross, and wounded yet more by His fall Jesus proceeds on His way. He is met by His Mother. What a meeting must that have been ! What a sword of  anguish must have pierced that Mother's bosom ! What must have been the compassion of that Son for His holy Mother !

An Act of Contrition

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of  hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art all worthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my and to do Penance and to mend my life.   Amen.

OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER 

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. R. Amen

Christ above in torment hangs,
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying , glorious Son

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STATION V

SIMON OF CYRENE HELPS JESUS TO CARRY HIS CROSS

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou shalt redeemed the world.

As the strength of Jesus fails, and He is unable to proceed, the executioners seize and compel Simon of Cyrene to carry His cross. The virtue of that cross changed his heart, and from a compulsory task it became a privilege and a joy.

An Act of Contrition

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest all my sins and I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of  hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art all worthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my and to do Penance and to mend my life.   Amen.

 OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.   R. Amen

Is there one that could not weep,
Whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold ?

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STATION VI

THE FACE OF JESUS IS WIPED BY VERONICA

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee
R. Because by the holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

As Jesus proceeds on the way, covered with the sweat of death a, women, moved with compassion, makes her way through the crowd and wipes His face with a handkerchief.  As reward of her piety, the impression of His sacred countenance is miraculously imprinted upon the handkerchief.

An Act of Contrition

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of  hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art all worthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my and to do Penance and to mend my life.   Amen.

OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peaceR. Amen

Can the human heart refrain,
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother's pain untold ?

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STATION VII

JESUS FALLS A SECOND TIME

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee
R. Because by the holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

The pains of His wounds and the loss of blood increasing atevery step of His way, again His strength fails Him, and Jesus falls to the ground a second time.

An Act of Contrition

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of  hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art all worthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my and to do Penance and to mend my life.   Amen.

OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peaceR. Amen

Bruised derided, cursed defiled,
She beheld her tender child,
All with bloody scourges rent,

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 STATION VIII

THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM  MOURN FOR OUR LORD

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou shalt redeemed the world.

At the sight of the sufferings of Jesus some of the holy women in  the crowd were so touched with sympathy that they openly bewailed and laminated Him. Jesus knowing the things that were to come  to pass upon Jerusalem because of their rejection of Him, turned to  them and said: "Daughter of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for you children."

An Act of Contrition

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of  hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art all worthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my and to do Penance and to mend my life.   Amen.

OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.   R. Amen

For the sins of His own nation
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

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STATION IX

JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME UNDER THE CROSS

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R Because by Thy holy cross Thou shalt redeemed the world

Jesus had now arrived almost to the summit of Calvary; but before He had reached the spot where He was to be crucified, His strength again fails Him, and He falls the third time, to be again dragged up and goaded onward by the brutal soldiers.

An Act of Contrition

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art all worthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my and to do Penance and to mend my life.   Amen.

OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER 

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
R. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peaceR. Amen

O thou Mother ! fount of love,
Touch my spirit from above.

Make my heart with thine accord:  

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STATION X

JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou shalt redeemed the world
.

Arrived at last at the place of sacrifice, they prepare to crucify Him. His garments are torn from His bleeding body and He,the Holy of Holies,stands exposed to the vulgar gaze of the rude and coffing multitude.

An Act of Contrition

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of  hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art worthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins and to do Penance and to mend my life Amen.

 OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. R. Amen

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt,
With
the love of Christ, my Lord.

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STATION XI

JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
V. Because by Thy holy cross Thou shalt redeemed the world

The cross is laid upon the ground, and Jesus is stretched upon  His bed of death. At one and the same time He offers His  bruised limbs to His heavenly Father o n behalf of sinful man, and to His fierce executioners to be nailed by them to the disgraceful wood. The blows are stuck ! The blood gushes forth !

An Act of Contrition

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest  all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art all  worthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my and to do Penance and to amend my life.   Amen.

OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
R. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. R. Amen

Holy Mother, pierce me through !,
In my heart each wound renew,
Of my Saviour crucified.

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 STATION XII

JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou shalt redeemed the world
.

For three hours has Jesus hung upon His transfixed hands His blood has run in streams down His body, and bedewed the ground ; and in the midst of excruciating sufferings, He has pardoned His murderers, promised the bliss of paradise to the good thief, and committed His blessed Mother and beloved disciple to each other's care. All is now consummated; and meekly bowing down His head, He gives up His Ghost.

An Act of Contrition

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art all worthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my and to do Penance and to mend my life.   Amen.

OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. R. Amen

Let me share with thee His pain,
Who for all our sins was slain
.
Who for me in torments died

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STATION XIII

JESUS IS LAID IN THE ARMS OF HIS BLESSED MOTHER

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
V. Because by Thy holy cross Thou shalt redeemed the world
.

The multitude have left the heights of Calvary, and none remain save the beloved disciple and the holy women, who, at the foot of the cross, are striving to stem the grief of Christ's inconsolable Mother. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus take down the body of her Divine Son  from the cross and deposit it in her arms

An Act of Contrition

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art all worthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my and to do Penance and to mend my life Amen.

OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER 

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peaceR.Amen

Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning him who mourned for me,

All the days that I may live.

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 STATION XIV

JESUS IS LAID IN THE SEPULCHRE

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
V. Because by Thy holy cross Thou shalt redeemed the world

The body of her dearly beloved Son is taken from His Mother, and laid by the disciples in the tomb. The tomb is closed, and there is lifeless body remains until the hour of his glorious resurrection.

An Act of Contrition

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of  hell but most of all because they offend me my God who art all worthy of all my love I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my and to do Penance and to mend my life Amen.

OUR FATHER ** HAIL MARY ** GLORY BE TO THE FATHER

V. Have mercy on me O Lord. R. Have mercy on us.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. R. Amen

By the cross with thee to stay,
There with thee to weep and pray
Is all I
ask of thee to give.

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