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Station Of The Cross (Way Of The Cross)

 

 

 

Station Of The Cross (Way Of The Cross)

 


 

This devotion arose in Jerusalem during the Middle Ages when pilgrims retraced the steps of the ” Via Dolorosa, " the distance from the Praetorium, where Jesus was condemned, to Calvary, where he was crucified. For this purpose, one visits a certain number of stations (fourteen since the six- teenth century), stopping before each and meditating on the passion of Christ. All that is required in this devotional practice is to meditate on Christ's passion; what each station is about does not really matter. Thus, new Stations of the Cross which stress Scripture or different aspects of the passion have been developed. The following meditation and prayers follow the traditional stations.

 

 

Prayer of Preparation;

 

Most merciful Jesus! With a penitent spirit I now perform this devotion in honor of your passion and death. I adore you as my God and thank you for the love with which you did make the painful journey to Calvary and did die upon the Cross for my salvation. I am truly sorry for all my sins, because by them I have offended you, and promise to amend my life. Grant that I may gain all the indulgences which are attached to this devotion. Since you have promised to draw all things to your heart, draw my love to you, that I may live and die in union with you. Amen.

 

 

Station 1: Jesus Is Condemned to Death.

 

 

Jesus Is Condemned to Death

 

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.The holy and innocent Jesus was judged by sinners and put to death. Yet, while they judged him, they were compelled to acquit him. Judas, who betrayed him, said, ”I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent." Pilate, who sentenced him, said: "I am innocent of the blood of this just person,” and placed the guilt upon the Jews. The centurion who saw him crucified said, "Indeed this was a just man." Thus, O Lord, you are ever justified in your words, and do over- come when you are judged. And so, at the last day, when they say "They shall look on him whom they pierced"; and he who was con- demned shall judge the world in power, and even those who are condemned will confess that his judgment is just.

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

 

 

Station 2: Jesus Receives and Carries His Cross:

 

Jesus Receives and Carries His Cross

 

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your Cross you have redeemed the world. Jesus supports the whole world by his divine power, for he is God; but the weight was less heavy than was the Cross which our sins had made for him. Our sins cost him this humiliation. He had to take on our human nature and appear among us as a man to offer up for us the greatest sacrifice. He had to endure a life of suffering and his passion and death at the end of it. O Lord God almighty, who bears the weight of the whole world, who bears the weight of all our sins, preserve our bodies by your providence and be the savior of our souls by your precious blood. O my Jesus, let me joyfully embrace your Cross and accept my own sufferings which pale beside yours.

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

 

Station 3: Jesus Falls Under the Weight of the Cross for the First Time:

 

 

Jesus Falls Under the Weight of the Cross for the First Time

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. Satan fell from heaven in the beginning; and by the just sentence of his Creator he fell, against whom he had rebelled. And when Satan had succeeded in gaining humankind to join him in his rebellion, and his Maker came to effect salvation for the. fallen, then his hour of triumph came, and he made the most of it. Whenjesus had taken flesh and was in Satan's power, he determined to strike down the Holy One as he himself had been felled by the Almighty. Thus, it was that Jesus fell down so heavily onto the ground. Dear Lord, by this your first fall, raise us all out of sin who have so miserably fallen under its power. Help me to take up my own cross and follow you.

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

 

Station 4: Jesus Meets His Mother.

 

 

Jesus Meets His Mother

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. No part of the history of salvation excludes Mary. There are those servants of Jesus who think that her work was ended when she bore him, and after that she had nothing to do but disappear and be for- gotten. But we, O Lord, your children, do not think so of your Mother. She brought the infant into the temple, she lifted him up in her arms when the Magi came to adore him. She fled with him to Egypt, she took him up to Jerusalem when he was twelve years old. He lived with her at Nazareth for thirty years. She was with him at the marriage feast of Cana. And now she shows herself as he bears the sacred Cross on his shoulders. Sweet Mother, let us ever think of you when we think of Jesus, and when we pray to him, aid us by your powerful intercession. Mother of sorrows, let me carry some of your sorrow so that l may enjoy your assistance in the hour of my death.

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

Station 5: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus to Carry the Cross.

 

 

Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus to Carry the Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. Jesus permits Simon of Cyrene to assist him in carrying his Cross in order to remind us that we must take part in his suffering. He calls and we must carry on his work. His merit is infinite, yet he allows us to add our small measure of merit to it. The holiness of the Blessed Virgin, the blood of the martyrs, the sufferings of the saints, the good works of the faithful take part in that work which is perfect without them. He saves us by his blood sacrifice, but it is through and with our own that he saves us. Dear Lord, let me follow in your footsteps, answer your invitation, and sanctify all my sufferings so that l may be with you in eternity.

 

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

 

 

Station 6: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus.

 

Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus with her veil, and Jesus imprints on it his face. He did this to remind us all that his image must ever be impressed on all our hearts. Whoever we are, in whatever part of the earth, Jesus must live in our hearts. We may differ from each other in many things, but in this goal we must all agree. We must ever meditate on Christ's death and Resurrection and always imitate his divine excellence. Lord, let our faces be ever pleasing in your sight, not disfigured with sin, but. washed pure with your precious blood.

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

 

 

Station 7: Jesus Falls the Second Time.

 

 

Jesus Falls the Second Time

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. Satan had a second fall when he tempted our Lord in the desert, daring to take up the Savior in his arms, showing him all kingdoms, and promising to give them to him, if only his Maker will adore him. Jesus answered, “Begone, Satan," and Satan fell down from the high mountain. And Jesus bore witness to it when he said, ”I saw Satan, as lightning, falling from heaven." Satan remembered this second defeat, and now he struck down the innocent Lord a second time, now that the Evil One had him in his power. Dear Lord, teach us to suffer with you, and not be afraid of Satan and instead rely on the strength of your grace without which we can do nothing.

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

 

 

Station 8: The Women of Jerusalem Mourn for Our Lord.

 

 

The Women of Jerusalem Moum for Our Lord

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. The devoted women of Jerusalem weep over the suffering of the Savior. Yet, he says to them: "The days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the breasts which have not given suck.'" Lord, we do not know what is good for us, and what is bad. We cannot foretell the future, nor do we know, when you come to visit us, in what form you will come. Let us ever gaze on you, and do you look on us, and give us the grace of your bitter Cross and passion, and console us in your own way and at your own time.

 

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

 

 

Station 9: Jesus Falls the Third Time.

 

 

Jesus Falls the Third Time

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. Satan will have a third and final fall at the end of the world. He knew this was to be his end; but in his despair, he knew that no suffering which he could inflict on the Savior could save him from that inevitable fiery imprisonment. Therefore, in a terrible rage, he fiercely struck down the great King for the third time. O Jesus, only-begotten Son of God, we give you thanks that you, who are the Word Incarnate, should have permitted yourself to be humiliated once more. Let this fall enkindle in me an earnest desire to never again relapse into sin.

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

 

Station 10: Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments.

 

 

Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. Jesus gave up everything of this world before he left it. He exercised the most perfect poverty. Even when he left Nazareth, and went out to preach, he had not a place to lay his head. He lived on what was given to him by those who loved him. And, therefore, he chose a death in which not even his clothes were left to him. He parted with what has seemed most necessary since the fall of human nature in the Garden of Eden. Grant us in a similar manner, O Lord, to care nothing for any- thing on earth, and to bear the loss of all things, and to endure even shame, contempt, and mockery rather than have you be ashamed of us on the last day.

 

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

Station 11: Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross.

 

 

Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. Jesus is pierced through each hand and foot with nails. His eyes are dimmed with blood and are closed with swollen lids which the blows of his executioners have caused. His mouth is filled with vin- egar and gall. His head is encircled by the sharp thorns. His heart is pierced with the spear. Thus, all his senses are mortified and crucified, that he may make atonement for every kind of human sin. O Jesus, crucify us with you. Let us never sin by hand or foot, by eyes or mouth, or by head or heart. Let all our senses be a sacrifice to you; let every part of our bodies sing your praise. Let the sacred blood which flowed from your five wounds anoint us with such grace that we may die to the world, and live only for you.

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

 

 

Station 12: Jesus Dies Upon the Cross.

 

 

Jesus Dies Upon the Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. The earthly life of Jesus has come to an end, and the mystery of God's love toward us is accomplished. The price is paid, and we are redeemed. The eternal Father determined not to pardon us without a price. He might have saved us with a mere act of his will. But to show his love for us he set a price to be taken for the guilt of our sins, and this price was nothing less than the death of his Son. O my God and Father, you have valued us so much you were willing to pay the highest of all possible prices for our sinful souls. Should we not love and choose you above all things as the one nec- essary and only good?

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

 

Station 13: Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross and Laid in the Arms of His Blessed Mother.

 

 

Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross and Laid in the Arms of His Blessed Mother

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. He is once again in your arms, O Virgin Mother. He went out from you to do his Father's work and he has done it and suffered. He has not been in your arms, O Mother of God, since he was a child, but now you have a claim on him, when the world has done its worst. We can only rejoice in this great mystery. Now that he is placed on your lap, O sinless Mother, may we also persevere to the end and receive the body and blood of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist with a pure heart.

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

 

Station 14: Jesus Is Laid in the Sepulcher.

 

Jesus Is Laid in the Sepulcher

We adore you, O Christ, and praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. Jesus, when he was nearest to his everlasting triumph, seemed to be farthest from it. He was lying dead in a cave, wrapped in burying clothes, and confined within a tomb of stone. Soon he would have a glorified body and would ascend on high. O Jesus, let us trust in you, so that the greater our distress, the nearer we are to you. The more we are scorned, the more you will honor us and the higher you will exalt us. The more we are forgot- ten, the more you will keep us in mind. The more we are abandoned, the closer you will bring us to your heart.

 

 

Our Father. . . .;

 

Hail Mary. . ..

 

Lord Jesus, crucified; have mercy on us.

 

 

Concluding Prayer.

 

Almighty God, merciful Father, who has given us your beloved Son as an example of humility, obedience, and pa- tience as a means to show us the Way of Life, bearing the Cross: grant that we may take on the sweet yoke of his gospel, following him as true disciples so that we may one day rise with him in glory world without end. Amen.

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