The Way of Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross

The road followed by Jesus on the day of his death has not escaped the vicissitudes of history; so we will not yield to the temptation of making stones the supreme arbiter in this matter. After all, it is by following the Way of the Cross that pilgrims have understood what the carrying of the cross was really like, through streets resembling those where crowds of people, often impassible, sometimes curious, still gather in front of the shops.

Via Dolorosa map
Via Dolorosa map

“Via Dolorosa” or “Via Crucis” designates a stretch of road between the Antonia fortress and Golgotha, along which Jesus Christ walked bowed under the weight of the Cross. The name dates from the sixteenth century, although the custom of retracing Jesus’ steps to Golgotha began in the early centuries of Christianity. According to the most common tradition the Antonia fortress and the Praetorium nearby were the sites where Jesus was brought before Pilate. The fortress, which stood near the north-west corner of the Jewish Temple, was the starting point for Jesus’ painful walk toward Calvary, which at that time was outside the city walls.

Here is the list of the Stations of the Cross:

  1. The First Station – Jesus is sentenced to death
  2. The Second Station – Jesus is given the Cross
  3. The Third Station – Jesus falls for the first time
  4. The Fourth Station – Jesus meets His Mother
  5. The Fifth Station – Simon the Cyrenian helps carry the Cross
  6. The Sixth Station – Veronica wipes Jesus’ face
  7. The Seventh Station – Jesus falls for the second time
  8. The Eighth Station – Jesus talks to the women of Jerusalem
  9. The Ninth Station – Jesus falls for the third time
  10. The Tenth Station – Jesus is stripped of His garments
  11. The Eleventh Station – Jesus is nailed to the Cross
  12. The Twelfth Station – Jesus dies on the Cross
  13. The Thirteenth Station – Jesus is taken down from the Cross
  14. The Fourteenth Station – Jesus is laid in the Sepulchre
  15. The Fifteenth Station – Jesus rises from the dead


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