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  The Stations of the Cross
Next Sunday, look at the walls of your church. If it’s a newer church, you might see evenly spaced crosses with a number from 1 to 14 on each. In an older church, there may also be carved or painted scenes showing the su erings of Jesus on Good Friday.
These are the Stations of the Cross. They are a popular Catholic devotion, especially during Lent. At times, you might see a person walking from station to station, stopping at each to pray and think about the su ering of Jesus. At speci c times during Lent, usually on Friday evenings, the people of the parish might gather to pray the stations. At this time, the priest and a server or two move from station to station. The priest leads a short meditation at each station and says prayers to which the people respond.
This devotion developed in Jerusalem as pilgrims walked the Way of the Cross, the route Jesus carried his Cross from Pilate’s house to the place where he would be executed. Some say that Jesus’ mother, Mary, walked the Way of the Cross many times after the Resurrection and thought about Jesus’ Passion and Death. Pilgrims returning to Europe brought back stories of this devotion. Of course, not all Christians were able
to travel to Jerusalem to retrace Jesus’ steps on his way to his Death. In response, the faithful built outdoor “stations,” a series of small shrines along a path where people could
stop to pray and meditate on the events of Jesus’ Way of the Cross.
The devotion grew more popular after 1342, the year when the Franciscan Order was put in charge of the holy places in Jerusalem. As members of the Order came back to Europe, they preached about this prayer.
Since the climate in Europe was cold, the outdoor stations were not available all year. That is probably the reason the Stations of the Cross now appear inside our churches.
The 14 Stations of the Cross
Catholic Culture Spring 2018
                                   1. Jesus is condemned to death.
2. Jesus takes up his Cross.
3. Jesus falls for the  rst time.
4. Jesus meets Mary, his mother.
5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross. 6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.
7. Jesus falls a second time.
A Service of
8. Jesus meets the holy women of Jerusalem. 9. Jesus falls a third time.
10. Jesus is stripped of his clothes.
11. Jesus is nailed to the Cross.
12. Jesus dies on the Cross.
13. Jesus’ body is taken down from the Cross. 14. Jesus’ body is placed in the tomb.
 Note to Parents: More activities at © 2018 P aum Publishing Group, a division of Bayard, Inc. (800-543-4383) Permission is granted to reproduce this page for use by parishes, schools, and families using P aum Gospel Weeklies.

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