Share your time with God. Take your time, and listen to this recording of prayer, guiding you along the Stations of the Cross at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, along the tranquil Section 7, Mother of Sorrows and Section 8, “I Thirst.”
Seeing the horror and sadness of Jesus’ suffering reminds us of something wonderful, and that is how much He loves us. Jesus endured His Passion because of the love He had for each individual person that would ever live, and so the Stations of the Cross remind us of how much we are loved.
The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross or Via Crucis, commemorate Jesus’s passion and death on the cross. There are 14 stations that each depict a moment on his journey to Calvary, usually through sacred art, prayers, and reflections. The practice began as pious pilgrims traced his path through Jerusalem on the Via Dolorosa.
Later, for the many who wanted to pass along the same route, but could not make the trip to Jerusalem, a practice developed that eventually took the form of the fourteen stations currently found in almost every church throughout the world. Similarly, the 150 Hail Marys that were recited for the rosary were an adaptation of the medieval monastic practice of reciting the 150 psalms in the Psalter. – USCCB
Taken in the former sense, the Stations may be of stone, wood, or metal, sculptured or carved, or they may be merely paintings or engravings. Some Stations are valuable works of art, as those, for instance, in Antwerp cathedral, which have been much copied elsewhere. They are usually ranged at intervals around the walls of a church, though sometimes they are to be found in the open air, especially on roads leading to a church or shrine. In monasteries they are often placed in the cloisters.
The erection and use of the Stations did not become at all general before the end of the seventeenth century, but they are now to be found in almost every church. Formerly their number varied considerably in different places but fourteen are now prescribed by authority. They are as follows:
- Christ condemned to death ;
- The cross is laid upon him;
- His first fall;
- He meets His Blessed Mother;
- Simon of Cyrene is made to bear the cross;
- Christ’s face is wiped by Veronica;
- His second fall;
- He meets the women of Jerusalem;
- His third fall;
- He is stripped of His garments;
- His crucifixion;
- His death on the cross;
- His body is taken down from the cross; and
- Laid in the tomb.
The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make in spirit, as it were, a pilgrimage to the chief scenes of Christ’s sufferings and death, and this has become one of the most popular of Catholic devotions. It is carried out by passing from Station to Station, with certain prayers at each and devout meditation on the various incidents in turn. It is very usual, when the devotion is performed publicly, to sing a stanza of the “Stabat Mater” while passing from one Station to the next.