A Via Crucis or Way of the Cross is the representation of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, the name given to the whole journey that Jesus made to the cross where He was crucified, plus all the events that occurred and are embodied in the Holy Scriptures.
Although there are no exact data on its origin, it is said that the Stations of the Cross began after the death and resurrection of Christ, because apparently Mary , his mother, traveled every day the places where Jesus was to remember what happened. Many people joined him with the passing of days and years, making it a tradition. Therefore, it is one of the oldest acts of Christianity.
Over the years, this custom reached other countries. Christians in many parts of the world emulated what was done in Jerusalem. In this way they appreciate all the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us.
The Pope Innocent XI authorized the Franciscan priests to guide the Via Crucis and some churches make their stations. But it was Pope Benedict XIV who made the celebration of the Stations of the Cross more democratic by allowing any bishop in his diocese to guide the act.
What is the Stations of the Cross?
This act is divided into 15 stations, although there were 14 that were originally created. Each one of them exposes the sufferings that Jesus experienced on his way to the cross.
The first stations start from the damnation and end with the burial, but in 1991 John Paul II added the fifteenth station to include the time of resurrection.
Example of the Way of the Cross
These are the stations that are described in the Way of the Cross:
- First station: Jesus is betrayed by Judas, one of his disciples. So he is arrested and sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate.
- Second station: Jesus carries the Cross.
- Third station: Jesus falls for the first time from the weight of the Cross.
- Fourth station: Jesus meets Mary, his mother.
- Fifth station: Jesus is helped to carry the Cross by Simon Cyrene.
- Sixth station: Veronica cleanses the face of Jesus.
- Seventh station: Jesus falls the second time with the Cross.
- Eighth station: Jesus speaks comforts the women of Jerusalem.
- Ninth station: Jesus falls the third time.
- Tenth station: Jesus is stripped of his garments.
- Eleventh station: Jesus is crucified.
- Twelfth station: Jesus dies on the Cross.
- Thirteenth station: the body of Jesus is taken down from the Cross and Mary embraces it.
- Fourteenth station: the body of Jesus is laid in the tomb.
- Fifteenth station: Jesus rises from the dead on the third day.