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Monday, 20 February 2017

The Stations of the Cross


Stations of the Cross 
by St. Alphonsus Liguori


The Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) is an ancient devotion commemorating the journey of Jeus Christ from the house of Pilate to Calvary.

Begin by making an Act of Contrition and form the intention of gaining the indulgences, whether for yourself or for the souls in purgatory.  

At each Station meditate devoutly on the mystery.  

Upon conclusion, say five Our Fathers, Hail Marys, Glory Bes in honour of the Passion of Jesus Christ.  

An Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be may also be said for the intentions of the pope.





First Station Jesus is Condemned
First Station   

Jesus is Condemned to Death

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider how Jesus, after having been scourged and crowned with thorns, was unjustly condemned by Pilate to die on the Cross.

My adorable Jesus, it was not Pilate, no, it was the merits that condemned you to die.  I beseech you, by the merit of this sorrowful journey to assist my soul in its journey towards eternity.  I love you, O Jesus, with my whole heart; I repent of having offended you.  Never permit me to offend you again. Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.



Second Station Jesus Carries His Cross
Second Station  

Jesus Carries His Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider how Jesus, in making this journey with the Cross on His shoulders thought of us , and for us offered to His Father the death He was about to undergo.

My most beloved Jesus, I embrace all the tribulations you have destined for me until death.  I beseech you, by the merits of the pain you did suffer in carrying your Cross, to give me the necessary help to carry mine with perfect patience and resignation.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be




Third Station Jesus Falls the First Time
Third Station   

Jesus Falls the First Time

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider this first fall of Jesus under His Cross.  His flesh was torn by the scourges, His head crowned with thorns, and He had lost a great quantity of blood.  He was so weakened that He could scarcely walk, and yet He had to carry this great load upon His shoulders.  The soldiers struck Him rudely and thus He fell several times in His journey.

My beloved Jesus, it is not the weight of the Cross, but my sins, which have made you suffer so much pain.  By the merits of this first fall, deliver me from the misfortune of falling into mortal sin.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.


Fourth Station Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother
Fourth Station  

Jesus meets His Sorrowful Mother

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider the meeting of the Son and the Mother, which took place on this journey.  Jesus and Mary looked at each other, and their looks became as so many arrows to wound those hearts which loved each other so tenderly.

My most loving Jesus, by the sorrows you did experience in this meeting, grant me the grace of a truly devoted love for your most holy Mother.  AndYou, my Queen, who were overwhelmed with sorrow, obtain for me by your intercession a continual and tender remembrance of the Passion of your Son.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.



Fifth Station Simon Helps Jesus Carry the Cross
Fifth Station  

Simon helps Jesus carry the Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider how at each step Jesus was on the point of expiring, and fearing that He would did on the way, when they wished Him to die the ignominious death of the Cross, they constrained Simon of Cyrenian to carry the Cross behind Our Lord.

My most sweet Jesus, I will not refuse the Cross, as the Cyrenian did; I accept it, I embrace it.  I accept in particular the death you have destined for me; with all the pains that may accompany it; I unite it to your death, I offer it to you.  Help me by your grace.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.



Sixth Station Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
 Sixth Station  

Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider how the holy woman named Veronica, seeing Jesus so afflicted, and His face bathed I sweat and blood, presented Him with a veil, which He wiped His adorable Face, leaving on it the impression of His Holy countenance.

My most beloved Jesus, my soul also was once beautiful, which it received your grace in Baptism; but I have disfigured it since by my sins; you alone, my Redeemer, can restore it to its former beauty.  Do this by your Passion, O Jesus.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.


Seventh Station Jesus Falls the Second Time
Seventh Station  

Jesus Falls the Second Time

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider the second fall of Jesus under the Cross—a fall which renews the pain of all the wounds of the Sacred Head and members of Our afflicted Lord.

My most gentle Jesus, how many times you have pardoned me, and how many time have I fallen again, and begun again to offend you!  By the merits of this new fall, give me the necessary help to persevere in your grace until death.  Grant that in all temptations which assail me I may always commend myself to You.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.



Eighth Station The Women Weep over Jesus
Eighth Station  

The Women Weep Over Jesus

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider how those women wept with compassion at seeing Jesus in such a pitiable state, streaming with blood, as He walked along.  But Jesus  said to them: Weep not for Me, but for your children.

My Jesus, laden with sorrows, I weep for the offences I have committed against You, because of the pains they have deserved, and still more because of the displeasure they have caused You, Who have loved me so much.  It is Your Love, more than the fear of hell, which causes me to weep for my sins.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.


Ninth Station Jesus Falls the Third Time
Ninth Station  

Jesus Falls the Third Time

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider the third fall of Jesus Christ.  His weakness was extreme, and the cruelty of His executioners was excessive, who tried to hasten His steps when He had scarcely strength to move.

My exhausted Jesus, by the merits of the weakness You did suffer in going to Calvary, give me strength sufficient to conquer all human respect, and all my wicked passions, which have led me to despise Your friendship.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.


Tenth Station Jesus is Stripped of His Garments
Tenth Station    


Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider the violence with which the executioners stripped Jesus.  His inner garments adhered to His lacerated fles, and they tore them off so rouchly that the skin came with them.  Compassionate Your Saviour thus cruelly treated, and say to Him:

My Innocent Jesus, by the merits of the torment You have felt, help me to strip myself of all affection for things of earth, in order that I may place all my love in YOU who are so worthy of my love.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.


Eleventh Station Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
Eleventh Station  

Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider how Jesus after being thrown on the Cross extended His hands, and offered to His Eternal Father the sacrifice of His life for our salvation.  These barbarians fastened Him with nails, and then, raising the Corss, allowed Him to die with anguish on this infamous gibbet.

My Jesus! Loaded with contempt, nail my heart to Your Feet, that it may ever remain there, to love You, and never leave You again.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.



Twelfth Station Jesus Dies on the Cross
Twelfth Station  


Jesus Dies on the Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider how your Jesus, after three hours’ Agony on the Cross, consumed at length with anguish, abandons Himself to the weight of His Body, bows His Head, and dies.

O my dying Jesus, I kiss devoutly the Cross on which You died for love of me.  I have merited by my sins to die a miserable death; but Your Death is my hope.  By the merits of Your Death, give me grace to die, embracing Your Feet, and burning with love for You.  I surrender my soul into Your Hands.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.



Thirteenth Station Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
Thirteenth Station 
  
Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider how after the death of Our Lord, two of His disciples, Joseph and Nicodemus, took Him down from the Cross, and placed Him in the arms of His afflicted Mother, who received Him with unutterable tenderness, and pressed Him to her bosom.

O Mother of Sorrow, for the love of Your Son, accept me your servant, and pray to Him for me.  And you, my Redeemer, since you have died for me, permit me to love you, for I wish but you and nothing more.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.



Fourteenth Station Jesus is Laid in the Sepulchre
Fourteenth Station  


Jesus is Laid in the Sepulchre

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Consider how the disciples carried the Body of Jesus to bury It, accompanied by His holy Mother, who arranged It in the sepulchre with her own hands.  They then closed the tomb, and all withdrew.

Oh, my buried Jesus, I kiss the stone that has enclosed You.  But You did rise again the third day.  I beseech You, by Your resurrection, make me rise gloriously with You on the last day, to be always united with You in heaven, to praise and love you forever.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.


Beautiful artwork borrowed from 
http://krilichmosaics.com/masterpieces/StationsCross/index.htm



What the Saints Say



Jesus told St. Faustina:  “There is more merit to one hour of meditation on My sorrowful Passion than there is to a whole year of flagellation that draws blood, the contemplation of My painful wounds is of great profit to you, and it brings Me great joy.”


St. Augustine writes that “there is no more profitable occupation for the soul than to meditate daily on the Passion of Our Lord.”






St. Alphonsus says that all the Saints become Saints by devotion to the Passion; there was no Saint who had not a great love of the Passion; from the crucifix they learned the art of loving God.







Our Lord revealed to several holy women: St. Bridget (pictured), St. Gertrude, St. Mechtilde, and St. Catherine of Siena, that they who meditate on His Passion are very dear to him.





St. Francis of Assisi’s preferred meditation was on the Passion of Jesus.  He wept so continually in meditating on the sufferings of Jesus Christ that he almost entirely lost his sight.










“The veneration of Christ’s Cross has shaped the history of Christian piety and has inspired the greatest saints emerging over the centuries from the heart of the Church.  All of them have become “lovers of the Cross of Christ”... there is no Christian holiness without devotion to the Passion.”  St. John Paul II








A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the usual conditions for those devoutly perform the Way of the Cross before stations legitimately erected. The indulgence requires pious meditation on the Passion and Death of the Lord, as well as movement from one station to the next.  Those who are ‘impeded’ from performing the Way of the Cross can gain the same indulgence, if they spend at least one half an hour in pious reading and meditation on the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (Enchridion Indulgenitarum, #63)