Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross

From the earliest days of the Church, faithful Christians have made trips to the Holy Land to follow the footsteps of Jesus on the actual path to his Crucifixion where He gave his life for our salvation.

These pious people would stop along the way to say specific prayers and devotions at spots where specific events had occurred as Jesus carried his Cross to Jerusalem to die.

Pilgrimages to the Holy Land could take years and proved to be expensive and even dangerous. They were not possible for everyone so some Catholics created stations outside their own churches based on Sacred Scripture and Apostolic Tradition.

Eventually, the stations were moved inside. Only a simple cross is necessary to mark each station. Any additional images, figures, or other artwork is optional.

When each station is announced, the traditional response is, “We adore you O Christ and we bless You. For by your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.” Additional prayers, hymns, or Scripture verses may also be recited or sung.

The 14 Stations of the Cross are also known as the Way of the Cross or the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows.

Stations of the Cross can be prayed at any time, but they are traditionally prayed as a penance on the Fridays during Lent, especially on Good Friday.

Remembering Jesus’ last day as a man on Earth:

Catholic Online

Significant events during Jesus’ Passion and Death:


As they led Him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the Cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus. A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented Him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?” Now two others, both criminals, were led away with Him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left.

Luke 23: 26-33

Spiritually accompanying Jesus on the way to Jerusalem:

Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

Just as it happened in the time of Jesus:

Christian Media Center – English

The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy Name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, He allowed to be pierced by our sins. Christian prayer loves to follow the Way of the Cross in the Savior’s steps. The stations from the Praetorium to Golgotha and the tomb trace the way of Jesus, who by his holy Cross has redeemed the world.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2669

Meditating on the suffering of Jesus and his great love:

Fr. Dan O’Reilly Online

The Stations of the Cross is a prayer:

Fr. Dominic Clemente

A revelation of love:

Called to More

Today you will walk with Jesus. Jesus is the Way and we will walk with Him, because He Himself undertook the journey. When He was among us, Jesus walked. He walked along healing the sick, caring for the poor, doing works of justice. As He walked He preached and taught. Jesus walked. But the journey most engraved on our hearts is the way of Calvary, the Way of the Cross. And today you and I will prayerfully retrace the Stations of the Cross. We will see Jesus passing by, and walk with Him.

Pope Francis, Stations of the Cross with Young People, 4 August 2023

Recognizing that all of life is a pilgrimage:


Expressing our faith in a physical way:

Franciscan Media

There are different ways of praying the Stations of the Cross:

Breaking In The Habit

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

The moment that changed history:

Saint John Paul II National Shrine

Share this page with friends and family to start a conversation about your faith.

Don’t miss a post. Learn more about the Catholic Church and strengthen your Catholic faith.

Find more Fiercely Catholic video issues here.

Subscribe here.

Book a Fiercely Catholic program at your next conference, retreat, or other Catholic event.