Monday, June 20, 2005
The Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross is a devotion consisting of 14 different parts - called stations - of Christ's passion and death. The devotion holds many great rewards attached to it including a plenary indulgence. In the Stations of the Cross we commemorate and remember how much our Savior loved us - to the very end. As we profess at Mass, His dying destroyed our death, and His Rising Again restored our life.

Before each station, pray "We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you [genuflect] because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world."

Pray the Stations using the above video meditation.

As a preface to all of the following, indulgences may only be earned by Catholics in the state of grace. Those unfamiliar with indulgences should consult: Indulgences - The Basics
Indulgences for the Stations of the Cross:
  • A plenary indulgence every time the devotion is completed.  [A plenary indulgence is the removal of all punishment due to sin. Even though you are forgiven in Confession, the punishment remains unless an indulgence is granted]
  • An additional plenary indulgence if one receives Holy Communion on the day.
  • Also an additional plenary indulgence if one performs the devotion ten times and receives Holy Communion within a month after so doing.
  • A partial indulgence of ten years for every Station made if one was not able to finish the Stations.
    The Conditions for Gaining This Indulgence:
    • Walking from Station to Station when making the Way of the Cross privately; when making it publicly, it suffices for the priest with the altar boys to do so.
    • Meditate at each Station on the sufferings of our Lord.
    • These two conditions are essential. No oral prayers are prescribed; yet they are profitable.
    A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful for making the Stations of the Cross under the normal conditions:
    • One is free from all attachment from sin
    • One receives the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist (Within 7 days before or after completing this devotion but if you are in the state of mortal sin, you can not complete this devotion and gain the indulgence. You must be in the state of grace while saying the stations, even if you satisfy this requirement of Confession after)
    • One prays for the intentions of the Pope
    While there are many benefits, including indulgences, from praying the Stations of the Cross in a Church, it is not always possible to travel to a Church for this. Normally, these prayers must be said in a church building, but those legitimately impeded from doing so may also gain the indulgence by holding a specially blessed crucifix and piously meditating on the Passion of Our Lord while reciting:
    • One Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for each Station
    • Five Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory Bes in memory of the Holy Wounds of Our Lord
    • One Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be "for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff" (="the exaltation of Mother Church, the propagation of the Faith, the uprooting of heresy, the conversion of sinners, peace and concord among Christian nations, and the other needs of the Church.")
    • If the prayers are said in common (as in a family) it is sufficient that only one person hold the crucifix.

    Advice from St. Alphonsus Liguori: "The pious exercise of the Way of the Cross represents the sorrowful journey that Jesus Christ made with the cross on His shoulders, to die on Calvary for the love of us. We should, therefore, practice this devotion with the greatest possible fervor, placing ourselves in spirit beside our Savior as He walked this sorrowful way, uniting our tears with His, and offering to Him both our compassion and our gratitude."

    The Stations of the Cross: 
    1. Jesus is condemned to death 
    2. Jesus is made to carry the Cross
    3. Jesus falls the first time 
    4. Jesus meets His Mother Mary 
    5. St. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross 
    6. St. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus 
    7. Jesus falls the second time 
    8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem 
    9. Jesus falls the third time 
    10. Jesus is stripped of His garments 
    11. Jesus is nailed to the Cross 
    12. Jesus is raised on the Cross and dies 
    13. Jesus' body is taken down and laid in His Mother's arms
    14. Jesus' body is placed in the tomb

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