In ancient times pilgrims visiting Jerusalem were taken to see places connected with the life and death of Jesus.
Among these were 14 stages ( 9 from Gospel scenes and 5 from popular tradition) on his last journey where visitors
would stop, reflect and pray. The devotion spread throughout the world probably because pilgrims wanted to re-enact
their experience when they returned home. The attention given to specific events and places in the Holy Land was
strengthened by the return of the Crusaders who sometimes erected tableaux recalling places they had visited.
The Franciscans were given the custody of the Holy Places in 1342 and in their churches throughout Europe
they promoted the devotion expressed in the Stations of the Cross just as they had already promoted the use of the
Christmas Crib as a visual aid and focus for prayer.
1 This is a short form of The Stations of the Cross devised by Sr Pat Graham SND.
The devotional aspect of the Stations may be strengthened by singing short verses during them.
We praise you, O Christ, and we bless you
because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world.
Accepting death upon the cross, you gained us life.