The practice of the Stations of the Cross — also known as the Way of the Cross — really began when early Christian pilgrims retraced the steps of Jesus during His last days in Jerusalem. These early pilgrimages are thought to have begun perhaps as early as 335 AD when Emperor Constantine erected the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on the site believed to be Jesus’ tomb.
The more modern-day version of the Stations, observed in most American Catholic churches on Fridays during Lent, began in the late 1700s. You can read more of the history of the Way of the Cross at Catholic News Service online.
Our Stations of the Cross come from Holy Cross parishes across the United States and even Chile. The prayers are taken from “You Have Redeemed the World: Praying the Stations of the Cross in the Holy Cross Tradition,” edited by Revs. Andrew Gawrych, C.S.C., and Kevin Grove, C.S.C, and published by Ave Maria Press, an apostolate of the U.S. Province.
The prayer booklet is available in both English and Spanish.
Leader: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Leader: Lord Jesus, by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world. As we retrace your saving steps to Calvary, reveal to us how your Cross has become the new tree of life for all creation. May your mother, Our Lady of Sorrows, who walked those painful steps with you, accompany us. May she guide us on your way that leads through sacrifice and death to true life. Make known in our minds and hearts the power of your Cross, our only hope.