For those interested, there will be a Stations of the Cross devotion every Friday during Lent at the St Jerome Newman Center at noon. (So every Friday beginning this Friday the 16th and continuing through Good Friday on March 30th). As in past years, we will be using the method of Saint Francis, so this is a very old (13th century) and traditional devotional prayer. We provide booklets, so it is easy to follow along.
For those unfamiliar, the Stations of the Cross (Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrow) are an ancient Christian devotion. In the early church, some would make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to walk from Jerusalem to various holy sites. The Franciscans officially developed the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem in the 15th century, winding through Jerusalem for nine stations and ending with five stations at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
By the 4th century you begin to see something resembling the Stations of the Cross in monasteries and churches in Europe. These devotions in churches were accelerated as it become more difficult and dangerous to make the pilgrimage to the Holy Lands, and by the late 16th century the fourteen stations were common in almost all Catholic Churches. Today, every Catholic Church in the world will have the 14 stations (in stained glass or icons).
The stations are a mix of Passion events taken from scripture and tradition, beginning with Jesus being condemned to death through his crucifixion, death, and burial. Through the prayers, we can meditate on and be brought close to the suffering and death of Christ.