Pilgrimage to Jerusalem - Way of the Cross

Pilgrimage to Jerusalem - Way of the Cross
The Way of The Cross in Jerusalem (also known as Via Dolorosa, Via Crucis, Way of suffer or way of Grief) is one of the holiest sites in Christendom. It is revered as the path that was taken by Jesus carrying the cross from his site of condemnation to his site of crucifixion and burial. It is a traditional pilgrimage route located within the old city of Jerusalem. The route became famous since early Christianity and people have been following Jesus steps since the middle of 4th Century AD. The Way of The Cross consists of fourteen stations: nine of them are located along the route and the five other can be found inside the compound of the church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Way of the Cross - Origin

Early followers of Christ followed what became known as the Way of the Cross and the Way of the Cross has since become a very powerful tradition that serves as the people’s devotion to the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. It was also named as Via Dolorosa which is literally means "Way of Grief" in Latin.  

For hundreds of years, The Way of the cross serves as a must activity for pilgrims visiting Jerusalem. They visited the Holy Land and Jerusalem to witness the holy sites where Jesus had suffered before his crucifixion. The Way of the cross enabled visitors from afar to follow the steps of Christ, which many describe as a most humbling experience.

Over the years, as Christianity spread,  Christians who are not privilege enough to visit the Holy Land or had little time in Jerusalem, created  stations made from stone, wood, metal and paper according to the biblical and traditional events of Jesus' Way of the Cross in Jerusalem. These 14 stations are referred to as the 'Stations of the Cross' and are displayed at Catholic churches and shrines.

The 14 Stations of the Cross
1.     Jesus Trial – condemned to death
2.     Jesus carries the cross
3.     Jesus falls for the first time
4.     Jesus sees his mother the Virgin Mary
5.     Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross
6.     Veronica wipes the face of Jesus 
7.     Jesus falls the second time
8.     Jesus and the Women of Jerusalem
9.     Jesus falls a third time
10.  Jesus stripped from his cloths
11.  Jesus nailed to the Cross
12.  Jesus dies on the Cross
13.  Jesus taken down from the Cross
14.  Jesus laid in the tomb 

Although the current Old City of Jerusalem looks quite different than it did in the days of Christ, the Way of the Cross and the story of the suffering of Jesus  has a quintessential and important place in Christianity.Walking the Stations of the Cross can be a very spiritual, unique and even changing experience.

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