Early Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem began the practice of visiting places associated with Jesus. A devotion quickly developed of tracing the steps of Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemani to the tomb where he was buried. The pilgrim would stop along the way to meditate and pray about the events in the passion and death of Jesus. In time, not only the route of the walk but also the subject of the meditations became fixed. From Jerusalem, pilgrims brought this practice to their own towns and villages. Although it was not possible for everyone to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, it was possible to meditate on the passion and death of Jesus at the local church or even at home.
Jesus is Condemned to Death
And in the morning the chief priests and the whole council, binding Jesus, led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate. And they all condemned Him and said: He is guilty of death. And Pilate sat in the place of judgment and delivered Him to them to be crucified.
Jesus Takes Up His Cross
And bearing His cross He went forth to that place which is called Calvary. Hail, O Christ our King! Thou alone hast had pity on the folly of our sins. Obedient to the Father, Thou art led forth to be crucified like an innocent lamb to the slaughter. To Thee be glory; to Thee be triumph and victory; to Thee the crown of the highest honor and acclaim!
Our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God hath exalted Him and hath given Him a name that is above every name. Come, let us adore and bow down before God, let us weep in the presence of the Lore who made us, for He is indeed the Lord our God.
Jesus meets His Mother
“My mother sees me whipped. She sees me kicked and driven like a beast. She counts my every wound. But though her soul cries out in agony, no protest or complaint escapes her lips or even enters her thoughts. She shares my martyrdom – and I share hers. We hide no pain, no sorrow, from each other’s eyes. This is my Father’s will.”
Simon Helps Jesus
And as they led Him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, a passer-by, and forced him to take up the cross of Jesus. And they laid the cross on him, to carry after Jesus. Whoever does not carry his cross and come after me cannot by my disciple.
Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
Lo, we have seen Him, and there is no beauty in Him nor comeliness; He is despised and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with infirmity. His countenance is as it were hidden, whereupon we esteemed him not. His appearance is inglorious among men, and His form among the children of men. And yet He is the beautiful one above all the sons of men, and by His bruises we are healed.
Jesus Falls Again
They delivered Me into the hands of the impious, they cast Me out amongst the wicked, and they spared not My soul. The powerful gathered together against Me, and like giants they stood against Me. And striking Me with cruel wounds, they mocked Me.
Jesus Consoles the Women
And there followed Him a great multitude of people and of women who bewailed and lamented Him. But Jerusalem, weep not over Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
Jesus Falls a Third Time
“Completely drained of strength I lie, collapsed, upon the cobblestones. My body cannot move. No blows, no kicks, can rouse it up. And yet my will is mine. And so is yours. Know this, my other self, your body may be broken, but no force on earth and now in hell can take away your will. Your will is yours.”
Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments
And they came to the place that is called Golgotha, which is the place of Calvary. And they gave Him wine to drink, mingle with gall. And when He had tasted, He would not drink. And they divided His garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: They divided My garments among them; and upon My vesture they case lots.
Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, they crucified Him there, and with Him two thieves, one on the right and the other on the left, and Jesus in the midst. My people, what have I done to thee? I have exalted thee with great power, and thou hast hanged Me on the gibbet of the cross. They have pierced my hands and feet. They have numbered all my bones.
Jesus Dies on the Cross
When Jesus therefore had seen His mother and the disciple whom He loved, He said to His mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that He said to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And Jesus, when He had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And again, crying with a loud voice, He said: Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit. And bowing His head, He gave up the ghost.
Jesus Is Taken Down
Since it was the Preparation Day the Jews did not want to have the bodies left on the cross during the Sabbath, for that Sabbath was a solemn feast day. They asked Pilate that the legs be broken and the bodies be taken away. Accordingly, the soldiers came and broke the legs of the men crucified with Jesus, first the one, then the other. When they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his leges. One of the soldiers thrust a lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. (John 19:30-34)
Jesus Is Buried
And Joseph from Arimathea, having taken down the body of Jesus, wrapped it up in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb which he had hewn out in a rock. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb.
The Way of the Cross The Liturgical Press. St. John’s Abbey. Collegeville, MN.
Everyone’s way of the cross. Enzler, Clarence. (2000) Ava Maria Press. Notre Dame, IN
Follow me, A Scriptural Way of The Cross. Rev. Jack Kurps, S.C.J. (1984) Sacred Heard League. Walls, MS