"A series of fourteen pictures or carvings portraying incidents in Christ's journey from his condemnation by Pilate to his being laid in the tomb. They are arranged around the inside walls of churches and chapels, but are also to be found in other settings such as along wooded paths near shrines. In the devotion of the Stations, an individual or group passes from station to station reciting prayers and meditating on each incident, or at least on the passion of Christ in general. It is thought that the Stations originated as a way that those unable to travel might follow the pilgrimage route in Jerusalem, the "Via Dolorosa," and the plenary indulgence attached to the pilgrimage is also given to those who prayerfully make the journey of the fourteen stations. Many texts have been written for use during the Stations..." The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia.
A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, who make the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross.
In the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross we recall anew the sufferings, which the divine Redeemer endured, while going from the praetorium of Pilate, where he was condemned to death, to the mount of Calvary, where he died on the cross for our salvation.
The gaining of the plenary indulgence is regulated by the following norms:
1) The pious exercise must be made before stations of the Way of the Cross legitimately erected. 2) For the erection of the Way of the Cross fourteen crosses are required, to which it is customary to add fourteen pictures or images, which represent the stations of Jerusalem.
3) According to the more common practice, the pious exercise consists of fourteen pious readings, to which some vocal prayers are added. However, nothing more is required than a pious meditation on the Passion and Death of the Lord, which need not be a particular
consideration of the individual mysteries of the stations. 4) A movement from one station to the next is required [at least by the leader]." Those unable to come to the church may gain the indulgence by spending 1/2 hour in pious reading and meditation on the death of our Lord. The usual conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence apply: confession, communion, and prayer for the Holy Father. Enchiridion of Indulgences 1968. (A partial indulgence is always available, so if you can't come to church, you can do the stations at home.)
Back to Start of the Stations.
The text is quoted for religious and educational purposes only. No other use is intended or permitted.