The Way of The Cross

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Traditionally recited on Good Friday but the devout Catholic can recite this prayer on every Friday around 3PM.

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The Way of The Cross

  1. 1. SECOND STATION JESUS IS MADE TO CARRY HIS CROSS V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. Then Pilate delivered Him to be crucified. And they took Jesus and led Him forth. And bearing His own cross, He went forth to the place which is called Calvary. (Jn. 19:16-17) My people, what have I done to thee, or in what have I grieved thee? I was thy guide through the desert for forty years, and fed thee with manna and brought thee into an excellent land, and thou hast prepared a cross for thy Savior? (Improperia of Good Friday) He hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought Him as it were a leper and as one struck by God and afflicted. He was wounded for our transgressions: He was bruised for our sins, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him. All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Is. 53. 4-6) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. O how sad and how afflicted was the Blessed Mother of the Only-Begotten! FIRST STATION JESUS IS CONDEMED TO DEATH V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. Pilate saith: “Behold the Man.” When the chief priests and the servants had seen Him, they cried out saying: “Crucify Him, crucify Him… (Jn. 19:6) We have a law; and according to the law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God… He hath become the censurer of our thoughts. He is grievous unto us, even to behold, for His life is not like other men’s, and He abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness….” (Wis. 2:13-16) My people, what have I done to thee? or in what have I grieved thee? Behold I have planted thee as My fairest vine, and thou hast become very bitter to Me. I went before thee in a pillar of cloud and thou hast brought Me before Pilate’s judgement seat. (Improperia of Good Friday) He was offered because it was His own will, and He opened not His mouth. He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter and shall be dumb as a lamb before His shearer, and He shall not open His mouth. He is cut off out of the land of the living: for the wickedness of His people He was struck. (Is. 53:7-8) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. A sword pierced her sighing, compassionate and grief-stricken soul. THE WAY OF THE CROSS Among the devotional exercised which have for their object meditation on the Passion, Crucifixion, and Death of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, one of the chief has been the exercise commonly called the Way of the Cross. This devotion arose first in Jerusalem, among the Christians who dwelt there, out of veneration for those sacred places which were sanctified by the sufferings of our divine Redeemer. From that time, as we learn from St. Jerome, Christians visited the holy places in crowds. The gathering of the faithful, he says, even from the farthest corners of the earth, to visit the holy places, continued to his own times. From Jerusalem this devout exercise began to be introduced into Europe by various pious and holy persons, who had traveled to the Holy Land to satisfy their devotion. H.H. Pope Clement XII extended this devotion to the whole Catholic world. PREPARATORY PRAYER (St. Alphonsus Liguori) MY LORD Jesus Christ, Thou hast made this journey to die for me with love unutterable, and I have so many times unworthily abandoned Thee. But now I love Thee with my whole heart, and because I love Thee, I repent sincerely for having offended Thee. Pardon me, my God, and permit me to accompany Thee in this journey. Thou goest to die for love of me; I wish also, my beloved Redeemer, to die for love of Thee. My Jesus, I will live and die always united to Thee. The sorrowful Mother stood weeping beside the cross, while her Son hung thereon. After each station and before the V. & R.: 5 Our Father, 5 Hail Mary and 5 Glory be to the Father − one for each of Christ’s Holy Wounds (two through either his hands or his wrists, two were through the feet and one through the side of Jesus’ chest.) THIRD STATION JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. He shall lay down His life for sin, He shall see a long-lived seed, and the will of the Lord shall be prosperous in His hand. But the Lord is now pleased to bruise Him in infirmity. (Is. 53:10) I am afflicted and humbled exceedingly: I roared with the groaning of My heart. Lord, all My desire is before Thee, and My groaning is not hidden from Thee. My heart is troubled, My strength hath left Me, and the light of My eyes itself is not with Me. My friends and My neighbours have drawn near, and stood against Me. And they that were near Me stood afar off. (Ps. 37: 9-12) Rebuke Me not, O Lord, in Thy indignation; nor chastise Me in Thy wrath. For Thy arrows are fastened in Me: and Thy hand hath been strong upon Me. There is no health in My flesh, because of Thy wrath: there is no peace for My bones, because of My sins. For My iniquities are gone over My head: and as a heavy burden are become heavy upon Me. (Ps. 37: 2-5) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. How she grieved and suffered, that loving Mother, when she behld the pains of her glorious Son! I II III
  2. 2. FOURTH STATION JESUS MEETS HIS SORROWFUL MOTHER V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. Behold, thy Son is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Isræl, and for a sign of contradiction. And thine own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed. (Lk. 2:34-35) Weeping I have wept in the night, and my tears are on my cheeks, because the conforter, the relief of my soul, is taken from Me. I have spread forth my hands, there is none to comfort Me. I called for my friends and they deceived me, they have become my enemies; my priests and my ancients have rejoiced in my evil. My child is desolate and the enemy hath prevailed. O all ye that pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow. (Lamentations − compilation of 1:2,12,16,17,19, 22) Ah, Mother! fount of love, make me feel the force of thy sorrow, make me weep with thee! Who is there could contemplate the Mother and the Son in sorrow, and not join his own with theirs? (Stabat Mater) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. Who is there that would not weep, if he should behold the Mother of Christ in such great distress? FIFTH STATION SIMON OF CYRENE HELPS JESUS TO CARRY HIS CROSS V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. As they led Him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him to carry after Jesus. (Lk. 23:26) Many calves have surrounded Me: fat bulls have besieged Me. I am poured out like water; and all My bones are scattered. My heart is become like wax melting in the midst of My bowels. (Ps. 21:13,15) Who will arise as My defender against the wicked? Who will stand by Me against the workers of iniquity? My heart hath endured reproach and misery. I looked for one that would have pity on Me, but there was no man, and for one that would console Me, and I found none. (Offertory of the Sacred Heart) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. Who would be able not to grieve, if he should contemplate the Mother of Christ suffering with her Son? SIXTH STATION VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. As many have been astonished at Thee, so shall His visage be inglorious among men, and His form among the sons of men. (Is. 52:14) There is no beauty in Him, nor comeliness: and we have seen Him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of Him: Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and His look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed Him not. (Is. 53:2-3) But I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people. (Ps. 21:7) All ye who seek Christ, lift up your eyes on high, to behold a token of His eternal glory. O brightness of the Father’s glory, incomprehensible love, by Thy presence bestow upon us the fullness of Thy light. (Hymns Quicumque Christum quæritis for Matins and Lux alma Jesu for Lauds of the Transfiguration) Thou art beautiful above the sons of men, grace is poured abroad in Thy lips. “My heart hath uttered a good word. I speak my works to the King.” He is the brightness of eternal light, the unspotted mirror, and the image of His goodness. (Gradual of the Transfiguration) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. For the sins of His people, she saw Jesus in torments and subject to stripes. SEVENTH STATION JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. I am afflicted and humbled exceedingly: I roared with the groaning of My heart. (Ps. 37:9) My heart is troubled, My strength hath left Me, and the light of My eyes itself is not with Me. (Ps. 37:11) Thy wrath hath come upon Me: and Thy terrors have troubled Me. They have come round about Me like water all the day: they have compassed Me about together. Friend and neighbour thou hast put far from Me: and My acquaintance, because of misery. (Ps. 87:17-19) In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped: thou wilt hear Me, O Lord My God. (Ps. 37:16) For I am ready for scourges: and My sorrow is continually before Me. (Ps. 37:18) Forsake Me not, O Lord My God: do not Thou depart from Me. Attend unto My help, O Lord, the God of my salvation. (Ps. 22 -23) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. She beheld her sweet Son dying, abandonned,until He yielded up the ghost. VII VI V IV
  3. 3. TENTH STATION JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra, this beautiful one in His robe, walking in the greatness of His strength. I, that speak justice, and am a defender to save. Why then is Thy apparel red, and Thy garments like theirs that tread in the winepress? I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the Gentiles there is not a man with Me: I have trampled on them in My indignation, and have trodden them down in My wrath, and their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My apparel. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, the year of My redemption is come. (Is. 63:1-4) Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered My face. (Ps. 68:8) All they that saw Me have laughed Me to scorn: they have spoken with the lips, and wagged the head. (Ps. 21:8) They have numbered all My bones. And they have looked and stared upon Me. They parted My garments amongst them; and upon My vesture they cast lots. (Ps. 21:18-19) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. Holy Mother, mayest thou bring it to pass, that the wounds of the Crucified may be deeply stamped upon my heart. EIGHTH STATION THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM WEEP OVER JESUS V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. There followed Him a great multitude of people and of women, who bewailed and lamented Him. Jesus turning to them, said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” (Lk. 23:27-28) My eyes have failed with weeping, my bowels are troubled: my liver is poured out upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people, when the children, and the sucklings, fainted away in the streets of the city. They said to their mothers: “Where is corn and wine?” when they fainted away as the wounded in the streets of the city: when they breathed out their souls in the bosoms of their mothers. (Lam. 2:11-12) A voice was heard on high of lamentation, of mourning, and weeping, of Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted for them, because they are not. (Jer. 31:15) For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. (Lk. 19:43-44) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. Ah, Mother, fount of love, make me feel the force of grief, make me weep with thee. NINTH STATION JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. The Lord hath made a vintage of Me, as the Lord spoke in the day of His fierce anger. From above He hath sent fire into My bones, and hath chastised Me: He hath spread a net for My feet, he hath turned Me back: He hath made Me desolate, wasted with sorrow all the day long. (Lam. 1:12-13) They have laid me in the lower pit: in the dark places, and in the shadow of death. Thy wrath is strong over me: and all thy waves thou hast brought in upon me. Thou hast put away my acquaintance far from me: they have set me an abomination to themselves. I was delivered up, and came not forth. (Ps. 87:7-9) The yoke of My iniquities hath watched: they are folded together in His hand, and put upon My neck: My strength is weakened: the Lord hath delivered Me into a hand out of which I am not able to rise. (Lam. 1:14) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. Make my heart burn with the love of Christ, my God, that I may be pleasing to Him. ELEVENTH STATION JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. When they were come to the place which is called Calvary, they crucified Him there, and the robbers, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. (Lk. 23:33) All they that saw Me have laughed Me to scorn: they have spoken with the lips, and wagged the head. He hoped in the Lord, let Him deliver Him: let Him save Him, seeing He delighteth in Him. (Ps. 21:8-9) My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue hath cleaved to My jaws: and Thou hast brought Me down into the dust of death. For many dogs have encompassed Me: the council of the malignant hath besieged Me. They have dug My hands and feet. They have numbered all My bones. And they have looked and stared upon Me. (Ps. 21:16-18) “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Lk. 23:24) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. Share with me the sufferings of thy wounded Son Who thus deigned to suffer for me. VIII XI IX X
  4. 4. TWELFTH STATION JESUS IS RAISED UPON THE CROSS AND DIES V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. It was almost the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. (Lk. 23:44) And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent. And the graves were opened... (Mt. 27:51-52) And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice: “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani?” Which is, being interpreted, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ O God My God, look upon Me: why hast Thou forsaken Me? Far from My salvation are the words of My sins. O My God, I shall cry by day, and Thou wilt not hear: and by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in Me. (Ps. 21-2-3) Into Thy hands I commend My spirit: Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth. Thou hast hated them that regard vanities, to no purpose. But I have hoped in the Lord: (Ps. 30:6-7) Have mercy on Me, O Lord, for I am afflicted: My eye is troubled with wrath, My soul, and My belly: For My life is wasted with grief: and My years in sighs. My strength is weakened through poverty and My bones are disturbed. (Ps. 30:10-11) I am forgotten as one dead from the heart. I am become as a vessel that is destroyed. (Ps. 30:13) Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: “It is consummated.” (Jn. 19:30) And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” And Jesus, bowing His head, gave up the ghost. (Lk. 23:46) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. Grant that I may devoutly weep with thee, and suffer with the Crucified as long as I shall live. FOURTEENTH STATION JESUS IS LAID IN THE SEPULCHER V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. There was in the place where He was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid. There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand. (Jn. 19:41-42) The blood shall be unto you for a sign in the houses where you shall be: and I shall see the blood, and shall pass over you: and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I shall strike the land of Egypt. This day shall be for a memorial to you: and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord in your generations with an everlasting observance. (Ex. 12:13-14) Behold in peace is My bitterness most bitter: but Thou hast delivered My soul that it should not perish, Thou hast cast all My sins behind Thy back. (Is. 38:17) Because Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell; nor Wilt then give Thy holy one to see corruption. (Ps. 15:10) Hell shall not confess to Thee, neither shall death praise Thee: nor shall they that go down into the pit, look for Thy truth. The living, the living, He shall give praise to Thee, as I do this day. (Is. 38:18-19) I heard all saying: ‘To him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, benediction, and honour, and glory, and power, for ever and ever.’ And the four living creatures said: ‘Amen.’ And the four and twenty ancients fell down on their faces, and adored him that liveth for ever and ever. (Apoc. 5:13-14) V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. When my body shall die, grant that the glory of Paradise be given to my soul. THIRTEENTH STATION JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS AND PLACED IN THE ARMS OF HIS MOTHER V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. Let the evening come suddenly upon the whole heavens, and let the astonished sun dispatch the day, while we contemplate the spectacle of the cruel death and the divine tragedy. (Hymn Iam toto subitus for Vespers of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady) My people, what have I done to thee, or in what have I grieved thee? I opened a way through the sea before thee, and thou hast opened My side with a spear. (Improperia of Good Friday) With what a flood of tears, with what sorrow is the grief-stricken Virgin Mother overwhelmend, while she beholds her Son lying in her arms after being taken down from the bloody Tree! Full of sorrow she bathes with her tears His sweet lips, His gentle breast, His most dear side, His pierced right hand, His wounded left, and His feet red with blood. (Hymn O quot undis lacrimarum for Matins of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady) O Mother, we beseech thee by these tears, by the cruel death of thy Son, and the purple of His wounds, plant deep in our hearts the grief of thine own heart! V. Lord Jesus crucified, R. Have mercy on us. I long to stand beside the cross with thee, and to unite myself to thee in thy grief. THE FINAL PRAYER O GOD, Who by the Passion of Thy Christ, our Lord, hast undone the bonds of death, the inheritance of man’s first sin, into which his whole race has entered, grant that made like Him, we who of necessity have borne the likeness of earthly nature, may by His sanctifying power put on the likeness of His divine grace. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen. [The Lithany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus can then be recited.] HOLY WOUNDS DEVOTION Sister Marie Martha Chambon (1841 - 1907) was told to revive the Holy Wounds devotion. Part of this devotion can be a Chaplet of Mercy of the Holy Wounds of Jesus. This chaplet was approved for the Institute of Visitation in 1912, and was extended to all the faithful at large by the Sacred Penitentiary in 1924. A standard Marian rosary is used. The following prayers are said on the crucifix and first three beads: O JESUS, Divine Redeemer, be merciful to us and to the whole world. Amen. – Strong God, Holy God, Immortal God, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen – Grace and Mercy, O my Jesus, during present dangers; cover us with Your Precious Blood. Amen. – ETERNAL FATHER, grant us mercy through the Blood of Jesus Christ, Your only Son; grant us mercy we beseech You. Amen, Amen, Amen. The following prayer is said on the large beads of the rosary chain: ETERNAL FATHER, I offer You the Wounds of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, to heal the wounds of our souls. The following prayer is said on the small beads of the rosary chain: MY JESUS, pardon and mercy, through the merits of Your Holy Wounds. XIV XIII XII

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