Stations of the Cross

Staff 10 February 2024

The Stations of the Cross hold significance for Catholics around the world because they provide a structured and symbolic way to meditate on the events of Jesus Christ’s Passion, from his condemnation to his burial.

There are 14 Stations of the Cross. There is the ‘traditional’ set popularised by St Leonardo da Porto Maurizio (d. 1751), who was also involved in establishing the set of stations in the Colosseum. In 1975, during a Holy Year, the Vatican’s Congregation of Rites produced a revised version of the Stations of the Cross. While the number of stations remains the same, those stations without scriptural foundation have been omitted, namely the falls of Jesus, Jesus meeting his mother Mary, and Veronica wiping the face of Jesus. 

TRADITIONAL STATIONS
1. Jesus is condemned to death
2. Jesus takes up his Cross ­
3. Jesus falls the first time
4. Jesus meets his mother
5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the Cross
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7. Jesus falls for the second time ­
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem ­
9. Jesus falls for the third time ­
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments (sometimes called the ‘Division of Robes’)
11. Jesus is nailed to the Cross
12. Jesus dies on the Cross
13. Jesus is taken down from the Cross
14.  Jesus is laid in the tomb
15. On Easter Sunday, Jesus rises from the dead

 REVISED STATIONS (1975 – )
1. The Last Supper
2. The Garden of Gethsemane
3. Jesus before the Sanhedrin
4. Jesus before Pilate
5. Jesus is whipped and crowned with thorns
6. Jesus carries his cross
7. Jesus is helped by the Cyrenean
8. Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem
9. Jesus is stripped and nailed to the Cross
10. Jesus and the Good Thief
11. Jesus speaks to Mary and John
12. Jesus dies on the Cross
13. Jesus is buried
14. Jesus rises from the dead

Image: One of the Stations of the Cross sculptures that adorn Our Lady of Victory Shrine and Basilica in New York, US. See 'A traveller's guide to the Stations of the Cross' for more information on the sculptures.