Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross

St. Josemaria Escrivá Version, Introduction

All the text is taken from St. Josemaria Escrivá, The Way of the Cross, Princeton, NJ: Scepter Publishers, 1976.

The First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death

What am I to do then, with Jesus? (Mt. 27:22)

They all reply: Crucify him! 

St. Josemaria Escrivá

The Second Station: Jesus Takes Up His Cross

If anyone wishes to come after me, let him take up his cross daily
and follow me. (Mt. 16:24)

How lovingly Jesus embraces the wood which is bring him death!

Truly the Cross of Jesus is gentle and lovable.
There, sorrows cease to count; there is only
the joy of knowing that we are co-redeemers with him.

St. Josemaria Escrivá

The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time

The heavy cross cuts and tears into our Lord’s shoulders.

A sharp pain pierces the soul of Jesus; Our Lord falls to the ground exhausted.

Jesus has fallen that we might get up: once and for all.

St. Josemaria Escrivá

The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother

With an immense love, Mary looks at Jesus and Jesus at his Mother. Their eyes meet, and each heart pours into the other its own deep sorrow.

Only thus will we taste the sweetness of Christ’s Cross, and come to embrace it with all the strength of love, carrying it in triumph along the ways of the earth.

St. Josemaria Escrivá

The Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross

In the whole context of the Passion, this help does not add up to very much. But for Jesus, a smile, a word, a gesture…is enough to pour out his grace bountifully on the soul of his friend.

I went to those who were not looking for me; I was found by those that sought me not (Is. 65:1)

St. Josemaria Escrivá

The Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

There is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there was sightliness that we should be attracted to him. (Is. 53:2)

The beloved face of Jesus, that had smile upon children and was transfigured with glory on Mount Tabor is now, as it were, concealed by suffering.

Lord, help me decide to tear off, through penance, this pitiful mask I have fashioned with my [sins]…Then, and only then, by following the path of contemplation will my life begin to copy faithfully the features of your life. We will find ourselves becoming more and more like you.

St. Josemaria Escrivá

The Seventh Station: Jesus Falls a Second Time

He has borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows, and we have taken him for a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our iniquities and bruised for our sins.

Jesus stumbles, but his fall lifts us up. His death brings us back to life.

St. Josemaria Escrivá

The Eighth Station: Jesus Consoles the Women of Jerusalem

Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children…For if they do these things to the green wood, what shall be done to the dry? (Lk. 23:28,31)

Your sins, my sins, the sins of all…rise up. All the evil we have done and the good we have neglected to do.

How little a life is for making atonement!

St. Josemaria Escrivá

The Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time

Jesus can no longer stay on his feet: his strength has failed him, and he lies on the ground in utter exhaustion.

Everyone against him…the people of the city and those from abroad, and the Pharisees and the soldiers and the chief priests…all of them executioners. His Mother – my mother – weeps.

Dilexit me, et tradidit semetipsum pro me – He loved me, and gave himself up for me. (Gal. 2:20)

St. Josemaria Escrivá

The Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

When Jesus arrives at Calvary, he is given some wine to drink mixed with gall, as a narcotic to lessen in some way the pain of the crucifixion…He gives himself up to death with the full freedom of Love.

Despoiled, stripped, left in the most absolute poverty. Jesus is left with nothing, except the wood of the Cross.

For us to reach God, Christ is the way; but Christ is on the Cross, and to climb up to the Cross we must have our heart free.

St. Josemaria Escrivá

The Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Father, forgive them, for they do know what they are doing. (Lk. 23:34)

It is Love that has brought Jesus to Calvary. And once on the Cross, all his gestures and all his words are of love, a love both calm and strong.

With a gesture befitting an Eternal Priest, without father or mother, without lineage (cf. Heb. 7:3), he opens his arms to the whole human race.

St. Josemaria Escriva

The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

On the uppermost part of the Cross the reason for the sentence is written: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. (Jn. 19:19) And all who pass by insult him and jeer at him.

The sun’s light is extinguished and the earth is left in darkness. It is close to three o’clock, when Jesus cries out:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Mt. 27:46)

The veil of the temple is rent, and the earth trembles, when the Lord cries out in a loud voice:

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. (Lk. 23:46)

And he breathes his last.

St. Josemaria Escrivá

The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Laid in the Arms of His Mother

Mary stands by the Cross, ungulfed in grief. John is beside her.

Where has thy Beloved gone, o fairest of women? Where has he whom thou lovest gone, and will we seek him with thee? (Cant. 5:17)

The Blessed Virgin is our Mother, and we do not wish to, we cannot, leave her alone.

St. Josemaria Escrivá

The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

Very near Calvary, in an orchard, Joseph of Arimathea had had a new tomb made, cut out of the rock.

Jesus came into the world with nothing; so too, with nothing – not even the place where he rests – he has left us.

We must bring into our life, to make them our own, the life and death of Christ. We must give our life for others. That is the only way to live the life of Jesus Christ.