Jesus is condemned to death. The Stations of the Cross has its origins during the crusades when it became popular to visit Jerusalem to trace Christ’s footsteps through the streets to Calvary. After the Holy land was captured by the Moslems, pilgrimages became a very dangerous affair. A desire arose to reproduce these holy places in other lands as a substitute pilgrimage in order to satisfy the faithful’s devotion. Originating in Europe, it became popular to have outdoor markers that not only indicated the critical scenes in Christ’s sorrowful path to Golgotha, but represented the actual distances from location to location. Crude markers soon gave way to elaborate works of art depicting the events of Jesus trial, torture and execution. By the mid 18th century, the Stations of the Cross were permitted inside and were usually arranged at even intervals around the walls of the church and served as a focus for public and private Lenten devotions. The object of the Stations is to help the participant make a spiritual pilgrimage to the chief scenes of Christ’s sufferings and death. Prayers are said until the entire route is complete, enabling the faithful to more literally embrace Christ’s challenge to take up their cross and follow Him.

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