According to the Method of St. Francis of Assisi
For Roman Catholics throughout the world, the Stations of the Cross are synonymous with Lent, Holy Week and, especially, Good Friday. This devotion is also known as the “Way of the Cross”, the “Via Crucis”, and the “Via Dolorosa.” It commemorates 14 key events on day of Christ’s crucifixion. The majority concern His final walk through the streets of Jerusalem, carrying the Cross.
The Stations originated in medieval Europe when wars prevented Christian pilgrims from visiting the Holy Land. European artists created works depicting scenes of Christ’s journey to Calvary. The faithful installed these sculptures or paintings at intervals along a procession route, inside the parish church or outdoors. Performing the devotion meant walking the entire route, stopping to pray at each “station.”
Today, images of the Stations (or simple crosses representing them) are on display in almost all Catholic churches. They serve mainly as a focus for Lenten worship services. But the Stations can also be performed privately, at any time of the year, even at home. Many organizations offer free or inexpensive, illustrated pamphlets for this purpose
Begin The Stations Of The Cross
O most merciful Jesus, with a contrite heart and penitent spirit, I bow down in profound humility before Thy divine majesty. I adore Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee above all things. I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, my Supreme and Only God. I resolve to amend my life, and although I am unworthy to obtain mercy, yet the sight of Thy cross, on which Thou didst die, inspires me with hope and consolation. I will, therefore, meditate on Thy Passion in company with Thy sorrowful Mother and my guardian angel, with the intention of promoting Thy honor and saving my soul.
I desire to gain all the indulgences granted for for this holy exercise for myself and for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. O merciful Redeemer, who has said, “And I, if I be lifted from the earth, will draw all things to Myself”, draw my heart and my love to Thee, that I may perform this devotion as perfectly as possible, and that I may live and die in union with Thee.