Visiting the Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa - Travelujah (2023)

The Via Dolorosa, also known as the Via Crucis, is located in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is the path that traditionally follows the footsteps of Jesus Christ on his way to Calvary, the site of his crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

Pilgrims have been following the Via Dolorosa daily for centuries, although their path may not be exactly the one Christ walked on the last day of his life, as it has changed over the centuries along with the city's topography. What is important, however, is the tradition and purpose of the commemoration of Christ's suffering under the cross.

The Via Dolorosa has 14 stations, called Stations of the Cross, which refer to the special events that occurred on the way to the Skull Site. Let's take a closer look at each of the seasons to better understand the events of the past.

I Station – Jesus is sentenced to death

"So they tied him up, took him away and handed him over to the governor Pilate." (Matthew 27:2)

The Via Dolorosa starts in front of the Ottoman building of the "Madrasa el-Omariyya", a school in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, about 300 m from the Lion's Gate. According to tradition, the Roman fortress of Antonia was located here, where Jesus was sentenced to death. From here, every Friday at 3:00 p.m. from October to March and at 4:00 p.m. from April to September, the Franciscan Friars begin their walk along the Via Dolorosa.

Station II – Jesus carries his cross

"Then they took him away to crucify him." (Matthew 27:31)

Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem Travelujah Monastery of the Flagellation

This second station is opposite the Franciscan Monastery of the Scourging, which was completely rebuilt in 1929 on medieval foundations. The church traditionally marks the spot where Jesus took up the cross after being scourged and crowned with thorns.

The Franciscan complex on the site contains two churches: the Flagellation and also the Condemnation. The buildings surrounding the monasteries house the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, a renowned institute for biblical, geographical and archaeological studies, and the Museo Studium, which contains various archaeological items excavated by the Franciscans.

The Via Crucis continues under the magnificent Ecce Homo Arch. The arch stands where Pontius Pilate is said to have said the words "Ecce homo" - "Here is the man" (John 19:5) while exposing Jesus to the crowd. The arch was built in AD 70. C. to support a ramp built against the fortress of Antonio and after the rebuilding of Jerusalem in 135 d. C. the arch was rebuilt as a memorial to the Roman victory.

Station III – Jesus falls the first time

The third station is at the intersection between Via Dolorosa and El-Wad streets. It marks the moment when Jesus fell under the weight of the cross for the first time, as commemorated by a relief above the door of a small chapel at the site.

The sanctuary was once the main entrance to the Hammam es-Sultan baths built in the 15th century. It was bought by the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate in 1856. It is sometimes referred to as the "Polish Chapel" because it was renovated in the late 1940s with financial help from the Polish Army.

Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem Travelujah Interior of the Ecce Homo Chapel

IV Station - Jesus meets his mother

"When Jesus saw his mother standing there and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, he said to her, 'Woman, here is your son'" (John 19:26).

According to tradition, the fourth station is located at the place where Jesus met his mother Mary on the way to Calvary. The location of this point, a little further on El Wad Street, is just in front of the Armenian Church of Our Lady of Spasm, built in 1881. During the excavation of the foundations of the church, a large 7th-century mosaic was found. . , which probably belonged to the Church of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom).

Between the third and fourth stations, look under your feet and notice well-preserved remains of Roman road stones, probably the 'secondary' cardo from Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem). It is quite possible that Jesus could have walked on these stones.

Fifth Station - Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross

Visiting the Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa - Travelujah (1)

Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem Travelujah V Stations of the Cross

"On their way out they met a man from Cyrene named Simon and forced him to carry the cross." (Matthew 27:32)

Jesus' pitiful condition and the weight of the cross made the journey extremely difficult. Roman soldiers ordered Simon of Cyrene (now Libya) to help Jesus carry the cross. There are some theories that Simon may have been one of Christ's disciples, but he could also have been just one of the pilgrims who came to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.

The fifth station commemorates this event and is located in the small church built in 1895 on the first Franciscan site in Jerusalem founded in 1229-1244.

VI Station - Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

This station is dedicated to a woman who wanted to relieve Christ's pain by whipping his bloody and sweating face with her veil. Then the piece of cloth he used revealed the imprint of Christ's face.

The exact story is not mentioned in the Gospels, but can be based on those verses of Luke: "A great crowd followed him, including women weeping and mourning for him" (23:27), which proves the presence of women, dedicated to Jesus. at the place.

According to tradition, which may be based on the writings of the ancient scholar Eusebius, it was Berenice (Saint Veronica), a woman once healed by Jesus, who wiped her face. The name Verónica could be a corruption of the name Berenice. However, the woman's name could also derive from the Latin words vera and icon, meaning "true image": the portrait of Jesus on her veil.

On the wall of a small Greek Catholic chapel of "La Santa Faz" is an old stone with an inscription indicating the Sixth Station. The remains are probably parts of the ancient monastery of San Cosme and Damian from the mid-6th century.

VII Station - Jesus falls the second time

At the time of Christ Calvary was outside the city walls. Traditionally, the seventh station of the Via Dolorosa commemorates the second fall of Jesus under the weight of the cross. This time he collapsed while crossing one of the gates of Jerusalem leading into the land. The place is called "Gate of Judgment".

The station is marked by a large Roman column placed in the Franciscan chapel that once stood on the ancient via, the Cardo Maximus, the main street of Roman Jerusalem.

VIII Station - Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

On the outer wall of a Greek Orthodox monastery of Saint Charambalos is a small carved cross marking the Eighth Station, which is the traditional spot where Jesus met the women of Jerusalem who were mourning his fate. “Jesus turned and said to them: 'Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for you and for your children.” (Luke 23:28)

IX Station - Jesus falls for the third time

A little further and very close to Calvary, the ninth station represents the place where Jesus fell the third time. The place is marked by a cross on a pillar located on the wall of the Coptic Patriarchate building, the wall of the northeastern part of the Holy Sepulcher.

Next to the 9th station is a small Coptic Orthodox Church of Santa Elena. Inside is a large water cistern, believed to have been discovered by the mother of Emperor Constantine in the 4th century AD, and used as a water source for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Station X- Jesus is stripped of his clothes

Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem Travelujah Facade of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

"[...] they distributed their clothes by lot." (Matthew 27:35)

The tenth station is at the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, specifically in the Frankish Chapel. In this place, Jesus was stripped of his garments and again embarrassed in front of all the assembled people.

Station XI - Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross

After reaching the place of crucifixion, the hill outside Jerusalem, Jesus was nailed to the cross. This station is located in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, at the Latin altar, decorated in 1938 with a mosaic depicting the scene of the Crucifixion.

"They crucified him..." (Matthew 27:35) - This short phrase contains very severe torture implied by Jesus for killing him.

XII Station - Jesus dies on the cross

Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem Travelujah XII Stations of the Cross

"And when Jesus had cried out again with a loud voice, he gave up his spirit." (Matthew 27:50)

After the last cry on the cross, Christ died in agony: The Savior performed His great sacrifice for our sins. The Greek Orthodox altar marks the twelfth station right next to the previous one. Below the altar is a silver plate with a hole in the center showing where the cross was.

XIII. Station - Jesus is taken down from the cross

Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem Travelujah

Mosaics in the Holy Sepulcher

After his death, Jesus was taken down from the cross and prepared for burial: “They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in strips of linen with the fragrant spices. This conformed to Jewish burial customs." (John 19:40) It was customary to break the bones of convicts to determine if they were really dead. But in the case of Jesus, a soldier wounded his right side with a spear so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

The Altar of the Stabat Mater, with a beautiful 16th-17th century wooden statue of the Mater Dolorosa donated from Lisbon in 1778, marks the thirteenth station, which lies between the eleventh and twelfth stations.

Station XIV – Jesus is laid in the tomb

This is the last station of the Via Crucis, located in the Rotunda, a circular room of the Holy Sepulcher, with Christ's tomb in the center.

The body of Jesus was requested by one of his disciples, Joseph, a wealthy man from Arimathea, who laid the body in his own tomb, which was near the site of the skull. Christ could not be buried beyond that because of the closeness of the Sabbath.

Are you:

It is possible to follow the Via Dolorosa any day of the week, but the most common days to do so are Fridays. The Franciscan Friars follow the Way of the Cross every Friday, starting at 3:00 p.m. (October - March) and 4:00 p.m. (April - September) at the 1st station in front of the school "Madrasa el-Omariyya". On Good Friday, March 23, 2013, at 11:30 a.m., the solemn procession of the Via Dolorosa begins.

Opening hours:

Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher – April – September: 5am – 9pm; October – March: 4am – 7pm; Telephone: 02 – 6267000

Ecce Man – Lithostrotos – 8am – 5pm; Tel: 02 – 6277292

Church of the Flagellation, Painful Way – April – September: 8am – 6pm; October – March: 8am – 5pm;

Flagellation Monastery – Museum: 8am – 1pm & 2pm – 4pm; Sunday and Monday closed; Telephone 02 – 627-04-56

Most of the monasteries along the way are open every day during the day.

carry your cross

There is an option to borrow a wooden cross that the group could carry during the procession. The cross can be picked up at the Monastery of the Scourging (2nd Station). The service is free. The owner of the crosses also offers group photos to capture the great moment of their pilgrimage. For more information and reservations call: 057-444-97-48


How long would it take to walk the Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa? ›

In general, we would recommend reserving about forty to sixty minutes for the route itself (for the nine stations) and at least an additional hour for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where you'll find another five stations. Totally, there's fourteen stations on Via Dolorosa.

How many stations are there in Via Dolorosa? ›

Via Dolorosa has 14 stations, called Stations of the Cross, which relate to the particular events that happened on the way to the Place of the Skull.

How long does it take to walk the Via Dolorosa? ›

Usually, it takes about 2 hours to complete the entire Via Dolorosa. It may take more if you want to stop next to each station to pray or want to enter the tomb of Jesus. It can also take more if there are a lot of tourists, and the streets are jammed.

What does the phrase Via Dolorosa mean? ›

from Via Dolorosa (from Latin, literally, sorrowful road), Jesus' route from Pilate's judgment hall to Golgotha to be crucified.

What does Via Dolorosa mean in Hebrew? ›

The Via Dolorosa, the “way of sorrow,” is the stone street in the Old City of Jerusalem along which Jesus carried the cross to his own crucifixion, according to the New Testament. A Jewish Tomb in the Holy Sepulchre. Christians Celebrate Easter Sunday in Jerusalem. Holy Sepulchre Bank Account Blocked.

How many miles did Mary and Joseph have to travel to get to Bethlehem? ›

They had to travel 90 miles to the city of Joseph's ancestors: south along the flatlands of the Jordan River, then west over the hills surrounding Jerusalem, and on into Bethlehem.

How many days did it take Mary and Joseph to walk to Bethlehem? ›

The Journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem Probably Took a Week. If the current hypothesis among biblical scholars stands—that is a four-day journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem—Mary and Joseph would have had to travel about 90 miles in four days, averaging a 2.5-mph pace for roughly eight hours a day.

Where does the Via Dolorosa start and end? ›

Via Dolorosa is a numbered trail that winds through the Old City, marking locations of significant moments during Jesus' journey bearing the cross he was crucified on. It begins in the Muslim Quarter and ends in the Christian Quarter, and pilgrims frequently kneel in prayer at different stations.

Where are the actual Stations of the Cross? ›

The Stations of the Cross are 14 points along the Way of the Cross in the Old City leading from the Church of the Flagellation to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Is the Via Dolorosa accurate? ›

Not likely. Scholars believe that the Via Dolorosa has less to do with historical accuracy than with the expectations of Jerusalem's early European Christian pilgrims and the city's religious politics. But few modern pilgrims seem concerned about its authenticity.

How many miles did Jesus walk a day? ›

Distances by foot

The standard mode of transport was usually by foot with an estimated mileage of around 20 miles a day, but citizens also rode on oxen, donkeys and camels.

How tall was Jesus? ›

He may have stood about 5-ft. -5-in. (166 cm) tall, the average man's height at the time.

What is found at the end of the Via Dolorosa? ›

The birth of the “Via Dolorosa” (XIII cent-)

At the end of the street there is a gate leading to the Temple which is called the Sorrowful Gate (old french: Portes Doulereuses). From there Our Lord Jesus Christ went to Mount Carvary to be crucified.

What does it mean to walk the Way of the Cross? ›

Walking the way of the cross means honoring Jesus' sacrifice on the cross by living the life model that he gave us – walking the way of love. In practice, this is well summed up in the Baptismal Covenant of the Episcopal Church—that we “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves . . .

Who wrote the Via Dolorosa? ›

"Must our lives in the West necessarily be shallower than those of people for whom the stakes are so much higher?" That is the question posed by British playwright David Hare in his one-man show, Via Dolorosa.

How far did Mary and Joseph walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem? ›

In Biblical times, the distance they had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about 90 miles (145km). Going south along the flatlands of the Jordan River, then moving west over the surrounding hills of Jerusalem. The journey itself was difficult as they would have encountered wild animals and thieves along the way.

How old was Jesus when Joseph died? ›

How many days did it take Mary and Joseph to travel from Bethlehem to Egypt? ›

The flight of the Holy Family to Egypt, seeking refuge, is an event related to us very briefly in the Gospel of St. Matthew. Joseph complied. It might have taken the fugitives three days to reach Egypt where they were beyond Herod's jurisdiction.

How many siblings did Jesus have? ›

The brothers of Jesus or the adelphoi (Greek: ἀδελφοί, translit. adelphoí, lit. "of the same womb") are named in the New Testament as James, Joses (a form of Joseph), Simon, and Jude, and unnamed sisters are mentioned in Mark and Matthew.

How old was Mary when she had Jesus? ›

From the age at which Jewish maidens became marriageable, it is possible that Mary gave birth to her son when she was about thirteen or fourteen years of age. No historical document tells us how old she actually was at the time of the Nativity.

How old was Joseph when Mary had Jesus? ›

It wasn't the only document that did so. In another early text, The History of Joseph the Carpenter, which was composed in Egypt between the 6th and 7th centuries, Christ himself tells the story of his step-father, claiming Joseph was 90 years old when he married Mary and died at 111.

Why visit the Stations of the Cross? ›

The Stations of the Cross have formed part of Christian devotion for many centuries because they offer a particularly vivid way of following in the steps of Jesus on the way to the Cross.

How long is the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem? ›

The winding route from the former Antonia Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre — a distance of about 600 metres (2,000 feet) — is a celebrated place of Christian pilgrimage. The current route has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions.

What do you do at Stations of the Cross? ›

The devotional exercise of visiting and praying in front of each of the 14 stations and meditating on the Passion of Christ stems from the practice of early Christian pilgrims who visited the scenes of the events in Jerusalem and walked the traditional route from the supposed location of Pilate's house to Calvary.

What are the 7 Stations of the Cross? ›

The Stations of the Cross
  • Jesus is condemned to death.
  • Jesus is given His cross.
  • Jesus falls down for the first time.
  • Jesus meets His mother Mary.
  • Simon of Cyrene is forced to carry the cross.
  • Veronica wipes blood off of Jesus' face.
  • Jesus falls down for the second time.
  • Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.

Who was the True Cross found? ›

Legend relates that the True Cross was found by St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, during her pilgrimage to the Holy Land about 326. The earliest historical reference to veneration of the True Cross occurs in the mid-4th century.

How true is the lost cross? ›

The Perso-Byzantine Wars

Some scholars disagree with this narrative, with Prof. Constantin Zuckerman going as far as to suggest that the True Cross was actually lost by the Persians and that the wood contained in the allegedly still sealed reliquary brought to Jerusalem by Heraclius in 629 was a fake.

What speed did Jesus walk? ›

Although he also traveled by water, walking was the primary mode of transportation for Jesus of Nazareth.

Where did Jesus go for 18 years? ›

The 18 unknown years

Other than the statement that after he was 12 years old (Luke 2:42) Jesus "advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men" (Luke 2:52), the New Testament has no other details regarding the gap. Christian tradition suggests that Jesus simply lived in Galilee during that period.

How fast did Jesus walk? ›

In the 1960s, a Japanese theologian, Kosuke Koyama, wrote a book, Three Mile an Hour God (SCM Press). He noticed that the average speed that human beings walk at is three miles per hour. Jesus, who is God, walked at three miles per hour.

How many pounds was Jesus when born? ›

How did Mary and Joseph know that Jesus was 7lb 6oz when he was born? They had a weigh in a manger!

What was Jesus's full name? ›

Jesus' name in Hebrew was “Yeshua” which translates to English as Joshua.

How tall is the black Jesus? ›

Unlike the inexplicably dark-haired, blue-eyed versions depicted all over candles, crosses and those kind of creepy paintings some people keep in their homes, this Jesus is a 6'7” tall, brown-haired, brown-eyed, long-robe-and-sandals-wearing black man who somehow lives in present day Compton and cusses a bunch.

How many Stations of the Cross are there? ›

The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross or Via Crucis, commemorate Jesus's passion and death on the cross. There are 14 stations that each depict a moment on his journey to Calvary, usually through sacred art, prayers, and reflections.

What happened to the veil of the temple when Jesus died on the cross? ›

Answer: The veil was the heavy curtain in the Temple at Jerusalem which was torn when Jesus died. Matthew 27:51 says, "Behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent."

How long does the Stations of the Cross usually take? ›

On Hallow, you can pray with the Stations of the Cross in a condensed “daily” format (up to 20 minutes), or you can pray the longer Stations Challenge, which guides you in Lectio Divina for each station (10 – 20 minutes each).

How long does the Stations of the Cross mass take? ›

At 7:30pm on all Fridays in Lent except Good Friday (April 15th) when they begin at noon. Stations of the Cross take about 30 minutes to complete.

How far did Joseph and Mary walk? ›

In Biblical times, the distance they had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about 90 miles (145km). Going south along the flatlands of the Jordan River, then moving west over the surrounding hills of Jerusalem. The journey itself was difficult as they would have encountered wild animals and thieves along the way.


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