Stations of the Cross
(photos from St. Peter's Square)

Opening Prayer

Lord Jesus, you said,
"If anyone wishes to be my disciple, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
I desire to follow you along this way of sorrow.
Grant that all you suffered for my sake may become vividly alive to me.
Open my eyes and touch my heart that I may perceive in the depths of my being your great love for me.
Grant that I may turn to you completely, and forsake the sins which brought you such horrible pain.

My Redeemer, I fall at your feet, sorry for my sins
with all my heart, because by them I have offended you.
Grant me the grace to begin again and to truly follow you
with all sincerity and determination.
I would rather die than offend you again.

1st Station - Jesus is Condemned

They all said, “Let him be crucified”
Help me to accept criticism and injustice as you did, and not complain.

2nd Station - Jesus Carries His Cross

A heavy cross is laid on the bruised shoulders of Jesus. He receives it with meekness.
Make our hearts like yours, Lord.

3rd Station - Jesus Falls the First Time

In pain and weakness you struggle and fall.
Help us to see you in one another, even in our weakness.

4th Station - Jesus Meets His Mother

With love beyond all telling, you exchange glances and share this grief as one.
Help us to be there for one another with love and compassion.

5th Station -Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

A man who did not know Jesus helped him with his burden.
Without hesitation or excuses, may we help the “least of our brothers and sisters” in need.

6th Station - Veronica Wipes Jesus’ Face

With courage she steps forth to offer what comfort she can.
Help us to forget our fears and reach out to those in need.

7th Station - Jesus Falls the Second Time

Tired and aching, your strength falters and you fall again.
Lord, give new strength and hope to all who are discouraged.

8th Station - Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

Silent until now along this sorrowful way, you speak with care and concern
for the suffering of others, not your own.
Help us forget ourselves and to overcome our self-centeredness.
Awaken us to the pain in the lives of others and help us to console them.

9th Station -Jesus Falls the Third Time

Reaching the limit of endurance, you fall again.
In our continual stumbling and falling, give us the grace of perseverance.

10th Station - Jesus is Stripped

You have given up everything for us, Jesus, even your dignity.
Give us the grace to be detached in order to overcome worldly desires.
Clothe us in your mercy.

11th Station - Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

“Pierced the hands that blessed and cured us,
Pierced the feet that walked to free us.”
Help me to see the pain I have caused others, and help me to make amends.

12th Station - Jesus Dies on the Cross

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
All that I am, all that I have, I place into your hands, O Lord.

13th Station -Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

The suffering and anguish is past, but the resurrection has not yet transpired.
Mother Mary, "Full of grace" now filled with grief, help us share your patience.

14th Station -Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

Lord, help us understand that our lives are only the beginning of a life beyond all our hopes and imagination.
Help us rise again after dying with you.

Closing Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites earth and heaven and reconciles all people to you.
May we who have faithfully reflected on these mysteries follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven
where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Prayer from Pope John Paul II celebrating the Stations on Good Friday 1991)