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Corpus Christi

Stations of the Cross
And
Stations of the Eucharist

Stations of the Cross

Corpus Christi Catholic Church

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As we walk this path of the 14 Stations of the Cross, let us do it in the spirit of making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, accompanying Jesus on his Via Dolorosa, the excruciating journey He made from Pilate’s Praetorium up to Mount Calvary. “To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where He has revealed Himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendor and produced rich fruits of conversion. . . . Above all, Christians go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to the places associated with the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection.”

— Pope Benedict XVI

Yet, for most disciples of Jesus Christ, pilgrimage to the Holy

Land is not possible. In the long history of the development of

this devotion of the Way of the Cross, there is a Franciscan nun who tenderly exemplifies journeying to Jerusalem in the spirit of meditation. Blessed Eustochium (d. 1469) set up representations of the holy places as if it were at Jerusalem: the Mount of Olives, the Garden in which our Savior was seized, the Upper Room, the houses of Annas and Caiphas, the Praetorium of Pilate, the Mount of Calvary and the tomb beside it. To these spots she came daily, and just as if she were present at the very scenes themselves she contemplated with tears the meekness of

her heavenly Spouse and all the acts which He did, each in its due order.

As we travel the Via Dolorosa, we seek to imitate the intimacy that St. Francis of Assisi had with the Cross of Jesus Christ. On the feast of the exaltation of the Cross he received in his hands, feet and side, the wounds of Jesus, being conformed to the pattern of the Cross (see Philippians 3:10). Thomas of Celano wrote, "The marks of nails began to appear in his hands and feet . . . his right side had a large wound as if it had been pierced with a spear.” St. Bonaventure wrote that the awe-inspiring vision of Christ nailed to the cross aroused in St. Francis of Assisi’s soul a joy of compassionate love.

Let us, like St. Francis, enter deeply into compassion for what our dear Savior endured, for by his wounds we are healed.

We pray an Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of the Holy Father and intend to receive Communion today and go to confession twenty days before or after this Via Dolorosa. We do this, as we walk these 14 Stations of the Cross, legitimately erected for public devotion, that we may receive a plenary indulgence (see The Enchiridion of Indulgences, 63).

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First Station of the Cross: Jesus Is Condemned to Death

Having scourged Jesus, Pilate delivered him to be crucified. Matthew 27:26

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

We find ourselves in the old city of Jerusalem. Preparations for the feast of Passover are being made. Many Jewish pilgrims throng the streets. We hear that Jesus was arrested the previous evening. The Sanhedrin condemned him to death for blasphemy but needed Pilate’s permission to execute, so they brought him before Pilate and Herod who found no case against Christ. In horror we watch as Pilate sends Jesus to be scourged and afterwards cruelly puts Jesus on display saying, “Behold the man!” We see our dear Lord crowned with thorns.

“It was about noon. He said to the Jews, ‘Here is your King!’ They cried out, ‘Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but the emperor.’ Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.” (John 19:14-16)

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Dear Jesus, we renounce sin and hate it as the cause of your suffering and death. Jesus, we trust in you to free our hearts from every encumbrance of sin that tends to cling to us! Not by the might of our wills but by your Holy Spirit!

Our Father, Hail Mary

At the Cross her station keeping,

Stood the mournful Mother weeping,

Close to Jesus to the last.