STATIONS OF THE CROSS
BASIC R.C. BELIEF
A sacramental of the Roman Catholic Church. To do this devotion, one says a
prayer before each of the 14 pictures that are supposed to portray events
in the life of Christ between the Judgment Hall and the Tomb. Only 9 of the
14 are scriptural. Generous indulgences are attached to this devotion.
Pilgrims used to visit the Holy Land to see places associated with
Jesus' death. When Jerusalem became Moslem, this was no longer possible.
Blessed Alvarez of Spain erected several small chapels, each containing a
representation of Jesus' sufferings. Around 1350, Franciscans erected
stations in European churches. This was approved by the Pope, and spread
throughout Roman Catholicism.
POST VATICAN II
Recent awareness of the importance of the Resurrection/Ascension has
prompted, in some places, the use of a 15th (unofficial) station.
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