A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Stations of the Cross

Opening prayer

Dear Jesus, help us to carry our daily crosses as you carried yours. Help us to become better and better, to become what you want us to be.

Thank you, because you are always close to us and you never abandon us, even when we are most afraid. And thank you too, for sending our Guardian Angels to light and guard us every day. Amen.

First Station

Pilate condemns Jesus to death

Luke 23:20-21, 24-25

Sometimes we listen only to the voices of those who think and do evil, while doing what is right is like an uphill road, full of obstacles and difficulties. But we have Jesus at our side, always ready to support and help us.


Lord, loving Father,
Fill us with your Holy Spirit
and grant us your strength.
Only in this way will we find the courage
to bear witness to your truth,
which is the path to justice and reconciliation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Second Station

Jesus takes up his cross

Luke 22:63-65

Persecution is not just something that happened two thousand years ago. At times some of our actions can judge, mistreat and hurt our sisters and brothers. Jesus taught us to love, and in his love we find the answer to all our suffering. We should make every effort not to hurt others, but to be good to them.


Lord, loving Father, you sent us Jesus,
who was obedient unto death.
May the power of your love
enable us to take up our own cross bravely.
Give us your hope so that we can know that you are there
even in the darkest moments of our lives.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Third Station

Jesus falls for the first time

Isaiah 53:4-5

We may stumble and fall daily, but Jesus is always there to hold out his hand to us, to help us bear the weight of our crosses and to give us new hope.


Lord, you took our sufferings upon yourself and shared in them,
even to carrying the cross,
its burden and its humiliation.
Do not abandon us under the weight of our own crosses
that sometimes seem all too heavy for us to bear.
You live and reign forever and ever.

Fourth Station

Jesus meets his Mother

John 2:3-5

If we have a problem, a question or just some unpleasant thoughts, our mother Mary is always ready to listen to us with a smile. In our worst moments, we don’t need to say anything. One look is enough. She understands immediately and helps us to work through all our problems.


Lord, loving Father,
may we feel the gentle gaze of Mary
so that, realising
that we are no longer alone,
each of us may find rest
in her maternal embrace,
for she embraced and loved everyone
in Jesus, who lives and reigns
forever and ever. Amen.

Fifth Station

Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus

Luke 23:26

Looking at people from afar, first we see only their silhouette, then we realise that it is a man or a woman. Then, slowly, we begin to make out the details of their face. But only when we see a person as a sister or a brother, do we open our hearts to Jesus.


Lord, enable us to recognise you
in the poor whom we meet on our way.
Give us the holy courage to give food to the hungry, to offer drink to the thirsty,
to welcome strangers,
to clothe the naked and heal the sick,
to see and welcome you in each of our brothers and sisters.
You live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Sixth Station

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Matthew 25:37-40

An encounter, a look, a small gesture can change our day and warm our hearts. In the face of a friend, or even a stranger, who is upset, we can see the face of Jesus walking alongside us ... Will I have the courage to get close?


Lord, may the light of your face,
so full of mercy,
soothe the pain
of the rejection and sin that afflict us.
Who live and reign forever and ever.

Seventh Station

Jesus falls for the second time

1 Peter 2:22-24

Sometimes when we fall we feel humiliated and angry with ourselves and others. This experience gives us an idea of how life is for those who suffer constantly. May we listen to them, and comfort them if we are able to.


Lord, you fell to the ground
like any other person.
Give us the strength to keep getting up,
even when we no longer want to.
In times of weariness and despair
may we be even more convinced that,
with you at our side,
we can always set out anew.
Who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Eighth Station

Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Luke 23:27-31

Comforting the afflicted calls for courage, simplicity and sensitivity. All of us have a duty to look after the Lord’s little ones, to help those whom we are able to help as best we can, so that God’s compassion is evident in our lives and in our world.


Lord, our Good Father,
make us credible witnesses of your mercy.
May our words and actions always be
a sign of true love, freely given,
for each of our sisters and brothers.
Through Christ our Lord.

Ninth Station

Jesus falls for the third time

John 12:24-25

It is not uncommon for people to feel lonely. This miserable feeling of loneliness at times becomes unbearable. We feel ‘abandoned’ by everyone, no longer able even to smile. Like Jesus we find ourselves flat on the ground.


Lord, as a sacrificial lamb,
you went up to Calvary.
Give us light in this dark night,
Lest we lose our way
in these troubling times.
Who live and reign for ever and ever.

Tenth Station

Jesus is stripped of his garments

Mark 15:24; John 19:23-24

Getting rid of things we don’t need lightens the soul and frees us from selfishness. Giving makes us happier than receiving. It is good to rid ourselves of possessions for the good of others, so that we are not enslaved to material goods and to give away not only the things we don’t need, but also some of the things we do need.


Lord, loving Father,
bridge our distances,
make us generous in sharing the gifts of your providence
with all our sisters and brothers.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Eleventh Station

Jesus is nailed to the cross

Luke 23:35-37

Offering ourselves and serving others with love is the teaching that Jesus gives us from the cross. Serving those in need with love will free us from our pride and prejudices and will open our hearts to those who need our help.


Lord, give us the grace
not to be nailed to our sins,
but to see in each of our shortcomings
a new possibility
for revealing the power of your cross,
the source of life and hope.
Who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

Twelfth Station

Jesus dies on the cross

Luke 23:44-46

Dying on the cross, Jesus offered salvation to everyone. He came not to call the righteous, but sinners who have the humility and the courage to turn away from sin and turn to him. He told us that “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance.”


Lord Jesus,
you died on the cross for us.
Accept our lives
as we cling to yours,
a sure and everlasting offer of grace.
Who live and reign
for ever and ever.  Amen.

Thirteenth Station

Jesus is taken down from the cross

Matthew 27:57-58

By his death on the cross, Jesus gave us the power of hope. By dying he destroyed our death and gave us new life which will last forever.


Lord, loving Father,
grant that we may feel your closeness
as a consoling and reconciling presence,
until the time when,
by a gift of your providence,
you call us to be one with you.
Through Christ our Lord.

Fourteenth Station

Jesus is placed in the tomb

John 19:41-42

Jesus teaches us to do good for the sake of his love. He taught us to overcome our troubles by trusting in him, to love others as our sisters and brothers and to get up every time we fall. He taught us to serve others, to rid ourselves of our prejudices, to recognise what is important and, above all, to unite our lives to his each day. And thanks to his act of infinite love, we know that death is not the end of everything.


O Lord, loving Father,
when we encounter painful events along the journey of life,
give us the hope of Easter, the path leading from death to resurrection.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Adapted from the Way of the Cross led by Pope Francis on Good Friday 2021.

The reflections and prayers were presented by children and young people from Rome.

The images are from St Mary, Star of the Sea Church in Gisborne, photographed by Glen McCullough.


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