The Stations of the Cross
St. Jude Church

St. Jude Church Sanctuary

Notes - - - -
There is certainly nothing "wrong" with prayerfully visiting these virtual Stations, and if unable to visit a Church, this Internet devotion is better than no Stations at all. But you should know that there is no official recognition of the "Virtual Way of the Cross" and the many Indulgences granted for participation in the Stations probably do not attach to this electronic format.

St. Jude's Faceted
Art Glass Windows

A History of The
Way of the Cross

Start The Way of
The Cross - First Station

Reflections on the Stations
by St. Jude School
Seventh Grade Students.

The meditations given here for each Station are taken from Creighton University's OnLine Ministry Web pages, and are used with their permission.

St. Jude parishioners: we need your contributions for these pages. You are invited to write or submit a meditation for one of the Stations, in the same format as those given here.

You can e-mail it, but please include your 'phone number so that the Web site manager can discuss any editing that may be required by the constraints of this format, or credit / permission for published items.


About the Art Glass Stations Windows at St. Jude Church

Although Catholic Christians have, from the earliest years, been devoted to the prayerful consideration of Our Lord's passion, crucifixion, and death, we here at St. Jude have an additional reason to take a special interest in the Way of The Cross. As you enter the sanctuary you see light glowing from fourteen narrow windows, each filled with brilliantly colored fragments of glass. Embedded in a matrix of black epoxy resin, these irregular chunks of glass -- ranging from thumb-sized bits to pieces larger than your hand -- form images evoking the Passion and Death of Jesus.

Two more enormous windows flank the Crucifix behind our altar, depicting St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother, and another group of these striking windows represent the Sacraments, and bring light into the small chapel at the rear of the main church.

The technique used is called "Faceted Glass" (or "Dalle de verre") and the designer is Mickey Laukhuff-Walker. Mrs. Laukhuff-Walker was the first woman in the U.S.A. to own a stained glass company when she founded Mickey & Ralph Stained Glass, Inc. in Memphis. She began working with glass during the Second World War when she ground prisms for bombsights. After the war, a 12-year apprenticeship led the then-Mrs. Laukhuff to a job at Binswanger Studio, where she rose to become the studio head. She bought out the studio in 1960 to form Laukhuff Stained Glass, at a time when there were few Americans in this business, and, as Mrs. Laukhuff-Walker points out, still fewer "southern women" business owners.

In 1997 Mrs. Laukhuff Walker was retired and living in Florida, from there she writes: "The Stations of the Cross are made of one inch thick glass. Each piece is faceted, or chipped, around the edges. They are assembled using epoxy instead of lead. The thickness of the glass represents the heavy burdens and sufferings of Christ, bearing the sins of the world. The facets - where light sparkles - represent the glorious life we have through the forgiveness of our sins."

Start The Way of
The Cross - First Station

The History of the Devotion to the Stations of The Cross
Excerpted from an article in The Catholic Encyclopedia

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The Way of the Cross

Also called Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa. These names signify either a series of pictures or tableaux representing certain scenes from the Passion of Christ, each corresponding to a particular incident; or the special form of devotion connected with such representations.

The erection and use of the Stations did not become at all general before the end of the seventeenth century, but they are now to be found in almost every church. Formerly their number varied considerably in different places but fourteen are now prescribed by authority. They are as follows:

  1. Christ is condemned to death;
  2. the cross is laid upon him;
  3. His first fall;
  4. He meets His Blessed Mother;
  5. Simon of Cyrene is made to bear the cross;
  6. Christ's face is wiped by Veronica;
  7. His second fall;
  8. He meets the women of Jerusalem;
  9. His third fall;
  10. He is stripped of His garments;
  11. His crucifixion;
  12. His death on the cross;
  13. His body is taken down from the cross; and
  14. laid in the tomb.

The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make in spirit, as it were, a pilgrimage to the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death, and this has become one of the most popular of Catholic devotions. It is carried out by passing from Station to Station, with certain prayers at each and devout meditation on the various incidents in turn. It is very usual, when the devotion is performed publicly, to sing a stanza of the "Stabat Mater" while passing from one Station to the next.

Inasmuch as the Way of the Cross, made in this way, constitutes a miniature pilgrimage to the holy places at Jerusalem, the origin of the devotion may be traced to the Holy Land. The Via Dolorosa at Jerusalem (though not called by that name before the sixteenth century) was reverently marked out from the earliest times and has been the goal of pious pilgrims ever since the days of Constantine (ca. 315 A.D.) Tradition asserts that the Blessed Virgin used to visit daily the scenes of Christ's Passion and St. Jerome speaks of the crowds of pilgrims from all countries who used to visit the holy places in his day.

At the monastery of San Stefano at Bologna a group of connected chapels were constructed as early as the fifth century by St. Petronius, Bishop of Bologna, which were intended to represent the more important shrines of Jerusalem, and in consequence, this monastery became familiarly known as "Hierusalem". These may perhaps be regarded as the seed from which the Stations afterwards developed, though it is tolerably certain that nothing that we have before about the fifteenth century can strictly be called a Way of the Cross in the modern sense.

The earliest use of the word Stations, as applied to the accustomed halting-places in the Via Sacra at Jerusalem, occurs in the narrative of an English pilgrim, William Wey, who visited the Holy Land in 1458 and again in 1462, and who describes the manner in which it was then usual to follow the footsteps of Christ in His sorrowful journey. It seems that up to that time it had been the general practice to commence at Mount Calvary, and proceeding thence, in the opposite direction to Christ, to work back to Pilate's house. By the early part of the sixteenth century, however, the more reasonable way of traversing the route, by beginning at Pilate's house and ending at Mount Calvary, had come to be regarded as more correct, and it became a special exercise of devotion complete in itself.

With regard to the number of Stations it is not at all easy to determine how this came to be fixed at fourteen, for it seems to have varied considerably at different times and places. And, naturally, with varying numbers the incidents of the Passion commemorated also varied greatly. Wey's account, written in the middle of the fifteenth century, gives fourteen, but only five of these correspond with ours, and of the others, seven are only remotely connected with our Via Crucis:

  • The house of Dives,
  • the city gate through which Christ passed,
  • the probatic pool,
  • the Ecce Homo arch,
  • the Blessed Virgin's school, and
  • the houses of Herod and Simon the Pharisee
A book entitled "Jerusalem sicut Christi tempore floruit", written by one Adrichomius and published in 1584, gives twelve Stations which correspond exactly with the first twelve of ours, and this fact is thought by some to point conclusively to the origin of the particular selection afterwards authorized by the Church, especially as this book had a wide circulation and was translated into several European languages. It may be conjectured, with extreme probability, that our present series of Stations, together with the accustomed series of prayers for them, comes to us, not from Jerusalem, but from some of the imitation Ways of the Cross in different parts of Europe, and that we owe the propagation of the devotion, as well as the number and selection of our Stations, much more to the pious ingenuity of certain sixteenth-century devotional writers than to the actual practice of pilgrims to the holy places.

Realizing that few persons, comparatively, were able to gain [indulgences] by means of a personal pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Innocent XI, in 1686, granted to the Franciscans, in answer to their petition, the right to erect the Stations in all their churches, and declared that all the indulgences that had ever been given for devoutly visiting the actual scenes of Christ's Passion, could thenceforth be gained by Franciscans and all others affiliated to their order if they made the Way of the Cross in their own churches in the accustomed manner. Innocent XII confirmed the privilege in 1694 and Benedict XIII in 1726 extended it to all the faithful. In 1731 Clement XII still further extended it by permitting the indulgenced Stations to all churches, provided that they were erected by a Franciscan father with the sanction of the ordinary. At the same time he definitely fixed the number of Stations at fourteen. Benedict XIV in 1742 exhorted all priests to enrich their churches with so great a treasure, and there are few churches now without the Stations. In 1857 the bishops of England received faculties from the Holy See to erect Stations themselves, with the indulgences attached, wherever there were no Franciscans available, and in 1862 this last restriction was removed and the bishops were empowered to erect the Stations themselves, either personally or by delegate, anywhere within their jurisdiction.

In conclusion it may be safely asserted that there is no devotion more richly endowed with indulgences than the Way of the Cross, and none which enables us more literally to obey Christ's injunction to take up our cross and follow Him. A perusal of the prayers usually given for this devotion in any manual will show what abundant spiritual graces, apart from the indulgences, may be obtained through a right use of them, and the fact that the Stations may be made either publicly or privately in any church renders the devotion specially suitable for all.

Transcribed by Marie Jutras

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV
� 1912 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright � 1999 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York


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Creighton University is a Jesuit school with an extensive Web presence - an excellent source of information and a great way to make your Internet experience more spiritually rewarding - Visit their "OnLine" ministries Web site now.
The Catholic Encyclopedia - visit the New Advent Institution's "Catholic Encyclopedia" site.
Stabat Mater - go to the Catholic Encyclopedia entry for this ancient hymn.
The Blessed Virgin Mary - see the Catholic Encyclopedia entry for the Blessed Virgin.

The Passion of Christ -- see the Catholic Encyclopedia entry for the Passion of Christ.
For more on Faceted Glass artwork see Haeger Stained Glass

Start The Way of The Cross
The First Station

First Station Eighth Station
Second Station Ninth Station
Third Station Tenth Station
Fourth Station Eleventh Station
Fifth Station Twelveth Station
Sixth Station Thirteenth Station
Seventh Station Fourteenth Station

About The Art Glass History of this Devotion
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Version: April 7, 2003 16:33 Copyright 2000 - St. Jude Parish