Stations of the Cross
St. Jude Church
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The meditations given here for each Station are taken from Creighton University's OnLine Ministry Web pages, and are used with their permission.
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.
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."
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:
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:
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
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|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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