The Via Dolorosa
Via Dolorosa means in Latin “the Way of Sorrows” or “Way of Grief”. This route is the path that lies these days, as in Jesus days, along the old alleys of Jerusalem. The Via Dolorosa follows the track of Jesus last walk with the cross on his back from the place where the Romans had judged him to the place of crucifixion, burial and finally resurrection at The Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Along the Via Dolorosa we can find indication for the 14 stations which mark the significant events happened during our lord last painful walk until he reaches the place of Golgotha, where today we pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
The first nine stations located along the course where the pilgrims walk on their way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; we will tell their story in one of our next newsletters. This newsletter will tell the story of the last five stations who lies in the compound of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and who tells us about our lord last hours.
The 10th station- Jesus is stripped of His garments:
After Jesus was led throw the streets of Jerusalem by the Roman soldiers with the heavy cross on his shoulders and before the crucifixion the Romans took off Jesus close.
“And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take” (Mark 15, 24)
Now days this station is a small chapel called “chapel of the franks” and it is located on the external right side of the main entrance.
The 11th station- Jesus is nailed to the cross:
This station lies on the small hill of Golgotha just inside the church. Here on this very spot Jesus was nailed to the cross with iron nails in his arms and legs.
And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. (Luke 23, 33-34)
This chapel is decorated with beautiful mosaic works describing the crucifixion, some of the mosaic are survived from crusaders times .This place holds mass of groups of pilgrims every day. It is very exciting to see pilgrims who finally reach the place they only dreamed on for so many years.
The 12th station- Jesus dies on the cross:
This station stands in the exact place where the cross was stud until the death of our lord. As Matthew tells us there where an earth quake when Jesus die, and indeed there is a crack in the stone on this spot.
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. (Matthew 27, 45-54)
The exact place is marked with marble alter and a silver plate with a hole in is center. Almost all believers visiting the church kneel in front of the altar and touches the stone where the cross was standing throw this hole. Many believers say it is an over whelming experience and that while touching the stone they were wrapped with a sense of holiness.
The 13th station- Jesus is taken down from the cross:
Here is where Jesus body was taken of the cross to his mother arms before the preparation to the burial on the stone of anointing.
“Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury“. (John 19: 40)
The station is marked by an altar of Our Lady of Sorrows and it is being visited by the visitor along the stone of anointing, where your prayers are being placed.
The 14th station- Jesus is laid in the tomb:
This station holds Jesus tomb, where Joseph of Arimathea buried our lord and where Jesus was resurrected 3 days later. It is probably the holiest place on earth and this is where the candles lilting on your behalf are being lit as well as your photos and video requests being placed. We had a detailed review of this station in our last newsletter.
Those 5 stations hold the most significant events in Jesus last hours and hold the deepest principals of our beliefs.
Our services crated to let all of those who cannot physically reach this magnificent holy place to still have their prayers enjoyed the spiritual assistance this holiest place on earth can provide.
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Thank you and god bless you all.