How to Pray the Way of the Cross

One of the ways of making the Stations of the Cross is to use the meditations written by St. Alphonsus Liguori and his method (including meditations, prayers and the Stabat Mater stanzas) follows.

When the Way of the Cross is made in groups:

Each person first makes the Sign of the Cross, makes an Act of Contrition (i.e., expresses penitence through prayer) and mentally intends to gain indulgences, for himself or another.

Then at each station: The leader will announce the name of the station.

The leader will lead with a statement of praise, such as “We adore Thee O Christ and we bless Thee.

The people will respond, with, “Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

The leader will read a meditation, upon which all should meditate in penitence, thanking God for His sacrifice and uniting himself with that sacrifice (often in union with Mary).

All pray an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be

Between the stations, successive stanzas of the hymn called Stabat Mater are sung.

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Act of Contrition

My Lord Jesus Christ, Thou hast made this journey to die for me with love unutterable, and I have so many times unworthily abandoned Thee; but now I love Thee with my whole heart, and because I love Thee I repent sincerely for having ever offended Thee. Pardon me, my God, and permit me to accompany Thee on this journey. Thou goest to die for love of me; I wish also, my beloved Redeemer, to die for love of Thee. My Jesus, I will live and die always united to Thee.

The Our Father

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

The Hail Mary

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. The Glory Be Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Click image to order Way of the Cross Booklet

The Way of the Cross

by St Alphonsus Liguori 

First Station

JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH

 

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider how Jesus, after having been scourged and crowned with thorns, was unjustly condemned by Pilate to die on the Cross.

My adorable Jesus, it was not Pilate, no, it was my sins that condemned Thee to die. I beseech Thee, by the merits of this sorrowful journey, to assist my soul in its journey towards eternity. I love Thee, my beloved Jesus; I repent with my whole heart for having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE 

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing, All His bitter anguish bearing,Now at length the sword had passed!

 

Second Station

JESUS CARRIES HIS CROSS

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider how Jesus, in making this journey with the Cross on His shoulders thought of us, and offered to His Father the death He was about to undergo, for us.

My most beloved Jesus, I embrace all the tribulations Thou have destined for me until death. I beseech Thee, by the merits of the pain Thou didst suffer in carrying Thy Cross, to give me the necessary help to carry mine with perfect patience and resignation. I love Thee, Jesus my love; I repent for having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE

O how sad and sore distressed, Was that Mother highly blessed, Of the sole-begotten One.

 

Third Station

JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider this first fall of Jesus under His Cross. His flesh was torn by the scourges; His head crowned with thorns, and He had lost a great quantity of blood. He was so weakened that He could scarcely walk, and yet He had to carry this great load upon His shoulders. The soldiers struck Him rudely, and thus He fell several times in His journey.

My most beloved Jesus, it is not the weight of the Cross, but my sins, which have made Thee suffer so much pain. Ah, by the merits of this first fall, deliver me from the misfortune of falling into mortal sin. I love Thee, O my Jesus, with my whole heart; I repent for having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE

Christ above in torment hangs, She beneath beholds the pangs of her dying glorious Son.

 

Fourth Station

JESUS MEETS HIS MOTHER

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider the meeting of the Son and the Mother, which took place on the journey. Jesus and Mary beheld each other, and their looks became as so many arrows to wound those hearts which loved each other so tenderly.

My most loving Jesus, by the sorrow Thou experienced in this meeting, grant me the grace of a truly devoted love for Thy Most Holy Mother. And thou, my Queen, who was overwhelmed with sorrow, obtain for me by thy intercession a continual and tender remembrance of the Passion of thy Son. I love Thee, Jesus my love; I repent for having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE

Is there one who would not weep, Whelmed in miseries so deep, Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

 

Fifth Station

SIMON HELPS TO CARRY THE CROSS

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider how the Jews, seeing that each step Jesus took was weakening Him to the point of expiring, and fearing that He would die on the way, when they wished Him to die the ignominious death of the Cross, constrained Simon the Cyrenian to carry the Cross behind our Lord.

My most sweet Jesus, I will not refuse the Cross, as the Cyrenian did; I accept it; I embrace it. I accept in particular the death Thou hast destined for me, with all the pains that may accompany it; I unite it to Thy death, I offer it to Thee. Thou hast died for love of me; I will die for love of Thee, and to please Thee. Help me by Thy grace. I love Thee, Jesus my love; I repent for having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE 

Can the human heart refrain, From partaking in her pain, In that Mother’s pain untold?

 

Sixth Station

VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS

 

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world. Consider how the holy woman named Veronica, seeing Jesus so afflicted, and His face bathed in sweat and blood, presented Him with a towel, with which He wiped His adorable face, leaving on it the impression of His holy countenance.

My most beloved Jesus, Thy face was beautiful before, but in this journey it has lost all its beauty, and wounds and blood have disfigured it. Alas, my soul also was once beautiful, when it received Thy grace in Baptism, but I have disfigured it since by my sins. Thee alone, my Redeemer, can restore it to its former beauty. Do this by Thy Passion, O Jesus. I repent for having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled, She beheld her tender Child, All with bloody scourges rent.

 

Seventh Station

JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME

 

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider the second fall of Jesus under the Cross, a fall which renews the pain of all the wounds of the head and members of our afflicted Lord. My most gentle Jesus, how many times Thou hast pardoned me, and how many times have I fallen again, and begun again to offend Thee. Oh, by the merits of this new fall, give me the necessary help to persevere in Thy grace until death. Grant that in all temptations which assail me I may always commend myself to Thee. I love Thee, Jesus my love; I repent for having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE

For the sins of His own nation, Saw Him hang in desolation, Till His Spirit forth He sent.

 

Eighth Station

JESUS MEETS THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM

 

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world. Consider how those women wept with compassion at seeing Jesus in such a pitiable state, streaming with blood, as He walked along. But Jesus said to them: “Weep not for Me, but for your children”.

My Jesus, laden with sorrows, I weep for the offences I have committed against Thee, because of the pains they have deserved, and still more because of the displeasure they have caused Thee, who has loved me so much. It is Thy love, more than the fear of hell, which causes me to weep for my sins. My Jesus, I love Thee more than myself; I repent for having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE

O thou Mother! Fount of love, Touch my spirit from above, Make my heart with thine accord.

 

Ninth Station

JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME

 

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world. Consider the third fall of Jesus Christ. His weakness was extreme, and the cruelty of His executioners was excessive, who tried to hasten His steps when He had scarcely strength to move.

Ah, my outraged Jesus, by the merits of the weakness Thou didst suffer in going to Calvary, give me strength sufficient to conquer all human respect, and all my wicked passions, which have led me to despise Thy friendship. I love Thee, Jesus my love, with my whole heart; I repent for having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE

Make me feel as thou hast felt; Make my soul to glow and melt, With the love of Christ my Lord.

 

Tenth Station

JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS

 

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider the violence with which the executioners stripped Jesus. His inner garments adhered to His torn flesh, and they pulled them off so roughly that the skin came with them. Comfort your Saviour that was cruelly treated, and say to Him: My innocent Jesus, by the merits of the torment Thou felt, help me to strip myself of all affection for things of this earth, in order that I may place all my love in Thee, who art so worthy of my love. I love Thee, O Jesus, with my whole heart; I repent for having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE

Holy Mother! Pierce me through, In my heart each wound renew, Of my Saviour crucified.

 

Eleventh Station

JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS

 

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider how Jesus, after being thrown on the Cross, extended His hands and offered to His Eternal Father the sacrifice of His death for our salvation. These barbarians fastened Him with nails, and then, raising the Cross, allowed Him to die with anguish on this infamous gibbet.

My Jesus! Loaded with contempt, nail my heart to Thy feet, that it may ever remain there, to love Thee, and never leave Thee again. I love Thee more than myself; I repent for having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE

Let me share with thee His pain, Who for all my sins was slain, Who for me in torment died.

 

Twelfth Station

JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS

V: We adore Thee O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider how Jesus, after three hours of Agony on the Cross, consumed at length with anguish, abandons Himself to the weight of His Body, bows His Head, and dies.

O my dying Jesus, I kiss devoutly the Cross on which Thou died for love of me. I have merited by my sins to die a miserable death; but Thy death is my hope. Ah, by the merits of Thy death, give me grace to die, embracing Thy feet, and burning with love for Thee. I yield my soul into Thy hands. I love Thee with my whole heart; I repent for ever having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE

Let me mingle tears with Thee, Mourning Him who mourned for me, All the days that I may live.

 

Thirteenth Station

JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider how, after the death of our Lord, two of His disciples, Joseph and Nicodemus, took Him down from the cross, and placed Him in the arms of His afflicted Mother, who received Him with unutterable tenderness, and pressed Him to her bosom.

O Mother of sorrow, for the love of thy Son, accept me as thy servant, and pray to Him for me. And Thou, my Redeemer, since Thou hast died for me, permit me to love Thee; for I wish for Thee, and nothing more. I love Thee, my Jesus, and I repent for ever having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE

By the cross with thee to stay;There with thee to weep and pray, Is all I ask of thee to give.

 

Fourteenth Station

JESUS IS LAID IN THE SEPULCHRE

 

V: We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R: Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world. Consider how the disciples carried the Body of Jesus to bury It, accompanied by His Holy Mother, who arranged It in the sepulchre with her own hands. They then closed the tomb, and all withdrew.

Oh, my buried Jesus, I kiss the stone that enclosed Thee. But Thou rose again on the third day. I beseech Thee, by Thy resurrection, make me rise gloriously with Thee on the last day, to be always united with Thee in heaven, to praise Thee and love Thee forever. I love Thee, and I repent for ever having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE

Virgin of all Virgins best! Listen to my fond request: Let me share thy grief divine.

 

Prayer to Jesus Crucified

Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight, and with the most fervent desire of my soul, I pray and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart lively sentiments of Faith, Hope and Charity, with true contrition for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment; whilst with deep affection and grief of soul, I ponder within myself and mentally contemplate Thy five wounds, having before my eyes the words which David the prophet put on Thy lips concerning Thee: “They have pierced My hands and My feet, they have numbered all My bones.”

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, GLORY BE