Pray the Stations of the Cross Thursdays during Lent St. Thomas Newsroom February 26, 2001 Come to the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas for Stations of the Cross at 5 p.m. on Lenten Thursdays beginning March 1. Stations begin in the ambulatory to the east of the organ. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament follows the 14th Station.If you’re unfamiliar with the devotional prayer of the stations, here is an explanation, courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica:Also called Way of the Cross, this is a devotion of the Catholic Church in which people pray in front of each a series of 14 pictures or carvings portraying events in the Passion of Christ, from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his entombment.The series of stations is as follows: (1) Jesus is condemned to death, (2) he is made to bear his cross, (3) he falls the first time, (4) he meets his mother, (5) Simon of Cyrene is made to bear the cross, (6) Veronica wipes Jesus’ face, (7) he falls the second time, (8) the women of Jerusalem weep over Jesus, (9) he falls the third time, (10) he is stripped of his garments, (11) he is nailed to the cross, (12) he dies on the cross, (13) he is taken down from the cross, and (14) he is placed in the sepulchre.The images are usually mounted on the inside walls of a church or chapel but may also be erected in such places as cemeteries, corridors of hospitals, and religious houses and on mountainsides.This meditation stems from the practice of early Christian pilgrims who visited the scenes of the events in Jerusalem and walked the traditional route from the supposed location of Pilate’s house to Calvary. The origin of the devotion in its present form is not clear. The number of stations originally observed in Jerusalem was considerably smaller than 14. In the early 16th century Ways of the Cross were established in Europe, and the tradition of 14 stations probably derived from the best known of them, that at Louvain (1505). The Franciscans long popularized the practice, and in the 18th century they bowed to Western Christian devotional feeling and provided 14 stations in Jerusalem.