Every Friday, a group of Franciscan monks leads a procession down the Via Dolorosa. Via Dolorosa means ‘Way of Suffering’ in Latin. It follows the traditional path that Jesus took on his way to the crucifixion. There are 14 stations that commemorate different events along the way. Here they are:
- Jesus is condemned to death
- Jesus carries his cross
- Jesus falls the first time
- Jesus meets his mother
- Simon helps Jesus to carry the cross
- Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
- Jesus falls the second time
- Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
- Jesus falls the third time
- Jesus' clothes are taken away
- Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
- Jesus dies on the cross
- Jesus is taken down from the cross
- Jesus is laid in the tomb
Here’s the church that’s the starting point of the walk:
You stop at each spot and the monks read an account of what happened there. They read it in English, Spanish, and Italian. On the way to the next station, there’s a song that people sing in Latin that everyone seemed to know except for us. Go figure. It sounded cool though!
All of the stations are marked by a little Roman numeral. It’s on the big circle. You would completely miss it walking by if you didn’t know about it beforehand.
It was a huge group of people that went on the walk- maybe about 100. We were all walking through the little narrow streets of the Old City, so it was pretty crowded.
Here’s (part of) the group:
I loved it, it was fascinating. It’s fun to hang out with monks and experience some Catholicism. It was a cool reminder that we’re living in a city where Jesus walked. We’ve walked down these same streets in the Old City almost every day for the last 3 months, and this added some meaning.
This week also marked the beginning of Ramadan. We got to see some decorations. At night it’s all lit up!