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O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. LEAVING the House of Caiphas, and dragged before Pilate and Herod, mocked, beaten, and spit upon, His back torn with scourges, His head crowned with thorns, Jesus, who on the last day will judge the world, is Himself condemned by unjust judges to a death of ignominy and torture. A STRONG, and therefore heavy Cross, for it is strong enough to bear Him on it when He arrives at Calvary, is placed upon His torn shoulders.
JESUS, bowed down under the weight and the length of the unwieldy Cross, which trailed after Him, slowly sets forth on His way, amid the mockeries and insults of the crowd. JESUS rises, though wounded by His fall, journeys on, with His Cross still on His shoulders. Mary would rather have had all His sufferings herself, could that have been, than not have known what they were by ceasing to be near Him.
AS Jesus toils along up the hill, covered with the sweat of death, a woman makes her way through the crowd, and wipes His face with a napkin. THE pain of His wounds and the loss of blood increasing at every step of His way, again His limbs fail Him, and He falls on the ground. AT the sight of the sufferings of Jesus the Holy Women are so pierced with grief that they cry out and bewail Him, careless what happens to them by so doing. JESUS had now reached almost to the top of Calvary; but, before He had gained the very spot where He was to be crucified, again He fell, and is again dragged up and goaded onwards by the brutal soldiery. These three falls—the past, the present, and the future—the Evil Spirit had in mind when he moved Judas to betray our Lord. AT length He has arrived at the place of sacrifice, and they begin to prepare Him for the Cross.
O Thou who in Thy Passion wast stripped of all Thy clothes, and held up to the curiosity and mockery of the rabble, strip me of myself here and now, that in the Last Day I come not to shame before men and Angels.
THE Cross is laid on the ground, and Jesus stretched upon it, and then, swaying heavily to and fro, it is, after much exertion, jerked into the hole ready to receive it.
Yes, they set up the Cross on high, and they placed a ladder against it, and, having stripped Him of His garments, made Him mount.
Lie down and sleep in peace in the calm grave for a little while, dear Lord, and then wake up for an everlasting reign.
God, Who by the Precious Blood of Thy only-begotten Son didst sanctify the Standard of the Cross, grant, we beseech Thee, that we who rejoice in the glory of the same Holy Cross may at all times and places rejoice in Thy protection, Through the same Christ, our Lord. He is also the CEO of Three Fish Consulting, LLC, an Information Technology consultancy based in Orlando, FL. A great way to bring one of the most popular family devotions to your home in a way that touches young and old alike.
For variety in your prayers, this new release contains two complete Stations versions: the traditional version with sung Stabat Mater at each station, plus the shorter "radio-cut" version as heard on EWTN, Immaculate Heart Radio, Mediatrix, Ave Maria, and other Catholic stations nationwide! We've been working on praying the Stations of the Cross this year, at the very least on Fridays. It is not possible for any lay person, male or female, to grasp or comprehend fully the sublime vocation to the Sacred Priesthood of Jesus Christ or what it means to live out this calling. We, as laity, can never enter fully into the mystery of the life of a priest, but we might, on occasion, discover a “window” through which we catch a glimpse or gain a little deeper understandingof his life as he lives it on the road to Calvary with Jesus. In writing these short meditations on the priesthood for the Stations of the Cross, we hope to offer you a “window” suchas this to look through. In this handy little booklet recently beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) leads you along Jesus’ Way of the Cross. We, as laity, can never enter fully into the mystery of the life of a priest, but we might, on occasion, discover a “window” through which we catch a glimpse or gain a little deeper understanding of his life as he lives it on the road to Calvary with Jesus.
In writing these short meditations on the priesthood for the Stations of the Cross, we hope to offer you a “window” such as this to look through. All: Lord Jesus Christ, You entrusted Your Church to the apostles, Your first priests, and willed that they and those who would follow after them should take up their Cross and follow You. Grant, O Lord, that, through the merits of these prayers and meditations on Your passion and death, Your priests may come to love You more deeply and follow You more faithfully. We ask this through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, the first to make this Way of the Cross with You. What a burden is laid on the shoulders of a man as he is ordained – the weight of our sanctification, the obligation to pray and suffer and sacrifice for our good – to do his part to help fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His Church. The sight of Mary consoled Jesus and yet increased His suffering because He knew how painful it was for Her to see Him this way. How necessary it is that every priest look to Mary –if only to turn his gaze upon Her from time to time each day– and let Her motherly smile console and encourage him. How often, we, like Simon, have to be “compelled” to carry the Cross with Jesus, even “seized,” and then we do so grudgingly. Every ordained priest, no matter who he is, where he is called to serve, or how he responds to that call, bears the true imageof Christ – in his face, on his hands, on his very soul. Surely I can offer my prayers, perhaps a fast, perhaps an encouraging word or some other small kindness or sacrifice.
Of  all these many pitfalls, perhaps the worst is loneliness– for this one can lead him into a host of other dangers. How often the priest, weary, overwhelmed with responsibilities, struggling perhaps with his own pain, must reach out to ease the pain of others, to console and encourage, to be the mercy and compassion of Jesus at a deathbed, to redirect the course of a repentant sinner.
The priest, too, stands before the people – in sacred vestments, in black suit and collar, in places of honor. The priest, also nailed to the Cross by the very sacrificial nature of the priesthood, is suspended between Heaven, which he experiences in the Mass, and earth, which he experiences in the daily living out of his vocation. Every priest comes to his ordination day with a sense of purpose and a desire to do the Will of the Father. The priest, like Jesus, will go to the tomb someday.Through the power of the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus, he, too, through his ministry, has been able to set people free – free from their sins, free to recognize Jesus as Savior, free to enter into the Kingdom of God.
All: Almighty and Eternal Father, we, Your children, lift up to You our prayers for our priests.

Thanks Father Leo – I have always admired those of you in the priesthood and serving God. These thoughtful short meditations, which also include a question inviting you to enter more deeply into each station, was adapted entirely from the encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, weekly papal audiences, addresses and homilies of Pope Francis.
He receives it gently and meekly, nay, with gladness of heart, for it is to be the salvation of mankind.
His agony in the Garden itself was sufficient to exhaust Him; but it was only the first of a multitude of sufferings.
Jesus, the strong and mighty Lord, has found for the moment our sins stronger than Himself. He, too, gained a refreshment, as from some soothing and grateful breath of air, to see her sad smile amid the sights and the noises which were about Him. In reward of her piety the cloth retains the impression of the Sacred Countenance upon it. Her prayers sent Veronica as well as Simon—Simon to do a man's work, Veronica to do the part of a woman. This is the reward received by the long-expected Messias from the Chosen People, the Children of Israel. His strength has for a while utterly failed Him, and it is some time before the barbarous soldiers can bring Him to.
His garments are torn from His bleeding body, and He, the Holy of Holiest, stands exposed to the gaze of the coarse and scoffing multitude. Thou didst endure the shame on Calvary that I might be spared the shame at the Judgment. With His hands feebly grasping its sides and cross-woods, and His feet slowly, uncertainly, with much effort, with many slips, mounting up, the soldiers propped Him on each side, or He would have fallen. During this time He prayed for His murderers, promised Paradise to the penitent robber, and committed His Blessed Mother to the guardianship of St. We, like the faithful women, will watch around Thee, for all our treasure, all our life, is lodged with Thee. Each of us, in a very real sense, is called to live our lives walking with Jesus up the hill of Calvary.
As you make the Stations with these meditations, please consider offering them for the sanctification of all priests and their fidelity to their vocation.
These famous short meditations, which also include a scripture passage, prayer, and colorful artwork invite you to respond thoughtfully to each station. It is a wondrous and happy day – yet, the priest, now alter Christus, that is, another Christ, will offer his life for the sanctification and salvation of souls. Luke says Simon was “seized”and the Cross was “laid on him.” The priest, one with Jesus, has come to the priesthood willing to embrace the Cross. How very important it is that we pray for priests, especially those who are lonely, and how vital it is that every priest has the company and support of his brother priests. When he falls under his burden, the gossip, unkindness and scorn he receives, in truth, fall on Jesus Who is suffering in His struggling brother priest. Will we love and pray a struggling priest back into service or let our words and actions keep him from getting up again? Naked and poor, His glory hidden, He stands before the crowd who does not recognize who He really is.
He hangs in agony, suspended between Heaven and Earth, suspended between two thieves –the one who reviles Him with disdain and the other who begs for mercy.
We beg You to bless them and fill them with strength and perseverance as they take up their cross each day. Its compact size and colorful illustrations make it easy to take with you to pray the stations at home or on-the-go. He falls—yet He bore the load for a while; He tottered, but He bore up and walked onwards. She had known Him beautiful and glorious, with the freshness of Divine Innocence and peace upon His countenance; now she saw Him so changed and deformed that she could scarce have recognised Him, save for the piercing, thrilling, peace-inspiring look He gave her. Thou hadst nothing to be ashamed of personally, and the shame which Thou didst feel was because Thou hadst taken on Thee man's nature. As the savage executioners drive in the huge nails, He offers Himself to the Eternal Father, as a ransom for the world. When He reached the projection where His sacred feet were to be, He turned round with sweet modesty and gentleness towards the fierce rabble, stretching out His arms, as if He would embrace them.
As His unexpected friends perform their difficult work, thou lookest on with unspeakable thoughts.
And, when our turn comes to die, grant, sweet Lord, that we may sleep calmly too, the sleep of the just. But it is a deep reality – a deep and sacred reality – that those ordained to the priesthood will, in persona Christi, lay down their lives for others.
Its handy size makes it easy to take with you to make the stations whenever and wherever you want—at home, church or in the office. But it is a deep reality – a deepand sacred reality – that those ordained to the priesthood will, in persona Christi, lay down their lives for others. Could it be that there are so many demands on his time that he begins, little by little, to be torn away from his prayer life, his time with Jesus Who is the source of his strength?Prayer is his oxygen, the very life-breath of his priesthood. And as Mary receives each priest as a special son on the day of his ordination and remains at his side throughout his life of ministry, so shall She receive into her arms every faithful son at the hour of his death. My first mortal sins, when I fell away from the state of grace into which Thou didst place me by baptism; these it was that were Thy death-warrant, O Lord. Still, He was now carrying the load of the world's sins, and, all-holy though He was, He carried the image of them on His very face. As Magdalen had poured the ointment at the Feast, so Veronica now offered Him this napkin in His passion. When they took from Thee Thy garments, those innocent limbs of Thine were but objects of humble and loving adoration to the highest Seraphim. Then He lovingly placed the backs of His hands close against the transverse beam, waiting for the executioners to come with their sharp nails and heavy hammers to dig into the palms of His hands, and to fasten them securely to the wood.

Then come Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, and take down from the Cross the body of Jesus, and place it in the arms of Mary. Let us sleep peacefully for the brief interval between death and the general resurrection. And, though in the calm and clear foresight of Thy mind—for Thou seest all things—Thou wast fully prepared for it, yet Thy feeble frame tottered under it when it dropped down upon Thee. I say, I repeat, it is an intimation and a memory to thee, O my soul, of thy falling back into mortal sin.
O my Lord, can I grasp the terrible thought that Thou really didst weep for me—weep for me, as Thou didst weep over Jerusalem? The weight of the Cross, the barbarity of the soldiers and the crowd, were but his instruments. They stood around in speechless awe, wondering at Thy beauty, and they trembled at Thy infinite self-abasement. There He hung, a perplexity to the multitude, a terror to evil spirits, the wonder, the awe, yet the joy, the adoration of the Holy Angels. I protest once for all, before men and Angels, that sin shall no more have dominion over me. I repented of the sins of my youth, and went on well for a time; but at length a new temptation came, when I was off my guard, and I suddenly fell away.
He had been made sin for us, who knew no sin; not a feature, not a limb, but spoke of guilt, of a curse, of punishment, of agony. Michael and his Angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels.
O Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, the Word Incarnate, we praise, adore, and love Thee for Thy ineffable condescension, even to allow Thyself thus for a time to fall into the hands, and under the power of the Enemy of God and man, in order thereby to save us from being his servants and companions for eternity.
But I, O Lord, how shall I appear if Thou shalt hold me up hereafter to be gazed upon, stripped of that robe of grace which is Thine, and seen in my own personal life and nature? The joy in prospect nerved thee to stand by Him as He hung upon the Cross; much more now, without swooning, without trembling, thou dost receive Him to thy arms and on thy lap. And the hardness of heart which followed upon them, my disgust, my despair, my proud impatience, my obstinate resolve to sin on, the love of sin which took possession of me—what were these contrary and impetuous feelings but the blows and the blasphemies with which the fierce soldiers and the populace received Thee, thus carrying out the sentence which Pilate had pronounced? Then all my good habits seemed to go at once; they were like a garment which is stripped off, so quickly and utterly did grace depart from me.
Pray for us ever, Holy Mother of God, pray for us, whatever be our cross, as we pass along on our way. Why is it but because I have lost my devotional spirit, and have come to Thy holy ordinances in a cold, formal way, without inward affection. He was thinking of me all the time He dragged Himself along, up the Hill of Calvary. Now thou art supremely happy as having Him, though He comes to thee not as He went from thee.
Let Masses be said for us, so that the pains of Purgatory, so much deserved by us, and therefore so truly welcomed by us, may be over with little delay. He saw that I should fall again in spite of all former warnings and former assistance. Even when I am cleansed from my mortal sins, what disease and corruption is seen even in my venial sins. With the aid of His grace I will create in me a deep hatred and sorrow for my past sins. He went from thy home, O Mother of God, in the strength and beauty of His manhood, and He comes back to thee dislocated, torn to pieces, mangled, dead. Give us seasons of refreshment there; wrap us round with holy dreams and soothing contemplations, while we gather strength to ascend the heavens. He had fallen down, and I covered my face with my hands and remained in a state of great confusion. He saw that I should become secure and self-confident, and that my enemy would then assail me with some new temptation, to which I never thought I should be exposed.
How shall I be fit for the society of Angels, how for Thy presence, until Thou burnest this foul leprosy away in the fire of Purgatory? Yet, O Blessed Mary, thou art happier in this hour {150} of woe than on the day of the marriage feast, for then He was leaving thee, and now in the future, as a Risen Saviour, He will be separated from thee no more.
And then let our faithful guardian Angels help us up the glorious ladder, reaching from earth to heaven, which Jacob saw in vision. And when we reach the everlasting gates, let them open upon us with the music of Angels; and let St. Pray for us when we are prostrate under the power of temptation, and send {136} some faithful servant of thine to succour us. I promise Thee, O Lord, with the help of Thy grace, to keep out of the way of temptation, to avoid all occasions of sin, to turn at once from the voice of the Evil One, to be regular in my prayers, so to die to sin that Thou mayest not have died for me on the Cross in vain. Peter receive us, and our Lady, the glorious Queen of Saints, embrace us, and bring us to Thee, and to Thy Eternal Father, and to Thy Co-equal Spirit, Three Persons, One God, to reign with Them for ever and ever. I acknowledge, O Jesus, in the anguish and agony of my heart, that my sins it was that struck Thee on the face, that bruised Thy sacred arms, that tore Thy flesh with iron rods, that nailed Thee to the Cross, and let Thee slowly die upon it. And in the world to come, if found worthy to expiate our sins in the fiery prison, send some good Angel to give us a season of refreshment. I ought to be a new creature, I ought to live by faith, hope, and charity; but I thought more of this world than of the world to come—and at last I forgot that I was a servant of God, and followed the broad way that leadeth to destruction, not the narrow way which leadeth to life. And so Satan came down on my unguarded side, and got the better of me from my self-trust and self-satisfaction. I thought no harm would come on me, I thought I had outlived the danger of sinning; I thought it was an easy thing to get to heaven, and I was not watchful.

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