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Full text of "The Stations of the Cross : an account of their history and devotional purpose"

c 



S* 




THE STATIONS 
OF THE CROSS 




By the same Author 

LENT fcf HOLY WEEK: Chapters on Catholic Observance 
and Ritual. With 3 Platet and 14 Illustrations in the text. Crown 
8vo, 6s. net. 




VERONICA 

The Fourth of the set of Seven Stations carved by Adam Krafft at Nurem- 
berg (c. 1490-1505) It ivill be noticed that the Carving is set in 
the ivall of a bouse. See p. 63. 

The inscription runs : " Hier hat Cristus sein heiligs angesicht der heiligen Frau 
Veronica auf iren Slayr gedruckt vor irem Haus Vc (500) Sritt von Pilatus Haws. 
Here has Christ left the impress of His holy Face for the holy woman Veronica 
upon her veil in front of her house, 500 paces from Pilate's House." 



Frontispiece 






THE STATIONS 

OF THE CROSS 



Account of their History and 
Devotional Purpose 




By 

HERBERT THURSTON, SJ. 



BURNS & GATES 
2 8 Orchard Street, London, W, 






Reprinted 1914 



r JUL 1 51957 



The Preface 

THIS little book upon the Stations of the 
Cross explains itself sufficiently to dispense 
with any lengthy preface. Although its purpose is 
mainly historical, it will not, I trust, be found so 
devoid of edification as to be unsuitable for Len- 
ten reading. That devotional attitude of mind on 
the part of our forefathers which is illustrated in 
t^e following pages may be full of naivete and is 
bometimes even grotesque in its extreme literal- 
ness and credulity, but there is nothing in it which 
need scandalize the most sensitive. On the con- 
trary, it is impossible to come into close contact 
with the thought of the religious teachers of that 
age without being deeply impressed by their near- 
ness to the world of spirit and by the intense reality 
of their personal devotion to our LORD and His 
Blessed Mother. The legendary element no doubt 
is always present in some measure, but it is for 
the most part devoid of offence. Upon the true 
Catholic attitude towards this feature, which ap- 
pears in so many of our most venerated practices 
of piety, I may refer the reader to some remarks 
which will be found later on at the beginning of 
Chapter VII (p. 136). 

From the historical point of view the chief 
novelty which will be discovered in the following 
pages is the conclusion the evidence for which 
appears to me to be quite irresistible that the 
arrangement of our actual stations, though pro- 
fessedly made in imitation of a pilgrimage along 



vj The Stations of the Cross 

the Via Doiorosa, owes less to Jerusalem and the 
Franciscan custodians of the Holy Places than to 
the pious imagination of a Carmelite friar who 
lived all his life in Belgium. That our fourteen 
stations derive directly from the Theatrum Terra 
Sanctce of Adrichomius has for some time been 
recognized, e.g., by Bishop von Keppler in his 
excellent work " Die XIV Stationen des heiligen 
Kreuzwegs." But when, on the one hand, we 
find in Adrichomius, himself a Fleming, an ex- 
plicit avowal of indebtedness to the book of 
Brother Jan Pascha, and when, on the other, 
Pascha's book presents us with the identical 
enumeration of subjects and distances which ap- 
pear in the later writer, there can be little doubt 
that Pascha must be regarded as the immediate 
source of the subsequent developments. Further, 
it is clear that Pascha's own system was evolved 
in pa.t out of the devotion of the " Seven Falls ' 
which, at the close of the fifteenth century, had 
become widely popular in Germany and the 
Netherlands. This devotion is now completely 
forgotten, but it has left behind one splendid 
memorial of itself in the famous sculptures of 
Adam Krafft (c. 1490) still preserved at Nurem- 
berg. I am inclined also to think from the wide 
diffusion of a fifteenth century booklet attributed 
to a certain " Heer Bethlem ' (see Appendix A) 
that we must regard this little work as another 
early and important element in the popularizing 
of the exercise of the Way of the Cross. The full 
knowledge of its popularity, however, came to me 
somewhat too late to deal with it adequately in 
the text of my essay. 

While giving prominence to such technical 
points as these, which may help in some measure 



The Preface vij 

to throw light upon the byways of liturgical his- 
tory, it seemed desirable not to lose sight of other 
devotional influences of wider range and more 
general interest. For this reason the reader will 
find that the question of pilgrimages to the Holy 
Land is illustrated rather more fully than was per- 
haps quite necessary ior its bearing upon the 
immediate subject of this volume. With regard to 
what is said at pp. 161-172 upon the question of the 
indulgences of the Holy Places, which no doubt 
had a considerable influence in attracting pilgrims 
to Jerusalem, I should like to point out that I 
have formed no final opinion as to their authen- 
ticity, and that I should be glad if the few remarks 
I have thrown out should lead to further discus- 
sion. 

Although part of the substance of this essay 
has already been published in the form of articles 
in The Month (July to September, 1900), I have 
been able in the interval which has elapsed 
since the articles appeared to add very consi- 
derably to my former materials. Amongst other 
minor discoveries, I came quite lately upon a 
little volume in the Bodleian library which is 
entitled "A Spiritual Pilgrimage to the Holy 
Land," and which was obviously printed abroad in 
the seventeenth century for Catholic use. Upon 
examination it proved to be an abridgement in 
English of that scarce "Gheestelyck Pel grim agie" 
of Brother Jan Pascha which plays so large a part 
in the argument of my little essay. As this Bod- 
leian volume may fairly be called the first book 
containing the Stations of the Cross which was 
published in the English language, I cannot, I 
think, better conclude these few words of intro- 
duction than by reproducing a portion of the old 



viij The Stations of the Cross 

translator's: preface. The sentiments expressed are 
such as every priest in the twentieth century not 
less than in the seventeenth may be glad to make 
his own. 

THE PREFACE TO THE READER 

Seeing it is so (my Catholic brother) that this present life 
is no other thing but a continual pilgrimage which we are to 
make upon the earth, and that all the time of our life is a 
term prefixed of GOD the Creator, during which space we 
ought to accomplish this voyage . . . were it not great folly 
and negligence in us if we should forget . . . the principal 
place of our repose ? . . . Let us behold therefore what care 
and pains our loving LORD hath taken of our salvation, let 
us learn to travaille courageously and like devout and holy 
pilgrims to follow His steps, who hath left us an example of 
His blessed life and passion, and ruminate in our hearts 
every day apart, some general point thereof, and after well 
to practise the same in ourselves, for such ought to be the 
end of our spiritual exercise, by which means we may attain 
to the happy end that we desire. Whereof having found this 
little treatise of A Spiritual Pilgrimage, assuring myself 
that it would be a thing very agreeable to all manner of 
devout and pious persons, I thought good to bring the same 
to light. Beseeching the gentle reader to accept of this little 
gift, and to respect more my hearty affection than the little- 
ness of the thing. The rest I remit to the disposition of 
Almighty GOD the Creator of all things, whose only honour 
and glory I desire herein. Amen. 

Thy hearty well- wilier in CHRIST JESUS, R. H. 

The kind friends who in many various ways 
have lightened my task in preparing this book 
for the press, will know, I trust, that if I do not 
make more particular mention of the help that 
they have rendered, it is not for lack of sincere 
gratitude. 

HERBERT THURSTON, S.J. 

31 Farm Street, 

London, W, 



IX 



The Contents 

CHAPTER I The Veneration of the Holy Tlaces. 

Pp. 1-19. 

Imitative tendency in our popular devotions The Stations a pil- 
grimage in miniature Ardour shown in making pilgrima- 
ges to Jerusalem The Lady Egeria The Holy Places 
measured to be copied in the West St Petronius Peter and 
John Bechetti or Becket The spiritual Way of the Cross of 
the Blessed Henry Suso The vow of the Nun of Lorvao. 

CHAPTER II The Beginnings of the Via Cruets. 

Pp. 20-45. 

The Porte Doloreuse Sites of incidents on the way to Calvary 
The inverted order of the official pilgrimage route The 
legend of our Lady's pilgrimage Fabri's description of the 
road to Calvary and of our Lady's daily journey A night 
with the pilgrims in the Holy Sepulchre Church Rules to 
be observed The reopening of the doors. 

CHAPTER III The earliest Stations and their Sequence. 

Pp. 45-61. 

The word " Station " William Wey's use of it in connexion 
with the road to Calvary Wey's memorial verses Sir 
Richard Guylforde's ' * pylgrymages within Jerusalem" Tor- 
kington's copy in reverse order The practice of measuring 
the distances Discrepancies in the order of the Stations. 

CHAPTER IV The "Seven Falls." Pp. 46-75. 

The Stations at Gorlitz The " Seven Falls " of Adam Krafft at 
Nuremberg The " Cruysganch " of Louvain Romanet 
Boffin and the sets of seven pillars at Rhodes, Fribourg and 
Romans The Stations of the Seven Dolours at Antwerp 
Fifteenth-century engravings of the Seven Falls The book 
of the "Mount of Calvary "The Seven Falls in Pascha's 
"Spiritual Pilgrimage." 



x The Stations of the Cross 

CHAPTER V The Spiritual Pilgrimage of Jan Pascha. 

Pp. 76-95. 

Some Dutch books relating to the stations Bethlem's "Medita- 
tions on the Passion" with distances The Nuremberg 
"Ghostly Way" of 1521 Prevalence of the practice of 
erecting Stations The " Spiritual Pilgrimage " of Jan Pas- 
cha the Carmelite Description of the book Various 
editions and translations The " proper " Way of the Cross 
Adrichomius and his indebtedness to Pascha Origin of 
the triple fall in our present system of Stations Impossi- 
bility in the sixteenth century of any public exercise of the 
"Way of the Cross" at Jerusalem The initiative conse- 
quently did not come from the East but from Europe, 
especially from the Netherlands Practice of the Stations 
in an Antwerp convent. 

CHAPTER VI The Via <Dolorosa at Jerusalem from 
the Seventeenth century to the Present 'Day. Pp. 96-135 

Unique authority of the Franciscan traditions at Jerusalem 
Contradictions with the map of Adrichomius Testimony of 
Bernardino Amico and Quaresmius Description of the Via 
Dolorosa The Stations according to Surius The Ecce 
Homo Arch Place of our LORD'S meeting with His Blessed 
Mother The place of the first fall and of the coming of Simon 
of Cyrene Attempt to harmonize the Jerusalem tradition 
with the system of Adrichomius Sites ofour LORD'smeeting 
with the women of Jerusalem and with Veronica The 
Judicial Gate The gradual displacement of the traditional 
Stations in the eighteenth century The question of the site 
of the Prsetorium and of the true Way of the Cross Preva- 
lence of other systems of Stations and notably of that of 
Father Parviller. 

CHAPTER Vll The Devotional Aspect of the Stations. 

Pp. 136-158 

Survival of the fittest in our devotional practices A legendary 
element permissible and often helpful to piety Words of 
Pere Lagrange Devotional suggestiveness of the legend 
of Veronica and of the triple fall Illustrations from the 
writings of Cardinal Newman and Henri Perreyve The 
spirit of the medieval pilgrims Fabri's description of Cal- 
vary and of the Holy Sepulchre Perreyve's meditation on 
the Holy Sepulchre 



The Contents xj 

CHAPTER VIII The Stations In Modern Times. 

Pp. 159-177 

One uniform system now prevalent Committed specially to the 
charge of the Franciscan Order Indulgences of the Via 
Dolorosa in Jerusalem attached to the ordinary Stations of 
the Cross Early belief to this effect Origin of the indul- 
gences of the Holy Places Impossible to attribute them to 
Pope St Silvester Remarkable Bull of confirmation issued 
by Pope Pius IV Conditions for gaining the indulgences 
at the present day 

APPENDIX ArHeerBethlem'$ " Ovewegingen," p. 1 7 9 
B Table of Indulgences, p. 182 
C Relative Antiquity of the various Sta- 
tions^ 182 




The List of Illustrations 

Veronica (the fourth of the set of seven Stations carved by 

Adam Krafft at Nuremberg-) Fronth 

Jerusalem and Palestine (Map from "Le Pe'lerin Veritable * 

of 1615) II 

Church of the Holy Sepulchre (from Breydenbach, 1486) 28 

Part of Bernardino Amico's Map of Jerusalem (1609-1620) 32 

Church of the Holy Sepulchre (c. 1835) 44 

Map of Jerusalem (1616) from MS. Addit. 33566 56 
The Second and Fifth Stations, carved by Adam Krafft at 

Nuremberg (c. 1490) 64 
The Incident of Simon of Cyrene, from the "Geystlich 

Strass"(i52i) 68 

Title page of the "Geystlich Strass" (1521) 80 

Page of Pascha's "Ghestelyck Pelgrimagie" 84 
Adrichomius's Map of Jerusalem, with Stations of the Cross 

(1584) 87 
A page of the French translation of Pascha's " Gheestelyck 

Pelgrimagie" (1666) 88 

The Via Dolorosa according to Zuallardo (1587) 105 
Plans of the Via Dolorosa 106-107 

The Ecce Homo Arch according to Amico (1620) 1 10 

Christ at Pilate's House (from the "Geystlich Strass," 1521) 1 12 

The Ecce Homo Arch (from a recent photograph) 114 

The Site of the First Fall (Station III) 1 16 

The Via Dolorosa near Veronica's House 126 

The Via Dolorosa looking down-hill 140 

The Entombment (from the " Geystlich Strass," 1521) 154 
Title page of French Edition (1566) of the " Gheestelyck 

Pelgrimagie" 162 



THE STATIONS OF 
THE CROSS 

Chapter I-The Veneration of the 

Holy Places 

IT may be said of many, perhaps most, of our 
popular devotions that they are not so much 
spontaneous as imitative. They have been 
prized at first as the substitute for something 
better, because they seemed to bring within the 
reach of the many some practice of piety which 
had been hitherto regarded as the merit or the 
privilege of the few. To recite, for instance, the 
entire Psalter daily was the ambition of the early 
ascetics, but obviously the repetition of one hun- 
dred and fifty psalms was a feat beyond the ca- 
pacity of men busied with the concerns of every- 
day life. It was only when the convention was 
devised of representing each psalm by a Hail 
Mary that the bulk of the faithful found that they 
could imitate the long vigils of the monks by re- 
citing the fifteen decades of " Our Lady's Psalter." 
Again, a monastic habit was not a desirable or 
possible attire for ordinary Christians living in 
the world, but by an imitation ot a portion of 
that habit, rapidly diminishing in size until 
hardly a suggestion remained of its former signi- 
ficance, secular persons found that they could 

i 



2 The Stations of the Cross 

wear the livery of the Order of their choice, not 
merely at the hour of death, as so many aspired 
to do, but even while going about their daily 
occupations. Or once more, when the Divine 
Office, the official prayer of the Church, was 
found to be too long and too difficult for any but 
clerics to recite, the Hours of our Lady, which 
were much shorter and practically invariable, 
formed a substitute which even the more ignorant 
of the laity need not despair of mastering. 

The devotion commonly known to us as the 
Stations of the Cross has a very similar origin, 
and in its singular combination of old and new, 
of elements dating from the beginning of Chris- 
tianity, with forms which have only become fixed 
during the last four centuries, it affords an almost 
typical example both of the gradual growth of prac- 
tices of piety and of the working of the imitative ten- 
dency just alluded to. As the Rosary, then, was 
a miniature Psalter, as the scapular was a minia- 
ture monastic habit, and as the Hours of our Lady 
were a miniature Office, so the Stations of the 
Cross constituted a miniature pilgrimage to the 
Holy Land. Despite all the courage and fervour 
of the Christians in the later middle ages, the 
number of those who were actually able to make 
their way to Palestine was, relatively speaking, 
insignificant It was a boon when men were 
taught how to join in a make-believe pilgrimage 
which did not take up an hour of time, and which 
stimulated their devotion to the bitter sufferings 
of CHRIST as much as, or even more than, a 
perilous journey over seas. Such, at any rate, 
is the very simple idea which has made the 
Stations dear to the heart of the poor in every 
part of the world. But in spite of its simplicity 



Veneration of the Holy Places 3 

there have been many stages in the growth of this 
devotion, and these, so far as I am able to eluci- 
date them, will form the subject of the pages 
which follow. 

It is commonly said that the Via Dolorosa, the 
route of our SAVIOUR'S painful journey to Calvary, 
has from the earliest ages been reverently marked, 
and that already in the time of Constantine it was 
the goal of pious pilgrims from all parts of the 
world.* However probable this may seem antece- 
dently, it must be confessed that no direct evidence 
is forthcoming in support of such a statement. If 
our Blessed Lady really did spend her last days 
upon earth in traversing again and again the 
scenes of the Passion of her Divine Son, no trust- 
worthy record of the fact is at present known to 
survive. Only in the later middle ages do we meet 
the full details of the story of the Mother's daily 
pilgrimage, and indeed it must be admitted 
both that the records of pilgrims of the first ten 
centuries are silent as to the existence of any 
traditional Way of Sorrows, and also that the 
first indications of it which we encounter are not 
easily reconcilable with the sites now venerated. 
On the other hand, antiquity speaks clearly as to 
the principle of paying honour to the holy places. 
There is sufficient reason to believe that the 
memory of the more important spots connected 
with the life of our Blessed LORD was accurately 
preserved in the fourth century. The Christians 
of Jerusalem were already a numerous body. 
They seem to have had no doubt about the accu- 
racy of their identifications. The instinct of such 
traditions of locality was strong amongst them. 

This is stated even by Thalhofer, in the second edition of 
the " Kirchenlexicon," art. Kreuzweg-, 



4 The Stations of the Cross 

It would appear, then, that only an extreme 
scepticism will question the fact that the spots 
where Constantine built his churches, the spots 
which Christians, like the Bordeaux pilgrim of 
A.D.333, came from the ends of the earth to visit, 
were really the sites they claimed to be. On the 
one supremely important question of the identifi- 
cation of the holy Sepulchre and Calvary, it may 
be said fearlessly that, despite the attempts of 
sundry English and American Protestants to find 
a Calvary of their own in another quarter, the 
evidence of archaeology and excavation is alto- 
gether on the side of the old tradition. The narra- 
tive of the Lady Egeria's Pilgrimage, c. 380, 
discovered within the last few years,* has also 
come to reinforce what we already knew from St 
Jerome, the Bordeaux pilgrim, Eusebius, and 
others concerning the intense feelings of venera- 
tion which the residents of Jerusalem felt for the 
holy places (a very limited number) pointed out 
by local tradition. f There is no reason to fear, 
in the case of such Christians as she describes for 
us, that their imagination was stimulated to new 
flights by a keen anticipation of baksheesh. 

We have just said that in point of fact the 
sites which were pointed out in Jerusalem in the 
time of the Bordeaux pilgrim, of St Jerome or of 
Egeria, seem to have been few. This may be due 
to some extent to the fact that the most detailed 

* This has hitherto been printed and is commonly quoted 
under the title of " Peregrinatio Silviae." We owe to Dom FeVo- 
tin, O. S. B. , the discovery that the author's true name is not Silvia 
but either Egeria, Etheria or perhaps Eucheria. 

f "Certe si consortia nostra displicuerint adorasse ubi stete- 
runt pedes Domini, pars fidei est, et quasi recentia nativitatis, 
et crucis ac passionis vidisse vestigia " (St Jerome to Desiderius, 
Migne, P. L. xxii, p. 493). 



Veneration of the Holy Places 5 

account of the city, that of Egeria, is imperfect. 
On the other hand, it is interesting to note that 
this lady of Galicia was keen to make mention 
even of spots of minor interest when they were 
pointed out to her. A short quotation in her own 
words will probably illustrate better than any 
verbal description the spirit in which Egeria, and 
no doubt most of her contemporaries, approached 
such questions. She had travelled more than a 
thousand miles to visit the holy places, and land- 
ing first in Egypt had skirted the northern shore 
of the Red Sea taking in Mount Sinai on her 
way. Now these are the terms in which she speaks 
of the sites shown her by the monks on Mount 
Sinai in their own immediate neighbourhood. 

"Having satisfied every desire with which we 
had made haste to ascend, we began now to 
descend from the summit of the Mount of GOD 
to another mountain which is joined to it. The 
place is called Horeb, and we found a church 
there. This is that Horeb to which the holy Pro- 
phet Elijah withdrew when he fled from the face 
of King Ahab, and where GOD spake to him say- 
ing, * What dost thou here, Elijah?' as it is written 
in the Book of Kings. For the cave where holy 
Elijah hid is shown to this day before the door of 
the church which is there; the stone altar is also 
shown which holy Elijah built that he might offer 
sacrifice to GOD. All which jthings the holy men 
deigned to show us. There we offered an oblation 
and an earnest prayer, and the passage from the 
Book of Kings was read ; for we always especially 
desired that when we come to any place the cor- 
responding passage from the book should be read. 
There having made an oblation, we went on to 
another place not far off, which the priests and 



6 The Stations of the Cross 

monks pointed out, namely, that place where 
holy Aaron had stood with the seventy elders 
when holy Moses received from the LORD the law 
for the children of Israel. There, although the 
place is not roofed in, is a huge rock having a 
circular flat surface, on which it is said these holy 
persons stood. And in the middle there is a sort 
of altar made with stones. The passage from the 
Book of Moses was read, and one psalm said, 
which was appropriate to the place; and then, 
having offered a prayer, we descended."* 

It need hardly be said that in studying the 
sites and the ceremonial of Jerusalem the Lady 
Egeria was not less earnest. She speaks of the 
Church of the Anastasis over the Holy Sepulchre, 
of the "Martyrium" close beside it on Calvary or 
Golgotha, of the Church of the Ascension on 
the Mount of Olives, of Gethsemani and the 
Grotto of the Agony, of the way across the brook 
of Cedron, of Mount Sion and the Column of the 
Flagellation which was erected there, but she says 
nothing ot our Via Dolorosa, nor of the site of any 
episode for which there is not warrant in the 
Gospels. 

Although the narrative of Egeria is the earliest 
detailed account which we possess of a pilgrimage 
to the Holy Land, there are a number of other 
records in succeeding centuries which allow us to 
see that the eagerness of the faithful to visit the 
holy places did not slacken, and which leave 
a tolerably complete picture of the shrines 
honoured in Jerusalem at each successive epoch 
in early Christian history. Almost from the very 
beginning there went hand in hand with this 

* "Pilgrimage of St Silvia," pp. 15, 16, in the translation of 
the Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society^ 



Veneration of the Holy Places 7 

earnestness in making pilgrimages to the Holy 
Sepulchre a desire to reproduce at home in some 
imperfect way the venerated sites that had been 
visited. It is to this instinct probably that we owe 
both the ancient Church of the Anastasis (the 
Resurrection) at Constantinople, which by some 
confusion was later on associated with the cultus 
of the virgin martyr St Anastasia, as well as that 
of Sta Croce in Rome, together with the Church 
of Sta Maria Maggiore, or Ad Prcesepe, which 
was meant in some sense to serve as the counter- 
part of Constantine's basilica at Bethlehem. To 
develop this subject adequately would lead us too 
far afield, and it must suffice to say that the 
design of perpetuating the memory of the holy 
places may be traced even in the representations 
of ancient mosaics. One has of late years been 
found in Palestine itself, which may claim to be 
regarded as nothing less than a map of the pro- 
vince of Syria, including a plan of Jerusalem in 
the sixth century,* while Father Grisar identifies 
the background of the great mosaic in the apse 
of S. Pudenziana, assigned by de Rossi to the 
year 398, as an attempt to represent pictorially 
the chief buildings of the same Holy City.f 

This spirit of imitation seems in some mea- 
sure to have grown and developed with the lapse 
of ages. Perhaps one of the most interesting 
monuments which it has left behind may be 
recognized in the curious group of churches, 
communicating with each other and forming one 
building, originally erected as part of the 
Monastery of San Stefano in Bologna. With 

h See " La Mosaique Ge"ographique de Madaba," by 
the R. P. Lagrang-e, O.P., in the " Revue Biblique," 1897, pp. 
165-185 and 450-458. 

t" Civilta Cattolica," p. 722, September, 1895, 



8 The Stations of the Cross 

regard to the construction of these venerable 
churches we know little or nothing that is trust- 
worthy. It seems, however, highly probable that 
the tradition regarding them is substantially cor- 
rect. The buildings were intended to reproduce in 
some way the more important shrines of Jerusa- 
lem, and may be regarded as perhaps the most 
ancient existing example of a set of Stations oi 
the Holy Land, even if they do not in strictness 
deserve to be called Stations of the Cross. St 
Petronius, Bishop of Bologna, to whom the con- 
struction of S. Stefano is attributed, lived in the 
fifth century. The chronicle of the monastery pre- 
serves a long life of him, which is no doubt 
a medieval fabrication, and which may or may 
not incorporate some fragments of genuine tradi- 
tion. But in any case the manuscript itself se'ems 
to be of the twelfth century. Assuming this to be 
approximately the date of the composition, it 
bears witness to the existence, at least at that 
epoch, of an attitude of mind with regard to the 
holy places which must have had much to do 
with the development of our devotion to the 
Stations. The writer tells us that in the very 
ornamentation of the monastery which Petronius 
constructed he copied the Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre, and that he had with singular fore- 
sight measured everything accurately with a 
measuring-rod during his stay in the Holy Land.* 
It is to be noted that the description of this work 
given in the life bears a quite extraordinary 
resemblance to certain prominent features of the 

*"Illo plurimo labore typice gessit opus mirifice constru- 
cttim instar Dominici sepulchri, secundum ordinem quern viderat 
et provida cura cum calamo dimensus fuerat cum esset Hiero- 
solymae" ("Acta Sanctorum," Oct. vol. II, p. 459; Molinier 
" Itinera Hierosolymitana," n, p. 145). 



Veneration of the Holy Places 9 

mosaic of the sixth century found at Madaba, and 
it is quite conceivable that the compiler may here 
be incorporating the language of some authentic 
early document.* 

The writer further tells us that Petronius also 
built a monastery upon another more elevated 
spot which down to the writer's own day was 
called Mons Oliveti. This was at the exact dis- 
tance from Golgotha which the saint had himself 
measured when he was in the Holy Land. On the 
top of this "Mount Olivet" the saint planted 
a second church, reproducing the Church of the 
Ascension. The valley between was called Josa- 
phat, and there was a pond constructed to repre- 
sent the natatoria Siloe. The seven connected 
churches at S. Stefano were no doubt meant to 
recall the many sacred sites which tradition 
grouped about the Holy Sepulchre, though we 
cannot attach any particular importance to the 
vague language of Galesinius, who informs us 
that in the compass of S. Stefano Petronius 
reproduced the column at which our LORD was 
scourged, the cross upon which He died, the 
chamber in which He suffered, the spot where 
Peter wept over his fall, and the room in which 
the angel saluted our Blessed Lady.f It seems 

* I refer particularly to the long 1 porticoes with their rows of 
columns. " Aliud quoque aedificium idque plurima varietate 
columnarum a fundamentis sedificavit cum atrio in circuitu, 
cum duobus ordinibus preciosarum columnarum, cum basibus et 
capitellis suis, signis multiplicibus decoratis, ita ut super infe- 
riorem ordinem columnarum alius pretiosior supereminebat, tali 
modo extendebatur usque ad locum qui figurate Golgotha, hoc 
est Calvaria, nuncupatur, ubi crux in qua CHRISTUS pro salute 
mundi fixus est posita fuit " (ibid.) The use of the word Golgotha 
is suggestive of an early date and a genuine Palestinian 
tradition. v 

t " Acta Sanctorum," Oct. vol. II, p. 466. . - 



io The Stations of the Cross 

certain, however, that the monastery was fami- 
liarly known as Hierusalem, and it is stated to 
have been described by this term in the Bulls of 
several popes.* 

Whether these ideas belong more properly to 
the fifth or to the twelfth century we are not here 
called upon to determine. I may confess that I 
incline to the former date, but in any case it 
must be admitted that the devotion of the Stations 
down to near the close of the middle ages had not 
reached any further stage of development. Ex- 
amples of imitative buildings like that of S Ste- 
fano of Bologna were comparatively rare and 
isolated, though the idea of imitation never died 
out, and definite instances can be quoted. Thus 
we hear of a Mount of Olives and a chapel of the 
Holy Sepulchre erected by the Augustinian John 
von Schaftolsheim in 1378.! Again there is a well- 
known model of the Holy Sepulchre in Bruges 
which was set up there by two knightly pilgrims 
on their return from the Holy Land before the 
year 1435. So also, to turn to what is of more im- 
mediate interest to English readers, it would 
seem that at Fabriano, in the marches of Ancona, 
certain memorials of the holy places were erected 
by the pious care of two brothers, Peter and John 
Bechetti, or Becket, said to be members of the 
family of St Thomas, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury. $ They were beatified in the early part of the 

*e.g-., Celestine III : "Cum itaque in templo gloriosi mar- 
tyris Stephani, quoddicitur Hierusalem de Bononia quod servus 
DEI Petronius, ejusdem civitatis episcopus, instar sepulchri 
DOMINI nostri JESU CHRISTI in Hierusalem erexit et construxit," 
etc. (Acta SS., loc. cit. p. 434.) 

t See Sepp, " Jerusalem und das heilige Land," 2nd edition, 
vol. i, p. 504. 

J See Father John Morris, S.J., "Life of St Thomas of Can- 
terbury," 2nd edition, p. 508. 




^v^t^lMAMA: 



< ? 



j| 



U 



MAP OF JERUSALEM & PALESTINE 

This little map, copied probably from some late mediaval source, ivas en- 
graved to serve as a frontispiece to "Le Pdlerin Veritable " a guide- 
book printed at Paris in 1615. 

Note the landing of the pilgrims at Jaffa ; one of them kneels to kiss the ground, 
a Franciscan friar conies to meet them, while armed Turks on foot and horseback 
scour the open country. Note also in the right hand lower corner the conversion of 
St Paul on the way to Damascus, which is represented in quite the wrong direction. 

To face p. I I 



Veneration of the Holy Places 1 1 

last century, and in the documents of the process 
special mention is made of their pilgrimage to 
the Holy Land and of the chapels which they 
built on their return. 

Whether these two Augustinian friars were in 
any true sense collateral descendants of the 
saint seems to me more than doubtful, but John 
da Fabriano was unquestionably lecturing at 
Oxford about the year 1388, though he was not 
himself born in England. In 1393 Peter da Fabri- 
ano obtained leave from the Franciscan General 
and from the pope to make a pilgrimage to the 
Holy Land. On his return he is said to have en- 
couraged his brother, or cousin, John, to follow 
his example. After this they both went to reside 
in their native town, and, as the process of beati- 
fication tells us, "They caused a church to be 
erected which they called the Holy Sepulchre, 
and in which they placed five altars. One, dedi- 
cated to our SAVIOUR crucified ' al SSmo Croci- 
fisso/ stood on an elevation which was reached 
by twelve steps, and they called it Mount Cal- 
vary. Another which was dedicated ' alia Ma- 
donna dello Spasimo,' in memory of our Lady's 
anguish when she swooned away on meeting her 
divine Son, they named, strange to say, 'la 
Valle di Giosafat.'* The third altar commemo- 
rated our Lady's grief when she received her Son 
into her arms. There they placed an image of the 
* Pieta/ and to reach it you had to descend ten 
steps. The fourth altar was erected in honour of 
our Lady 'delle Gratie,' and at the fifth their 

* The traditional shrine of the Swoon of our Lady at Jeru- 
salem was certainly not located in the Valley of Josaphat, but, 
as every pilgrim of the fourteenth and fifteenth century tells 
us, it stood near the Ecce Homo arch. 




1 2 The Stations of the Cross 

bones (so writes Torelli in 1680) are at the present 
time enshrined. Besides this they built two 
chapels, one on each side of * Mount Calvary/ in 
one of which the Holy Sepulchre is reproduced 
in the same size as at Jerusalem, and in the other 
chapel is the tomb of the Blessed Virgin, with 
gilt statues beside it representing the other 
Marys."* 

Again it is related of the Dominican, Blessed 
Alvaro, who died in 1420, that he made a pilgrim- 
age to Palestine, and " in order that some sort of 
memorial of these holy places might remain for 
ever in the friary which he erected, he arranged 
in it a series of oratories in which the mysteries 
of our redemption might be set forth in separate 
stations ; the which pious institution of his is said 
to have been copied in other religious houses." t 
Similarly the Blessed Eustochium, a Poor Clare 
of Messina, is recorded, out of devotion to the 
Passion, " to have set up representations of the 
holy places as if it were at Jerusalem. And so within 
the enclosure she had constructed the birthplace 
of CHRIST and there too the house of His blessed 
Mother, there the Mount of Olives, there the 
Garden in which our SAVIOUR was seized, there 
the Supper Room, there the houses of Annas and 
Caiphas, there the Praetorium of Pilate, there the 
Mount of Calvary and the tomb beside it. To 
these spots she came daily, and just as if she 
were present at the very scenes themselves she 
contemplated with tears the meekness ot her 

* I have translated this from a printed copy of the " Appro- 
batio Cultus " in the process of beatification, pp. 13-14. The 
copy is in the library of the Bollandist Fathers at Brussels. 

t Barbier de Montault,'/' CEuvres," vol. VIII, p. 152, from the 
Dominican Breviary. 



Veneration of the Holy Places 13 

heavenly Spouse and all the acts which He did, 
each in its due order/'* 

Blessed Eustochium died in 1491, and it is 
plain that neither in this case nor in the others 
we have quoted is there anything at all closely 
resembling our modern "Way of the Cross/' 
None the less we must allow that the idea of the 
counterfeit devotional pilgrimage is there in 
principle. Moreover this germ occasionally ad- 
mitted remarkable developments in the practice 
of the ascetics of the middle ages, as is touch- 
ingly illustrated by the example of Blessed Henry 
Suso, the famous Dominican mystic. The pious 
exercise described in the following passage must 
have been adopted by him as early as the year 
1326, for the dialogue form into which he threw 
his " Biichlein der ewigen Weisheit," or " Horo- 
logium Sapientiae," begun in that year, is said to 
have been suggested to him during one of these 
nightly devotional pilgrimages. f 

" He [Blessed Henry] now began every night 
after matins at his usual place, which was the 
chapter room, to force himself into a Christlike 
feeling of sympathy with all that CHRIST, his LORD 
and GOD, had suffered for him. He stood up and 

* Wadding 1 , " Annales Minorum, 1 ' ad annum 1491. 

t From the Preface to the French edition of Suso by Verard 
(1493), of which there is a beautiful copy on vellum in the 
British Museum library (IB, 41151), we learn that attention was 
early directed to his "Way of the Cross." "Assavoir est que 
ceste maniere de parler entre sapience et le disciple fut trouvee 
et commencee par 1'occasion qui ensuit. Advint une fois que le 
disciple dont ce livre fait memoire faisoit apres matines une 
procession autour le cloistre ou par 1'eglise de son convent [sic^ 
en lonneur et souvenance de cette tres piteuse procession que 
nostre sauveur jhu crist fist quant on le mena de Jerusalem en 
calvaire. Et avoit acoustume le dit disciple a faire chascune 
nuyt apres matines une telle procession (Prologue, sig. a, 
iv recto). 



14 The Stations of the Cross 

moved from corner to corner, in order that all 
sluggishness might leave him, and that he might 
have throughout a lively and keen sensitiveness 
to our LORD'S sufferings. He commenced this 
exercise with the Last Supper, and he accom- 
panied CHRIST from place to place, until he 
brought Him before Pilate. Then he received Him 
after He had been sentenced at the tribunal and 
he followed Him along the sorrowful way to Cal- 
vary from the court-house to beneath the gallows. 
The following was the manner in which he made 
the* Way of the Cross': On coming to the thres- 
hold of the chapter house, he kneeled down and 
kissed the print of the first step which the LORD 
took, when, on being sentenced, he turned Him 
round to go forth to death. Then he began the 
psalm which describes our LORD'S passion, 
'DEUS, DEUS meus, respice in me' (Ps. xxi), and 
he went out by the door into the cloister repeating 
it. Now there were four streets through which he 
accompanied Him. He went with Him to death 
along the first street, with the earnest desire and 
will to go forth from his friends and all perishable 
goods, and to suffer for CHRIST'S glory misery 
without consolation and voluntary poverty. In 
the second street he proposed to himself to cast 
aside all perishable honour and dignity and 
voluntarily to despise this present world, con- 
sidering how the LORD had become a 'worm and 
the outcast of the people.' At the beginning of 
the third street he kneeled down again, and, 
kissing the ground, willingly renounced all need- 
less comfort and all tender treatment of his body 
in honour of the pains of CHRIST'S tender body; 
and he set before his eyes what is written in the 
psalm, how that all CHRIST'S strength was dried 



Veneration of the Holy Places 15 

up, and His natural vigour brought nigh to death 
as they drove Him onward thus pitiably; and he 
thought how fitting it is that every eye should 
weep and every heart sigh on account of it. When 
he came to the fourth street, he kneeled down in 
the middle of the road, as if he were kneeling in 
front of the road through which the LORD must 
pass out; and then falling on his face before Him 
he kissed the ground, and crying out to Him 
prayed Him not to go to death without his ser- 
vant but to suffer him to go along with Him. 
Then he pictured to himself as vividly as he could 
that the LORD was obliged to pass quite close to 
him, and when he had said the prayer, 'Ave, rex 
noster, Fili David!' (Hail, our King, Son of 
David) he let Him move onwards. After this he 
knelt down again, still turned towards the gate, 
and greeted the cross with the verse, ' O crux ave, 
spes unica' (Hail, O Cross, our only hope!) and 
then let it go past. This done he kneeled down 
once more before the tender Mother Mary, Hea- 
ven's Queen, as she was led past him in unfa- 
thomable anguish of heart, and he observed how 
mournfully she bore herself, and noted her burn- 
ing tears and sighings and sorrowful demeanour; 
and he addressed her in the words of the * Salve 
Regina ' and kissed her footsteps. Then he stood 
up and hastened after his LORD until he came up 
with Him. 

"And the picture was sometimes so vividly 
present to his mind that it seemed to him as if he 
were in body walking at CHRIST'S side, and the 
thought would come to him how that, when King 
David was driven from his kingdom, his bravest 
captains walked around him and gave him loving 
vsuccour (2 Kings, xv). At this point he gave up 



1 6 The Stations of the Cross 

his will to GOD'S will, desiring that GOD would 
do with him according to His good pleasure. Last 
of all he called to mind the epistle which is read 
in Holy Week from the prophecy of Isaias, begin- 
ning 'Quis credidit auditui nostro* (Is. liii), and 
which so exactly describes how the LORD was led 
forth to death, and, meditating upon it, he went 
in by the door of the choir, and so up the steps 
into the pulpit until he came beneath the cross in 
the place where one day the hundred considera- 
tions upon the Passion had been made known to 
him. He kneeled down and looked upon JESUS 
stripped of His garments at the moment when He 
was cruelly nailed to the cross. Then, taking a 
discipline and in a passion of fervour, nailing 
himself to the cross with his LORD, he prayed 
that neither life nor death, weal nor woe, might 
ever separate him from the Crucified." * 

A singularly touching legend regarding a 
spiritual pilgrimage of the same kind may be read 
in the Cistercian Chronicle of Frey Bernardo de 
Brito.f He tells us that in the ancient Cistercian 
convent of Lorvao not far from Coimbra there was 
a certain holy lay-sister whojbefore dedicating her- 
self to GOD as a nun had led a very mortified life 
in the world. Among her other good undertakings, 
however, she had made a vow to go on a pil- 
grimage to the Holy Land, and when she entered 
religion she was continually haunted by the recol- 

' I have copied Father Knox's excellent translation of Suso, 
pp. 50-54, but I have modified a phrase here and there, where 
the original seemed to require it. It may be noted that the phrase 
"Way of the Cross " is equally used by Suso of a journey which 
he took in imagination to accompany our Lady home after the 
entombment. 

t " Primeira Parte da Chronica de Cister." Lisbon, 1602, 
book VI, c, xxxiv, fol, 463. 



Veneration of the Holy Places 17 

lection of this promise to GOD which left her a 
prey to many harassing scruples, as she saw 
no means of fulfilling her engagement. Still she 
always hoped that in some way she might yet be 
enabled to keep her vow, and for this end she 
prayed very earnestly and practised the most 
severe mortifications. Now it happened while she 
was in this state of distress that a solemn jubilee was 
proclaimed by the pope, and that extraordinary 
faculties were given to confessorc to commute 
vows of all kinds, even those of pilgrimage to the 
Holy Land. There was of course no real need of 
any such commutation in the case of our lay-sister, 
as vows of devotion, according to the common 
teaching of theologians, are annulled ipso facto by 
solemn profession in a religious order However, 
the sister, tortured by scruples, presented herself 
to the confessor during the jubilee-tide, and hum- 
bly asked him for some commutation which might 
discharge her conscience. He decided that it would 
be best for her to make a spiritual pilgrimage for 
such time as the actual journey to the Holy Land 
would have lasted had she been able to travel 
thither, and so for a year together, with the leave 
of her superior, the good lay-sister spent all her 
time in passing from altar to altar and from shrine 
to shrine within the convent enclosure, identify- 
ing them with those sacred spots which are vene- 
rated by pilgrims in the holy city. Before the day 
appointed for commencing this exercise she bade 
a solemn farewell to her sisters in religion, and 
during all the time which followed she spoke no 
word to them nor they to her. She took her scanty 
repasts in the refectory when the others had 
finished, leaving the larger share of her allotted 
portion to be given to the poor, and at night she 



i8 The Stations of the Cross 

lay down on the ground and slept in the church 
or in the cloister, wherever she might be when 
the hour sounded for retiring to rest.* For full 
twelve months this exercise continued, and it 
happened that on the night when the year of 
pilgrimage would expire, she was seen praying in 
the church before the Blessed Sacrament with 
hands uplifted. There she must have remained in 
this attitude from midnight until dawn ; but when 
the sacristan who came to open the church ap- 
proached to warn her that the people were enter- 
ing for Mass, she found the sister lifeless and 
cold, but still kneeling as before, while her face 
was all aglow with supernatural light. This un- 
usual occurrence deeply moved the townspeople, 
who cut away portions of her habit and preserved 
them as relics, by which many miracles were 
afterwards said to have been wrought. But the 
strangest marvel of all happened only a few days 
later when a pilgrim newly returned from the 
Holy Land knocked at the gate and asked for 
news of Sister Maria Minz, this being the name 
of the good lay-sister who had so peacefully de- 
parted. They bade him tell them how he came to 
know her and to make such inquiry, whereupon 
he related that in all his pious visits to the holy 
places of Jerusalem this sister had been his com- 
panion; but that on such a day, naming the day of 
her death, she had suddenly quitted him as they 
were j our ney ing homeward, informing him that she 
was wanted in her convent and bidding him call 
there to ask for further tidings. 

Father Brito adds that he could not ascertain 

* Father Quaresmius, who borrows the story from Brito, 
omits these details. He evidently thought that such a flagrant 
neglect of all means of healthful relaxation was not calculated 
to edify. 



Veneration of the Holy Places 19 

the year in which this event took place, but that 
the memory of the holy lay-sister was still vene- 
rated in the convent of Lorvao. Such historical 
foundation as the story may have would seem to 
belong to the pre-Reformation period, while the 
mention of the jubilee, which was proclaimed for 
the first time by Boniface VIII, shows that it must 
in any case be subsequent to the year 1300. 

But we may turn back now from the devo- 
tional practices of Europe in the fourteenth and 
fifteenth centuries to see how in Jerusalem itself a 
definite Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows had 
meanwhile gradually come to be recognized, 
although perhaps it was not as yet called by any 
specific name.* There can in any case be little 
doubt that when the two brothers de Fabriano or 
Alonso the Dominican visited Palestine, they 
would have had pointed out to them by their 
guides as an object of special devotion the path 
followed by our SAVIOUR on His way to Calvary. 

* Tobler, " Topographic von Jerusalem," considers that the 
name Via Dolorosa did not come into common use before the end 
of the sixteenth century. This however must be a mistake, for 
the Spanish poet Juan de la Enzina, in his " Viage de Jerusa- 
lem" (1519), speaks of the street (calle) along 1 which our LORD 
dragged His cross, "which nowadays is called the street 
of anguish'' (qu 1 oy dia se dize la Cat de Amargurd). At this 
period it was also sometimes called the Via Sancta Holy Way. 









(Chapter II-The Beginnings of the 

Via Crucis 

IN the usetul essay upon the Stations of the 
Cross which has been published by Dr von 
Keppler, Bishop of Rottenburg, as an introduc- 
tion to the "Kreuzweg" of the Beuron Art School,* 
he states that before the eleventh century, although 
we find some indications of a Via Sacra, a cer- 
tain determined route along which pilgrims were 
conducted in visiting the holy places of Jeru- 
salem, there was as yet no Via Crucis, no trace 
of any recognition of the path by which our 
SAVIOUR bore His own Cross to Calvary. Bishop 
von Keppler considers that the earliest sugges- 
tion of such special recognition is to be met with 
in the French pilgrimage book of 1 187, "La Citez 
de Hierusalem." Even here, though there is 
mention of a Porte Dolereuse or sorrowful gate, 
by which our LORD went forth to die, the refe- 
rence to the road to Calvary is slight and indirect. 
There is no allusion as yet to particular sites 
along the road,indulgenced stopping-places which 
the faithful are taught to regard with veneration 
and to greet with prayer. This was to come later 
on, but it was remote in the twelfth century. 
There is equally little trace of a Via Crucis in 

* Keppler, " Die XIV Stationen des hi. Kreuzwegs. Eine 
geschichtliche und kunstgeschichtlicheStudie,"p. 13. Freiburg- : 
Herder. This has been in large measure supplemented by an 
article by Dr N. Paulus in the " Katholik 1 ' for April, 1895, en- 
titled, "Zur Geschichte der Kreuzwegandacht." 



Beginnings of the Via Grucis 21 

the narratives ot a number of other pilgrims be- 
longing to this period. They are so ready to give 
information when they possess it, that it seems 
barely credible that when Fetellus (1130), John 
of Wiirtzburg (1170), Theodore of Wiirtzburg 
(1172), John Phocas (1185), Wilbrand von Olden- 
burg (1212), and others, are all silent, the Via 
Cruets can really have been honoured by the 
pilgrims of that age. It is, perhaps, in the 
account of Philippus Brusserius Savonensis (1285- 
1291), that we first meet with anything like a 
series of halting places marking the incidents of 
the journey to Calvary. Riccoldo (1294) speaks of 
the "via per quam ascendit CHRISTUS bajulans 
sibi crucem," the road by which CHRIST ascended 
carrying His cross. In Marino Sanuto (c. 1310), 
in Pipino (1320), and Ludolf of Suchem (1350), the 
impression becomes stronger, but even here the 
Via Cruets has no special prominence. We 
find indeed that mention is made of the places 
where Simon of Cyrene was forced to help our 
SAVIOUR, where the women of Jerusalem wept, 
where Mary swooned at meeting her Son, none 
of which are heard of in earlier centuries; but 
these things are not associated together as having 
a particular interest of their own. They are, and 
remained for centuries later, merely items in a 
long series of holy places to be visited in turn. 
The tour occupied the whole day, and the Way 
of the Cross was only a fraction of it. Even as late 
as the seventeenth century so irrelevant an ele- 
ment as the house where Dives of the parable is 
said to have lived was retained amongst the other 
sites or stations which were venerated on the road 
to Calvary. 

By the end of the fourteenth century, largely 



22 The Stations of the Cross 

owing no doubt to the restrictions of the Turkish 
rule, a definite and almost invariable programme 
had established itself with regard to the enter- 
tainment of each band of pilgrims that visited the 
Holy City. For at least a whole night they were 
locked into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and 
were left free to wander about its precincts, to visit 
its holy places, to hear or say Mass, and to perform 
other devotions, always, be it understood, under 
the guidance of some of the Franciscans of Mount 
Sion. Then they returned to their hospice, and at 
midnight, or at any rate two hours before dawn, 
they were brought back to the open space before the 
Church of the Holy Sepulchre with a great flare 
of torches; and starting from that point, along with 
their Franciscan guides, they made the tour of the 
holy places within the city and outside the walls, 
crossing to Mount Olivet and returning to Sion 
before the evening had drawn in. It will be noticed 
from this arrangement that the pilgrims inverted 
the order of the stations of the Way of the Cross, 
passing not towards but away from Calvary, a fact 
which alone must make it sufficiently clear that 
the idea of accompanying our SAVIOUR in spirit 
on His last sad journey was as yet entirely want- 
ing. On the other hand, as the scenes of the carry- 
ing of the Cross, in their reverse order, were the 
first to be visited in the long pilgrimage, the sta- 
tions in question must often have been seen only 
by torchlight or in the grey of the morning. This 
latter fact may account perhaps for a certain 
amount of confusion about the sites in the narra- 
tives of travellers. In any case we cannot doubt 
that such an arrangement of time which left hardly 
any interval for sleep must have been intensely 
fatiguing. It was no doubt adopted by the Fran- 



Beginnings of the Via Crucis 23 

ciscans of Mount Sion, who in all these matters 
had autocratic powers, in order to avoid friction 
with the Turks in the frequented parts of the city, 
and in order to get the pilgrims away from Jeru- 
salem again with all possible despatch. However, 
it was not very long before a more devotional 
reason was forthcoming for this practice, and in 
the narrative of Felix Fabri (1480) we find an 
elaborate account of the long and wearisome pil- 
grimage to all the holy places of Jerusalem, made 
each day by our Blessed Lady while she remained 
on earth, the manner, duration and extent of her 
journey being, strange to say, the exact counter- 
part of that which was compulsorily followed by 
the pilgrims of the fifteenth century. As this, 
according to popular tradition, would have been 
the earliest example of the Way of the Cross, it 
seems worth while to say a few words on the 
subject. 

The first traces of the legend of our Lady's 
pilgrimages in Jerusalem are of early date. Thus 
a Syriac recension of the apocryphal departure of 
my Lady Mary from the world, which is assigned 
on high authority to the fifth century, records : 

" In the year 345 (of the Seleucian era, i.e., 
A.D. 34), in the month of the latter Teshrin, my 
Lady Mary came forth from her house and went 
to the tomb of the MESSIAH, because day by day 
she used to go and weep there. But the Jews as 
soon as the MESSIAH was dead closed the tomb 
and heaped up large stones against its door, and 
set watchmen over the tomb and Golgotha, and 
gave them orders that if any one should go to pray 
by the grave or on Golgotha he should straight- 
way die. . . And the watchmen came in and 
said to the priests, 'Mary comes in the evening- 




24 The Stations of the Cross 

and in the morning, and prays there/ And there 
was a commotion in Jerusalem concerning my 
Lady Mary; and the priests went to the judge 
and said to him, 'My Lord, send and order 
Mary not to go and pray at the grave and 
Golgotha/"* 

In a Latin adaptation of what is substantially 
the same story, printed by Tischendorf, a larger 
scope is given to our Lady's devotional pilgrim- 
age. This account states that : 

"When the apostles had separated in order 
to preach the gospel and had travelled to different 
parts of the world, the blessed Virgin our Mother 
is said to have remained in Jerusalem in a house 
which was situated close to Mount Sion. Thence 
as long as she lived she used to visit every spot 
which her Son's presence had sanctified, the place 
of His baptism, of His fast, of His passion, resur- 
rection and ascension/'f 

The legend gradually developed, and in the 
thirteenth century we begin to hear of a definite 
spot near the Church of the Ascension where our 
Lady used to rest, and where the archangel Gabriel 
appeared to her before her death, bringing her the 
branch of a palm tree. The scene of this angelic 
apparition was not always very clearly defined 
and was sometimes distinguished from our Lady's 
resting place, but the very ancient story of the 
coming of the angel with the palm branch, to be 

* "The Departure of my Lady Mary from this world," trans- 
lated from the Syriac by Dr William Wright, "Journal of Sacred 
Literature," April, 1865. This account is copied from a MS. of 
the sixth century. On the apocryphal " Transitus Mariae," see 
O. Sinding, " Mariae Tod und Himmelfahrt," and Mommert, 
" Die Dormitio und das deutsche Grundstiick auf dem traditionel- 
len Sion," Leipzig, 1899. 

t Tischendorf, "Apocalypses Apocryphae," introduction. 
This account is derived from the Codex Ambrosianus, L. 58. 



Beginnings of the Via Crucis 25 

borne before her bier "a token," says Fabri, "of 
her complete victory over death and over the 
enemy of the human race " invariably attached 
itself in later times to her supposed pilgrimage to 
the holy places. But Fabrics account of our Lady's 
pilgrimage, conveying as it does a truthful im- 
pression of the devotional spirit of the age at 
which the exercise of the Stations took its rise, 
deserves to be cited at some length. I quote from 
the translation of this extremely interesting book 
published a few years since by the Palestine Pil- 
grims' Text Society, f 

" Our Blessed Lady was careful every day to 
visit the holiest places in Jerusalem and the 
neighbourhood. In the early morning, as dawn 
drew nigh, after having received holy Communion 
from St John on the LORD'S Mount of Sion, she 
went forth with her maidens and entered that 
great chamber which had been made ready for 
the Last Supper, where she meditated upon the 
immense boon there conferred upon the human 
race, looked into the deepest mysteries, and kissed 
the place where her Son had sat. From thence she 
would go to the house of Annas the high priest, 
and after praying there entered the hall of Caiphas, 
and mused, not without sorrow, upon the suffer- 
ings undergone by her Son in that building. 
Thence she went down from the Mount Sion out 
of the city and came to the rock of the Cross, 
which she embraced and sweetly kissed, pitying 
that dearest One who was crucified thereon, and 
rejoicing nevertheless in His precious devotion 

* This, on the whole excellent, translation is the work of Mr 
Aubrey Stewart. In this and future extracts from Fabri I have 
occasionally ventured to modify a phrase or two where the ori- 
ginal Latin seemed to be less felicitously rendered. 



26 The Stations of the Cross 

to those whom He redeemed. From thence enter- 
ing into the garden of the LORD'S tomb she would 
go to the place where the Body of her Son and 
LORD was anointed and preserved in spices, where 
she kneeled and kissed the stone, and swiftly rising 
from thence, made her way to the LORD'S tomb, 
whose cave she entered, and embracing His se- 
pulchre, was filled on that spot with unspeakable 
joy. Leaving these places she went down the hill 
of Calvary towards the city gate ; and on her way, 
not unmindful of her Son, how He was led out of 
the city along that path, burdened with the heavy 
Cross, and in the places where she had seen her 
Son either fall beneath the load of the Cross or 
be assailed by some special outrage, she would 
kneel down and pray. Thus she would enter the 
city by the Judicial Gate (" per portam judicia- 
riam "}, go up to Pilate's judgement hall, and kiss 
the places where He was scourged and crowned 
with thanksgiving. Coming out from thence she 
would go to the house of Herod and kiss her 
Son's footprints there. From thence she would go 
up to the temple of the LORD, and after praying 
there, would leave the temple on the other side, 
and come to the Golden Gate, where she reflected 
upon her Son's entrance on Palm Sunday."* 

It will be noticed how closely this corresponds 
with the course prescribed for the fifteenth-cen- 
tury pilgrims by their Franciscan guides. They 
have to make their way first from Sion to the 
Holy Sepulchre, and then after saluting the sites 
which are there they too begin their pilgrimage 
"down the hill of Calvary towards the city gate." 
Our Blessed Lady, while mindful of her Son and 
of the sufferings of His last cruel journey, is re- 

* Fabri (P.P.T.S.), vol. I, pp. 505, 506. 



Beginnings of the Via Crucis 27 

presented by Fabri as travelling in the contrary 
direction to that which He followed. So too, almost 
invariably, did the pilgrims, as it would be easy to 
show from any one of the scores of such narratives 
which have been published in our own and earlier 
times. Fabri's own account of his experience is 
too elaborate to follow in every detail, but we 
may quote it in part. He, being a Dominican, 
seems to have been entertained as a guest 
amongst the good Franciscans of Mount Sion, 
while his secular companions, " the pilgrim 
lords/* as he calls them, were lodged at the 
hospice provided for that purpose. 

" When the sun," he says, " had set, the pil- 
grims went down to their hospital to rest, but 
many of them remained with us on Mount Sion, 
and kept vigils in the holy places. At midnight 
we rose together with the brethren for the office 
of Matins and Lauds, after which we began to say 
private Masses, each in whatever place he chose, 
until it grew light. When the fifteenth day of July 
began to dawn, before sunrise we who were on 
Mount Sion went down to the hospital and roused 
up our brethren, the pilgrim lords, for a pilgrimage. 
When they were ready we came out of the hospi- 
tal with some of the brethren of Mount Sion* and 
Calinus Elaphallo,the Saracen, with his stick, who 
afforded us safe conduct and kept the boys from 
throwing stones at us. First of all we went to the 
courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, 
and there prostrating ourselves at the place where 
CHRIST fell beneath the Cross, as described above, 
we received plenary indulgences." f 

* According to the statement of an English pilgrim in MS. 
Harleian 2333, fol. 5a, the Franciscan guides used to explain 
everything in four languages, "that is to say, latyn, italien, 
frensche and duche." t Felix Fabri, p. 440. 



28 The Stations of the Cross 

It may be instructive to quote the fuller de- 
scription here referred to. The courtyard of the 
Holy Sepulchre Church, corresponding to the site 




CHURCH of the HOLT SEPULCHRE at JERUSALEM 
Copied from the Early Edition of Breydenbach, printed at Mains in 1486 

In the courtyard, pilgrims are shown kissing the stone marked wit the cross, which 
represented the Site of the Third Fall. 



of the last of the falls in our modern system of 
Stations, was the first halting place in the reverse 
pilgrimage undertaken by Fabri. The detailed 
account given by the Dominican pilgrim bears 
the following heading: 



Beginnings of the Via Crucis 29 

" The Courtyard in front of the Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre hath in it these places following. 

"AFTER we had seen that we came down by the 
same steps which we had gone up into the court- 
yard of the church, and near the door we were 
shown a stone in the pavement upon which were 
imprinted the marks of two human feet, just as if 
a man had stood upon a lump of soft wax, and 
pressed his feet into it; and it is evident that these 
traces of footsteps are not made in the stone by 
art, but by a miracle, though nothing is known for 
certain about this. However, they say that these 
are the footsteps of the LORD JESUS, who stood 
there at the foot of the rock of Calvary awaiting 
His crucifixion. Before this stone we bowed our- 
selves to the ground and kissed the sacred foot- 
prints. From thence we went in procession to 
a place close to the way out of the courtyard, 
where our LORD, as He carried His heavy cross, 
is said to have fallen beneath it through anguish 
and horror when He beheld the rock of Calvary 
before Him. . . . This holy place is marked with 
a stone, whereon many crosses have been cut by 
pilgrims. We therefore kissed this place and 
gained a plenary indulgence/'* 

Next in order as Fabri made the descent from 
Calvary towards Pilate's house came : 

"The Gate, outside which our LORD JESUS was led 

to be crucified. 

"AFTER this we came out of the courtyard into 
a street which leads from Mount Sion to Mount 
Calvary and from thence leads down into the city 
through all its length. When we had gone down 

* "The Book of the Wanderings of Brother Felix Fabri," 
vol. I, pp. 393, 394, 



3o The Stations of the Cross 

someway into the town, down that street up which 
the LORD JESUS ascended to Mount Calvary carry- 
ing His cross, we came to an ancient gate, broken 
on the right-hand side, whereof no more remained 
than one side, reaching from the ground to the curve 
which supported the arch, all the rest being gone. 
. . . This gate . . . was called the Old Gate because 
it stood there in the time of the Jebusites. After- 
wards it was called the Gate of Judgement (Porta 
Judictaria] because judgement was given therein 
after the manner of the ancients, and those who 
had been judged and sentenced therein were sent 
out of it to be executed. Both of these names, 
which are one and the same, to wit, the Old Gate 
and the Gate of Judgement, are mentioned in the 
third chapter of the Book of Nehemiah. 

" Out of this gate the LORD was led to be 
crucified, carrying His cross, wherefore it is said 
of this gate in the Epistle to the Hebrews, chap- 
ter xiii : * JESUS that He might sanctify the people 
with His own Blood suffered without the gate/ 
Let us human pilgrims then go out to Him with- 
out the gate bearing His reproach. Who, I pray 
you, could behold this gate save with devout 
compassion r From hence Abel went forth to the 
field of Afrem to be slain. Through this came 
Isaac carrying the wood that he might be sacri- 
ficed upon the mountain. Here was seen the cluster 
of grapes borne upon the staff. At this gate we 
repeated the prayer appointed in the processional, 
and knelt and gained indulgences." 

Fabri's account of Veronica and the subse- 
quent halting places is rather lengthy. It will be 
well to substitute for it a shorter notice found in 
" Le Voyage de laSaincte Cyt6 Hierusalem," the 
narrative ot a pilgrim of the same date (1480). 



Beginnings of the Via Crucis 31 

" And first, in going from the holy Sepulchre 
to Mount Olivet, we passed before the house of 
Veronica, who, seeing our SAVIOUR being led to 
His Crucifixion, lent Him a fine white cloth to 
cleanse His face, which was all disfigured by 
wounds and the filth thrown at Him by the false 
tyrants. And in putting the said cloth against His 
face His own likeness remained impressed upon 
it. The said Veronica is now at Rome, most pre- 
ciously and jealously preserved. 

"At the right-hand side, at the end of the street 
where is the house of the said Veronica, is the 
house of the wicked rich man, who would not give 
alms to the poor, of whom it is said that he is 
buried in hell. And in the said house there is an 
arch and gallery which goes across the street. In 
that street, on the left hand, there is a cross-way 
called the Trivium, and there the Jews compelled 
a good man named Simon the Cyrenian, whom 
they met there, to carry our LORD'S cross, be- 
cause our LORD could carry it no longer. 

"Also, a stone's throw beyond the said cross- 
road, there is the place where our Lady fell to the 
ground, and her heart failed her, when she saw 
our LORD among so great a multitude of Jews, 
and that He was being led out to die, and there 
a chapel was erected. From hence one passes 
under an arch on which are two beautifully hewn 
stones, as large as the base of a cask of wine. 
And our SAVIOUR was seated on one of these 
stones when He was condemned to death by 
Pilate, and Pilate was on the other stone/' * 

The writer has apparently overlooked the inci- 
dent of the women of Jerusalem. It is inserted by 

* "Voyage de la Saincte Cyt< de Hierusalem," ed, C. Sche- 
fer, p. 75. 



32 The Stations of the Cross 

Fabri between the place where our LORD'S face 
was wiped by Veronica and the cross-way where 
Simon of Gyrene, according to the then prevalent 
tradition, was compelled to lend his aid. But it 
must be carefully understood that these sites, 
with which we are now familiar, formed but a 
very small part of the whole pilgrimage. Our 
Blessed Lady was believed to have passed right 
through the city across the brook Cedron to the 
Mount of Olives, visiting every scene and every 
holy place, and Fabri describes how 

" After having visited Gethsemani, she again 
sought the high ground, and climbed upwards, 
slender and fragile as a wreath of smoke, being 
already worn away by her various penances, and 
burned within by the flame of pious love ; thus in 
cheerful guise she would with unspeakable long- 
ing seek the top of the holy hill of Olivet, from 
whence she had descended, and would return to 
the place of the LORD'S Ascension, whither she 
would go as though herself about to ascend 
straightway and meet her Son. When she was 
there, she would caress the aforesaid footprints 
with many kisses, lifting at one time her eyes, at 
another her hands to heaven, and on that spot 
she would feel much joy at the thought that 
there the greatest honour possible was bestowed 
upon her Son and upon herself, when that flesh 
which had been born of her was taken up from 
hence and exalted above all the heavens. Leaving 
this place, she would make her way home, and 
walk down the Mount, by the place where the 
apostles had put together the creed which she 
herself had taught them, where she would stand 
still for a little space and pray for those who pro- 
fessed the faith. Passing on from thence to the 




PART OF BERNARDINO AM ICO' S MAP OF JERUSALEM 

1609-1620 

The right hand side of the Map is the North 

47 Praetorium. 48 Herod's Palace. 1 The Ecce Homo Arch. 12 St Mary's Swoon. 
4 Simon of Cyrene. 30 Daughters of Jerusalem. 6 Veronica's House. 27 Church 
of the Holy Sepulchre. 37 The Temple (the Mosque of Omar). 

To face p. 32 



Beginnings of the Via Crucis 33 

place where the LORD had taught them to say ' Our 
Father,' she would stop and say that prayer, and 
as she went on would give thanks at the place 
where the eight beatitudes were preached. From 
thence she would come down to the place where 
CHRIST sat with His disciples and told them the 
terrible story of the Last Judgement, where she 
offered a prayer that He might be merciful in His 
second advent; and went on till she came to the 
dwelling where already, at the outset of this pil- 
grimage of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, I have 
said was her place of rest and recovery of breath. 
Now at the time when the Blessed Virgin Mary 
was alive there stood there a dwelling, inhabited 
by good peasants, who, observing the unfailing 
passing by of the Virgin, invited her to sit and 
refresh herself in the shade ; and she frequently 
would come out of the road, sit down and rest her 
frail maiden limbs." 

From this rough resting-place Brother Fabri 
describes her as rising: 

"So having resumed her strength, which she 
had not lost, but which had been in abeyance at 
the aforesaid place, she came down the foot of the 
mount into the valley, where after visiting the 
sepulchres of some of the prophets, she came to 
the sepulchre of her own most chaste husband, 
Joseph, who was buried there in a cleft of a rock, 
before which sepulchre she would stand and re- 
member him with tender emotion. From thence, 
crossing the bridge over the brook, she would go 
up again to Mount Sion, and when there would 
go to the place where she herself and the disciples 
received the HOLY GHOST on the day of Pentecost, 
where again she would be filled with fresh joy."* 

* Fabri, pp. 508, 509, 

3 



34 The Stations of the Cross 

It was in like manner that the pilgrims of the 
fifteenth century, after their short course through 
the city, spent the greater part of the day on the 
Mount of Olives and the places outside Jerusa- 
lem. For nearly two hundred years (i.e., from 
about 1350 to 1530), in what we may call the 
officially conducted pilgrimages, this route was 
invariably followed. It was only by degrees that 
a select few among the sites so visited, partly 
in consequence of the more liberal indulgences 
attached or believed to be attached to them, seem 
to have acquired a special prominence. 

Fabri's account of our Lady's pilgrimage will 
seem to many very fanciful, and the most ardent 
defender of local traditions will probably admit 
that no great reliance can be placed upon the 
details of this description of our fifteenth-century 
traveller. None the less, the good Dominican's 
narrative, in its frankness, simplicity and volu- 
minousness, holds a unique position among such 
records. It is very valuable for the insight which 
it affords into the devotional spirit of the pilgrims 
of that age, and before passing on to other topics 
I am tempted to make some further quotations 
illustrating the conditions under which pilgrim- 
ages were then made, and the patient endurance 
with which humiliations of all kinds were met. We 
hear so much of the decay of faith and piety in the 
closing decades of the period preceding the Refor- 
mation that one is glad to call attention to the 
evidence of earnestness involved in the cheerful 
endurance of so many hardships. No man can have 
held his religion lightly who was willing to en- 
counter the very real perils entailed by a journey 
to Jerusalem, and that without any prospect of 
tangible gain. However, we are not for the moment 



X 



Beginnings of the Via Crucis 35 

concerned with the graver dangers from ship- 
wreck, pirates or pestilence, but rather with those 
minor humiliations and discomforts which must, 
we might be tempted to think, have been so great 
a hindrance to devotion. 

A word has already been said above of the 
locking-up of the pilgrims in the Church of the 
Holy Sepulchre, where they were free to venerate 
those holy shrines now honoured in the five last 
Stations of the Cross. This is the account which 
Fabri gives of his experiences : 

" On the fourteenth day, beginning the day from 
the evening of the day before, because the pro- 
cession to the holy places is appointed in that 
fashion, when the sun was setting, warning was 
given to all the pilgrims that they should straight- 
way present themselves at the court or yard which 
lies before the [door of the] Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre, and that they should hurry over their 
supper, because the Moorish lords who keep the 
keys of the holy church were waiting for us 
there. So we made haste, and having taken with 
us the things which we meant to use, we came 
down to the courtyard of the aforesaid church, 
wherein we found a great disorderly crowd of 
eastern Christians and Saracens men, women 
and children. Also dealers in precious wares sat 
there and sold them, and some had loaves of 
bread, eggs and grapes for sale, whereof we 
bought some, and put them in our scrips for the 
repast which we should take within the church. 
Now, as soon as all the Saracen lords who had 
to do with the opening of the church were pre- 
sent at the door of that holy temple, they took 
their places gravely and seriously. Before the 
door on either side thereof great stones of polished 



36 The Stations of the Cross 

marble have been placed for benches, upon which 
these men sat, with their faces turned away. They 
were men of a fine presence, well stricken in 
years, handsome, wearing long beards, and of 
solemn manners, dressed in linen clothes, and 
with their heads wrapped round and round with 
countless folds of very fine linen. When all of us 
were collected together before those doors, they 
opened the church doors with their keys, and, 
standing beside them, let us in two by two, 
counting us even as they did when we came out 
of our ship on to the land, as aforesaid, and they 
looked at us very keenly. It is said of them that 
they are greatly skilled in the art of physiogno- 
my, and that as soon as they look upon any 
man they perceive his station in life, his disposi- 
tion and his desires. We went by them with shame 
and blushing, because it is a great confusion that 
CHRIST'S faithful worshippers should be let into 
CHRIST'S church by CHRIST'S blasphemers; and 
they let in whom they please, and keep out whom 
they please ; for they drove away from the church- 
doors, with blotvs from their staves and fists, 
many Christians of other rites who wanted to 
come in together with us. I confess that while I 
was passing between them into the church I was 
filled with confusion and covered with blushes, 
nor could I look them straight in the face by 
reason of the shame which I felt: not because of 
the badge of the cross which I bore on my clothes, 
but because of their unrighteous and impious 
power over those who bear the cross. There sat 
those dogs, as though they were our judges, and 
doubtless judged us to be fools because of the 
cross of CHRIST, because the name and sign of 
the cross is foolishness to them that are appointed 



Beginnings of the Via Crucis 37 

to perish (i Cor. i, 23). Thus, however, is it ordered 
by the divine wisdom, that the followers of the 
Crucified should be brought to the place where 
the cross stood by those who scoff at the cross, 
that by the foolishness of the cross they may 
believe and be saved. Now, as soon as we were 
all inside, the Saracens straightway pulled back 
the doors of the church quickly behind our backs, 
locked them with bolts and locks, as men are 
wont to do after they have pushed robbers vio- 
lently into a dungeon, and went away with the 
keys, thus leaving us prisoners in the most de- 
lightful, lightsome and roomy of prisons, in the 
garden of the most precious sepulchre of Christ, 
at the foot of the Mount of Calvary, in the middle 
of the world. Oh, how joyous an imprisonment! 
how desirable a captivity! how delightful an en- 
closure! how sweet a locking-in, whereby the 
Christian is locked in and imprisoned in the 
sepulchre of his LORD ! " * 

It is easy to see from the tone of Fabri's narra- 
tive that the relief of being free for a time from 
the contemptuous and often threatening glances 
of the Saracen conquerors gave free play to devo- 
tional feelings of which we should otherwise have 
had a very imperfect idea. The following incident 
affords a very pleasing insight into the character 
of the narrator: 

"Lo, my brethren! the truth compels me to begin 
by telling you of my own stupid carelessness and 
grievous irreverence, for which I beseech you to 
pray to GOD on my behalf, that He may not lay 
up my misdeeds for punishment at the last. This 
was what befell me, unhappy wretch that I was, 
on my first pilgrimage. When we had been locked 

* PP- 34 341- 



38 The Stations of the Cross 

into the church, and no longer feared any one, 
because no infidel was with us, we began in our 
joy to run to and fro through the church, seeking 
the holy places without any regular order, and 
every man went whithersoever he would at the 
bidding of his own spirit. I did not hurry, but 
went with a slow step towards the middle of the 
church, walking without any set purpose, and 
after I had gone forward about seventeen paces 
I stopped, and lifting up my face, looked at the 
vault above me. I cast my eyes upon the upper 
windows with curiosity, as ill-bred men stare 
about in strange places and houses without respect 
for any one, and so I stood by myself with wan- 
dering eyes. As I stood thus thoughtlessly, there 
came to me two ladies who were pilgrims; one of 
them was a German, Hildegarde by name, and 
they fell down before my feet and lay there weep- 
ing and sobbing, kissing the stone whereon I was 
standing. I was surprised and astonished, and 
said in German to her: * What is the matter, Lady 
Hildegarde, that you should do so?' She an- 
swered me, scarce able to speak for weeping: 
* Lo, my brother ! the stone whereon you stand is 
that whereon Joseph and Nicodemus laid the 
most precious body of our LORD when He was 
taken down from the cross, and they anointed 
Him and wrapped Him in His shroud upon this 
table of stone.' When I heard this I trembled, 
and drawing back my feet with horror, I fell on 
the earth before the stone. I scarce dared now to 
touch with my mouth that which before I had not 
feared to tread irreverently upon with my shod 
feet. 'O LORD/ I prayed, 'remember not the past 
sins of my youth, and the present sins of my 
ignorance. O LORD my GOD, Thy chosen servant 



Beginnings of the Via Crucis 39 

Moses was bidden by Thee when in the desert of 
Midian to put his shoes from his feet because the 
ground whereon he stood was holy; and the holy 
Joshua did not dare to stand shod in the field of 
Jericho, yet I, who am devoid of all holiness, full 
of vices, have dared to trample with my shod feet 
all irreverently upon the place which Thou Thy- 
self hast sanctified with Thy most precious body, 
naked and wounded ; nor can I find any excuse, 
for we read that Uzzah was stricken dead by 
Thee because he put forth his hand to the wain 
which bore Thy ark when it was like to fall. And 
behold, here we have incomparably more beneath 
our feet than the land of Midian or the field of 
Jericho; and a stone which is more worthy of 
honour than the wain or the ark. Therefore, 
LORD GOD, have patience with me, and I will 
pay Thee all reverence and honour at Thy holy 
places, and will render to Thee whatever else is 
Thy due with all the piety of which I am capable, 
and which Thou Thyself shalt bestow upon me/ 
After having prayed thus, I arose, and sought 
my lords and companions throughout the church, 
and found them sitting together in the chapel of 
the Blessed Virgin, waiting till the procession 
should be formed." 

I trust that the reader will not take in bad 
part the prolixity of Brother Fabri's Scripture 
references. They bring out something of the moral 
conditions under which medieval pilgrimages were 
made, just as the material conditions are well 
illustrated in the passage which follows. 

"Now the Father Guardian called together 
all the pilgrims, and set forth to them the rules 
and customs of the Church, which he reduced to 
thirteen heads : 



40 The Stations of the Cross 

"First, he told us that every pilgrim must buy 
a wax taper, which he must carry lighted in the 
procession. For many merchants had come in 
with us having wax tapers and other things for 
sale. 

" Secondly, he bade the pilgrims take care to 
walk orderly in the procession, so that one should 
not get in the way of another nor push against 
him, as also we were bidden to do in the sixth 
article given to us at Rama. 

"Thirdly, that we should consecrate this night 
to God, and take part in Matins and other ser- 
vices without any slackness. 

"Fourthly, that we should not make the house 
of prayer into a house of merchandise, and not 
sit and waste our time trafficking with the Eastern 
merchants. 

"Fifthly, he begged all such as were priests 
to go and celebrate Mass without disputing one 
with another. For they are wont to quarrel about 
places, and all of them want to celebrate Mass in 
the holy Sepulchre of our Lord, which is impos- 
sible in one day. 

"Sixthly, he appointed four altars for the 
celebrants that is to say, one in the Holy Sepul- 
chre, one on Mount Calvary, one at the place of 
the unction of Christ, whereof I have already 
spoken, and a fourth in the chapel of the Virgin 
Mary. Besides these there are many other altars 
in different parts of the church ; but they belong 
to schismatics and heretics, wherefore we did not 
celebrate Mass at them. 

"Seventhly, he bade all pilgrims make ready 
to confess themselves, and every one of them re- 
ceive holy Communion after the service. 

"Eighthly, he gave authority to all pilgrim 




Beginnings of the Via Crucis 41 

priests, and to his own brethren who had entered 
the church with us, to hear confessions both 
actively and passively* and to absolve from all 
sins, even from those reserved for the Holy See, 
for the guardian of Mount Sion has this power 
delegated to him by the pope. 

" Ninthly, he forbade any priest to administer 
the Eucharist to any pilgrim as he stood at the 
place where he celebrated Mass, but he ordered 
that all should receive the Sacrament after High 
Mass on Mount Calvary from the priest who 
officiated there, unless he should grant any special 
privilege to any one. 

"Tenthly, he warned the pilgrims not to lay 
down or leave about their property while they 
were making the round of the holy places in the 
church, lest they should lose it, because thefts 
often took place there, when suspicion and much 
disturbance arose. 

"Eleventhly, in case any one should wish to 
give alms at the holy places, and in giving them 
should wish to favour the Catholics rather than 
the schismatics, he explained to them which were 
the places of the Catholics and which were those 
of the schismatics. 

"Twelfthly, he warned us that, as has been 
already treated of in the first of the articles deli- 
vered to us at Rama, we must not break any- 
thing off at the holy places, neither must any 
man draw his coat of arms there, lest by their 
means holy places should be defiled. 

" Thirteen thly, he besought us that each of us 
would rouse himself to a spirit of lively devotion 

* The Latin is "dedit auctoritatem omnibus sacerdotibus . . . 
active et passive audiendi confessiones." It probably means 
that they could both receive the confession and give absolution. 



42 The Stations of the Cross 

and that we would profit by these most holy 
places, showing them that honour and reverence 
which is due to them." 

Of the emotions suggested by the procession 
itself as it passed from shrine to shrine within 
the enclosure the friars of Mount Sion arrayed 
in their sacred vestments, the pilgrims following 
with lighted candles, the precentor at the head of 
the procession intoning the " Salve Regina," as 
they started, "in a loud and cheerful voice" while 
all present took up the strain we shall have 
opportunity of speaking in a later chapter. 
Fabri enumerates seventeen separate shrines 
which were thus visited, including of course the 
place of the Crucifixion, the Holy Sepulchre, the 
stone of unction, and the spot where our LORD was 
stripped and nailed to the cross. Appropriate 
hymns and prayers were appointed for each, and 
the ceremony must have taken some hours. In 
what follows the narrator again reveals the spirit 
of the earnest pilgrim. 

"When the procession was over, the pilgrims 
drew together according to their several com- 
panies, into the various corners of the church, 
each company sitting in its own place, for we 
were wearied and worn out, and we made a sober 
meal. After we had eaten, we laid our heads 
against the wall for a short rest, and lay asleep 
against the pavement. I myself abode with the 
brethren of Mount Sion in the chapel of the 
Blessed Virgin, who had given me a quiet place 
to sleep in, but I could by no means close my 
eyes to sleep. Wherefore I arose straightway, lit 
my candle, and joined the watchers at the holy 
places ; for indeed the greater part of the pilgrims 
were wandering about all the aforesaid holy 



Beginnings of the Via Crucis 43 

places as each one pleased, passing hither and 
thither as the spirit of prayer moved them ; for a 
pilgrim may enter the Holy Sepulchre, ascend 
the Mount Calvary, or descend into the chapel of 
the Invention of the Cross, and the other places 
as often as he pleases. In these solitary visits to 
the holy places men feel greater devotion and 
abstraction from the world than when they do so 
in the general procession, in which there is much 
pushing and disorder and disturbance and sing- 
ing and weeping, whereas in the other case there 
is silence and peace. As I went the round of the 
places for the second time I went down to the 
place of the Invention of the Cross, and there 
said my matins. I took great delight in that 
underground place, because it was quiet and 
suited to me, for the Mount Calvary and the 
LORD'S Sepulchre and the other places up above 
were filled with an unbroken throng of pilgrims, 
and very noisy. Meanwhile some of my lords and 
their servants were running to and fro in the 
church up above me, hunting in every corner, 
seeking for me to hear their confessions, and 
never guessed me to be in that place. At last 
they came down to where I was, and I heard 
them there, sitting in the chair of St Helena." 

A quaint and very frank description follows of 
the struggle among the priests to say Mass at the 
most coveted altars, and then good Brother Fabri 
tells us briefly how : 

"After we had finished our services and 
Masses, there came the pagan Moorish lords, who 
threw open the gates of the church, making a 
great noise with the doors, that we might go 
forth more quickly. On hearing this we were 
frightened and distressed at our separation from 



44 The Stations of the Cross 

such delightful places, and we ran round from 
one holy place to another kissing them ; but as 
the pilgrims delayed their going by acting thus, 
the Moors became angry, banged the doors of the 
church so violently that the hinges creaked, and 
ran about with frightful yells among the holy 
places, from which they drove the pilgrims by 
force, and turned every one of us out of the 
church, except only the usual guardians. When 
they had turned us out they shut the church 
doors and went their way, leaving us in the court- 
yard outside. There we addressed ourselves to 
the visiting of certain holy places near to the 
church/' 

It is not very difficult to understand in the 
light of these descriptions, first, that if men 
were resolute enough to face the hardships of 
such a pilgrimage, the consolation and merit of 
visiting the holy places must have appealed to 
them very strongly; and, secondly, that among 
those unable to leave their homes a very ardent 
desire must often have been felt to replace the 
actual pilgrimage by some domestic practice of de- 
votion. It is undoubtedly to this longing to share 
the privileges oi those who travelled beyond seas 
that we owe both the first suggestion and the 
later developments of the exercise of the Way of 
the Cross. 










k) . 

3 * 



8* 



To face f. 44 



45 



Earliest Stations and 
their Sequence 

THE word statio (station) appears in Chris- 
tian literature from a very early date, with 
a special and quasi-liturgical signification. It 
is not quite easy to trace its primitive develop- 
ment. There can be little doubt that its Christian 
meaning grew out of the military use of the term 
to designate an outpost or picket, especially for 
night duty.* Early in the second century it is 
familiar to Hermas f in the sense of a " fast," 
possibly, because on certain days, stationes 
(i.e., vigils) were kept up during the night and 
early morning beside the tombs of the martyrs, 
such vigils being, perhaps, marked by a fast, or 
at least a semijejunium. This, however, is quite 
uncertain. In the time of St Cyprian, the word 
frequently had reference to the "synaxis," or 
gathering of the faithful for liturgical purposes, 
which took place on those fast-days. In the indi- 
cations still retained in the Roman Missal, e.g., 
" Statio ad S. Anastasiam, Statio ad S. Lauren- 
tium," etc., statio no doubt denotes rather the 
service itself than the meeting-place in which 
it was held. Such a rubric was intended to con- 
vey that the statio ', i.e., solemn Mass, with its 
accompanying procession, etc., took place on this 
day at the Church of St Anastasia or of St Lau- 

* See Professor Funk's article in the " Real-Encyclopadie 
der Christlichen Alterthiimer " (F. X. Kraus), II, p. 783. 
t "Pastor"; Sim. v, I. 



46 The Stations of the Cross 

rence. But the further use of the term in the 
general sense of halting-place in a procession, or 
site calling for special veneration, was obvious, 
and became familiar in the vulgar tongue of most 
European countries during the middle ages. The 
" Stations of Rome," for instance, is the title of 
a fourteenth-century English guide-book, which 
gives in rude verse an account of all the more 
conspicuous churches and of the holy places in 
the city where indulgences could be gained. 

In this sense the word statio has been ap- 
plied to the different halting-places along the 
Via Dolorosa. Curiously enough, the first in- 
stance of its consistent use, with this signification, 
meets us in the narrative of an English pilgrim, 
Master William Wey, one of the original fellows 
of Eton College. Wey visited Palestine on two 
separate occasions in 1458 and 1462. On both 
occasions he went to Jerusalem, and made the 
ordinary round of the holy places (through the 
the city, and to the Mount of Olives and back), 
under the guidance of the Franciscans of Mount 
Sion. He obviously took special interest in the 
minute details of these tours, for he has not only 
written a twofold account of most of them, but 
he has invented an elaborate memoria technica, 
of which more anon, for recalling them to mind 
in their proper order. Now, while Wey gives 
minute descriptions, providing also memorial 
verses for each, of several other tours, namely, 
the holy places around Bethlehem, the places 
within the precincts of the Holy Sepulchre, the 
holy places beside the Jordan, the holy places on 
Mount Sion, etc., he reserves the name Stations 
for one tour, and one tour only, that within Jeru- 
salem, which begins with the sites of the Via 



The Earliest Stations 47 

Cruets. If these places had been but once referred 
to in the volume which he has left us, we might 
easily have supposed that the word stationes 
appeared there by accident, but seeing that it 
occurs four separate times in the same connexion, 
and nowhere else, it would hardly be reasonable 
to explain its presence in these passages by mere 
coincidence. First, we note that among the head- 
ings of the memorial verses the tour beginning 
with the Via Crucis is entitled "Loca Sancta in 
Stacionibus Jerusalem." In none of the rest does 
the italicized word appear, though we have "Loca 
Sancta in Monte Syon," "Loca Sancta in templo 
sancto Christianorum," "Loca Sancta in Bethle- 
hem," etc., in any one of which we might have 
expected to find it. Again, in the general account, 
which is given apart, when Wey begins a detailed 
description of the same tour, starting eastwards 
from the Holy Sepulchre, we meet the rubric, 
"Hie incipiunt sancte Stationes" the other tours 
being headed like those just referred to "Pere- 
grinaciones Vallis Josaphat," "Peregrinaciones 
Montis Oliveti," "Peregrinaciones sacri Montis 
Syon," etc. Then, in Wey's narrative of his first 
pilgrimage, the same word is twice repeated in 
connexion with the same series of sites under the 
form "Peregrinaciones ad loca Stacionum" and, 
finally, in the account of the second journey 01 
1462, the term seems to be introduced with em- 
phasis into the text itself. It will be well to trans- 
late this brief passage : 

"After supper," says the writer, "we lay down 
upon mats, and at early dawn the brothers came 
to call us to make the round of the stations (veniunt 
fratres vocantes nos ad peragrandum stationes}. 
And so, upon July 20, we traversed those sites 



48 The Stations of the Cross 

(ivimus per ista loca). First, the stone with crosses 
upon it on which CHRIST fell;* second, that paved 
street in which CHRIST carried the cross ; third, the 
house of the rich man that was damned ; fourth, 
the meeting of the ways where CHRIST fell with 
His cross ; fifth, the place where the women wept 
over CHRIST; sixth, where Veronica received the 
countenance of CHRIST upon her napkin ; seventh, 
where the Blessed Virgin Mary swooned ; eighth, 
the gate through which Christ was led out to 
death ; ninth, the pool where the sick were healed 
at the moving of the waters ; tenth, where are two 
white stones built into the wall over the head of 
the passers-by, upon which Jesus stood when He 
was sentenced to death by Pilate j the eleventh 
is the school of the Blessed Mary, where she 
learnt to read; and along that road on the other 
side is the house of Pilate, in which CHRIST was 
scourged and condemned to death; and so on for 
the rest of the places in Jerusalem Josaphat, the 
Mount of Olives, the Valley of Siloe and Mount 
Sion, as I have described them in my preceding 
itinerary." 

It seems to me not wholly accidental that 
Wey interrupts his list at the house of Pilate. We 
may remember that the famous stations erected 
in Nuremberg, at the instance of Martin Ketzel, 
begin with a Pilatushaus, and were suggested 
seemingly by the pilgrimage he made in Palestine 
about 1468, six years after Wey's last visit to the 
Holy Land. We may also remember that in the 
next century there is strong evidence of a special 
cultus paid to this clearly-defined portion of the 
tour (peregrinatio, circulus or Umgang}. Hence 

* It will be noticed that Wey, like the pilgrims referred to in 
our last chapter, travelled in the opposite direction to our 
Lord, beginning from Calvary and going eastwards. 



The Earliest Stations 49 

it seems likely that Wey himself regarded the road 
along" which our Saviour travelled to His death 
as standing out in some conspicuous manner from 
the rest. 

Other pilgrims in the latter part of the fifteenth 
century use the name Stationes, though not 
seemingly with such an exclusive reference as 
this English traveller to the sites along the Holy 
Way. The matter deserves fuller investigation, 
although, on account of the very large number of 
those who have left accounts of their pilgrimages 
at this period, the undertaking would be a serious 
one. I may be content to notice here the promi- 
nence given to the word Stations in the Pilgrims' 
Guide of Antonio de Aranda, a Spanish Francis- 
can, who wrote in 1530. The book is particularly 
important, because it does not, like so many of 
the others, record merely the fleeting and neces- 
sarily inaccurate impressions of a single hurried 
visit to the holy places, but the writer, who was 
guardian of the important Franciscan Friary of 
Alcala, seems during a considerable period to 
have been the honoured guest of his brethren of 
Mount Sion, and to have had constant opportu- 
nities of obtaining information from , those who 
lived on the spot.* Of Aranda' s volume we shall 
have to speak further, but for the present it will 
be sufficient to notice that he uses the word 
estaciones frequently, and that it seems to be 

* " Verdadera Information de la Tierra Sancta," by Ant. de 
Aranda, Guardian de Sant Francisco de Alcala de Henares. The 
preface is dated 1530 from the Franciscan monastery of Mount 
Sion, but the first edition of the book, it is interesting- to note, 
was printed in 1533, by Miguel de Eguya, the printer who 
harboured St Ignatius at Alcala, and brother of the Diego de 
Eguya who became a Jesuit, and who was the saint's confessor 
down to the time of his death, I have only had access to the 
edition of Toledo, 1550. 

4 



50 The Stations of the Cross 

particularly applied to the sites on the way to 
Calvary, and not so commonly to be employed of 
the sites, even though richly indulgenced, in the 
pilgrimages outside Jerusalem. Thus Chapter xiv 
bears the following heading, conspicuous among 
the few such headings in which the word esta- 
ciones is introduced: 



" Cap. XIV. Of the Stations \estaciones~\ which 
there are from the House of Caiphas up to Cal- 
vary along the Road which CHRIST travelled!' 

IN this chapter, when referring more particu- 
larly to the way between Pilate's house and Cal- 
vary, Aranda makes the further statement that 
" in this road there are three stations." The first 
station so specified is the meeting-place of our 
Blessed Lady and her Son. The second is that of 
the meeting with the women. The third the house 
of Veronica. 

Now, whether we look to the sites which, 
according to the testimony of travellers, were 
held in honour in Jerusalem itself, or whether we 
look to the imitation pilgrimages which were 
carved in stone or set down in books for the de- 
votion of the faithful at home, we must recognize 
that there was a complete want of any sort ot 
uniformity in the enumeration of the Stations. 
As so much has just been said of William Wey's 
pilgrimage, we may conveniently take the first 
two verses of his memoria technica, which by a 
coincidence happen to commemorate just four- 
teen sites. They run as follows: In Wey's own 
manuscript, and in the reproduction of it for the 
Roxburghe Club, the words of which the verses 
are made up are written in a very large hand, 
while the explanations of each, here given in 



The Earliest Stations 51 

footnotes, are added in minute writing over the 
word to which they have reference. The crosses, 
which in the MS. have been written in red ink, 
indicate the places where plenary indulgences 
may be gained.* 



oca Sancta in Stacionibus Jerusalem 

"Lap 1 strat 2 di 3 trivium 4 flent 5 sudar 6 sincopiza- 
vit 7 

" Por 8 >J pis 9 >J< lap 10 ^ que schola 11 ^ domus 12 ^ 
Her 13 Symonis 14 Pharisey." 

Those of my readers who do not understand 
the Latin explanations may be referred back to 
the passage already translated from Wey (p. 48). 

* Wey also copied into his book another account of the holy 
places at Jerusalem in English verse. This is seemingly of 
older date than his own, and no mention is made of Veronica. 
But we read, e.g. : 

Ther JHESU mett with his Modyr Marie 
Ther sorowyd together both He and she ; 
And ther the wymmen of Jerusalem 
Wept on CHRYST when that He cam. 

Another copy of this poem, with many variations, is in MS. 
Ashmole, 61. 

1 Lapis cum crucibus super quern CHRISTUS cecidit cum 
cruce. 

2 Strata per quam CHRISTUS transivit ad suam passionem. 
8 Domus divitis negantis micas dare Lazaro. 

4 Ubi CHRISTUS cecidit cum cruce. 

8 Locus ubi muVieres flebant propter CHRISTUM. 

6 Locus ubi vidua sive Veronica posuit sudarium super 
faciem CHRISTI. 

7 Locus ubi beatissima Maria slncopizavit. 

8 Port 'a per quam CHRISTUS transibat ad passionem. 

9 Piscina in qua egroti sanabantur tempore CHRISTI. 

* Lapides super quos stetit CHRISTUS quando judicatus erat 
ad mortem. 

1 Locus ubi beata Maria transivit ad scolas, 
* Domus Pilati. 

5 Domus Herodis. 

4 Domus Simonis Pharisey, 



52 The Stations of the Cross 

The places there mentioned are the same as those 
cited here, except that two others, viz., the house 
of Herod and the house of Simon the Pharisee 
are here added. It should be observed, too, that 
the memorial verses continue without any break 
or division to indicate nearly thirty sites, some 
within Jerusalem, some outside the walls. In all, 
the holy places about Jerusalem number in his 
reckoning more than a hundred. It will be seen 
that the fourteen Stations on this list by no means 
correspond to those with which we are familiar. 
If we count the first mentioned by Wey (Lapis 
cum crucibus, i.e., the stone with crosses shown 
n the courtyard before the church of the Holy 
'Sepulchre,) as the equivalent of the scene of His 
third fall, we have only four others which can be 
properly identified with ours. These are trivium y 
the "cross-road" where Simon of Cyrene was 
made to assist our LORD ; flebant, the weeping 
women ; sudar, i.e., sudarmm, the napkin of 
Veronica; and sincopizavit "she swooned/' the 
meeting with Mary. Strat^ the paved way leading 
to the hill of Calvary ; di y the house of the rich 
glutton of the parable; por, the judicial gate of 
the old city: pts, the probatic pool ; lap, the two 
stones in the Ecce Homo arch ; schola, our Lady's 
school ; and the houses of Pilate, Herod and 
Simon the Pharisee, expressed by the words dom, 
Her, Symonis Pharisey, are only remotely related 
to the Way of the Cross as we know it. For pur- 
poses of comparison it may be interesting to 
quote the narrative of another English pilgrim, a 
layman of distinction, who made the same round 
of stations about fifty years later, in 1506, and 
who has left an account in the vernacular. He 
also, like Wey, travelled eastwards from Calvary, 



The Earliest Stations 53 

but the pilgrimage, which in Wey's time was per- 
formed in one day, seems in 1506 to have been 
spread over several. The site which Wey mentions 
first as lapis cum crucibus (the stone with crosses) 
is included by Sir Richard Guylforde* in the 
series of " stations " at the Holy Sepulchre, being 
referred to in the following words : 

"And withoute, forthe before the entre into 
this Temple (of the Holy Sepulchre), X paces in 
distaunce, is put a stone in memorye and token 
that our SAVYOUR CRISTE, berynge His Crosse, 
for very feblenesse, fell there to the grounde 
undernethe the crosse." 

Then under the heading, "Pylgrymages 
within Iherusalem," Guylforde continues : 

" [7] And so this day aforesayde we vysited all 
ye longe wey by the whiche our SAVYOUR CRISTE 
was led frome the hous of Pylate unto the place 
of His crucyfyinge. 

" [6] And firste, as our way laye, we came to 
the house of Veronica, whiche is f rom Pylate's 
house 550 paces, where as our blessed SAVYOUR 
impressyd ye ymage of His face in her wympell 
whiche is at Rome, and is there called the var- 
nacle. 

" [5] And fr m thens we went to the house of 
Diues Epulonis, qui sepultus est in inferno, etc. 

" [4] And from thens we went to a place 
called Bivium, that is as moche to say as a 
crosse strete, or a crosse wey, where ye women 
of Jherusalem stode and sorowfully wepte whan 
oure SAVYOUR was led to His deth, to whom 
He sayde, ' Wepe ye not vpon me, ye daughters 

*Sir Richard Guylforde was Master of the Ordnance, 
Knight of the Garter and a privy councillor. He died at Jeru- 
salem in the course of his pilgrimage, and the account of his 
travels was written by his chaplain. 



54 The Stations of the Cross 

of Jherusalem, but wepe ye vpon yourself and 
vpon your children/ etc. 

" [3] I tem nexte is the place where ye Jewes 
constreyned Symeon Cirenen, comynge from the 
towne, to take the crosse after our SAVYOUR, etc. 

" [2] The next place y l we come to is wher our 
blessyd Lady stode when she met with her dere 
Sone berynge His crosse, where, for ouer moche 
sorowe and dolour of herte, she sodenly fell into 
a sowne and forgetfulness of her mynde; and this 
place is called Seta Maria de Spasmo. Saynt Elyn 
buylded a churche there, but it is downe, and ye 
Sarrasyns haue often attempted to buylde there, 
but their edifying wold not stande in no wyse. 

"[i] Item, as we passyd by ye strete, there 
standeth an arche ouer ye way, vpon ye whiche 
stoude ii large whyte stones; vpon the one of 
them our SAVYOR stode whan he was juged to 
deth, and upon ye other stode Pylate whan he 
yaue sentence yt he shuld be crucyfied." 

I have prefixed numerals in square brackets 
to these paragraphs to call attention to an in- 
teresting change in the practice of the pilgrim 
guides at Jerusalem. Eleven years after the voyage 
of Sir Richard Guylforde to the East, another 
English pilgrim, Sir Richard Torkington, a priest, 
set out to visit the holy places, and he also com- 
piled an account of his adventures. In accordance 
with a custom very prevalent in the days when 
literary copyright was yet unknown, Torkington 
freely availed himself of the descriptions left by 
previous travellers. Guylforde' s pilgrimage had 
been printed by Pynson in 1511, and from this 
source Torkington has copied almost verbatim 
the account there given of the various shrines 
and stations in Jerusalem. But there is one note- 



The Earliest Stations 55 

worthy modification. In his description of "the 
longe way by whiche our SAVYOUR CHRISTE was 
led unto the place of His crucyfyinge," Torking- 
ton, while borrowing sentence by sentence the 
exact words of his predecessor, has carefully 
arranged the sites in the reverse order. From 
this it seems clear that in 1517 the good Fran- 
ciscans at Jerusalem had for some reason changed 
their practice and now conducted the pilgrims 
along the way of the Cross towards Calvary, as 
our LORD Himself had travelled on His last 
sorrowful journey. At any rate, so far as I am 
aware, we do not after this date find in the 
descriptions of the Via Dolorosa that the sites 
are any longer enumerated in the reverse order 
from Calvary eastward. 

But to return to Sir Richard Guylforde's de- 
scription. It may be noted from what follows 
that he passes without perceptible break from the 
Stations of the Way of the Cross to other sanctu- 
aries. We may fairly infer that in 1507 the Way 
of the Cross was not yet generally recognized as 
a separate object of devotion : 

" From thens we went vnto ye hous of Pylate, 
in ye whiche our SAVYOURE was scorged, betyn, 
crowned with thornes, and put to all iniuryes y* 
myght be deuysed, and fynally condempned to 
deth; there is also clene remyssyon. 

" And there is also the way that gothe to the 
Temple, by the whiche, when the Jewes came 
from the Temple, they cryed, * Crucifige,' etc. 

"From thens we went vnto the hous of Herode, 
that is on the lefte hand of Pylates hous, and 
standethhyghervpon thefronte of the hyll, into the 
whiche hous our SAVYOUR was presented unto 
Herode by Pylates sendynge, accusyed by ye 



56 The Stations of the Cross 

Jewes ; neverthelesse, the sayde Herode clothed 
hym in a whyte garment, and sent hym agen to 
Pylate, et facti sunt amid Her odes et Pilatus in illo 
du y etc., and thyse ii houses of Pylate and Herode 
be yet now moch what the fayrest houses in 
Jherusalem, and specyally the house of Herode. 

" Therby is an other fayre hous y* was some- 
time a fayre churche of Saynt Anne, but now ye 
Sarrasyns have made thereof a muskey [mosque], 
that is to say, theyr temple, and that is the selfe 
place y* was Saynt Anne's house, and there she 
died; and in a vaught vnderneath is the very 
selfe place where our blessyd Lady was borne ; 
and there is plenarye remyssyon. The Sarrasyns 
wyll suffre no man to come into this place, but 
pryuely or for brybes, because it is theyr muskey. 

" Nota that relyques of the stones of the place 
there our Lady was borne is remedy and consola- 
cion to women that travayll of childe, etc. 

"Item, a lytell therby is Probatica Piscina, 
where our SAVYOUR healyd many men that were 
seke, as the Gospell sheweth, etc. 

" From thens we went to the hous where the 
the synnes of Mary Magdalene were foryeuen."* 

However, despite a good deal of variation in 
the selection, arrangement, number and distances 
of the Stations, it is clear that at Jerusalem in the 
early part of the sixteenth century the traversing 
of the route of our SAVIOUR from Pilate's house 
to Calvary had already begun to be regarded as 
a special exercise of devotion which was in some 
sense complete in itself. Aranda, who, by the by, 
sets down the distance at 1,862 fassos y i tells us 

* " The Pylgfrymag-e of Sir Richard Guylforde to the Holy 
Land, A.D. 1506," pp. 28-30. 

fHe evidently means to be particularly accurate, for he re- 
marks that the said paces are "those which we friars commonly 



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To face p. 56 



The Earliest Stations 57 

that this is the Holy Way, par excellence, " Esta 
es la via sancta particularmente ansi llamada de 
los Cristianos" ; and he remarks further, "Also 
it is to be observed that this road from Pilate's 
house to Calvary is that which we friars (nosotros 
los frayles) are wont to follow when for our devo- 
tion, and out of reverence for our SAVIOUR, we 
set out to traverse the very road which, as we be- 
lieve, His most compassionate Majesty Himself 
trod/' 

Undoubtedly one of the earliest indications of 
special veneration attaching to the holy " Cruys- 
ganck," i.e., the carrying of the Cross, is the prac- 
tice of measuring the distance from the Preetorium 
to the place of Crucifixion. The first traveller who 
seems to attach importance to the exact distance 
from Pilate's house to Calvary, and who pro- 
fesses to have carefully measured it, is Martinus 
Polonus, in 1422.* Polonus estimates the length 
of our LORD'S last journey at 450 paces. Martin 
Ketzel, who had the famous Stations erected at 
Nuremberg, lost the measurements he made during 
his first pilgrimage (c. 1468), and actually under- 
took a second pilgrimage some few years later in 
order to take the measurements again. In spite 
of all the care supposed to have been used by 
Polonus and others the most extraordinary diver- 
sity prevails in the measurements given, which, 
for fear of the Turks, could only be made in paces. 
Thus, while Polonus, in 1422, gives the distance 
from Pilate's house to Calvary at 450 paces, it is 

use when we are stepping 1 out freely"; "que comunmente haze- 
mos los frayles quando caminamos a passo largo." 

* " Et est notandum quod a loco Calvarie usque ad idem 
praetorium sunt 450 passus, quos omni diligentia, qua potui, 
numeravi" (Tobler, " Descriptiones," p. 229). 



58 The Stations of the Cross 

set down by sundry different travellers as Tobler* 
points out in 1479, at l >5 paces; in 1491, 1000; 
in 1507, 1,067: in 1508, 500; in 1519, 846; in 
J 586, 750; in 1593, 1,321 (this last measurement 
is that of Adrichomius) ; in 1611, 850. It is to be 
noted that by passus some travellers must have 
meant a double step, others a single stride, but even 
so the divergence is difficult to explain. Probably 
the main cause of the discrepancy was the fact, 
as we shall have occasion to note further on, that 
the ground between the old Judicial Gate and 
Calvary was all built over. Hence pilgrims could 
only guess at the path actually followed by our 
LORD. 

The only satisfactory way of bringing home 
to the reader the wide divergence between the 
Stations in Jerusalem itself, as known to travel- 
lers between 1300 and 1720, and those of our 
modern Way of the Cross would be to draw up 
an elaborate table recording the dates of the 
principal narratives and all the sites mentioned 
in them. This can hardly be attempted here save 
on a very small scale, which does not in any 
way make apparent to the eye the complete 
absence of any record regarding the first two 
falls, the sentence by Pilate or the stripping of 
the garments. On the other hand, if we accept 
the mention of the Ecce Homo Arch i.e., the 
two stones, as Wey calls them as the equivalent 
of the reception of the cross, and the stone 
marked with crosses before the Holy Sepulchre as 
the site of the the third fall, it may be said that 
these two stations the second and the ninth ap- 
pear in the narrative of almost every early 

* "Topographic von Jerusalem," I, p. 236. 



The Earliest Stations 59 

traveller.* This disposes of six stations, and the 
four last the nailing to the cross, the cruci- 
fixion, the taking down and the entombment of 
our SAVIOUR call for no comment. We are left, 
therefore, with four variable stations, which may 
be thus indicated : the meeting with our Blessed 
Lady by M, that with Simon of Cyrene by S, 
that with the women of Jerusalem by W, and that 
with Veronica by V. With regard to these, the 
data of our selection of travellers may be tabulated 
as follows. The order of these meetings is that in 
which they would have occurred as our SAVIOUR 
made His painful way from the Prsetorium to- 
wards Calvary.f 



1294 Ricoldo 


W 


M ... 


s 


1320 Pipinus ,. ... 


M 


S ... 


W 


1350 Dublin MS 


W 


M ... 


s 


i ^SdJGucci 


M 


M... 


s 


1391 Swinburn and Brigg ... 


A T *4- 

M 


S 




1395 Ogier d'Anglure 


MJ 


M... 


W 


1419 Nompar de Caumont ... 


M 


rw 

' s 




1422 Johannes Polonus 


M 


W 
" S 




1411; Lochner . 


M , 


. v.. 


W 



s ... v 

* Curiously enough this stone with crosses "lapis cum 
crucibus" as Wey called it in the courtyard of the Church of 
the Holy Sepulchre, seems to drop out of sight in the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries. It is clearly shown in Breydenbach's 
woodcut (c. 1487), copied on p. 28, where the pilgrims are seen 
kissing it. Not only Wey but Fabri asserts that there were 
many crosses on the stone (see p. 29 above). Yet many other 
pilgrims state that it was a small stone marked with only one 
cross. See e.g. M. Tschudi, 1519, " Reyss," p. 191. 

f In the narratives of the pilgrims, as explained above, the 
Stations are nearly always described in the reverse order, as 
seen by one travelling eastwards away from Calvary. 

i Where two M's or two V's are given there are two men- 
tions of Mary or Veronica, as the case may be. 

Dietrich expressly states that CHRIST spoke to the Holy 
Women in the very act of being relieved of His Cross by Simon 



6o 



The Stations of the Cross 



1436 Georg Pfintzing M W ... S V 

1458 Wey M V ... W S 

1480 Fabri M W ... S V 

1483 Breydenbach M S ... W V 

1484 Francisco Suriano ... M W ... S V 

1491 Dietrich von Schachtent M < ^ V 

1496 Harff M W ... V 

1506 Guylforde M S ... W ... V 

1530 Aranda M S ... W ... V 

1586 Zuallardo M S ... W ... V 

1620 Bernardino Amico ... M S ... W ... V 

1639 Quaresmius M j ^ ... V 

1646 Surius M S ... W V 

1656 Parviller M S ... W V 

1674 Nau M S ... W V 

1694 Caccia M S ... W V 

1713 Hietling M S ... V W 

1716 Turpetin M S ... W V 

1724 Francisco Jesus Maria... M S ... W V 

1735 Myller M S ... V W 

1736 Antonio do Sacramento M S ... V W 
1744 Horn M S ... V W 

It will be remarked that no mention of Vero- 
nica occurs before the account of Lochner in 1435. 
In his narrative, her name appears twice, though 
that marked V (i) is but a casual allusion. In all 
the later descriptions down to 1713, with the single 
exception of Wey in 145 8, the meeting with Vero- 
nica comes nearest to Calvary. Wey is so pains- 
taking in his descriptions that when we couple his 
divergence from the commoner arrangement with 
the double mention of Veronica in Lochner we are 
led to the conclusion that the tradition about the 
site of Veronica's house remained rather vague 
and uncertain until some years after we first hear 
of it. During the same period the meeting of our 
LORD with Simon of Cyrene and that with the 

of Cyrene. Aranda suggests the same. Others, e.g., Brasca, 
remark that He spoke to them as soon as the taking of the 
cross by Simon enabled Him for the first time to turn His head. 



The Earliest Stations 61 

holy women were uniformly regarded as having 
taken place close together. It is noteworthy, then, 
how completely our present arrangement of sta- 
tions, which separates the holy women and 
Simon of Cyrene by Veronica and by the second 
fall, contradicts all local tradition. But upon this 
point there will be occasion to speak further in a 
later chapter. 



62 




Chapter IV-The " Seven Falls " 

A LTHOUGH we have already taken note of 
.iVsome isolated attempts to imitate in western 
lands the construction or relative position of the 
sanctuaries of Jerusalem, there seems to be no 
evidence of the erection of any thing like a definite 
" Way of the Cross " before the closing years of 
the fifteenth century. It is not quite easy to deter- 
mine what is the earliest example of any system 
of devotional Stations in stone or wood intended 
to recall the road to Calvary. Perhaps from their 
nearness to the source of inspiration a set of seven 
columns at Rhodes, of which we hear something 
at the beginning of the sixteenth century, may 
have the best claim to take precedence, but I must 
confess that .my efforts to gain any authentic in- 
formation about these interesting pillars have 
been unsuccessful. An almost equal degree of ob- 
scurity attends the erection at Gorlitz of a series of 
Stations which are known to have begun with some 
sort of representation of " Pilate's house." A cer- 
tain George Emmerich, we are told, who visited 
the Holy Land in 1465, erected a model of the 
Holy Sepulchre on his return. Besides this he 
attempted to reproduce the scenes around, build- 
ing his chapel at the exact distance from the 
Church of St Peter that Calvary was separated 
from the Praetorium. A set of Stations was added, 
two of which, though the subjects can hardly be 
recognized, are still preserved.* 

*See Lutsch, "Die Kunstdenkmaler des Reg-. Bezirks Lieg- 
nitz," part iv, pp. 676-677. This erection was commemorated in 





i'iiio nmyii|ni tewi ifiii Mni\ jjtii 
if IROT 5if ir mill pitonia fttus 






SECOND AND FIFTH STATIONS 
Carved by Adam Kraft at Nuremberg. See pp. 64 and 63 wofc. 

To face p. 63 



The "Seven Falls" 63 

But by far the best known work of this kind 
of early date * is the famous series of carvings 
executed by Adam Krafft of Nuremberg at the 
instance of Martin Ketzel, to whose pilgrimage 
reference has already been made. These Stations 
were probably completed before 1490, and are 
still to be seen, though they have undergone 
several restorations, and some of them, which were 
more exposed to the weather, have of late years 
been removed to the museum. f They are seven, 
or more accurately eight, in number, and have 
inscriptions carved under them, naming the sub- 
ject of the group, and giving the distance from 
Pilate's house. Thus the inscription under the first 
Station runs : " Here JESUS meets His dear and 
Blessed Mother, who swooned away for anguish 
of heart. Two hundred paces from Pilate's house." J 

verse a century later by Bartholomew Andreade, who writes, for 
instance : 

Quosque per anfractus DOMINUS salebrasque viarura 

Robora sustinuit bajulus alta crucis, 
Hos certo referet quern ping-imus ordine tractus, 

Unum ut qui novit, norit utrumque locum. 

See C. G. Hoffmann, " Scriptores Rerum Lusaticarum," vol. I, 
part it, pp. 129-120. 

* Mgr von Keppler quotes Wadding's " Annales" for the 
statement that Philip of Aquila in 1456 erected a set of Stations 
in the Franciscan friary to which he belonged. I can find no 
justification for this assertion in Wadding or in the " Acta San- 
ctorum." Wadding states only that B. Philip built little oratories, 
but no mention is made of the Passion or the Way of the Cross. 

t Daun, " Adam Krafft und die Kunstler seiner Zeit," 1897, 
p. 65; and cf. " Mittheilungen des Vereins fur Geschichte der 
Stadt Number^," n, 1880, p. 83. 

" Hir begegnet JESUS seiner wirdigen lieben Mutter, die vor 
grossem herzenleit anmechtig ward ; lie. schrytt von Pilatus 
haus." The two Stations represented opposite have only been 
superimposed for convenience sake. Originally of course they 
stood many hundred yards apart, as the inscriptions indicate. 
The fourth of the series is reproduced in the frontispiece. 



64 The Stations of the Cross 

The other six subjects, with their distances, may 
be more summarily named. The second is Simon 
of Cyrene, 295 paces; the third, the women of 
Jerusalem, 380 paces ;* the fourth, Veronica, 500 
paces; the fifth, JESUS sinking under the cross and 
belaboured by the Jews, 780 paces; the sixth, 
JESUS prostrate under the cross, i ,000 paces; the 
last, JESUS laid in the arms of His Blessed Mo- 
ther, f The distances are in each case supposed to 
be measured from Pilate's house, but no figures 
are given in the last case. It seems certain that 
this and similar arrangements of seven Stations, 
resembling but not necessarily identical with 
KraffVs, were popularly known as the " Seven 
Falls," : for in all of them our SAVIOUR, if not 
actually prostrate, was conceived as either sink- 
ing under His burden, or staggering again to 
His feet. In the case of the Nuremberg Stations 
the evidence for the use of this name is quite un- 
equivocal. A chronicler of the city records that in 
the year 1508 he (Adam Krafft) had carved in stone 
and erected before the gate of the Garden of Beasts 
the Seven Falls of Christ, as they were commonly 
called, with seven crosses extending to Mount 

* How untrustworthy all these data are, may be seen from 
the fact that by several of the earlier fifteenth-century pilgrims 
the meeting with Simon of Cyrene and the women of Jerusalem 
is represented as taking place at the same point of the cross- 
roads, and yet according to these measurements these two spots 
are nearly one hundred yards distant from each other. 

t Although another carving, now very much mutilated, repre- 
sents the Crucifixion, it would almost seem that this and the 
last are intended to form but one Station. 

J " Anno 1508 hat er (Adam Krafft) vor dem Thiergartnerthor 
in Stein gehauen und aufgerichtet die Siebenfall CHRISTI, welche 
man gemeiniglich nent bei den 7 Kreutzen bis hinaus ad montem 
Calvarice, zu dem Capellein bey S. Johannes, zu dem Heiligen 
Grab genandt, dasselbig grosse Creuz, mit samt der zween 
Schager " (J. Neudorffer, apud Daun, " Adam Krafft, " p. 140). 



The "Seven Falls" 65 

Calvary, that is to say, to the chapel besides St 
John's Church, called the Sepulchre Chapel; and 
there there was a great cross with the two thieves. 
The Stations supposed to be imitated from 
Krafft at St Getreu, in Bamberg, dating from 
1507, were also seven in number, and Tilmann 
Riemenschneider seems to have carried out other 
sets of a similar character.* We may very pro- 
bably regard an early set of Stations erected by 
one Peter Sterckx (or Peter Potens) at Louvain 
after his return from Jerusalem about 1505 as 
another example of the Seven Falls. There are 
said to be eight subjects, but it does not seem 
very clear whether there were eight different 
halting-places. They ended in a chapel, known 
as the Capelle van Calvarien, and they began 
with the House of Pilate, which stood at the 
corner of St James's Churchyard. Peter Calentyn, 
whose devotional work on the Stations will 
shortly be mentioned, wrote a separate tract 
on the Cruysganck of Louvain, in which he 
assigns the exact locality where each sculpture 
had been erected. After the House of Pilate, 
which no doubt represented our modern Station, 
" JESUS is condemned to death," there follows 
(2) the first fall, (3) Simon of Cyrene (this stood 
near the house of the Irish Dominicans), (4) 
Veronica, (5) the second fall, (6) the women oi 
Jerusalem, (7) the third fall, (8) the stripping 
of the garments. It will be noticed that these 
Stations correspond with those of Adam Krafft 
neither in subject nor in order; but in spite of this 
there was great pretence of accurate measure- 
ment. From the Louvain Pilatushuys to the 

* Bishop von Keppler, "Kreuzweg," p. 33; Weber, Riemen- 
schneider, p. 24 

5 



66 The Stations of the Cross 

Capelle van Calvarien were counted 662 double 
paces or 1,324 single steps. Each step, Calentyn 
is careful to note, measured two-and-a-half feet, 
and each pace consequently five feet. These 
Stations long continued to excite the devotion of 
the faithful. A writer who gave a description of 
them in 1666 tells us : "On y va en pelerinage fort 
denotement principalement en la semaine sainte." 
We shall see further on that this set of Stations 
at Louvain has exercised a preponderating 
influence upon the selection and arrangement of 
the fourteen now universally adopted in our 
churches.* 

The little work of Peter Calentyn on the 
Stations of Louvain seems to be much more rarely 
found than his translation of the devotional work 
of Jan Pascha.f I have not been able to meet 
with a copy of the former, and I know it only 
from the extracts given by Van Even. 

Another set of Stations which has given rise 
to a whole literature of its own, mostly consisting 
of volumes absolutely inaccessible outside of 
France, are those connected with the famous 
Calvary of Romans in Dauphine.J If we were to 

* We learn from Adrichomius that other sets of the Seven 
Falls, apparently copied from that at Louvain, existed at 
Mechlin (for many years the residence of Jan Pascha), Vilvorde 
and other towns of Brabant. 

f " Een devote maniere om gheestelyck pelgrimagie te 
trecken tot den heyligen lande," Louvain, 1563. Three editions 
of this two in Flemish and one in French are in the British 
Museum. The Museum does not, however, possess a copy of the 
first edition. There was a second edition of the French transla- 
tion, which Rohricht in his " Bibliotheca " seems to have mis- 
taken for an original work. Another Flemish edition was printed 
at Ghent in 1612. 

t A full bibliography is given by U. Chevalier, "Bulletin 
d'HistoireEccleViastiquedes dioceses de Valence," etc., vol. iv, 
p. 68. 



The " Seven Falls" 67 

attempt any account of the Calvaries which 
existed in Brittany, Southern France, Italy and 
Germany, it would be impossible to keep this 
little book within reasonable limits.* But in the 
story of the foundation of the Calvary of Romans 
we hear incidentally of two other sets of Seven 
Stations. One Romanet Boffin, a merchant of 
Romans, having had occasion for matters of 
business to travel to Fribourg in 1515, was 
greatly impressed by certain memorials of the 
Passion of our SAVIOUR which had been erected in 
that city. These consisted of a Calvary with seven 
"pillars," which a Knight of Rhodes, Peter ol 
Englisberg, who had been made commander ot 
the commandery of St John Baptist of Fribourg, 
forthwith set up as an exact reproduction of 
seven other pillars existing in the Isle of Rhodes, 
which commemorated in their turn the holy 
places of Jerusalem. Romanet Boffin was so edi- 
fied that he asked the permission of the magis- 
trates of Fribourg to erect a similar set of Stations 
in his native city, and was presented with a docu- 
ment, still extant, which attests that he had 
accurately measured the distances. f 

Boffin had previously sought and obtained the 

* The famous Sacro Monte of Varallo was first instituted by 
Blessed Bernardino Caimi, Guardian of the Franciscan Obser- 
vants in 1491. He had twice resided in the Holy Land, and 
had been custode of the holy places in 1477 and 1487. See 
'Miscellanea di Storia Franciscana," I (1886), p. 61, and 
Galloni, "Uomini e Fatti Celebri in Valle Sessia," p. 84. Cf. 
also Motta, " II beato Bernardino Caimi" (1891), p. 16, and S. 
Butler, " Ex Voto," pp. 46-56. 

t " Socle" te" Departementale d" Arche*ologie, etc., de la Drdme, 
Bulletin," vol. xv, p. 228; " Archives de la Socie'te' d'Histoire 
du Canton de Fribourg-," vol. V, p. 274(1891). We learn that 
this set of Stations began with "la maison dudit Ponce Pilate, 
en laquelle la croix feust mise sur son pouvre doz." The sites of 
these Stations at Fribourg can still be traced, 



68 The Stations of the Cross 

approval of the magistrates of his native town, 
who gave him leave to appropriate the sites 
which were necessary for his purpose.* His plans 
seem to have developed and to have grown more 
ambitious as he found that the scheme gained in 
popularity. He accordingly obtained a Bull from 
Leo X giving him permission to visit the Holy 
Land, and there is also extant an indulgence 
granted to this Calvary a few years later. 

The story is rather obscure, but the Calvary 
at Romans seems to have consisted of a multi- 
tude of Stations, which varied greatly in number 
at different epochs. Two friars of Jerusalem told 
Boffin that there ought to be thirty-one in all. In 
certain books of piety published about the Ro- 
mans Calvary as early as 1515 twenty-five are 
named. In the " Voyage et Oraisons du Mont 
Calvaire de Romans," printed by Jacques Kerver 
in 1556, the number is nineteen. In the " Direc- 
toire du Voyage" of Friar Archange de Clermont 
in 1638 there areas many as thirty-seven. 

Although it is extremely interesting to hear 
of these seven Stations at Rhodes, from which 
the Stations of Fribourg were copied, it may per- 
haps seem rash to infer that all such sets of 

*"Le i Octobre, 1516, a est expose^, par honneste homme 
Romanet Richard (he is described elsewhere as Boffin, dit 
Richard) marchand de ceste ville qu'il a faict faire sept piliers 
de pierre qui sont demonstratifs des saincts Lieux de Jerusalem, 
les quels il voudroit mettre et asseoir en certaines places et lieux 
de ceste ville, comme il a te* compass^ par le prestre de mon- 
sieur de Sainct-Pol et autres religieux de Jerusalem: ce qu'il 
n'oseroit faire sans le bon vouloir et consentement de mes diets 
seigneurs les consuls et de la ville. A la quelle chose sont accor- 
ded les diets messieurs les consuls et 1'assemble'e et que iceluy 
Romanet puisse prendre les lieux a luy ne"cessaires sans contra- 
diction quelconque " (Extract from the Consular Reg-isters of 
Romans, "Bulletin de la Socie"t d' Arche"olog-ie de la Drdme," 
vol. xv, p. 229), 




THE INCIDENT OF SIMON OF CTRENE 

An illustration of the " Gey stitch S trass," Nuremberg, 152 i. 

See pp. 79-80. 

The pillar form affected in these illustrations undoubtedly 
bears witness to the familiar occurrence of such stations 
erected at carefully measured distances in churchyards, or 
by the wayside. The artist who designed these illustrations 
has clearly been inspired by Adam Krafffs carving. 

To face p. 68 



The "Seven Falls " 69 

seven, like Krafft's, represented the seven falls.* 
Curiously enough, however, a piece of evidence 
which at first sight appears to create a serious 
difficulty proves on examination to tell the other 
way. 

We may find in Sanderus' " Chorographia " f 
a mention of the cemetery of the Franciscans at 
Antwerp, which had seven sculptures, depicting 
the seven dolours of our Blessed Lady. " So 
great," he says, " is the devotion of the populace 
to these Stations, that people are to be found 
making them at all hours of the day. Especially 
on Fridays, after Compline, the friars all go two 
and two to the altar of our Lady of Sorrows, and 
there two cantors intone aloud the ' Stabat 
Mater/ to which the community respond very 
beautifully in harmony. Then they all go out to 
the Stations, a great crowd of people following 
behind. The whole assembly kneels down before 
each Station in turn, and three 'Our Fathers' 
and 'Hail Marys' are said by each person in 
silence. At the end is sung the antiphon, 'Sancta 
Maria,' etc., by way of conclusion. This is not," 
says Sanderus, "a modern devotion. It was famous 
in this place as far back as the year 1520, when 

* There can be little doubt that these seven pillars really cor- 
responded to the Stations we have been describing". Speaking 1 of 
the house of Pilate at Romans, Chevalier says: "C'est la pre- 
miere station qu' e"rigea Romanet Boffin, suivant le dessein qu'il 
avait d'abord concu de faire sept piliers, dont le premier etait 
plac^ dans le cimetiere de Saint Bernard. Sur ce pilier on voyait 
un Ecce Homo. "Further he remarks of the Station representing" 
the third fall, now the twenty-first in the series of Romans : 
"C'est la derniere station avant d'arriver au Calvaire. . . Elle 
a remplace* le sixieme pilier du voyage primitif" ("Bulletin 
d'Histoire Eccle"siasttque," vol. in, pp. 226-229). 

t Sanderus, " Chorographia Brabantica," vol. II, Antwerp, 
FF. Min., pp. 7, 8. 




7o The Stations of the Cross 

Leo X granted an indulgence of 100 days for 
each Station/' * 

Now it would of course seem at first sight that 
a series of seven sculptures consecrated to the 
dolours of our Lady almost necessarily excluded 
the idea of any other object of devotion, and 
notably the seven falls of our Blessed LORD. But 
this, as appears on further examination, would 
be a rash inference. 

In the National Museum at Stockholm are 
to be found an extremely interesting series of 
fifteenth-century engravings representing simul- 
taneously the seven falls of our LORD and the 
Seven Sorrows of His Blessed Mother. They bear 
inscriptions as follows: 

" i. This picture shows the first painful fall, 
when the LORD JESUS, tied as He was with 
bonds, was thrown down off the bridge into the 
brook Cedron. 

"2. This picture shows the second painful fall 
when the LORD JESUS in the open street fell, 
heavily to the ground on His way from Herod to 
Pilate. 

"3. This picture shows the third murderous 
fall, when the LORD JESUS fell heavily swooning 
upon the steps [apparently before Pilate's judge- 
ment seat]. 

" 4. This picture shows the fourth pitiful fall, 
when the LORD JESUS, after the scourging, fell 
fainting beside the pillar. 

" 5. This representation shows the fifth lamen- 
table fall, when the LORD JESUS fell to the ground 
under the cross upon which he had been con- 

* Leo X apparently granted a good many such indulgences. 
In some cases there can have been no question of seven sculp- 
tures (See the " Regesta Leonis PP. X," ed. Hergenrother, 
nn. 14237-8, and 14627). 



The "Seven Falls 71 

demned to die. [Simon of Cyrene is shown trying 
to help to lift our LORD.] 

" 6. This picture shows the sixth painful fall, 
when the LORD JESUS was cruelly thrown down 
naked upon the cross [' miitternackt,' as naked 
as when He was born]. 

"7. This design [*hochentworff'] shows the 
seventh heart-breaking fall, when the LORD JESUS, 
already nailed to the cross, was again cast down 
to earth. 'O Mary help us, Amen." (The cross is 
supposed to have fallen forward out of its socket.) 

In each of the seven pictures our Lady is 
shown with the sword in her heart. No exact 
date, or even approximate estimate, is assigned 
by Schreiber for this series.* 

Another similar set of woodcut pictures is de- 
scribed by the same authority in nos. 645, 647, 
653, 655 and 683. (To these we may add perhaps 
643, the fall into the Cedron, where our Lady is 
represented with a sword in her breast, an en- 
graving dated by Schreiber, c. 1490.) This second 
series seems once to have had an inscription 
repeated in each picture: "O mensch betracht dy 
siben veil CHRISTI und di siben hertzenlayd Marie. 
O man, contemplate the seven falls of CHRIST 
and the seven heart-breaking sorrows of Mary/' 

645 represents a fall in the street. There is no 
cross, but Mary and John are there looking on. 
No sword is represented. 

647. JESUS falls on being dragged up the steps 
to the Governor Pilate. Mary, with sword in her 
breast, and John are present. 

653. JESUS, in a swoon, falls to the ground 

* Schreiber, nos. 642, 644, 646, 652, 654, 659 and 685. He 
seems, however, to be quite satisfied that the engravings are 
fifteenth century, 




72 The Stations of the Cross 

beside a pillar. Judas is looking in through one 
window; Mary and John through another. 

655. JESUS falls under the cross. Simon of 
Cyrene tries to help Him. Mary looks on with a 
sword piercing her heart ; John stands besides her. 

683. Erection of the cross. Mary, with the 
sword in her heart, is standing by. 

The series is incomplete. 

The subjects represented in these two sets of 
the " Seven Falls" are apparently identical, and 
they must be compared with the pious contempla- 
tions contained in a little devotional booklet 
called the "Mount of Calvary' ("Dit is den 
berch van Calvarien "), printed at Leyden in 
Holland about 1520.* Here we find suggested 
a pious method of following with prayers and 
aspirations the Passion and seven falls of our 
SAVIOUR, though these are not in any way iden- 
tical with Krafft's, but begin, like the series 
just mentioned, with the legendary fall of our 
Blessed LORD in crossing the brook of Cedron 
(de torrente in ma bibet). The booklet is illus- 
trated with woodcuts of the roughest description, 
but it is noteworthy that these include both the 
sentencing of CHRIST to death by Pilate and the 
stripping of the garments. As for the falls, the 
seven enumerated are (i) at the brook of Cedron, 
(2) on the way to Herod, (3) on the steps of 
Pilate's house when sentence was passed, (4) at 

* " Dit is den berch van Calvarien." " Een seer dovoet 
hantboecxken voor een jegelic kersten mensce hoe men den 
Berch van Calvarien opclimmen sal, ende helpen onsen heere 
zijn swaer cruyce draegen, want hi seer moede is geworden van 
swaren ancxte des doots. Ghedruct tot Leyden by my, Jan 
Mathijszoon, wonende of die Hoy-graft." Another edition, of 
which there is a copy in the Bodleian, appeared at Amsterdam 
some years later. 



The "Seven Falls" 73 

the scourging, (5) during the carrying of the 
cross, (6) when thrown down for the nailing, 
(7) when the cross, with our LORD upon it, was 
allowed to slip back just after it had been raised, 
so that His sacred face was once more dashed 
against the ground. 

This is not supposed to be an exhaustive list 
of the falls of our SAVIOUR; for the text of the 
book expressly states that our LORD revealed to 
a holy virgin that He fell thirty- two times " be- 
tween Jerusalem and Calvary/' As the reader 
who may compare this list with that given above 
will see at a glance, the series of falls comtempla- 
ted here is identical with that delineated in the 
Stockholm woodcuts. On the other hand, they are 
quite different, as already noticed, from the Seven 
Falls of Adam Krafft, though the purpose of both 
exercises is identical. This purpose is plainly 
declared upon the first page of the " Berch van 
Calvarien," where the title runs: "This is the 
Mount of Calvary: a very devout handbook for 
a Christian man, to teach him how men ought to 
climb the Mount of Calvary and help our LORD 
to carry His heavy cross, when He has become 
very weary through the grievous dread of death." 

We may conjecture perhaps that the exercises 
of the booklet are really older than the time of 
Martin Ketzel, Krafft and Sterckx, and that these 
latter considered that they would accomplish their 
devout purpose better if, to make the exercise 
still more realistic, they confined the set of Seven 
Falls to the incidents of the journey from Pilate's 
house to Calvary. The inclusion by Sterckx of 
the stripping of the garments as one of the 
"falls' (see above, p. 65), must, one would 
think, be more than a coincidence. 



74 The Stations of the Cross 

Before quitting this subject I may call atten- 
tion to a paragraph about the Seven Falls, occur- 
ring in an English Catholic book of devotion of 
the early seventeenth century. It is abridged 
from a Flemish volume of much older date, about 
which we shall have much to say in the next 
chapter. The passage runs as follows : 

" Considering it is almost impossible, for a 
Pilgrim to goe a longe way without fallinge, thou 
shalt recollect the seaven fallings of CHRISTE our 
LORD, takinge one of them for every day in the 
weeke. 

" The first, the falling our LORD being taken, 
when they hastened Him to passe over the water 
of Cedron. 

" The second, the falling of our LORD in the 
streete, being sent from Pilate to Herod and back 
againe, thrust and thronged by the Jewes. 

"The third, the fallinge of our sweete RE- 
DEEMER with His face upon the steppes of Pilate's 
House. 

" The fourth, His fallinge after His scourging 
through His extreme debilitie and weakness. 

" The fifth, in His voiage to the Mount of Cal- 
varie, falling seaven sundry times to the earth by 
the way under the heavie burden of His crosse. 

" The sixth falling was when so inhumainly 
He was thrown downe upon the crosse, and most 
lamentably nayled and stretched thereon. 

" The seventh fallinge, when He was nayled, 
lifted up and let fall into the mortice of the crosse, 
with a most stronge torture and rueful paine to al 
His holy members."* 

* " The Spiritual Pilgrimage of Hierusalem, contayninge 
three hundred and sixtie five days," etc. The Preface is signed 
R. H. The book is abridged from Jan Pascha's " Gheestelyck 
Pelgrimagie," and must have been printed abroad about the 
year 1630. 



The "Seven Falls " 75 

Two points are noteworthy in this extract. 
First it will be observed how the writer, or rather 
the sixteenth-century Flemish original which he 
is summarizing, shows his consciousness, under 
heading five, of the prevalence of a twofold system 
of falls, one embracing the whole of the Passion, 
the other confined, like Adam Kraift's sculptures, 
to the carrying of the cross to Calvary. Secondly 
the change in the character of the seventh fall 
should not be overlooked. In the examples hitherto 
cited we have heard of the cross falling again to 
earth after it had been fixed in its place. Here it 
is assumed that by the seventh fall of our 
SAVIOUR we are only to understand the terrible 
shock with which the cross settled down into the 
hole prepared for it. This last, of course, is a much 
less extravagant supposition, but there can be 
no question that the former legend was current 
among many writers at the beginning of the six- 
teenth century. A prayer in the little Flemish 
book, " Den Berch van Calvarien," already men- 
tioned, leaves no room for ambiguity; this is how 
it is worded : 

" O sweet LORD JESUS, I thank You from the 
bottom of my heart, and remind You of that most 
painful fall when You were lifted up upon the 
cross, and those ferocious Jews made You fall down 
again so cruelly with the cross, that Your holy 
Face was imprinted on the earth, and all Your 
veins rent and all Your sinews torn. And this 
was the greatest pain that You suffered on this 
earth. O holy, strong and sweet GOD, I pray You 
by this most heavy fall imprint again on me 
Your divine image and forgive me the seven 
deadly sins in so far as I may have been guilty of 
them. Have mercy on me, dear LORD, and receive 
me again into Your divine grace. Amen." 




Chapter V The Spiritual Pilgrimage 

of Jan Pascha 

THE booklet just mentioned, " Den Berch van 
Calvarien," is only one of a group of similar 
devotional works which seem to have had great 
vogue in Germany and the Netherlands at the 
beginning of the sixteenth century. If I am not 
mistaken in my conclusions, it is to one particular 
ideal pilgrimage of this type, of which more anon, 
that we are primarily indebted for the form in 
which the exercise of the Way of the Cross is 
practised at the present day. But before we turn 
our attention to the volume in question, it will be 
well to say a few words regarding some other 
similar booklets which must have influenced many 
pious minds and have familiarized them with the 
idea of a spiritual accompanying of our SAVIOUR 
on His journey to the summit of Calvary. 

The earliest work* of this sort of which I have 
found mention has unfortunately proved inacces- 
sible. This is the more to be regretted as its title 
seems to promise much that would be of interest 
to our present inquiry. The book is briefly de- 
scribed in Campbell's Bibliography of Dutch 
Incunabula, and I must content myself here with 
translating the title which he has copied. The 
drift of the little volume is sufficiently indicated 
in this summary description : 

* The facts now stated in Appendix A go to show that the 
little book of Herr Bethlem was written earlier than this, 
though it may not have been printed so soon. 



Pilgrimage of Jan Pascha 77 

" The Journey which our LORD JESUS made from 
Pilate's House up to the Mount of Calvary. 

" This is the journey which our LORD JESUS 
made from Pilate's house, loaded with His heavy 
cross, up to the Mount of Calvary, and it is 
arranged in thirteen points which are very devout 
to read/' * 

The thirteen points probably correspond to as 
many stations. As regards date the little volume 
is certainly older than 1501, and was probably 
printed in 1499. 

Another early " Stations ' ; book which de- 
serves special mention is a tiny brochure of six- 
teen leaves, with many rough illustrations, of 
which I have seen two editions both printed at 
Antwerp, one of 1536, the other of 1561. It is 
possible that this little treatise had been in use 
for many years, as it is difficult to trace and has 
no proper title, f The heading states that it is a 
collection of meditations on the Passion of our 
LORD with the measurements from one to another 
of the places at which He suffered for us. The 
book is also arranged according to days of the 
week. The considerations begin with Monday, 
and for that day is arranged the journey from the 
room of the Last Supper to the Garden of Olives, 
of which the distance is said to be " xxxc ellen " 

* " Die ganck die ons here JESUS ghinck wt Pilatus huse tot 
opten berch van Calvarien." Printed by Henrick Lettersnider at 
Antwerp. It contains only six leaves. See Campbell, "Annales 
de la Typographic," nn. 771-772. 

t A manuscript copy of what is to all intents and purposes 
the same book is to be found among the Additional Manuscripts 
of the British Museum, no. 24937. See further in Appendix A, 
where the conjecture here made concerning the antiquity of the 
book will be found fully justified. 




78 The Stations of the Cross 

(3,000 ells, say 4,000 yards). Then from the place 
where He left the apostles to where He left Peter, 
James and John (34 ells), from thence to the 
grotto of the Agony (12 ells), and further to the 
place of the meeting with Judas (34 ells). A 
"Pater" and "Ave' are to be said at each of 
these stopping-places. On Tuesday we are con- 
ducted to Annas, Caiphas, Pilate and Herod, all 
the distances as estimated by the writer being 
given as before. The Wednesday is taken up with 
the journey back to Pilate's house where sentence 
is pronounced; and to this are added two other 
Stations, one the place where the cross was laid 
on our LORD'S shoulders (n ells from the place 
of judgement), and the other, the site of the 
Scala Santa (25 ells further on) upon which 
stairs JESUS, crushed under the weight of the 
cross, met with a terrible fall. On the Thursday 
we are bidden to contemplate the journey from 
"the place of the fall" to iheJScce Homo Arch (23 
ells), from the arch to the place of our Lady's 
swoon (100 ells), thence again to the place of 
meeting with Simon of Cyrene (72 ells), thence 
again to the house of St Veronica (282 ells), and 
finally to the Judicial Gate (recht poorte) 300 
ells further on, where He again fell prostrate and 
could not rise. The journey of 230 ells from thence 
to Calvary is meditated on Friday, and with it 
the stripping of the garments and the crucifixion. 
Finally, the Saturday is given to devotions at the 
Sepulchre. Much care has been spent upon the 
printing of the 1536 edition of this little book, 
copies of which exist both in the Bodleian and at 
the British Museum. The earlier copies inform us 
that the meditations were written by a devout 



Pilgrimage of Jan Pascha 79 

priest named Heer Bethlem,* who had sojourned 
for a long time at Jerusalem and had measured 
all the holy places over again. For some reason 
or other the author's name is omitted in the 
edition of 1561. There is much earnest and simple 
piety conspicuous in the prayers with which the 
exercises are diversified. f 

Another book published in 1521 at Nurem- 
berg is typographically a much more important 
work. The printing is good, and the woodcuts, 
several of which have been reproduced here, J are 
said by modern authorities to show distinct traces 
of the influence of the seven sculptures of Adam 
Krafft. There are fifteen, or more strictly six- 
teen stations, and a picture corresponding to 
each. This represents a group or groups of sculp- 
ture raised upon a pillar. The subjects begin 
much further back than ours, the first represent- 
ing our SAVIOUR taking leave of His blessed 
Mother at Bethany; the second, the Last 
Supper; and the third, Gethsemani. With each 
Station certain psalms and prayers are printed 
for recitation. The purpose of the whole book is 
clearly indicated in the verses which form its 

* His real name was perhaps Bartholomew. See Appendix A. 

t " Dit is een devote meditacie op die passie ons liefs heeren 
ende van plaetse tot plaetsen die mate geset deter onse Heve heere 
voor ons gheleden heeft met die figueren, ende met schone oratien 
daer op dienende. Ende so dicke alsmen dit devotelick leest so 
verdienentmen alle die aflaten so volcomelic als oftmen alle die 
heilige plaetsen binnen Jerusalem lichamelick versochte. Ende 
een devote priester die langhe tyt te Jemsalem heeft ghewoont, 
die heeft dit ghemeten ende beschreven." By mi Willem Voor- 
sterman, Antwerp, 1538. The title page is printed in short lines 
red and black in alternate pairs. I have underlined the red. 
There is a fine eagle for printer's device on the back of the 
last leaf. 

See illustrations facing pp. 68, 112. 

Daun, " Adam Krafft und die Kunstler seiner Zeit," p. 72. 



8o The Stations of the Cross 

only title page, and which are reproduced 
opposite. 

Die geystlich strass bin ich genant 
Im leyden CHRISTI wol bekant. 

Wiltu die geng gantz gnaw ausrechen 
So hastu psalmen die magstu sprechen -, 
Hastu lust zum heyligen lande, 
Was da sey, findst auch zuhande.* 

In close accord with these verses are the fol- 
lowing remarks freely summarized from the 
preface : 

" Our LORD said that the love of many should 
wax cold, and St Paul, in his Epistle to Timothy, 
said that men would be lovers of themselves 
rather than lovers of GOD. We see that these 
sayings are verified, and especially that of St 
Paul to the Philippians: ' All seek their own and 
not the things of JESUS CHRIST/ Thus from the 
exceeding wickedness of mankind the love of 
CHRIST is forgotten, and although the image of 
CHRIST is placed in the churches and streets, 
men have so little compassion for His sufferings 
that they scarce pause to say an * Ave Maria* 
before the picture, or consider what it means. 
Such pictures are called the lay-folk's books, 
because men may read therein and lay to heart 
the words of our LORD in the Book of Lamenta- 
tions : ' O all ye that pass by, behold and see if 
there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow/ 

" Amongst the common simple people one finds 
much love for the Passion of CHRIST. Some men 

* "I am called the ghostly way [i.e., the way of the soul], well 
known in the Passion of CHRIST. . . Wouldst thou exactly 
perform this pilgrimage, thou hast psalms set down for thee to 
say; hast thou a desire to visit the Holy Land, all that is there 
thou mayst find here at hand." 









15) 






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)ie vdircb lt| 9*1 alien Wngm 



Qetit rto^ce ttitti /m ta> &<?s Pefl 



TITLE-PAGE (reduced] OF THE " GETSTLICH STRASS 

Nuremberg, 1521 



To face p. 80 



Pilgrimage of Jan Pascha 81 

also show their devotion by setting up various 
memorials to awaken the piety of others, as for 
instance the cross, or a representation of the Last 
Supper or the Mount of Olives. Some choose the 
Seven Falls or the seven bloodsheddings, and some 
again the carrying of the cross, with all the 
episodes which happened until He came to Cal- 
vary, such as the meeting with Mary, the compel- 
ling Simon to bear the cross, the meeting with 
Veronica, and the like. These are often set up 
nowadays with their descriptions, measures and 
distances, according as noble pilgrims have 
brought back the measurements from the Holy 
Land, or themselves have set them up. In order, 
therefore, to keep in remembrance the sufferings of 
CHRIST, I have not only considered our LORD 
while on His cross, but from the beginning to the 
end of His Passion, that is, from Bethany to the 
crucifixion. And what happened at one time or in 
one place I have put together, as, for example, 
the three incidents on Mount Sion, i.e., the pass- 
over, the washing of feet and the institution of the 
Blessed Sacrament. So, again, three events took 
place on Olivet, where the LORD went with His 
three disciples alone, and where He prayed three 
times, and where the Jews came and took Him. 
Then at Mount Calvary, whither He is brought; in 
one place the cross is made ready, in another spot 
our LORD is left until the cross is ready; after- 
wards He is led to the cross, stripped and cruci- 
fied. All these I have set forth in order, each in its 
proper place, and each stage has a picture be- 
longing to it. But in these four incidents, viz., Sion, 
the Mount of Olives, Pilate and the Judgement- 
place,* the same picture contains several episodes. 

F The triple group of the Judgement of our LORD will be 
found reproduced further on at p. 112, 

6 



82 The Stations of the Cross 

Also in each stage we ought to contemplate, not 
only what CHRIST suffered by the way, but also 
what happened at each place from which or to 
which He is led. And it is particularly to be ob- 
served that a passage of the holy Gospels is 
always set down along with the picture so as to 
explain it, as well as a passage from the prophets 
or psalms. I have also added the distances of the 
holy places, etc. Lastly, as my desire has been to 
bring to men's contemplation the sufferings of 
CHRIST, therefore I have adopted this method of 
portraying them to the eyes, to the heart and 
to the lips, by picture, by meditation and by 
prayer. Rich and poor, religious and seculars may 
use this book in private or in public. The rich 
may have similar sculptures set up, the poor, in 
looking upon them, can say their psalm-prayer 
or * Pater noster,' or what they will. Nay, every 
man can erect these stations in his own house. 
A simple cross will serve to mark them. There is 
no need to reproduce the exact distances from one 
to another, or to take as many paces as are 
measured here. It is much better to make pil- 
grimage with one's heart than with one's feet." 

The book does not seem to be particularly 
rare, though it is not known that there was more 
than one edition of it. 

A third devotional work of still greater impor- 
tance is the volume already alluded to, written by 
John Pascha,* and edited by Peter Calentyn, at 
Louvain, in 1563. Its title in French is "La 

* Jan Pascha is the form of the name which appears on the 
title page. But in the " Biographic Nationale de Belg-ique" he 
is called Jan van Paesschen, He was Prior of the Carmelites at 
Mechlin and renowned as a preacher. It is not true, as has 
sometimes been stated, that he was appointed Inquisitor by 
Charles V. 



Pilgrimage of Jan Pascha 83 

Peregrination Spirituelle." The pilgrimage is to 
occupy 365 days, and it is made very realistic by 
the assigning for each day a definite section of 
the journey to the Holy Land, along with a sub- 
ject for meditation, and certain general devotions 
as explained in the introductory chapter. On the 
first day, for instance, the pilgrim imagines him- 
self to travel from Louvain to Tirlemont, and is 
directed to meditate upon the truth that God is the 
final end of all creation ; on the second, he travels 
from Tirlemont to Tongres, and meditates upon 
the creation of the angels, and so on. But when we 
get to the Holy Land and, on the i88th day, are 
visiting the scene of the agony in the garden, we 
have a new exercise interpolated with this con- 
spicuous heading : 

" Here begins the first prayer of the long jour- 
ney of the Cross. J 

" And the prayers of this Way of the Cross are 
fifteen in number, and they are good to say also 
outside the time of pilgrimage, for instance, on 
Fridays, or on other days, for affairs of great im- 
portance."* 

The second station is given under the I93rd 
day at the house of Annas ; the third, under the 
1 9 6th day, at the spot where CHRIST is kept a pri- 
soner and mocked. Then, under the 2o6th day, when 
the pilgrim has meditated upon our SAVIOUR'S 
trial before Pilate, we have another noteworthy 
interruption of the text, with the heading: "Hier 

" Hier beghint dat eerste ghebet vanden langhen Cruys- 
ganck. J 

" Ende deser cruys ghebeden zynder alles tot vyfthien, die 
welcke goet ghelesen zijn ooc buyten tijts op sommighe vrij- 
dagen, oft op andere daghen voorgroote saken" (P. Calentijn and 
Jan Pascha, " Een devote Maniere om gheestelyck Pelgriinagie 
te trecken," Louvain, 1568, p. 93, 2). 



84 The Stations of the Cross 

beghint den rechten Cruysganck na den berch 'van 
Calvarien Here begins the proper Way of the 
Cross to Mount Calvary." 

The prayer for the fourth station, which fol- 
lows, has reference to the condemnation of CHRIST 
by Pilate.* 

Then follow the succeeding stations in order, 
still mixed up with the days of the pilgrim- 
age, but frequently supplemented from this time 
onwards with measurements in feet or double 
paces ( = five feet) of the distances from one station 
to another. The fifth station is the place where 
CHRIST receives the cross ; it is thirteen paces 
from the place where He was sentened. The sixth 
station is at the spot where CHRIST met His 
Blessed Mother, and where also He fell for the 
second time; and here the author is careful to tell 
us that between this spot and the place where our 
LORD received the cross there had already been 
a first fall when He had advanced forty paces. The 
meeting with His Blessed Mother was 4 1 8 feet (in 
Louvain measurement) from the place of His sen- 
tence. The seventh station, 179 feet further on, is 
where Simon of Cyrene took the cross, and JESUS 
fell a third time. The eighth station, 478 feet from 
the last, is the scene of the meeting with Veronica, 
and also of the fourth fall; and after another 842. 
feet we reach the foot of the ascent to Calvary, 
where CHRIST fell a fifth time, but this is not 
counted as a station. The ninth station is 872 feet 
further on up the ascent. Here CHRIST turned to 
the women of Jerusalem, and here also He fell 
a sixth time. After another 404^ feet Calvary 

* The terms used in the French translation, which appeared 
in I566,are noteworthy: "S'ensuyt la premiere oraison du chemin 
ou voyage de la Croix, et ce pour la premiere Station," 



ghccftclijckc Pelgrimagic te treckcn. 8 5 




plaetfe dace Dtcfuctr bc6mctcmoetier<6oaa 
faDt/Doc fp fjarcn DooDc fone op tjacrn fcfyoot 
ijid'tuaut DC fe left c plactfe mac^mcn tod Dan 
t upten Sen Oooi Ote gatcn tiif tuDcc tote oan 



OF T// 1568 EDITION OF PASCHA'S 
"GHEESTELTCK PELGRIMAGIE" 

If this woodcut of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre be compared 

ith that of Breydenbach on p. 28, it will be noticed that this illustra- 

s been clumsily imitated from Breydenbach, but reversed in 

the block. The tower should of course stand on the left hand 

side of the entrance porch. 



To face p. 84 



Pilgrimage of Jan Pascha 85 

itself is reached. Here is the stone engraved with 
crosses, just outside the church of the Holy Sepul- 
chre. This marks the place of the seventh and 
last fall, and is the tenth of Jan Pascha' s stations. 
The prayer for the eleventh station, nine paces 
further on, is taken up entirely with the theme of 
our SAVIOUR'S being stripped of His garments, 
but no special name is given to this station. The 
twelfth station is still six paces further, and com- 
memorates the nailing to the cross. We are also 
told that the total distance from the place where 
our LORD was sentenced by Pilate to this spot is 
3,306 feet (of Louvain). The thirteenth station 
commemorates the death of CHRIST upon the 
cross, and the fourteenth station the taking down 
from the cross. Finally is given a prayer for the 
fifteenth station, which is concerned with the burial 
of CHRIST. 

Let me furthermore point out that precise 
details are everywhere given with such confidence 
and with such minuteness that it is not wonder- 
ful that the book should have produced the impres- 
sion of having been written out of abundant and 
scientific knowledge. A single specimen will 
suffice. 

" Now you must know," says Pascha, " that 
the cross was fifteen feet long and the arms 
together eight feet, and the said cross weighed 100 
pounds. From the place where CHRIST was sen- 
tenced to the place where the cross was laid upon 
His shoulders there were thirteen strides, and 
from the same spot where the cross was laid upon 
Him to the place where He fell for the first time 
under the cross there are forty strides. And also 
from this same spot where He fell for the first 
time to the place where His Mother stood upright 



86 The Stations of the Cross 

in front of Him there are thirty strides and three 
feet. The number of persons who accompanied 
our SAVIOUR was 15,000." 

And here in the French version the translator 
interpolates a note of his own. 

" It will be well," he says, " to explain here in 
order to the understanding of what has just been 
said above and also of other passages which 
follow, that a stride [enjambee] is the space you 
leave between one leg and the other [Tespace 
qu'on faict d'une jambe a 1'autre' he really seems 
to mean the space between the print of one 
foot and the next imprint of the same foot], and it 
contains two paces, in other words five feet. For 
by one pace (avant pas) we mean the distance 
ordinarily covered in going or walking at an 
ordinary rate, and a footstep (un pas) is nothing 
but the sign or mark of a foot. We are compelled 
to render it thus and to give you notice in our 
translation, on account of what we find in the 
Dutch original which cannot be otherwise ex- 
pressed/'* 

Now, any reader who will have the patience to 
study these details in Pascha's book, and to com- 
pare them with the subjects of the fourteen sta- 
tions now universally adopted, will perceive at 
once that this old Flemish pilgrimage supplies 
the key of the whole problem. The order of 
Pascha's Stations is exactly the order of our 
modern Stations. Though the number is greater, 
and the starting-point seems different, Pascha 
himself, or his editor, Calefntyn, by remarking 
that "the proper way of the cross " begins with 
Pilate's house, has suggested the very modifica- 

* Pascha, " Peregrination Spirituelle," Louvain, 1566, fol. 143, 
rcto and verso. 




^PRODUCTION, cMUCH DEDUCED, OF PAT^T OF THE <-MAP OF 
JERUSALEM, BY ^AD^EJCHO^MIUS (1584), SHOWING THE STA- 
TIONS OF THE CTIOSS. 

The Stations begin in the upper right hand corner with the condemnation of Christ. 
121 marks the receiving of the cross ; 122, first Fall : 123, Mary ; 124. Simon of Gyrene ; 44, Ve- 
ronica ; 247, second Fall ; 248, Women of Jerusalem ; 249, third Fall ; 250, stripping ; 251, nailing ; 
252, raising on cross. The left is the North side, but, as explained elsewhere, the details of 
the map are quite inaccurate. 

To face p. 87 



Pilgrimage of Jan Pascha 87 

tion which, in fact, has come to prevail. It has 
been commonly asserted, e.g., by Bishop von 
Keppler and by Doctor N. Paulus, that our pre- 
sent Stations are to be traced back to the book of 
Adrichomius, " Jerusalem sicut CHRISTI tempore 
floruit/' published in 1584. This, in a sense, may 
be true, for Adrichomius enjoyed a very wide 
popularity, and was early translated into most 
European languages, even into English, Polish and 
Czech. His delineation of the stations along the 
Via Crucis, in his map of Jerusalem, has been 
reproduced on a reduced scale opposite, and the 
attentive student will perceive that, while Adri- 
chomius makes no mention of the last two Sta- 
tions, the first twelve are exactly those of our 
modern Way of the Cross. But Adrichomius, who 
cites Pascha amongst his authorities, has un- 
doubtedly borrowed both the arrangement and 
all the measurements of the much older Flemish 
pilgrim. Dr N. Paulus, in his extremely valuable 
article in the "Katholik" (April, 1895), had al- 
ready suggested this as a possibility, but as no 
copy of the "Gheestelyck Pelgrimagie" was ac- 
cessible to him at Munich, he was unable to con- 
firm his conjecture.* 

Perhaps the most interesting result of a com- 
parison between the books of Pascha and Adri- 
chomius is the light which we are enabled to 
throw upon the origin of that most puzzling fea- 
ture in the Stations, the triple fall of our SAVIOUR 
beneath His cross. It arises clearly from a curious 
blending of the old stational system of seven falls 
(as depicted by Adam Krafft at Nuremberg, and 

* Jan Pascha died about 1532. It is doubtful how far his 
editor, Peter Calentyn, may have modified his work in preparing 
it for the press in 1563. 



88 The Stations of the Cross 

by his imitators) with certain traditional sites 
pointed out to pilgrims in Jerusalem. Four of 
these falls are supposed by Pascha to have syn- 
chronized with other episodes, i.e., the meetings 
of CHRIST with His Mother, Simon of Cyrene, 
Veronica and the women of Jerusalem. In these 
four cases the mention of a fall is suppressed, but 
it survives in the remaining three, which have 
nothing otherwise to distinguish them.* The first 
fall, which precedes the meeting with Mary, and 
the fifth fall, which follows that with Veronica, are 
not counted by Pascha as stations. Adrichomius, 
however, seeing that he begins only with the con- 
demnation at Pilate's house, finds room for them 
as separate stations in his system. The seventh 
and last fall at the summit of Calvary was com- 
memorated by a stone marked with crosses, and 
is mentioned by almost every pilgrim in the four- 
teenth and fifteenth centuries, though they speak 
of no other falls. This stone is the first item, lap(is), 
in Wey's memoria technica (reverse order), and 
Breydenbach in his pilgrimage (1486) gives an 
excellent illustration, reproduced on page 28, of 
the pilgrims kissing it. 

Allusion has been made above to an English 
abridgement of Pascha' s book, which, under the 
title of" The Spiritual Pilgrimage of Hierusalem," t 
was printed abroad about the year 1630. Jan 
Pascha' s name is not mentioned, but there can 
be no question that it is his work, which has 
been partly translated, partly adapted by "R. H.," 

* The same thing seems already to have happened in the 
Louvain Stations erected by Peter Sterckx in 1505. 

t " The Spiritual Pilgrimage of Hierusalem, contayning 
three hundred sixtie five dayes Jorney, wherein the devoute 
Person may meditate on sondrie points of his Redemption." 
i6mo, without date or place. 



JL 



4 PEREGRINATION 
j |o mediateur fidele,que par amour ie te puis 
i toufiours enfuyure , auec continuelle gra- 
tintde,a fin que ie puis eftre participant du 
ft-mcl: de ta fainclje pafsion. 

Or tu diras icyiStlug Regina, ou trois Atte 
Mrfru,a rhoneur de la glorieufe vierge Ma 
rie,8c confblation d'icelle. 

B Aulsi depuis la place ou la douke mere 
de Dieueftoit, iuiques aulieu ou ies luilz 
cotretgniret vn home Cyrene'en nome Si- 
mon,a porter la croix de Ieftis,il y a cent 8c 
Ixxix.piedz, & c'eft en vn coin^ deja rue: 
ou U y a feptzans , 6c feptCarlnes de par- 
dons. Vendrfdi* 

LA cc.tt tx iattrneeeft en lapface enBmonfut 

comreinR a porter U croix,& icjtft,L$ troi- 

fiefme Tombement^a cbetrte. 
T 'Exercice ou meditation de cefte/piri- 

ruelle iournee ftra de pen(cr , comment 
Ie Seigneur lefus moult trifte Sc lafle , toba 
auec la croix.Et ne pouoit alors aller auant 
fans aidc,8c pourtant fut Simon Cyreneen 
contraindt des luife, pour aider lefus , ce 
qu'ii feit contre (a volunte. 



Oraifbn 1 



A PAGE OF THE FRENCH TRANSLATION (1566) OF 
PASCHA'S "GHEESTELTCK PELGRfMAGIE" 

Note the indication of distance and the indulgence, and also how " Ie troisieme 
tombement ou cheute" (i.e., the Third Fall of the old system of Seven Falls) is 
identified with the coming of Simon of Cyrene. See p. 88. 



To face p. 



Pilgrimage of Jan Pascha 89 

a writer whom it is not easy to identify. Two 
copies of this little volume are in the Bodleian 
Library. Even in its condensed form the allego- 
rical setting of the original has been retained, as 
for instance where we are told on the 43rd day, 
as the pilgrim is supposed to be setting sail for 
Venice, " pray for a good wind and say Veni 
Creator Spiritus" The English version has been 
slightly adapted to suit the circumstances of its 
new readers, and thus it ends on the 365th day 
not at Louvain but with "thy lodgings in London 
or from where thou departedest." It is particu- 
larly interesting that in " the Way of the Cross ' 
the curious amalgamation of the old Seven Falls 
with the new system of stations has been retained 
by the translator. Hence we have such headings 
as, "The mth day, to the place where JESUS 
turned to the women that bewailed Him. Here 
was the sixth falling." 

On the whole it seems true to say that the 
selection of the Stations owes much more to the 
pious ingenuity of devotional writers in Europe 
than to the actual practice of Jerusalem itself. At 
Jerusalem the merit of this exercise seems to have 
consisted rather in the good-will of wishing to 
trace our LORD'S footsteps and in the fatigue and 
and unpleasantness encountered on the way, than 
in any set devotions at assigned halting-places. 
Aranda tells us how Mary fell to the ground on 
meeting her Son. The stone she fell on was sub- 
sequently built into the wall. The Christian 
pilgrims used to try to kiss it, but the Turks, 
regarding it as idolatry, would not allow it, and 
constantly profaned the stone.* 

* ' Y con despecho rauchas vezes la hallamos untada, y no de 
balsamo, asi acaece en todas las que basamos que estan en el 



90 The Stations of the Cross 

That no proper exercise of the Stations could 
have been performed publicly in Jerusalem at the 
close of the sixteenth century appears very clearly 
from the extremely interesting book of Zuallardo,* 
published a year or two after that of Adrichomius. 
He prints at the end of this work a copy of the 
prayers and hymns used by the pilgrims in visit- 
ing the different sites, the which prayers agree 
closely with those contained in a little treatise 
widely circulated in the middle ages and printed 
in Venice in i49i.f 

Thus we have the hymn proper to the spot 
"where St James the Less hid himself during the 
time of the Passion," the spot " where St Peter 
wept bitterly" a site which of late years has 
given rise to some rather lively controversy be- 
tween the representatives of different religious 
orders in Jerusalem J the spot " where the Jews 
attempted to carry off the holy body of our Blessed 
Lady after her death," "where the angels brought 
the palm to our Blessed Lady," "the grave of Laza- 
rus," "the spot were CHRIST stood when Martha 
said, 'LORD, if Thou hadst been here,' " etc., " the 
spot where the Virgin Mother used to rest when 
she revisited the holy sites," "the spot before 
the Golden Gate where CHRIST foretold the last 
Judgement," "the place where Isaias was sawn 
in two," "the pool of Siloe," and many others, 
all of them being places outside the city, upon 

campo o en la ciudad sin estar cubiertas, conviene a saber, sin 
edificio cerrado" (Aranda, fol. xxxiii, r). 

* ''II devotissimo Viaggio di Gerusalemme," Rome, 1587. 

t " Peregrinaciones Terras Sanctse." See Rohricht, "Biblio- 
theca," p. 100; a copy of the Venice edition, "Infrascripte sunt 
peregrinaciones, 1 ' is in the British Museum. Rohricht considers 
that this collection must date from the end of the fourteenth 
century. 

$ See Coppens, "The Palace of Caiphas," 1904. 



Pilgrimage of Jan Pascha 91 

the Mount of Olives, or in Bethlehem, or at any 
rate in parts where no great concourse of people 
was likely to be found. Now, for each of these, 
even the most unimportant, there is assigned in 
Zuallardo a special versicle and prayer; but for 
the scene of Ecce Homo y of the Scourging, of the 
mocking before Herod or of the various incidents 
of the journey to Calvary, though these are all 
sites of the very deepest devotional interest, no 
provision of hymns and prayers is made. Noting 
the absence of any recognition of those sites now 
so honoured, I was at first inclined to conjecture 
that the printed edition of 1491 was incomplete, 
and that some sheets had fallen out, but an exami- 
nation of Harleian MSS. 2333 and 3810 showed 
me that the omissions were not peculiar to the 
printed text. Zuallardo's fuller account explains 
the reason : 

"In Pilate's house," he remarks, "where our 
REDEEMER was scourged and crowned with thorns 
and sentenced to death, at the Ecce Homo Arch, 
and in other spots where it is impossible to enter, 
an * Our Father' and 'Hail Mary' are said as the 
pilgrims pass along."* 

Similarly in the descriptive part of his work 
Zuallardo remarks of the different sites along the 
Via Doloro$a y which he is one of the first to call 
by that name : 

"Of all these holy places we had no more con- 
solation than just to see them as we passed on 
our way, since it is not permitted to make any 
halt nor to pay veneration to them with uncovered 
head, nor to make any other demonstration, nor to 
look at them fixedly, nor to write nor take any 
notes in public." 

* Zuallardo, p. 381. 



92 The Stations of the Cross 

As long as this state of things prevailed it is 
obvious that the pious exercises of the Way of 
the Cross could be performed far more devoutly 
beside the artificial Stations of Nuremberg, or 
Louvain, or Rhodes, than in Jerusalem itself. If 
any one individual can lay claim to the honour of 
formulating our present devotion, that distinction 
seems to belong more justly to the pious Flemish 
Carmelite, Jan Pascha, than to any other person. 

None the less, even Pascha seems to be de- 
pendent for his measurements upon the data 
supplied him by Peter Sterckx (Petrus Potens) 
and carved in stone at the base of the seven Sta- 
tions which, as mentioned above, were erected in 
Louvain in the first years of the sixteenth century. 
How far it was Sterckx and how far it was Pascha 
who elaborated the whole series of incidents re- 
peated by Calentyn and Adrichomius, it is impos- 
sible to determine. The one thing which may be 
affirmed with certainty is that our present series 
of Stations of the Cross comes to us, not from 
Jerusalem, but from Louvain. 

Perhaps the most extraordinary feature in this 
rather remarkable history is the way in which 
those who possessed an intimate knowledge of 
the Holy Land and of the practice of the pilgrims 
allowed the inventions of the Louvain Religious 
to spread uncontradicted. No doubt they felt that 
such imaginary pilgrimages could only promote 
devotion to the Passion of our LORD and serve 
the cause of piety. It was no business of theirs to 
contradict what had been asserted by pious men 
who lived before their time. The facts did not accord 
with the tradition of Jerusalem in their own day, 
but they might conceivably be true and, at any 
rate, they had no positive evidence to the contrary. 



Pilgrimage of Jan Pascha 93 

Aranda, Bonifacius (represented by Zuallardo), 
Quaresmius, Surius, Caccia and a host of others 
were intimately acquainted with Jerusalem. Seve- 
ral of them had been for many years the official 
custodians of the holy places. They were not con- 
temporaries, but they cover nearly the whole period 
from 1520 to 1680. They agree closely with each 
other, but are all ignorant of and for some points 
in absolute contradiction with the statements of 
Pascha and Adrichomius. None the less, the fic- 
tions of Adrichomius, who it appears never visited 
the Holy Land, but compiled his map from pre- 
existing accounts, have won the day simply by 
reason of the wide diffusion of the volume which 
he published; and now, even in the Holy City 
itself, the attempt has been made to bring local 
traditions into accord with the practice of our 
modern Stations. But on this point it will be ne- 
cessary to speak more fully in the next chapter. 

For the present, before passing further, it may 
be interesting to give some illustration of the 
manner in which the Stations must often have been 
made in early times even without the aid of 
sculptures or pillars. The document from which 
I am about to quote seems to have been copied by 
a certain Sister Barbara de Langhe, in a convent 
in Antwerp in the year 1664. It was probably 
transcribed from an original of much earlier date 
and it is obvious that the idea of travelling the 
exact distance traversed by our Blessed LORD 
must have been very prominently before the mind 
of the framer. The distinction made between " the 
long way of the cross"* and "the way of the 
cross proper," or " the short way," as it is here 

* This is what is called in Quaresmius the Via Captivifatis 
as distinguished from the Via Cfucis* 



94 The Stations of the Cross 

called, is also particularly interesting in the light 
of the similar distinction which we have just 
noticed in Pascha. Hardly less noteworthy for 
our present purpose is the retention of the system 
of Seven Falls at so late a date as 1664. Not to be 
tedious I omit the prayers and quote only the 
directions or rubrics which accompany them. 
The document begins thus :* 

" Item. For those who wish to make the long 
way of the cross (den grooten Kruyswech}. 

"They must begin in the Church, which shall 
represent the place where CHRIST took His last 
supper with His Apostles; then they must go 
round the garden six times and the seventh time 
must kneel at the last door outside the cloister by 
the school, and there is the Garden of Olives. The 
first prayer, O LORD JESUS CHRIST/ etc. 

" Go now as far as the churchyard door to the 
Poor Clares' wall, there JESUS CHRIST is kissed by 
Judas. The second prayer, ' O LORD,' etc. 

"Now make the round of the garden six times, 
and the seventh time kneel down at the third door 
into the cloister (pant), and this will be the house 
of Annas. The third prayer." 

Omitting for brevity's sake, the journey to 
Caiphas, Pilate and Herod, we take the next entry. 

" Go now three times round [the garden], and 
in the fourth round you must kneel at the first 
door of the cloister, and this may count as Pilate's 
house [dot ts tot Pilatus, i.e., that is as far as 
Pilate]. 

"Here we begin the short way of the cross. The 
seventh prayer. 

*I am indebted to M. 1'Abbe" Van de Velde, Aum&nier to the 
nuns of the English Convent at Bruges, for kindly bringing this 
document to my notice. The original belongs to Mgr Rembry, 
Vicar Qtneral of Bruges, 



Pilgrimage of Jan Pascha 95 

"Go now as far as the last door in the cloister, 
and this is the first fall with the cross. The eighth 
prayer. 

"Next go on as far as the churchyard door to 
the wall of the Poor Clares and this is the second 
fall. The ninth prayer." 

No other incidents are specified except the 
Seven Falls, which are duly measured out in order, 
but the corresponding prayers would probably 
show that, as in Pascha' s book, four of these falls 
were identified with the incidents of Mary, Simon, 
the Women and Veronica. Finally we have : 

" Now go on to the last window of the work- 
room; this is the seventh fall. The fourteenth 
prayer. 

" Go on now to the last door in the cloister, and 
there CHRIST is crucified. The fifteenth prayer. 

"Then go on as far as the churchyard, and there 
say Miserere and De profundis for the dear souls 
\Sielkens y a diminutive of endearment or compas- 
sion], and then go to the door by the pump; there 
CHRIST is buried, being laid in the sepulchre. The 
sixteenth prayer. 

" Go now to the church, and offer your prayers 
Then it is finished/' 



9 6 




Chapter VI-The " Via Dolorosa " at 
Jerusalem from the Seventeenth 
Century to the Present Day 

STRANGE as it may appear that the pious 
musings of Brother Jan Pascha, the Carmelite 
of Louvain, should have so entirely fashioned 
the devotional practice of his fellow-Christians 
in the West, there is one feature in the history 
of the Way of the Cross which must strike the 
intelligent student as more remarkable still. The 
extraordinary popularity of the work of Adricho- 
mius, which embodies Pascha' s ideas and data, 
suffices perhaps to explain the acceptance of his 
scheme of Stations by those who were not fami- 
liar with the actual sites. But it is more difficult 
to understand how the same arrangement came 
in the course of a century or so to be adopted by 
the Franciscans of Jerusalem itself, in spite of the 
flat contradiction offered to it upon so many points 
of fact by a long succession of writers of the Order. 
These men had penned their descriptions after years 
of residence in the Holy City and after daily inter- 
course with their brethren there, who were the de- 
positories of traditions handed down from the time 
of St Louis. They were either themselves the offi- 
cial custodians of the holy places, or at least the 
duly authorized spokesmen of such custodians, and 
down to the end of the seventeenth century the ac- 
counts which they gave did not vary in any im- 
portant particular. I am not contending", of course, 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 97 

that this unanimity establishes in any way the 
authenticity of the sites which the good Francis- 
cans venerated. Such traditions cannot be traced 
back beyond the Crusades, and in some cases were 
demonstrably erroneous, but in the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries the system was as confidently 
believed in as if it had descended from the first 
ages of Christianity. Consequently, as against this 
uniform Franciscan tradition, no other description 
by casual pilgrims, no other ideal arrangement of 
Stations had a moment's claim to be considered. 
The pious pilgrims who travelled so far to visit 
Jerusalem were hardly ever permitted to spend 
more than a few days within the sacred precincts.* 
A hundred possibilities of error beset their hurried 
impressions. At the best they could only faithfully 
repeat for the benefit of friends in Europe what 
was told them by their Franciscan guides of 
Mount Sion, while it must often have happened 
that faulty or confused recollections of what they 
had seen and heard introduced strange variations 
into their narratives. Hence no testimony of irre- 
sponsible wayfarers like Martin Ketzel or Peter 
Sterckx, however well-intentioned, can stand 
against the first-hand witness of the friars who 
lived upon the spot ; the more so that these latter 
persisted for 200 years together in the same uni- 
form tale, and the books that they published were 
carefully revised by their brethren at Jerusalem, 
and given to the world with all kinds of official 
sanctions. 

The list of the Franciscan descriptions of the 
holy places printed during the sixteenth and 

'Readers familiar with the life of St Ignatius Loyola will 
readily recall the summary way in which he was shipped back 
to Europe when he visited the Holy Land in 1523, and would 
fain have lingered in Jerusalem. 



98 The Stations of the Cross 

seventeenth centuries is a fairly long one, and 
many of the volumes are not easily met with. Of 
one of the earliest, Aranda's " Verdadera Infor- 
macion" (1530), something has already been said; 
and I propose to turn now to the traditions per- 
petuated in a group of later works beginning with 
such official accounts as those of Zuallardo (1587),* 
Bernardino Amico (1610) and Quaresmius (1639), 
continued in Surius (1646), Antonio de Castillo 
(1656) and Caccia (1694), and in some details 
surviving even as late as the " Peregrinus ' of 
Hietling (1712) and the u Patrimonio Seraphico' 
of Francisco Jesus Maria (1724). The attitude 
taken up by some of these Franciscan writers 
towards the work of Adrichomius is a very curi- 
ous one. Bernardino Amico, for example, whose 
book, owing to its careful drawings, is one of 
great value,f does not hesitate to speak his mind 
freely. In his first edition (1610) Adrichomius, if 
I mistake not, is not named, but Amico comments 
severely upon the gross blunders contained in va- 
rious maps and plans of Jerusalem he had met 
with, and proceeds to express his surprise at the 
audacity of certain writers on the Holy Land who 
scrupled not to draw plans in minute detail of 
places they had never visited and of which they 
understood nothing. If we had any doubt as to 
the particular book which was most prominently 

* Zuallardo was not himself a Franciscan, but his book is 
largely founded upon the work of Brother Bonifacius of Ragusa, 
O.F.M., who was custodian of the holy places and a high authority 
on the subject. 

f The title of Amico's work is " Trattato delle Piante et Im- 
magini de' sacri Edifizi di Terra Santa." The numerous plans 
and sketches which it contains seem to have been executed by 
Fra Antonio d' Angioli, who lived eight years in the Holy Land. 
See the first edition, 1610, p. 20. In the second edition, 1620, an 
account of the Via Dolorosa was added to the original text. 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 99 

in Amico's mind when he used this language, the 
doubt would be removed by the explicit references 
contained in his second edition which appeared 
ten years later. There he tells us roundly that the 
description given by Adrichomius of the Ecce 
Homo arch, for example, is altogether mislead- 
ing and impossible. Adrichomius, both in his 
verbal description and in his map, represents it 
as a sort of portico or colonnade, made like a 
stone bridge with narrow arches, looking out 
upon an open square and forming the ordinary 
passage of communication between Pilate's 
palace and the fortress of Antonia. Now the 
buildings at that time identified as occupying the 
sites of Pilate's palace and the fortress of Antonia 
were well known. The first lay eighty and the 
other 150 yards to the east of the Ecce Homo 
arch, which could not, therefore, have formed 
the ordinary passage between the two. Hence 
Amico has no difficulty in showing that Adri- 
chomius's account is based upon a wholly erro- 
neous impression of the relative position of the 
buildings, and that as regards the arch itself 
Adrichomius most surely could never have set 
eyes upon it. It seems indeed to be certain that 
this last-named writer, though accepted in Europe 
as the most learned authority on the topography 
of Jerusalem, had never visited the Holy Land. 
The clearness and precision of the information 
he imparted were very welcome to his readers, 
but they were simply due to the fact that he 
worked largely a priori and was not hampered 
by any inconvenient knowledge of the difficulties 
presented by the actual sites. The most authorita- 
tive of all the Franciscan writers, Quaresmius, 
Guardian of Mount Sion, whose book appeared 



ioo The Stations of the Cross 

in 1639,* also makes explicit reference to Adri- 
chomius. His criticism, whether tempered by 
religious charity or overawed by the elaborate 
parade of research which had been affected by 
the earlier writer, is in any case singularly 
gentle. The following passage, which is one 
among several, may serve as a specimen : 

"Very diligently to be sure has Adrichomius 
set down the noteworthy sites of the Way of the 
Cross with their distances, and also its entire 
length. I do not venture to contradict him, since 
he wrote upon the report of men who were emi- 
nent for piety and learning, who saw this Way 
with their own eyes and paced it both in body 
and spirit. Nevertheless, I think that it will not 
be foreign to my purpose nor unwelcome to the 
reader if I append here some of the points ob- 
served by myself and others, even if not perhaps 
with such extreme minuteness, although they are 
different, yet not less true, especially since I re- 
peatedly, if I mistake not, when I was at Jerusa- 
lem paced the same road as those pilgrims did. 
Hence I can pronounce a not incompetent judge- 
ment as to its length from the evidence of my 
own senses and experience." f 

* "Historica, Theolog-ica et Moralis Terrse Sanctae Eluci- 
datio"; auctore Francisco Quaresmio, Ordinis Minorum Theo- 
logo, olim Terras Sanctse Prseside, et Commissario Apostolico, 
2 vols, folio (1639). In a printed notice at the end the author 
states that the work was begun in 1616, completed in 1625, that 
the printing 1 commenced in 1634, and was completed in 1639. 
After his manuscript had been finished and censored, the author 
again returned to reside in the Holy Land, and was there able 
to compare the descriptions in his book with the actual sites, 
subjecting the whole to a thorough revision. 

T Quaresmius, " Elucidatio," vol. n, pp. 179 seq. The good 
Franciscan criticizes rather more severely Adrichomius's identi- 
fication of the Ecce Homo arch with the Xystus described in 
Josephus. The Xystus, as Quaresmius shows, lay to the south- 
west of the Temple, while the arch is on the north side. See ib. 
pp. 206-208. 



" Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 101 

In spite ot Adrichomius's elaborate parade of 
references, it will be obvious to any one who com- 
pares the two books that he has taken his details 
about the Via Dolorosa almost entirely from Pas- 
cha. We have dozens of reports of travellers of 
the same epoch (e.g., Aranda's), and amongst 
these Pascha stands alone, contradicting all of 
them. Quaresmius, in his charity, seems to have 
taken Adrichomius's statement about his authori- 
ties entirely at the writer's own valuation. 

With regard in particular to the question of 
measurements Quaresmius estimates the distance 
from Pilate's house to the Judicial Gate at 570 
paces; while that other portion of the Way 
which lay beyond the Judicial Gate, and conse- 
quently outside the old city, could not, he de- 
clared, be followed in his day, since the gate 
was blocked up, but he calculates that it was 
about 250 paces. The whole distance from Pi- 
late's house to Calvary was, therefore, 820 paces. 

This, it will be noticed, does not agree 
particularly well with Adrichomius's, or rather 
Pascha's, estimate, which makes the total dis- 
tance from Pilate's house to Calvary 3,050 feet, 
and the distance from Pilate's house to the Judi- 
cial Gate 1,741 feet. 

To say the truth, if any one will take the trouble 
to compare the separate items of Pascha's mea- 
surement (given on pp. 84-85) with any accurate 
map of the Via Dolorosa (the plans on pp. 106-107 
will serve quite well for the purpose), he will proba- 
bly come to the conclusion that these distances, like 
other details of the pilgrimage, are purely fanci- 
ful. How far the responsibility for them may rest 
with Jan Pascha and how far with Peter Sterckx 
or the other travellers who set up the Louvain 



102 The Stations of the Cross 

Stations it does not seem easy to determine. But 
to take one example, it follows from Pascha's 
measurements that the distance from Veronica's 
house to the Judicial Gate was as great as the 
distance from Veronica's house to the Ecce Homo 
Arch. Even allowing a certain latitude for varia- 
tions in the location of Veronica's house this is 
ludicrously impossible. The site now pointed out 
as that of Veronica's house is about sixty-three 
yards from the Judicial Gate, but it is nearly 350 
yards distant from the Ecce Homo Arch. Even 
more unfavourable to Pascha's credit as an eye- 
witness of what he describes is his impression, 
more than once recorded, that "Calvary' was a 
"high mountain." Thus he makes our LORD after 
His third fall, when close to the place of cruci- 
fixion, rest a while and contemplate the " high 
mountain" in front of Him.* From the spot nowa- 
days pointed out as the scene of the third fall (the 
ninth station) there is only an ascent of some 
fifteen feet to the summit of the Rock of Calvary. 
Nevertheless it was upon Pascha's statements 
that Adrichomius beyond all doubt based all his 
calculations, f adding to these unreliable materials 
new blunders of his own, as, for example, when he 

* " CHRIST aussi se reposa un peu icy regardant la haulte 

montagne pargrandeanxiete et douleur" ( Peregrination, p. 148). 

" Ende hier was CHRISTUS wat rustende, aensiende den hooghen 

berch metgrooter benautheden" (Keen devote maniere), etc.,fol. 

112 verso. 

fThe little work of the pilgrim priest, Heer Bethlem, men- 
tioned above, pp. 77-79, is also cited by Adrichomius amongst 
his authorities. Bethlem agrees with Pascha in the extraordinary 
exaggeration of the distance from Simon to Veronica and from 
Veronica to the Judicial Gate, but while in Pascha the distance 
from Veronica to the Judicial Gate is almost double that from 
Simon to Veronica (336 paces to 191 paces) Bethlem makes them 
almost identical (300 ells to 282 ells). Adrichomius makes no 
comment, but follows Pascha implicitly. 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 103 

makes Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre lie on 
the north side of the Judicial Gate instead of on 
the south.* Pascha's distances are borrowed by 
the later writer without any modification, and 
to emphasize his sense of their accuracy Adricho- 
mius gives a measure in his text to show the 
exact length of the foot used in these data. 

But to come back to what more immediately 
concerns our present purpose, it is particularly 
noteworthy that of Adrichomius's three falls 
Quaresmius says nothing and apparently knows 
nothing ; that he assigns the meeting with Simon 
of Cyrene and with the women of Jerusalem to 
what is approximately one and the same spot in 
the cross-road leading to the Damascus Gate; 
that he regards both these meetings as having 
taken pi ace before our SAVIOUR came to Veronica's 
house and impressed His countenance upon her 
veil ; and that he calls attention to the fact that 
Veronica's house was not a corner house as 
depicted in the map of Adrichomius. As the 
arrangement and wording of Quaresmius is a 
little instructive, I may translate here the summary 
which he prefixes to his chapter on the Via 
Dolorosa : 

"The sixth pilgrimage is that of the WAY OF 
THE CROSS, or the WAY OF SORROWS, in which 
are set forth and described eight sites in particu- 
lar, the which are piously venerated by those who 
traverse this same road. The first site is the palace 
of Pilate the Governor ; the second is that of the 
Scourging of CHRIST ; the third is the Palace of 
Herod; the fourth is Pilate's Arch, whereon 
CHRIST was shown to the people while Pilate 

* Compare Adrichomius's map, p. 87, with the sketches on 
pp. 106-107. 



104 The Stations of the Cross 

said: 'Behold the man'; the fifth is the church, 
called the Swoon of our Lady; the sixth is the 
cross-way where Simon of Cyrene was constrained 
to carry our SAVIOUR'S cross and where JESUS 
was met by the weeping women ; the seventh is 
the house of Veronica, where this holy woman 
wiped the face of CHRIST with her napkin; the 
eighth is the Judicial Gate." 

This, we must remember, is the official descrip- 
tion given to the world from Jerusalem itself 
between 1625 and 1639, J us t fifty years after 
Adrichomius had published his map of the 
Stations, reproduced above. 

What then was this Via Dolorosa along which 
the pilgrims were conducted by their Franciscan 
guides in the seventeenth century? So far as re- 
gards the narrow roadway itself, it seems for 
that part of its course which stretches from the 
Ecce Homo Arch to the so-called Judicial Gate 
to have consisted of exactly the same street or 
streets in which the stations are pointed out to 
pilgrims at the present day. Beyond the Judi- 
cial Gate, and up to the Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre, it was admitted then as now that the 
path followed by our SAVIOUR had been built 
over, and that owing to the intervening enclosures 
and houses, detours have now to be made where 
JESUS CHRIST on His painful journey to Calvary 
in all probability followed a straight course. But 
with regard to the earlier portion of the Way of 
the Cross Quaresmius and his contemporaries 
believed that it was possible to trace our 
SAVIOUR'S very footsteps, and that though the 
houses which bordered the roadway might have 
been destroyed and built up again, the direction 
and position of the streets along which He passed 






THE VIA DOLOROSA, ^ACCO^DI^G TO 



, 1587 



Zuallardo has arranged his drawing in two sections, as it is reproduced here, but the lower section 
is intended to be continuous with the upper section, and in order to indicate this, the Church of our 
Lady's Swoon (K), which stands at the extremity of the upper section, is repeated by him in the lower. 



A Gate of St Stephen. 

B Gate of the Court of the Temple. 

C The Temple, now the Mosque 

of Omar. 

D Church of St Anne. 
E Pilate's House. 



F Scala Santa. 

G Herod's House. 

H Pilate's Arch (Ecce Homo). 

K Church of our Lady's Swoon. 

L Simon of Cyrene. 

M Daughters of Jerusalem. 



N House of Dives. 

O House of the Pharisee . 

P House of Veronica. 

Q Judicial Gate. 

R Mount Calvary. 



To face p. 105 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 105 

had not been altered. Of the improbability of this 
assumption a word may be said further on. For 
the present it is sufficient to note that the view 
was universally held by pilgrims in past ages, and 
that it is still accepted without discussion by the 
majority of those who follow the Stations of the 
Cross as they are now publicly made by the good 
Franciscans in Jerusalem on every Friday after- 
noon. There can in any case be little doubt that 
the Via Dolorosa venerated at the present time is 
identical with that known to Zuallardo and 
Quaresmius. Its general direction and also its 
change of level can be sufficiently gathered from 
the rough map on p. 106. Zuallardo's plan, given 
opposite, while extremely interesting for its wit- 
ness to the Franciscan tradition, is unfortunately 
not very clear, though intelligible after a little 
study. 

Tasting the cceff0moA.rch and the Judicial Gate 
as two fixed points, which are easily identifiable, 
the important fact to notice is that the Via Dolorosa 
does not, as Adrichomius incorrectly draws it, run 
straight from one to the other, but that there is 
on the contrary a sharp zigzag in the middle. For 
the first part of the course the Via Dolorosa is an 
ill-paved lane passing under the Ecce Homo Arch 
westwards and downhill for two hundred yards 
to the head of the Tyropcean valley. Here the 
narrow lane debouches into a somewhat broader 
street, one of the main thoroughfares of Jerusa- 
lem, which stretches, roughly speaking, north and 
south and connects the Damascus Gate on the 
north side with the centre of the city. The Via 
Dolorosa then, on encountering this more impor- 
tant thoroughfare, turns to the left and follows its 
course southwards for about fifty yards, nearly as 



io6 The Stations of the Cross 

far as the parti-coloured building raised upon an 
arch and astride of the road, which tradition pro- 
fesses to identify as the house of the rich glutton. 
Then the Way of Sorrows leaves the larger road- 
way once more and resumes its former direction, 
almost due west, as a narrow lane up a steep hill, 



of (tie HoltjS'efiu fc/tre- 




ROUGH TLAN OF THE VIA DOLOROSA IN THE 
SEVENTEENTH CENTURY 

The crosses with Roman numerals in this and the two following plans refer to the incidents 
commemorated by our modern Stations. 

I Condemnation. V Simon of Cyrene. 

II Receiving the Cross. VI Veronica. 

Ill First Fall. VII Second Fall. 

IV The Blessed Virgin Mary. VIII Women of Jerusalem. 

In the seventeenth century these incidents were located as indicated in the plan above. 
The Arabic numerals give the level above the sea in feet. 



coming out in front of the ruined archway known 
as the Judicial Gate. Thus we have three sections: 
the first running west and downhill ; the second 
of about fifty yards running south and also slightly 
downhill; and the third turning due west again 
uphill. It is in the elbow formed by this middle 
section where there is a meeting of ways (bt- 
mum or trimum] that our SAVIOUR is believed 
to have encountered Simon of Cyrene, who had 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 107 

just entered Jerusalem from his farm by the 
northern or Damascus Gate. Upon this identifica- 
tion accounts, otherwise at variance, are agreed. 




ROUGH PLAN OF THE VIA DOLOROSA AT THE BEGINNING 
OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURT 

The III Station (the First Fall) is close to the Ecce Homo Arch. The VIII Station (Women of 

Jerusalem) is beyond the Judicial Gate. 




ROUGH PLAN OF THE VIA DOLOROSA IN THE NINETEENTH 
CENTURTAND AT THE PRESENT DAY 

The III Station is now at the corner, and the IV and V have been moved a corresponding dis- 
tance nearer to Calvary. 






io8 The Stations of the Cross 

The brief description I have attempted will, no 
doubt, be made intelligible enough by a reference 
to the plans on pp. 106-107. 1 will on ly delay now to 
call attention to two points. First, the scene of our 
Lady's swoon upon meeting her divine Son was 
invariably assigned by the Franciscan writers of 
the seventeenth century to what I have called the 
first section, i.e., it was located in the lane run- 
ning westward, from the Ecce Homo Arch, about 
midway between this and the point where the 
lane strikes the main street. Secondly, the place 
of the colloquy with the women of Jerusalem 
was not less invariably pointed out in the second 
section, viz., the broader piece of roadway just 
referred to, which runs south from the Damascus 
Gate. In view of the tradition which now prevails 
in Jerusalem as to the sites of the fourth and 
eighth stations of the Cross, the two particulars 
I have noticed seem of some little interest. 

It would be tedious to attempt to discuss in 
detail the evidence of the various witnesses 
to the Franciscan tradition. For the most part 
each of them only re-echoes in substance what is 
said by his predecessors, though in style and 
manner of treatment they are not wanting in indi- 
viduality. Perhaps as a sample of the rest we 
cannot do better than turn to the description of 
Brother Bernardine Surius, who wrote originally 
in Flemish about the year 1646, and afterwards 
had his book translated into French. He had 
spent several years in Palestine, and had been 
President of the Holy Sepulchre there, and his 
volume bristles with every kind of authentication. 
Surius's eight stations are not identical with 
those of Quaresmius. He says nothing which is 
at variance with the data of the earlier writer, but 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 109 

makes a slightly different selection in the follow- 
ing order : (i) Pilate's House, (2) Ecce Homo Arch, 
(3) Our Lady's Swoon, (4) Simon of Cyrene, 
(5) Daughters of Jerusalem, (6) House of the 
Pharisee, (7) Veronica, (8) Judicial Gate.* 

The reader will not fail to note in this arrange- 
ment of the Stations that Surius, like Quaresmius, 
is silent about the three falls, and that he repre- 
sents the meeting with the women of Jerusalem as 
preceding that with Veronica. With regard to the 
contents of these eight chapters the writer's 
treatment is devotional as well as descriptive. He 
interpolates pious reflections and points of medi- 
tation, but he gives at the same time a precise 
account of the position of the different sites and 
of all points of interest connected with them. The 
House of Pilate, Surius's first station, was then 
as now in the occupation of Turkish officials. 
There is probably no shadow of reason for con- 
necting this spacious medieval structure with the 
residence of the Roman governor, but ever since 
the Crusades tradition has located the Praetorium 
in this place. 

We come next to the Ecce Homo Arch. By 
special favour Surius had been permitted to climb 
the twenty-six stone steps which led up to the 
roofless and almost ruined chamber above the arch, 
and he had then been able to examine the two 
oval windows, divided by a pillar about five feet 
high, looking out upon the street (the Via Dolo- 
rosa] towards the east. He avows his belief, and 
he adds that all the Christians of the East believe 
likewise, that at one of these windows stood JESUS 

* Surius, Bernardin, O.F.M. (Recollect, President du Saint 
Sepulcre et Commissaire de la Terre Saincte, 6s annexes 1644, 
1645, ^46, 1647); "Le Fieux P&erin," Brussels, 1666, p. 440. 



no The Stations of the Cross 

CHRIST and at the other Pilate, not only at the 
solemn moment of the Ecce Homo (" Behold the 
Man"), but also when the populace were bidden to 
choose between JESUS CHRIST and Barabbas. On 
the western side, and above the crown of the arch, 
two white flag-stones have been built into the 
wall. Medieval tradition declares that Pilate had 
stood on one of these stones and our LORD on the 
other. Critical modern archaeologists seem inclined 
to recognize in these slabs two flag-stones of the 
paved courtyard (lithostrotos] of Pilate's Prsetorium. 
Strange to say, Amico, Surius and a number of 
other travellers of that epoch who had had excep- 
tional opportunities of observing them, averred 
very positively that one of the stones, but not the 
other, bore traces of an inscription in great Latin 
letters. Surius maintained that the words had 
been ECCE HOMO, but that "of the eight letters 
contained in these two words only five remain, 
EC.E .OM., the Turks having obliterated the 
remainder.* Earlier observers, however, seem to 
have dissented from this view, and the majority 
assert that the words were Tol. To. (i.e., Tolle, 
Tolle).^ Fra Niccolo da Poggibonsi, who noticed 
the inscription in 1345, declared that it was writ- 
ten in Greek, Hebrew and Latin letters, and that 
it would remain for ever.* 

Be it said in passing that modern archaeologists 
fully admit the Ecce Homo Arch to be a genuine 
relic of the Roman period, though it was not 
necessarily standing in the time of our LORD. The 
more generally accepted opinion seems to be that 
it was a triumphal arch erected in the second cen- 

* Surius, " Le Pieux Pe"lerin," p. 441, ed. 1666. 
f So says Aramon in 1549. See Schefer and Cordier, " Re- 
cueil de Voyages," vol. vin, p. 120. 
l. i, p. 205, ed. Bacchi. 



?t* 

A>Arto 4i Pttafo done ju motivate $ I 
Inuamff 



JB- CayeHa futr Jittrada per $t6no 
Via nfffite Sinere Smatntre <cn 




THE ECCE HOeMO 

From the second edition of Bernardino tAm!co's " Pi ante et Immagini" 1620 






To face p. 1 10 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 1 1 1 

tury about the time of Hadrian, but it may, as the 
Franciscans contend, have served as the entrance 
gate of the old fortress of the Antonia. In any case 
there is no probability that it was ever used for 
such a purpose as that of exhibiting a reputed 
criminal before the eyes of the multitude. 

To say the truth, this latter part of the story 
must prove rather a shock to out-and-out be- 
lievers in Palestinian traditions, for by the 
admission of the Franciscan custodians them- 
selves the tale of our SAVIOUR'S having been 
shown to the people from the top of the Ecce Homo 
Arch is entirely of modern growth.* As early as 
1287 Philippus Brusserius of Savona saw the two 
stones already built into the arch,f and in the 
next century a legend grew up that upon these 
two stones Pilate and our SAVIOUR had respec- 
tively stood or sat when the former delivered 
judgement. By a slight modification it was next 
believed that those were the stones upon which 
they stood at the moment of the Ecce Homo 
("Behold the Man! "). Rochechouart, a traveller 
of 1461, declared that the Empress St Helena had 
caused the stones to be honourably set up in the 
arch; but the Franciscan, Anselm of Cracow, 
1509, maintained that it was a Father Guardian 
of his own Order who had had this done by per- 
mission of the Sultan. So far, however, it was 
clearly understood that the stones had been 
transferred to the arch from the pavement of the 

* See Pere Barnabe" d' Alsace, " Le Pre"toire," p. 53. 

t Philippus says they were the stones our LORD rested upon 
when He was carrying the cross. See " Oest. Vierteljahres- 
schrift f. kat. Theologie," 1872, p. 53. 

See C. G. Conrady, " Rheinische Pilg-erschriften," p. 121; 
and compare Wey's account (1462) quoted above, p. 48. 






ii2 The Stations of the Cross 

Praetorium.* But in the sixteenth century a 
further development of the legend took place. It 
came to be believed that the stones had always 
belonged to the arch, and that it was from the 
central window of the chamber above the vault- 
ing that our LORD was shown to the people. This 
idea is clearly suggested in the engraving from 
the "Geystlich Strass" of 1521, reproduced oppo- 
site, and it was from about this date that the 
arch began to be generally known as the arch of 
the Ecce Homo. For more than two hundred years 
not the slightest doubt seems to have been felt 
that our LORD was really exhibited to the people 
from this elevated spot. The upper portion of 
the arch gradually fell into ruin. The chamber 
above the vault is already shown roofless in 
Amico's drawing, p. no, probably made about 
1590, but this may possibly have been its original 
state. The arched double window on the east side 
with its dividing column still remained, but in 
1630, if we may trust Elzearius Horn, a treasurer 
of the Sultan coming from Damascus thought 
that this graceful column might serve to adorn a 
mosque which he was building. He sent men to 
take it down, but in the operation the pillar fell 
upon the two workmen, breaking the arm of one 
and the leg of the other. f One may legitimately 
have doubts about the historical accuracy of this 
story, for when Father Horn goes on to say that 
at the same time two flag-stones forming part of 
the flooring of this upper chamber, the two stones 

* This is quite explicitly stated by M. Tschudi (1519) in his 
" Reyss und Bilgerfahrt zum heyligen Grab," p. 222. He also, 
like Poggibonsi, saw an inscription on the arch " in Latin, 
Greek and Hebrew characters," but he does not say that it was 
engraved on the two stones. 

t Horn, " Ichnographia," p. 125. 




CHRIST AT PILATE'S HOUSE 
I/lustration from the " Gey stitch StrauJ' Nuremberg, 1521 

Upon this threefold subject see p. 81. The first scene is the condemnation 
of our Saviour by Pilate, represented as taking place on the top of an arch. 
The second is the stripping off of His garments before putting on the purple 
robe. This may possibly have been suggested by the curious statement in Heer 
Bethlem's book that of the two stones in the arch one was that on which Christ 
stood to hear His Sentence, the other that on which He stood when His 
garments were torn from Him. The third scene represents the going forth 
with the cross. 



To face p. 1 1 z 




"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 113 

upon which our SAVIOUR and Pilate had stood, 
were built into the western external wall of the 
arch, he certainly cannot be correct. We have 
already noticed that they were seen in this posi- 
tion at a very much earlier date. Horn also states 
that the upper portion of the arch was repaired 
by the Franciscan Guardian, Father James de 
Luca, in 1725, though the drawing which he gives 
of it shows the monument in a very dilapidated 
state, and was probably made before the restora- 
tion. Other restorations have been necessary 
since, and at present (see next page), the upper 
portion of the structure seemingly preserves no- 
thing of the original, either as to form or material. 
The third station in Surius's enumeration is 
the meeting of our LORD with His blessed 
Mother. This spot he is careful to explain "is 120 
paces from the arch westwards down the Via 
Dolorosa at a point where there is an old wall of 
big square stones facing the north." It is, conse- 
quently, on the left hand side of the road as one 
goes towards Calvary, and some seventy or eighty 
yards short of the corner where the lane turns 
into the main street. This, be it noticed, entirely 
agrees with the descriptions of Amico, Zuallardo 
and Quaresmius. The old wall of big square stones 
is stated by Surius to have been part of the ancient 
chapel erected to commemorate our Lady's Swoon 
at the meeting with her divine Son. He adds that 
when the building was destroyed by the Turks, 
the Franciscans managed to obtain possession of 
the block of stone on which she was supposed to 
have stood and which was venerated in that chapel. 
The relic was conveyed by them to Mount Sion.* 

* If this is true, then the mosaic representing the print of 
two feet discovered of late years in the Armenian convent is 

8 



ii4 The Stations of the Cross 

With regard to the exact spot of the meeting 
with our Lady, Aranda, in 1533, supplies other 
details which must convince all readers that in 
his time it was pointed out in the first section of 
the Via Dolorosa. He calls attention to the fact 
that the road sloped downwards to the place 
where our Lady stood. Hence, although there 
was a great crowd about our SAVIOUR, she could 
see Him quite well as He descended the incline. 
Again, Aranda points out that it is but a short 
distance from the place of the swoon to the corner 
of the main street, and he infers that the anguish 
of seeing His Mother's grief so worked upon our 
LORD that He Himself fell fainting to the ground 
almost immediately afterwards. He could only 
bear up until He had turned the corner and was 
presumably out of her view. Here it was, conse- 
quently, at the same corner that the executioners 
seized upon Simon of Cyrene and compelled him 
to help our LORD to proceed. 

In -his next chapter Surius, supposing the 
pilgrim to be still progressing westwards towards 
Calvary, deals with the incident of Simon of 
Cyrene, which he counts as the fourth station. 
To quote his own words : " Ninety-five paces 
further on [from the chapel of the Swoon] one 
turns into the main street, which begins at the 
Damascus Gate on the north and leads to the 
market place and to the gate of the temple known 
as ' Beautiful.' This is the spot, according to 
Eastern tradition, where CHRIST our LORD fell 
under the weight of the cross, and where the 
Jews, fearing that He would not have the strength 
to reach Calvary, compelled an old man coming 

not likely to have had anything to do with our Blessed Lady's 
Swoon, 




THE ECCE HOtMO A*f(CH, F^Oc^f THE WEST 

From a recent Photograph. See pp. 112, 113 
To face p. 114 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 115 

in from his farm to help our SAVIOUR to carry 
His heavy burden." It is to be observed that the 
Jesuit, Pere Nau, who made his pilgrimage in 
1674 in the train of the French ambassador, gives 
a precisely similar account, and he adds that the 
place of our LORD'S fall here at the corner of the 
main street is marked by a stone of considerable 
size (itne assez grosse pierre) which the pilgrims 
kiss and venerate with much devotion, although 
it lies in the middle of the road * and in full view 
of the infidels, who often reward their piety with 
a volley of imprecations and abuse. Things must 
already have begun to improve a little in Jerusa- 
lem when the Christian pilgrims ventured to be- 
stow marks of veneration upon such an object. It 
may perhaps be that the presence of the French 
ambassador and his suite made them rather 
bolder than usual. 

And now, if I may venture to anticipate a little 
what would otherwise have to be said later, it is 
worth while to point out that we have here an 
important clue to the genesis of the system of 
Stations which are venerated along the Via 
Dolorosa at the present day. For the last two 
centuries the custodians of the holy places have 
adopted the arrangement of Adrichomius with its 
three falls and other peculiarities, finding pro- 
bably that among their Franciscan brethren in 
Europe this form of the exercise of the Way of the 
Cross had now won almost universal acceptance. 
But to harmonize this new enumeration of the 
Stations with the old traditions was not easy. It 
seems plain that a point of departure presented 
itself at the corner of the main street where Surius 

* Nau probably only means that the stone was conspicuous, 
not that it actually lay in the centre of the roadway. 



1 1 6 The Stations of the Cross 

located his fourth station. Here was certainly 
the scene of a fall of our SAVIOUR attested by 
ancient tradition. A large fragment of rock marked 
the spot. This, therefore, must be the first in Ad- 
richomius's series of three falls. And so at this 
spot, at the corner of the street leading from the 
Damascus Gate, the third of our received series 
of Stations, "Our SAVIOUR falls the first time," is 
at present venerated. The site is still marked by 
a fragment of rock, though it is now described as 
a broken column of red marble half imbedded in 
the ground, and it no longer lies if any one ever 
meant to convey that it lay in the centre of the 
roadway. Thus Dom Geramb in his extremely 
interesting letter, giving an account of the Via 
Dolorosa, written in 1832, states that "at the end 
of the street, turning to the left near the Turkish 
bath,* you come to a column of red marble pro- 
strate and broken, which, according to tradition, 
marks the spot where our SAVIOUR sank to earth 
for the first time under the weight of the cross." 
Earlier still this column is spoken of by the Por- 
tuguese friar, Joao de Jesus Christo, who visited 
Jerusalem before i8i8.f The broken shaft is ap- 
parently still there, and is shown in recent photo- 
graphs. Indeed, it is quite possible that this is 
the very stone of which Ludolf von Suchem (i 350) 
speaks in a rather confused passage in which he 
alludes to "the stone whereon JESUS rested 
awhile when His strength failed Him on account 
of His tortures and the weight of His cross, and 

* This property was subsequently bought by the Catholic 
Armenians, and is now the Armenian convent. When Geramb 
wrote, the bath was still standing. 

t " Se encontra huma columna de marmore que mostra o 
lugar onde o Salvador cahio a primera vez." Joao de Jesus 
Christo, " Viage de hum Peregrine a Jerusalem," 3rd ed. Lis- 
boa, p. 187. 




77/ 5/7 OF 



(From a photograph) 



This spot at the corner of the lane was formerly regarded as the place where 
Simon of Cyrene came to aid cur Lord. The broken column will easily be recognised . 



To face />. 1 1 6 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 117 

there the Jews compelled Simon of Cyrene to 
bear the cross after Him."* 

It will be noticed that earlier authorities like 
Ludolf all associate this physical collapse of our 
Blessed LORD with the incident of Simon of Cyrene. 
The real difficulty was created by Adrichomius's 
arrangement, which introduces the meeting with 
our Blessed Lady between the first fall and the 
compulsory impressment of Simon. Once, how- 
ever, that the first fall was fixed at the corner of 
the main street, the other stations had to be deter- 
mined in their due order. The meeting with our 
Lady was accordingly transferred from the old 
position in the lane to a point further along the 
main street, while Simon of Gyrene's advent had 
to be assigned to a spot still lower down. These 
changes were rendered somewhat easier by the 
fact that Adrichomius supposed the meeting with 
the women of Jerusalem to have taken place out- 
side the city beyond the Judicial Gate. This, at 
any rate, as the sketch map on p. 107 will make 
sufficiently clear, is the order in which the stations 
are now venerated by those who piously follow 
their Franciscan guides along the Via Dolorosa. 
Station III (the First Fall) is at the corner as we 
turn to the left into the main street which runs 
south from the Damascus Gate. Station IV (the 
meeting with Mary) is on the right hand forty 
yards lower down. Station V (Simon of Cyrene) is 
twenty-five yards still further on. It is located at 
the next corner, where the pilgrim turns westward 
once more to climb up a narrow lane spanned by 
many arches and leading to the Judicial Gate and 

*"A great stone built into the wall at the corner where 
JESUS fell " is also mentioned at this spot, in connexion with 
Simon of Cyrene, by Duke Frederick II of Liegnitz in 1507. 
See " Zeitschrift d. deutsch. Palastina Verein," 1878, p, 187. 




n8 The Stations of the Cross 

Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In this narrow lane 
half way up on the left hand is Station VI (Vero- 
nica). At the Judicial Gate we have Station VII 
(the second Fall). Beyond this we have to make 
detours, as has already been explained, in order 
to reach the eminence of Calvary, now covered 
by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The eighth 
station (Women of Jerusalem) and the ninth (third 
Fall) are venerated on our way, but it is admitted 
that we cannot now draw near to the site which 
tradition seeks to identify with the second of 
these incidents. 

But let us return after this interruption to Su- 
rius, whom we left at his fourth station, medita- 
ting on the incident of Simon of Cyrene. If I may 
summarize his rather diffuse remarks, he continues 
in some such terms as these: 

Station the fifth. After this painful fall our LORD, 
goaded on by His cruel tormentors, struggled to 
His feet, leaving the ground purpled with His 
precious Blood. Then, after staggering forward 
another twenty-four paces, seeing that some pious 
women were following Him wailing and lament- 
ing, our SAVIOUR turned to them and said : 
" Daughters of Jerusalem," etc. 

The sixth station, according to Surius, is 125 
paces from where JESUS CHRIST spoke to the 
women. It is up a steep lane (une rue lie monta- 
g;ieuse] running westward, and is the house of the 
Pharisee, where St Mary Magdalene washed our 
SAVIOUR'S feet. 

One hundred and five paces further on towards 
the Judicial Gate we come to the house of Vero- 
nica, Surius' s seventh station. The original 
building, he tells us, had fallen into ruin, but 
another had been built in its place, the entrance 



''Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 1 19 

to which is up a flight of four steps. It may be 
noted that recent exploration has shown the exis- 
tence of very ancient remains in this spot. Herr 
von Schick believed them to be Jewish and older 
than the time of our LORD.* 

Finally, after travelling straighten for 1 28 paces 
more, we come to the Judicial Gate, which is 
Surius's eighth and last station. He does not 
speak of any fall of our SAVIOUR at this point, but 
he and the Franciscan writers of the same epoch 
imply that there may have been a halt there, a 
moment's breathing space, while the formal sen- 
tence passed upon JESUS of Nazareth was read 
aloud and posted upon the column standing hard 
by. Father Parviller (c. 1650) is responsible for 
the further curious suggestion that our SAVIOUR 
prostrated Himself upon the earth when the sen- 
tence was read, in testimony of His entire obedience 
to the will of His heavenly Father. There can be 
little doubt that the good friars who at the begin- 
ning of the eighteenth century sought to conciliate 
their traditions with the system of Adrichomius 
would have welcomed the idea that the fall at the 
gate of the city (the seventh station, " JESUS falls 
a second time") might be identified with the halt 
caused by the reading and posting of the sen- 
tence. I must not, however, omit to note that 
Burchard of Mount Si on, a very early traveller 
(c. 1280), describes our LORD as sinking to earth 
at the city gate under the weight of His cross. But 
if there was any tradition to that effect, it seems 
to have been forgotten for centuries.f Pere Nau, 
the Jesuit, who so closely agrees with Surius in 

* See Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement, 
1896, p. 214. 

f Laurent, " Peregrinationcs Quatuor," p. 20; cf. ibid. p. 74. 




120 The Stations of the Cross 

his descriptions, takes particular notice of the 
pillar which stood by the Judicial Gate and which 
may still be seen there at the present day. It is 
now enclosed in a tiny chapel built on the spot 
and owned by the Franciscans. "When we reach 
the top of the street," says Nau, "a pillar may be 
observed under the archway of an old ruined 
house. It is stated that upon this pillar was posted 
the sentence of death which had been judicially 
passed upon our SAVIOUR. Tradition will have it 
that by a special providence of God the column 
has remained there undisturbed until modern 
times. I confess I have some difficulty in credit- 
ing the fact." It may be added that the existence 
of some city gate probably that known to Nehe- 
mias as the " Old Gate " in the immediate 
neighbourhood of the present " Judicial Gate " is 
highly probable. In spite of the reluctance of 
English experts to admit that the Church of the 
Holy Sepulchre occupies the site of Calvary a 
reluctance largely prompted, I venture to think, 
by an antipathy to relics and Romanism the 
evidence collected by Herr von Schick and others 
affords reliable proof that the city wall in the 
time of our SAVIOUR ran east and north of the 
traditional site of the crucifixion. Given the wall, 
the configuration of the ground shows that there 
must almost necessarily have been a gate at this 
point, and the remains still standing may very 
possibly have belonged to it. 

With the Judicial Gate Surius, like Quaresmius, 
ended his Way of the Cross ; and the Franciscans, 
who as an exercise of devotion used to follow our 
SAVIOUR barefoot from Pilate's Praetorium to this 
point, here resumed their sandals. It is particu- 
larly curious that in the sixteenth and seventeenth 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 121 

centuries we almost entirely lose sight of that " stone 
with crosses ' in the courtyard of the Church of 
the Holy Sepulchre,* which was supposed to 
mark the place of our LORD'S falling or resting 
for the last time before He reached the actual 
site of the crucifixion. Although it is shown most 
conspicuously in early engravings of the Church 
of the Holy Sepulchre, where pilgrims are repre- 
sented as kneeling to kiss it and to gain the 
indulgence attached to it, neither Quaresmius nor 
Surius include it in their Way of Sorrows. What 
is more, the site now indicated for the third 
fall (the ninth station) is not in the courtyard of 
the Holy Sepulchre Church but at an inaccessible 
spot within the Coptic monastery. Hence it would 
seem that the stone which stirred such deep emo- 
tions in the hearts of Wey, Fabri, Breydenbach 
and innumerable others is now entirely un- 
honoured. 

We have thus come to the end of our pilgrim- 
age along the Via Dolorosa as that pilgrimage 
was made by the authorized Franciscan guides of 
the seventeenth century. Beyond the Judicial 
Gate, as has been said, Surius does not take us, 
though he tells us that he estimated the distance 
that our SAVIOUR travelled to Calvary at 410 
paces more. But the ground, he says, has been 
so built over that it is useless to attempt to trace 
His actual footsteps. So far as I have been able 
to investigate the matter, there can be no doubt 
that in Jerusalem itself the tradition represented 
by Quaresmius and Surius entirely held the field 
down to the closing years of the seventeenth cen- 

* From Tschudi's careful description, who saw the stone in 
1519, it seems to have been very small less than a foot square. 
According to him it was marked with only one cross, and was 
ten paces distant from the church (" Reyss," p. 191). 



122 The Stations of the Cross 

tury. Almost the only trace of our modern system 
of Stations that I have encountered on Eastern soil 
before this date occurs, strange to say, in the nar- 
rative of a Protestant traveller, George Sandys.* 
In his " Relation of a Journey begun in 1610 " he 
gives an account of Jerusalem, and tells us the way 
between Pilate's palace and Mount Calvary " is 
called the Dolorous Way, along which our 
SAVIOUR was led to His Passion ; in which they 
say, and show where, that He thrice fell under the 
weight of His cross." This may be simply an 
echo of Adrichomius, whose book before this date 
had been translated into English, or the traveller 
may identify these falls with other incidents such 
as those of Simon of Cyrene and Veronica. What 
is certain is that Sandys reproduces in his own 
book Zuallardo's woodcut of the Via Dolorosa 
(given above p. 105), and then adds a description 
which agrees in every respect with the old Fran- 
ciscan tradition. 

Other later descriptions by visitors, who like 
Sandys could hardly be called pilgrims, might 
be quoted in the same sense. However, towards 
the close of the seventeenth century it is plain 
that the influence of Adrichomius began to make 
itself felt even in the East. An attempt seems 
gradually to have been made to combine the 
devotional system now in the ascendant with the 
old Franciscan traditions, and it is curious to 
watch the successive stages by which this was 
brought about. Perhaps the first sign may be 
detected in the vogue of Adrichomius's map with 
its figured stations. Fray Antonio de Castillo, 

* N. C. Radzivil, in his " Hierosol. Peregrinatio," also 
speaks of the falls. But he, like Quaresmius (11, p. 209), may 
only be quoting Adrichomius. 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 123 

O.F.M., who had spent seven years continuously 
in an official position in the Holy Land, return- 
ing to Spain, published a handsome volume at 
Madrid in 1656 called U E1 Devoto Peregrino."* In 
this, while he is entirely faithful to the older 
traditions, and reproduces Zuallardo's plan of the 
Via Dolorosa in a better form than the original, 
nevertheless he has also incorporated in his vo- 
lume two large folding sheets, one a copy of the 
map of Jerusalem by Fra Bernardino Amico, the 
other a copy of that of Adrichomius. The fact 
that the two plans in many important particulars 
contradict one another does not seem to have 
troubled him. The same map of Adrichomius is 
again reproduced with its stations in the highly 
official ^Franciscan history, "Chronica de la Pro- 
vinciade Syria," by Juan de Calahorra, in 1684. 
It is, however, in such a book as that of the 
German friar Hietling, who had been guardian 
of Bethlehem and who on his return to Austria 
in 1713 published a folio on the Holy Land,fthat 
we find the first clear indications of the coming 
change. His book contains a very rude and curious 
plan of the Via Dolorosa, evidently drafted by 
himself, but leaving no room for ambiguity as to 
its divergence from the older delineations.^ Of 

* Antonio de Castillo, O.F.M., "El Devoto Peregrino, 
Viage de Tierra Santa." The book contains the usual crowd of 
official approbations. A similar inconsistency is even more con- 
spicuous in Father Gonzalez's " Hierusalemse Reijse," a work 
written in Flemish and published at Antwerp in 1673. 

t "Peregrinus affectuose per Terram Sanctam et Jerusalem 
conductus," auctore C. Hietling, Ord. Min. Strict. Observ. Re- 
form., 1713. 

J His plan in many details bears a curious resemblance to 
that of Father Elzearius Horn, O.F.M., recently published from 
a Vatican MS. by Father Golubovich. Hietling and Horn must 
probably have copied from some common source. 




1 24 The Stations of the Cross 

the three separate falls of Adrichomius's system 
there is as yet no formal mention, but there are 
other features which unmistakably show the in- 
fluence which Adrichomius exercised. First, the 
the meeting with the women of Jerusalem has 
been placed after that with Veronica, and the 
place of the encounter has been indicated as in 
Adrichomius's map at the point beyond the 
Judicial Gate. Secondly, the episode of our Lady 
now appears in a double form. The meeting with 
her Son (occur sus Virginis] is still assigned to the 
old site in the lane, midway between the Ecce 
Homo Arch and the end. But the Swoon of our 
Lady (deliquium beatce Virginis] is now treated as a 
separate incident, and located in the main street 
well round the corner. As we have already seen, 
this last site has been eventually retained, and is 
now honoured as that of the fourth station, pre- 
sumably because it allows the first fall of our 
LORD to be identified with the corner of the lane 
and yet to precede, as in Adrichomius's order, the 
meeting with the Blessed Virgin. It would appear 
that at this period, i.e., during the first fifty years 
of the eighteenth century, great confusion pre- 
vailed in determining the stations of the Via 
Dolorosa. No two writers, however ample their 
opportunities of acquainting themselves with the 
Franciscan traditions of Jerusalem, will be found 
to agree exactly. In the " Guida Fedele " of Brother 
Pietr' Antonio di Venetia, O.F.M., we have the 
complete system of Adrichomius with all its de- 
tails.* Brother Antonio do Sacramento, a Portu- 
guese friar who spent a year or more in the Holy 
Land in 1739-40, mentions four falls of which the 

* " Guida Fedele alia Santa Citta di Gerusalemme," Venice, 
1703. 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 125 

second coincides with the episode of Simon of 
Cyrene, but he seems nevertheless to assign the 
meeting with our Blessed Lady to the original 
position in the lane. This is also the case in the 
elaborate and careful drawings of Father Elzea- 
rius Horn (c. 1740).* On the other hand Father 
Myller, a Bohemian Servite, in 1735 says no- 
thing of the falls, though he, like several others, 
places the meeting with the women outside the 
Judicial Gate.f Eventually the system of Adricho- 
mius was somehow made to fit in with the local 
traditions, and in the Viage of Brother Joao de 
Jesus Christoof 1818, already mentioned, we find 
the Stations of the Via Dolorosa given in the same 
order and at precisely the same points along the 
road as are observed in the exercise of the Way 
of the Cross officially conducted by the Francis- 
cans of Jerusalem on Friday afternoons at the 
present day. For some hundreds of years it has 
been the custom of the friars to traverse the Via 
Dolorosa for their private devotion, walking bare- 
foot, i.e. without their sandals. But it is only 
within the last half century that it has been pos- 
sible for a group of pilgrims to make the Way of 
the Cross together in public under the guidance 
of one of the religious. Father Horn, it is true, 
declared that in ancient times the friars of Mount 
Sion used to make the Stations on Fridays "in 
procession, though without the cross at their 
head processionaliter absque tamen pr&via crtice' 
-and that this practice continued until 1621, 
when the Turkish authorities stopped it; but I have 
found no satisfactory confirmation of this asser- 

* "Viagem Santa e Peregrinacao Devota," Lisbon, 1748; 
Horn, '"Ichnographiae Locorum et Monumentorum Veterum 
Terrae Sanctae," Rome, 1902. 

t " Peregrinus in Jerusalem," Vienna, 1735. 



126 The Stations of the Cross 

tion. Even as late as 1832 Christian devotees 
were exposed to every kind of annoyance, as the 
following passage from a letter of Dom Geramb 
will show: 

" Nine of these stations are in the streets form- 
ing the Via Dolorosa, so that the pilgrim is obliged 
to refrain from all external signs of piety, if he 
would avoid the insults and outrages of which 
Turkish fanaticism is not sparing. I have some- 
times ventured to disregard Mussulman prejudice, 
but I would not advise any one to imitate my 
temerity. Along a road bordered exclusively by 
Turkish dwellings and frequented by all classes 
of the population it is better to confine oneself 
to inward prayer than to provoke outrage and 
blasphemy. One day, before the house of St 
Veronica, I allowed some external mark of re- 
spect to escape me, and instantly a vessel of 
water was flung over me from a window. The 
wisest thing was to say nothing, and I passed on 
in silence/'* 

The same writer also tells us in another place 
of a broken column in the roadway, which was 
believed to mark the position of the ninth station, 
i.e., the third fall, not far from Calvary; but the 
Turks, when they discovered this, took to heap- 
ing up filth against it, with the express object of 
keeping the Christians at a distance. 

At the present day, however, the spectacle of 
a group of Christians praying at a street corner 
has become too familiar in Jerusalem to evoke as 
a rule any demonstration ol Moslem fanaticism. 
On Good Friday a great procession of pilgrims, 
a score of whom support between them on their 
shoulders a gigantic wooden cross, traverse un- 
* Letter of Dom Geramb, written in 1832. 




THE VIA DOLO^OSA, ^EA^^E^p^JCA'S HOUSE 
From a drawing by //'. Bartlett, c. 1840 



To face />. 126 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 127 

molested the whole course of the Via Dolorosa^ 
pausing for a while at each station to recite 
devotions in public, while, as already mentioned, 
the exercise of the Stations takes place on a 
smaller scale on every Friday afternoon through- 
out the year. Travellers have also noticed that by 
a sort of irony of fate there may be witnessed 
within a few hours on these same Friday even- 
ings the weird spectacle of the lamentations of 
the Jews in "the place of wailing." There, 
against the wall of what was once the glorious 
temple of Jerusalem, they mourn over the dis- 
persion of their race almost within earshot of the 
Christian Way of Sorrows. 

The question can hardly fail to suggest itself: 
What probability is there that the Via Dolorosa 
now venerated in Jerusalem really represents the 
path trodden by our LORD'S sacred feet on His 
last painful journey to Calvary? It is not quite 
easy to answer such a question satisfactorily 
within moderate limits. What we have already 
seen in the foregoing pages of the growth and 
fluctuation of tradition, as well as the adaptability 
of these same traditions to new ideas when any 
strong pressure from without renders compromise 
desirable, will have prepared us to find that the 
popular and general acceptance of a belief even 
for a long period together can afford no satis- 
factory guarantee that the belief has solid founda- 
tion in fact. It is to archaeological considerations 
and the evidence of the earliest centuries that we 
must turn for a solution rather than to any living 
voice, even though it represent an uninterrupted 
succession of teachers stretching back to the 
middle ages. It must be obvious that the first 
question to be decided is the position of the Prae- 



128 The Stations of the Cross 

torium of the Roman governor and of the Lithos- 
trotos or paved courtyard of which the gospel 
tells us. No reasonable doubt can be felt that our 
SAVIOUR will have been led from the place of 
sentence to the place of execution by the shortest 
available route. The terminus ad quern we may 
assume to be determined by the position of Con- 
stantine's basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Recent 
scientific research has made clear the futility of 
the reasons for seeking Golgotha in any other 
quarter than that assigned by tradition. The one 
serious objection to the identification of the pre- 
sent Church of the Holy Sepulchre with the scene 
of the crucifixion was the doubt which formerly 
seemed well founded whether this site could 
possibly have stood outside the wall of the city 
in the time of our LORD. Thanks to the researches 
of the German archaeological expert, the late 
Herr Conrad von Schick, we may take it as 
satisfactorily proved that the course of the city 
wall did not originally take in the ground now 
covered by Constantine's basilica, but neverthe- 
less ran close up to it.* Hence if our SAVIOUR 
was crucified upon the spot which Christians ever 
since the beginning of the fourth century have 
venerated as the rock of Calvary, He truly " suf- 
fered outside the gate," as the Epistle to the 
Hebrews says with emphasis,! while on the other 
hand the place was so near one of the main 
entrances into the city that St John might well 
insist that the title affixed to the cross could be 
read by multitudes of wayfarer s.J 

* An excellent summary of the question may be found in 
Herr von Schick's paper in the "Quarterly Statement of the 
Palestine Exploration Fund" for April, 1893. 

t Heb. xiii, 12. 

% John xix, 20. 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 129 

But with regard to the terminus a quo of the 
Way of Sorrows things are by no means so clear. 
A Catholic professor has recently published a 
long article in a leading theological review to 
prove that from the testimony of Josephus it 
necessarily follows that the Praetorium of Pilate 
was situated on Mount Sion.* If that be so, our 
LORD must have approached Calvary from an 
entirely different quarter than that indicated by 
the traditional Via Dolorosa. He must have de- 
scended to the place of crucifixion from the south 
side, instead of toiling upwards from the east. 
On the other hand, a distinguished Dominican, 
Father Zanecchia, has been led by the descrip- 
tion of early pilgrims to locate the Praetorium 
deep in the Tyropcean Valley, which separates 
the east and west hills, upon which Jerusalem is 
built. In this view he has been followed by the 
Assumptionist professors of Notre Dame de 
France in their recently published guide-book, 
" La Palestine, Guide Historique." If this theory 
were correct, it would be equally impossible to 
regard the traditional Via Dolorosa as the true 
path of our SAVIOUR to Calvary. Let me hasten 
to explain that neither of these two hypotheses 
regarding the location of the Prsetorium appears 
to me satisfactory. The first proceeds upon the as- 
sumption that the Christians of ancient Jerusalem 
retained no memory of the sites of our LORD'S 
Passion, and that the descriptions of early pil- 
grims are consequently worthless ; surely a need- 
lessly violent and extreme position. The second 
view, on the other hand, seems to exaggerate the 

* The "Theologische Quartalschrift" of Tubingen, for April, 
1905; article by Dr van Bebber on " Das Praetorium des Pila- 
tus." 



130 The Stations of the Cross 

inferences to be deduced from the accounts of 
Antonius and the Bordeaux pilgrim, and to 
ignore the equally valuable evidence obtainable 
from other quarters. I am inclined therefore to 
associate myself with the criticisms which have 
been directed against Padre Zanecchia's theory 
by Frere Barnabe d' Alsace and Dr Karl Mom- 
mert,* and to accept the solution of the last-named 
that the Prsetorium of Pilate stood near the head 
of the Tyropcean Valley, on the ground at present 
occupied by the Armenian convent, where pil- 
grims now venerate the fourth station of the 
cross. In a recent article in the " Dublin Re- 
view" I have touched upon the reasons which 
have led me to this conclusion, though for a fuller 
exposition I must refer to the important work of 
Dr Karl Mommert, who discusses the subject in 
great detail. It may be sufficient to say here that 
while the account of the Bordeaux pilgrim (A.D. 
333) is precise in locating the ruins of the Pree- 
torium in the valley below Mount Sion, and on 
the right hand of a man who is travelling north- 
ward trom Mount Sion to the Damascus Gate, 
the archaeological evidence testifies strongly to 
the existence of a paved courtyard of the Roman 
period, which seems to have extended from the 
Ecce Homo Arch to the present Armenian convent 
at the head of the Tyropcean Valley. This has 
long been identified with the Lithostrotos spoken 
of by St John, called in Hebrew "Gabbatha." Now 
we know that in the fourth and fifth century a 
considerable basilica dedicated to the Holy Wis- 

*"Das Pratorium des Pilatus." By Dr Karl Mommert. 
Haberland, Leipzig-, 1903. 

f " Le Pretoire de Pilate et la Forteresse Antonia." By P&re 
Barnab d' Alsace, O.F.M. Paris: Picard, 1902. 

% January, 1906, 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 131 

dom (Sancta Sophia?) was erected on the site of the 
Praetorium, and that a stone, believed to be that 
on which our Blessed LORD stood to be judged, 
was specially venerated there. I will content my- 
self with quoting the account which passes under 
the name of St Antoninus of Piacenza, c. 570. 

" We pray," he says, " in the Praetorium where 
the LORD was tried, which is now the basilica of 
Holy Wisdom. In the church itself is the seat 
upon which Pilate sat when he tried our LORD. 
There is also a square stone which used to stand 
in the midst of the Praetorium, upon which the 
accused was placed during his trial, that he might 
be heard and seen by all the people. Upon it our 
LORD was placed when He was tried by Pilate, 
and there the marks of His feet still remain. The 
portrait which during His lifetime was painted 
and placed in the Praetorium shows a beautiful 
small delicate foot, a person of ordinary height, 
a handsome face, hair inclined to curl, a beautiful 
hand with long fingers. And many are the 
virtues of the stone on which He stood, for men 
take the measure of His footprints, and bind them 
upon their bodies for various diseases, and are 
healed. The stone itself is adorned with gold and 
silver."* 

Further, this veneration paid to the marks of 
our SAVIOUR'S footprints in the Church of Holy 
Wisdom as the place where He stood to be 
judged is attested to the beginning of the seventh 
century by St Sophronius, Patriarch of Jeru- 
salem.f 

This basilica of the Holy Wisdom probably 
fell into ruin during the early years of the Moham- 

* Antoninus, ed. Geyer, p. 206. 

t See Migne, P.G. vol. LXVII, p. 3822. 



132 The Stations of the Cross 

medan occupation. No one has pretended to iden- 
tify it with any existing building. But in certain 
recent explorations undertaken in the neighbour- 
hood of the Armenian convent traces of a Byzan- 
tine building have been found, and in particular 
a mosaic representing the imprint of two small 
feet or rather shoes. Without supposing that this 
was the actual stone, " ornamented with gold and 
silver," which was once honoured there, it seems 
extremely probable that such a pattern as that of 
two footprints might have been largely used in 
the decoration of the basilica of the Holy Wisdom, 
and that we have struck here upon the traces of 
the church erected upon the site of the ruined 
Preetorium. For the fuller exposition of the argu- 
ment I must refer the reader to the work of 
Dr Mommert, but I may note that this result is 
in very fair agreement with the conclusions arrived 
at from their different standpoints by such devoted 
students of Jerusalem topography as M. Clermont 
Ganneau, Comte de Vogue, Herr von Schick, 
Professor Zaccaria and Pere Lagrange. Finally, 
let me note that if Dr Mommert's hypothesis be 
accepted as, on the whole, the most probable 
theory which has yet been advanced, the received 
traditions as to the course of our SAVIOUR'S sad 
journey to Calvary have not been so very far 
wrong. We may perhaps have to surrender the 
belief that He passed under the Ecce Homo Arch 
and down the lane in which the first three stations 
are now shown, but His way must roughly have 
coincided with the rest of the Via Dolorosa, and 
the general direction of the painful ascent must 
have been that which we have always supposed. 

That we can never hope to recover the actual 
path sanctified by contact with His sacred feet 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 133 

must be plain from one very simple consideration. 
The level of the soil in such a city as Jerusalem is 
constantly changing ; the hollows are continually 
being filled up, the elevations are in some measure 
denuded. Near the Armenian convent, where 
we may believe the true Via Dolorosa to have 
begun, the rock is now fifty feet below the sur- 
face. In our LORD'S time, as the evidence of exca- 
vations prove, there was a far less depth of soil, 
and the little slope of Calvary must have been by 
so many feet the steeper. 

Before ending this chapter a word may be 
added on the imitations^ of the Via Dolorosa in the 
West. 

It must not be assumed that the arrangement 
of Stations which meets us in Adrichomius's book 
and which was later popularized by St Leonard 
of Port Maurice and other great Franciscan mis- 
sionaries, was the only system to win any measure 
of popular favour. On the contrary, the Way of the 
Cross compiled by Father Adrian Parviller, S.J., 
seems in the last half of the seventeenth, and in 
the first half of the eighteenth century to have had 
a very great vogue. A large number of editions 
of the little book were called for, and it was trans- 
lated into almost every language. For example, 
four different editions in Breton are to be found 
in the library of the British Museum ; while the 
English translation of Father Parviller's method 
was apparently printed and reprinted some time 
before any other arrangement of the Stations of 
the Cross was known in this country. 

According to Father Parviller's method the 
first station was the supper chamber, the second 
the grotto of the garden of Olives, the third the 
gate of the garden of Olives where JESUS was 4 



134 The Stations of the Cross 

arrested, the fourth the brook Cedron, into which, 
as they crossed it, our SAVIOUR was thrown 
through the brutal violence of His captors. 
Then we have in due order the houses of Annas, 
Caiphas and Herod, followed by the chamber of 
the scourging and the Praetorium of Pilate. This 
brings us to the tenth station, the titles of which 
and of those which follow, we may give more 
exactly. 

Station X. The Ecce Homo Arch where our 
LORD was put into comparison with Barabbas, 
and Barabbas preferred before Him. 

Station XI. The spot where our Blessed Lady 
swooned away with sorrow at the sight of her 
Son carrying His cross to Calvary. 

Station XII .The cross-roads where our SAVIOUR 
fell under the weight of His cross and was raised 
up and aided to carry it by Simon of Cyrene. 

Station XIII. The place where the women and 
devout maidens of Jerusalem lamented at the sight 
of our LORD. 

Station XIV. The house of holy Veronica, who 
wiped with her kerchief the face of our LORD, 
covered as it was with sweat, with blood and with 
spittle. 

Station XV. The Judicial Gate, where our 
SAVIOUR heard His sentence read aloud. 

Station XVI. Calvary, where our LORD was 
crucified between two thieves. 

Station XVII. The Holy Sepulchre in which 
the dead Body of our SAVIOUR was laid. 

Station XVIII (the last). The Mount of Olives, 
whence our LORD, after the Resurrection, ascended 
into heaven. 

So far as I can ascertain, no general rule 
prevailed in the sixteenth or even in the 



"Via Dolorosa" at Jerusalem 135 

seventeenth century, as to the number, order or 
character of the devotional Stations of the Way 
of the Cross, which were set up in many religious 
houses, churchyards and other sacred enclosures. 
In the English Augustinian convent at Bruges, 
which has occupied the site which it occupies now 
ever since the early part of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, traces are preserved of two interesting sets 
of Stations.* In both cases the selection of subjects 
coincides as little with the arrangements of Par- 
viller or Quaresmius as it does with the set of 
fourteen Stations which is alone familiar at the 
present day. Again there are many examples of 
old sets of Stations in the public churches oi Ger- 
many, France and the Netherlands, sometimes - 
within the building, as at St Roch in Paris, but 
more frequently out of doors, the subjects of which 
by no means agree with those now in vogue. 

* One consists of diamond-shaped stones the series unfor- 
tunately is incomplete erected originally in the garden. The 
tablets which survive bear the following 1 numbers and inscrip- 
tions: (3) Our LORD before Caiphas ; (5) Our LORD going- to 
Herod ; (7) Our LORD carrying- His cross ; (8) Our LORD'S first 
fall ; (9) Our LORD meeting with His Blessed Mother ; (10) Simon 
helps to carry our LORD'S cross; (n) Fall of our LORD ; (15) Our 
LORD'S nailing to the cross ; ( 16) Our LORD hanging on the cross. 
The other set are a series of pictures. They seem to have been 
painted in Rome for Lady Carrington and to have been sent by 
her to Lady Lucy Herbert, who was the Reverend Mother Prioress 
at Bruges in the first half of the eighteenth century. The sub- 
jects are the following: (i) The Last Supper; (2) The Agony in 
the Garden; (3) The Apprehension; (4) CHRIST before Caiphas ; 
(5) CHRIST before Pilate ; (6) The Ecce Homo ; (7) The Scourg- 
ing ; (8) The Crowning with Thorns; (9) Veronica; (io)The 
Taking Down from the Cross ; (n) The Burial ; (12) The Re- 
surrection. 




Chapter VII-The Devotional Aspect 

of the Stations 

IT must be evident from the contents of the pre- 
ceding chapters that, so far as concerns many 
details of the exercise of the Way of the Cross 
the historical foundation of our present system of 
Stations is quite of the slenderest. We have no 
sufficient warrant for the episode of Veronica, 
none for the meeting with our Blessed Lady, none 
for the three falls, while the order adopted for 
these various incidents does not depend even upon 
the medieval traditions current in Jerusalem, but 
upon a work of the imagination belonging to 
relatively modern times which first saw the light 
in Flanders. To some readers this uncertainty 
may seem to involve the unwelcome conclusion 
that the whole practice is tainted with supersti- 
tion, and that amid such turbid waters all refe- 
rence to the Passion of CHRIST as a pure fountain 
of devotion becomes singularly out of place. This, 
however, will not, I think, be the inference drawn 
by any one who takes a large and generous view 
of the subject. On the contrary, the curiously 
complicated development of the Stations of the 
Cross seems to the present writer to illustrate, in 
a conspicuous way, the working of a law akin to 
that of the survival of the fittest, a law which 
meets us, more often than might be expected, in 
this and many similar matters of popular piety. 
If one particular set of Stations has prevailed in 
preference to another, this, I conceive, is ultimately 



The Devotional Aspect 137 

to be attributed to the fact that the one appeals 
more strongly than the other to the pious imagi- 
nation or to the devotional needs and feelings of 
the faithful at large. While we may recognize, in 
the most emphatic way, the desirability of more 
rigorous scrutiny into the authenticity of relics, in- 
dulgences, legends, patristic apocrypha and other 
such matters of pious credulity, we have after all 
to remember that these things are the aids and 
means of devotion, but not its final cause. His- 
torical research concerns itself with such matters, 
and the verdict of science most certainly should 
be respected. But historical research is not pos- 
sible for the rank and file of Christian believers, 
nor even exprofesso for the pastors of the Church. 
Provided that the large element of uncertainty 
which enters into such matters be admitted, no 
great harm can arise from the prevalence of any 
particular legend which, though historically 
doubtful, is not in itself extravagant or disedify- 
ing. As the celebrated Dominican, Pere Lagrange, 
has admirably said when speaking of the authen- 
ticity of certain of the holy places, venerated by 
the faithful and enriched with indulgences : 

"If Origen, Eusebius, St Jerome, Sozomen, are 
all mistaken, not merely as to the precise situa- 
tion of the house of Cleophas, but about the iden- 
tity of Emmaus Nicopolis with the Emmaus of 
the Gospels, how can we expect a pilgrim pros- 
trate in the dust at a street corner to hold for 
certain that at this identical spot our SAVIOUR 
fell for the second or the third time ? We are told 
the pilgrims come to make the Stations of the 
Cross, and that if they have not a blind confidence 
in the hie (here) of the lay-brother who is taking 
them round, they lose all devotion. Surely this is 



138 The Stations of the Cross 

a poor compliment to pay them. The faithful 
know very well that when the Church proposes 
some special mystery of our LORD'S life for their 
veneration, the word hodie (to-day) which is used 
in the liturgy has only an approximate value. 
The pilgrims are no more the slaves of the hie 
than they are of the hodie. They are happy to 
follow the footsteps of CHRIST, to make protesta- 
tion of their gratitude to the GOD made Man ; to 
kiss the stone in token of their humility and 
adoration ; but their devotion will only be the 
more free and spontaneous if it is not necessarily 
taken for a stolid act of faith in the assertion of a 
topographical fact. If it were otherwise, we should 
have to remind them that our SAVIOUR has taught 
us to adore the Father in spirit and in truth."* 

Once the symbolical character of so many of 
our aids to devotion is understood and allowed 
for, we can use them without danger as stepping 
stones to a higher knowledge and a deeper love 
of the Source of all grace. We venerate them for 
what they symbolize and for that which they help 
to bring nearer to us, but we are comparatively 
indifferent at such moments to questions of 
history or fact. It is sufficient for us that they 
possess a certain relative truth. Dives and Laza- 
rus may or may not have been actual living 
persons, but when we are meditating upon the 
lessons of our LORD'S parable, it does not occur 
to us to press the inquiry whether it was founded 
upon an incident that had actually occurred. 

It has just been said that we have probably 
arrived at our present series of fourteen Stations 
by a sort of process of the survival of the fittest. 
Without attempting any rigorous proof of such a 

* P&re Lagrange, O.P., in the " Revue Biblique," 1903,9.461. 



The Devotional Aspect 139 

proposition, it is at least easy to see that some of 
the incidents which are from an historical point 
of view most open to question, are also, devo- 
tionally speaking, among the most helpful to 
piety. Take, for example, the sixth station, the 
episode of St Veronica. Few of our LORD'S suf- 
ferings on His toilsome journey to Calvary have 
suggested more beautiful thoughts to those who 
have commented on the Stations than this parable 
of loving charity. This is how the episode has 
moved the devout fancy of Cardinal Newman. It 
will be remembered that the meeting with our 
Blessed Lady and the call of Simon of Cyrene are 
the Stations which immediately precede. Of Vero- 
nica Cardinal Newman writes thus : 

" The relief which a Mother's tenderness 
secured is not yet all she did. Her prayers sent 
Veronica as well as Simon Simon to do a man's 
work, Veronica to do the part of a woman. The 
devout servant of JESUS did what she could. As 
Magdalen had poured the ointment at the feast, 
so Veronica now offered Him this napkin in His 
passion. * Ah,' she said, * would I could do more! 
Why have I not the strength of Simon, to take 
part in the burden of the cross ?' But only men can 
serve the great High Priest, now that he is cele- 
brating the solemn act of sacrifice. O JESUS, let 
us one and all minister to Thee according to our 
places and powers. And as Thou didst accept 
from Thy followers refreshment in Thy hour of 
trial, so give to us the support of Thy grace when 
we are hard pressed by our foe."* 

To that great sufferer and lover of the poor, 
Henri Perreyve, the same Station suggests a quite 
different train of thought, but one not less beau- 

* Newman, " Meditations and Devotions," p. 198. 



140 The Stations of the Cross 

tiful. I take the following passage from a recently 
published Anglican translation: 

"I adore Thee, LORD, as I behold the holy 
Veronica wiping with a linen cloth Thy sacred 
face bathed in sweat, in tears and in blood. She 
is not deceived by Thy wan bruised face, Thy 
weary step, Thy soiled garments. It does not 
astonish her that Thou now dost realize the vision 
of the completed sorrow which afflicted the eyes 
of Isaiah, that Thou art the man of sorrows ac- 
quainted with grief, wounded and bruised, whom 
the prophet confessed that he did not recognize. 
The love of Veronica is not mistaken in Thee, to 
her Thou art always JESUS. Nothing stops her, 
neither the dense crowd through which she must 
break, nor the noise of the people, nor the presence 
of the guard, nor the disdainful glances of the 
Pharisees, nor the stately progress of the public 
procession, nor the prancing of the horses, neither 
false shame nor the fear of death. She does not 
hesitate, she runs and touches Thee, and tenderly 
wipes Thy face, her hands trembling the while 
with holy fear ; all was impossible, but she has 
dared all, she has accomplished all. 

"O Master, in this scene Thou art the perfect 
type of all humanity, poor and suffering ; and 
Veronica is the type of charity. While Thou art 
dragging after Thee Thy cross, little resembling 
the perfect Man, but rather, as the psalmist dares 
to say, ' a worm and no man,' Thou bearest in 
Thy person all the poor ; but on the other hand, 
the least of the poor who suffer hunger and cold in 
our great cities bears Thy image, O JESUS, and 
recalls the practical teaching of thy gospel. As 
there is in the Holy Eucharist Thy real presence, 
so also there is another real presence of Thee in 




THE Vl,A DOLO?(pS<A, 

LOOKING 

From a recent Photograph 
To face p. 140 



'S HOUSE, 



The Devotional Aspect 141 

the persons of the poor, and therefore Thou hast 
said plainly that what is done to the meanest of 
them is done unto Thyself. 

" More happy than Veronica, whose trembling 
hand touched Thee but once, Christian charity is 
able, every day and every moment to dry Thy 
tears, to wipe the sweat from Thy brow, the brow 
of Thy poor. Who will teach us to love Thy poor 
sufficiently, who will teach us to regard their 
sorrows, to worship them as the sacrament of Thy 
passion ? Who will teach us always to see beneath 
their features, disfigured though they may be by 
physical and moral misery, the features of JESUS ? 
Who will give us the spirit of Veronica, her un- 
quenchable hope, her irresistible courage, her 
conviction that she will succeed, and the degree 
of love which we need to accomplish all that we 
have undertaken ? Thou only, O divine Master, 
canst kindle in our souls those flames of love, 
which would fain devour all the evils of the earth, 
and will not die down in Thy Church while there 
yet remains one sorrow in the world."* 

Veronica as a personage she must be distin- 
guished from her napkin, often also called by the 
name Veronica (in English Vernicle] was not 
a very familiar character in the devotional litera- 
ture of the middle ages. Her house was not shown 
in Jerusalem before the fourteenth century at 
earliest, f and it is not generally spoken of by 
pilgrims before 1435. Hence, in the York mystery 
plays, though we find the incident of the napkin 

* Perreyve, "Stations of the Cross," translated by the Rev. 
E. Day. 

f The Procemium to the pilgrimage of James of Verona (1335) 
contains a mention of "locus ubi CHRISTUS dedit Veronicam, 
id est faciem." The Procemium may be a later interpolation, but 
it is older than 1420. See " Revue de 1'Orient Latin," HI, p. 163. 



142 The Stations of the Cross 

and the miraculous portrait, it is not Veronica, 
but one of the three Marys who presents the 
napkin to our LORD. 

But the beautiful symbolism of the episode 
itself did not fail to impress the imaginations of 
our pre-Reformation forefathers. The Salve sancta 
fades nostri Redemptoris was one of the most 
popular of medieval hymns, and when Veronica 
does appear in medieval drama, we may detect, 
if I mistake not, a very tender note in the few briet 
words assigned to her. Thus in the Coventry 
mysteries dating from the early fifteenth century, 
we read : 

Veronica. "Ah! ye synful pepyl! Why fare thus? 

For sweat and blod He may not see ! 
Alas! Holy prophete, CHRYST JHESUS! 

Careful (i.e., full of care) is myn heart for Thee." 

And she wipeth His face with her kerchy. 

JHESUS. "Veronica, thy wiping 1 doth me ease; 

My face is clene, that was black to see. 
I shall them kepe from alle mysese 

That lokyn on thy kerchy and remember me." 

Again there is undoubtedly something which 
makes a special appeal to man's weak and sin- 
laden heart, both in the conception of the fall of 
JESUS under His cross and in the circumstance of its 
triple repetition. " Who is it," asks St Leonard of 
Port Maurice, " that has thus again stricken down 
the LORD of heaven and earth \ It is I, I who have 
heaped sin upon sin, who have added torment to 
torment." Or, if I may again quote the beautiful 
language of Cardinal Newman: 

"Yes, it is as I feared; JESUS, the strong and 
mighty LORD, has found for the moment our sins 
stronger than Himself. He falls yet He bore the 



The Devotional Aspect 143 

load for a while; He tottered, but He bore up 
and walked onwards. What, then, made Him 
give way? I say, I repeat, it is an intimation and 
a memory to thee, O my soul, of thy falling back 
into mortal sin. 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. 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. And at that moment 
I looked at my LORD, and, lo! He had fallen 
down, and I covered my face with my hands and 
remained in a state of great confusion." 

It is difficult to quote translations after such 
perfect English as this, but in turning again to 
the Stations of the saintly Henri Perrey ve I will 
venture this time to cite with modifications the 
text of an older English version of Catholic origin : 

Jesus falls beneath the weight of the Cross. 

"I adore Thee, LORD JESUS, falling beneath the 
weight of the cross. Thou didst erewhile receive 
it with the steadfast courage of love for Thy crea- 
ture man. In that courage the sad procession set 
out. But as the Victim advances the anguish of 
the sacrifice increases. That cross which at first 
seemed supportable has become an overwhelming 
burden. O Master! Thy strength hath failed 
Thee, Thou hast fallen prostrate by the wayside. 

" And so also is it with human sorrows in this 
world, when they follow one upon the other, 
accumulating force with time. Such stricken 
souls may often be seen strong and courageous 
at first, yet they are at last crushed to earth by 
the ever-growing weight of their desolations It 
is a beloved child that has been taken, but two 



144 The Stations of the Cross 

remained; death comes again and takes a second, 
and then the other. It is too much, all strength 
fails, the cross is too heavy; it is no longer that 
cross of yesterday, which was still endurable. No, 
it seems a mountain, a very world of woe. The 
soul gives up the struggle and itself sinks to 
earth amid the ruin of all that it has loved. Poor 
tortured soul ! when thou hast rallied from that 
swoon of pain, there is nothing of which I would 
talk to thee save of the fall of JESUS JESUS 
sinking beneath His cross. Look upon Him, I pray 
thee, look upon Him while I hold my peace. He 
alone can speak life-giving words capable of 
raising thy soul from that worst of all agonies, 
despair. 

"O eternal Word! O Son of GOD! consubstan- 
tial with Him in the plenitude of Thy eternal 
generation, inseparable from that divine nature, 
one with the FATHER and the HOLY GHOST, distinct 
only in Person, I thank Thee that, assuming our 
humanity, Thou wert willing also to fathom the 
uttermost depths of our weakness. Thou couldst 
have saved the world without that excess of humi- 
liation, but Thou couldst not without it have con- 
soled us by Thy example in the hour of crushing 
agony and desolation. For that we needed a 
SAVIOUR who had known like ourselves the 
weight of a cross beyond His strength, who could 
teach us through his own infirmity not to fall 
into utter contempt of ourselves in those moments 
of supreme discouragement. My REDEEMER, Thy 
mysterious fall reconciles me to my own weak- 
ness. That fall did not hinder Thy sacrifice; it did 
not prevent Thee from reaching the summit of 
Calvary. Thou didst stagger to Thy feet and con- 
tinue to go forward. 



The Devotional Aspect 145 

"O JESUS, when my strength fails, when the 
cross becomes too heavy, when I fall, do Thou 
raise me up, and with the support of Thy divine 
hand enable me to follow Thee along that road of 
daily difficulties and sorrow in which Christian 
virtue is put to its hardest test." 

The reader, I trust, will not be wearied by this 
series of quotations. It seems to me that they 
illustrate well the rich vein of spontaneous and 
devout reflection which the subjects of the Stations 
open up to reverent minds. Neither need we 
suppose that it is only men of the intellectual 
standing of Newman and Perreyve who can find 
food for thought in such meditations. Here, for 
instance, is a little prayer which appears origi- 
nally in Pascha's "Spiritual Pilgrimage," and 
which has been summarized by the seventeenth- 
century English translator "R. H." in the fol- 
lowing form. It deals with the incident which 
Pascha called the fifth station, but which is now 
the second of our series " JESUS is made to carry 
the cross:" 

"O most noble KlNGE and valiant Standard 
Bearer, who for the love of me didst permit the 
heavier burthen of the crosse to be laid upon Thy 
shoulders, which were full sore with stripes, and 
therewithal all the sins of the world, offering the 
same by Thy death upon the aultar ot the crosse 
to Thy heavenly FATHER, I beseech Thee to help 
me to carrie my crosse that I may willingly sus- 
taine the same and to serve Thee according to 
my vocation. Amen." 

"O noble King and valiant Standard Bearer" 
is surely a memorable phrase, rich with subtle 
memories of the Vexilla Regis and yet within the 
comprehension of the simplest and the rudest. So 

10 



146 The Stations of the Cross 

is the same writer's description of our LORD 
" walking between two thieves as the Captain of 
them" when He presents Himself to the view of 
His Blessed Mother, or again the suggestion that 
His sacred Body was " stretched like a string upon 
the cross, Thy veins and sinews being so broken 
therewithal that Thy precious Blood issued forth 
like fountains of water." 

Of course the ideal attitude of the faithful soul 
when engaged upon the exercise of the Way of the 
Cross is that of the actual pilgrim who has 
journeyed over land and sea to pay homage to 
the scenes of our SAVIOUR'S passion and bitter 
death. What deep feelings were aroused in the 
pilgrims of old, upon their coming within the pre- 
cincts of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has 
already been illustrated incidentally by our quo- 
tations from Fabri and other early writers. But 
there is no lack of such testimonies. Neither can 
we have the least doubt that these pilgrims were 
just as simple and sincere in the account which 
they gave of their emotions of piety as they were 
in their frank comments about matters which 
were more mundane. It is precisely this quality 
of unmistakable candour in Fabri which makes 
his narrative so extraordinarily attractive. More- 
over, his diffuseness shows that he has written 
entirely at his ease. He talks to us with exactly 
the same freedom with which he would have 
gossiped with some old schoolfellow and fellow 
religious in his convent at Ulm, thoroughly en- 
joying both his own story and the perfect com- 
prehension of his listeners. Perhaps nothing in 
all Fabri's wanderings tells us more of the ardent 
spirit of the old pilgrims than the passage in 
which he describes himself as unable, when near- 



The Devotional Aspect 147 

ing the coast of Palestine, to eat or rest or con- 
verse, but as seated all day long in the bows of 
the vessel straining his eyes to catch the first 
glimpse of that blessed shore. However, it will be 
more to our purpose if I quote the account which 
he gives, first of all of the rock of Calvary and then 
of the Holy Sepulchre. And before we come to 
these longer extracts it will be well to preface his 
remarks by two shorter passages, one descriptive 
of the feelings of another pilgrim, a good Augus- 
tinian friar, who came to the Holy Sepulchre 1 50 
years before Fabri, the other taken from Fabri's 
own account of the starting of the procession 
within the sacred edifice. And, first, this is how 
Brother James of Verona describes his sensations 
of awe when after many months of weary pil- 
grimage he was at last permitted to cross the 
threshold of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre : 

" Upon Monday, August 7, in the year of our 
LORD, 1335, the Sepulchre of our SAVIOUR was 
thrown open to me and my companion and to 
two strangers ; there were but four of us in all. It 
was the third hour, and the door was immediately 
shut again. And as I entered, sinner though I be, 
the LORD JESUS CHRIST wounded my heart, and 
the ardour of a most burning love possessed me, 
so that while sober, as regards food and drink, 
I was intoxicated with a certain heavenly sweet- 
ness. I fell prostrate upon the earth, reminding 
myself that I was unworthy in the presence of so 
priceless a sanctuary to look upon it with my eyes, 
to draw near with my feet, to touch it with my 
hands, or to traverse it with my body. Neverthe- 
less, trusting in the divine Goodness, seeing that 
it was said by the prophet David: Accedite ad 
turn, et illuminamini (approach Him, and be en- 




148 The Stations of the Cross 

lightened), I did draw near, I looked, I touched 
and I wrote down what I had seen." * 

Fabri, when he visited the Holy Sepulchre, 
was one of a much larger party. We have already 
learned the substance of the instructions delivered 
to the pilgrims by the Father Guardian of Mount 
Sion. After the summary which he gives of that 
discourse, Fabri proceeds as follows : 

" Having thus received the rules by which we 
were to be guided while in the holy temple, we 
each of us went to the merchants, and every one 
bought candles of the whitest of wax, great or 
small, ornamented or plain, as he pleased. There 
was no lack of vainglory even in this, for some 
had candles curiously twisted and decorated with 
gilding and painting, which they carried with 
ostentation, and looked with scorn upon those who 
carried plain candles, blaming them for close- 
fistedness. Some bought many candles, which they 
lighted in the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre and 
then extinguished, and afterwards took them 
home with them to their own country, where they 
made their wives hold them lighted when they 
were in childbed, that they might be delivered 
without danger, for they say that these candles 
are useful for that purpose. 

" Now, while we were busied about buying our 
candles, the brethren with the Father Guardian 
were arraying themselves, putting on their sacred 
vestments, which they had brought with them from 
Mount Sion, to make a solemn procession round 
all the holy places in the same order, wherein 
they had made that on Mount Sion, as has been 
told before. 

* James de Verona, " Liber Peregrinationis," in the " Rev. 
de rOrient Latin," in, p. 183. 



The Devotional Aspect 149 

" So when we were all standing in order with 
our lights burning, the precentor at the head of 
the procession began in a loud and cheerful voice 
to sing the Salve Regina, which we all took up, 
and chanting this hymn we came in procession to 
the chapel of the glorious Virgin Mary, to the altar 
in front of the chapel." 

The details of the passing of the pilgrims from 
shrine to shrine are a great deal too diffusely 
narrated to be quoted here. Let us come, however, 
to what our pilgrim tells us of their visit to what 
he calls : " The most Holy Mount of Calvary, 
whereon the LORD JESUS hung upon the cross." 

" After we had finished all that was to be 
done in the holy cave, we presently came up again 
and re-entered the church through the door. As 
we resumed our procession the precentor began 
in a loud voice to sing the hymn, Vexilla regis 
prodeunt, etc. Singing this we came to the way up 
to the most holy Mount of Calvary, up which we 
went by eighteen stone steps from the church 
below it. Above we entered a light, beauteous 
chapel, adorned with polished, variegated marble, 
and wherein there hung many lighted lamps. In it 
stood three altars, adorned with paintings done in 
mosaic work. This chapel is built of vaulted work, 
supported by a marble column in the midst of the 
building. On the other side of the vault are paint- 
ings of David and Solomon, David with the text, 
Qui edebat panes mcos, magnificavit super me* etc., 
and Solomon with the text, Sapientia cedificamt sibi 
domum^ and a picture of the sacrifice of Isaac. 
This chapel is built above the Mount of Calvary. 
When we were all come into it, and now before 
our eyes was displayed that wondrous stone, that 

* Ps. xli, 9. f Prov. ix, I 



, 

150 The Stations of the Cross 

desirable rock, with its admirable socket-hole, 
wherein the most holy cross bearing the crucified 
One was inserted when we beheld these things, 
scared and bewildered at their exceeding great 
holiness, we fell down upon our faces on the 
earth, and one heard no longer psalmody, but 
lamentation ; no longer the singing of hymns, 
but wailings and groans. No one was there who 
could withhold himself from tears and cries ; for 
who could have so hard a heart that it would not 
be rent in that place, where he beheld before his 
eyes thehardest rock to have been rent ? Who would 
not even weep aloud in the place where CHRIST 
our GOD cried with a loud voice as He hung upon 
the cross ; where likewise He prayed for those who 
had crucified Him, promised paradise to the thief, 
commended His deeply sorrowing Mother to the 
care of John, and drank the vinegar mingled with 
gall ; where He said that all was finished, yielded 
up His spirit into the hands of His Father, and 
breathed His last ; where the soldier pierced His 
side with his lance, and there came forth blood 
and water? Lo, devout pilgrim, it was here that 
Abel was slain by his brother,* and Isaac was 
bound for sacrifice by his father, the brazen ser- 
pent was set up by Moses, the paschal lamb was 
slain according to the law, GOD was slain by 
man, JESUS was crucified in the flesh, thy King 
was hung upon the cross, thy LORD was con- 
demned to death, the meek and holy and innocent 
was drenched with blood, offering Himself both 
as priest and as victim. These thoughts and others 
of a like nature occurred to our minds at this 

* It might seem that Fabri was speaking 1 metaphorically, and 
that he only meant that here was the accomplishment of all these 
types ; but from another passage it is clear that he believed that 
Abel was slain, Isaac offered, etd, in this very spot. 



The Devotional Aspect 151 

most solemn place, and we remained for a long 
time bowed to the earth in prayer. When we had 
finished our prayer, we went one after another to 
the holy rock, which projects above the floor, and 
each one as best he could, crawled to the socket- 
hole of the cross, kissed the place with exceeding 
devotion, and placed his face, eyes and mouth 
over the socket-hole, from whence in very truth 
there breathes forth an exceeding sweet scent, 
whereby men are visibly refreshed. We put our 
arms and our hands into the hole down to the 
very bottom; and by these acts we gained plenary 
indulgences. 

" On the left hand side of the socket-hole is 
a great rent in the rock, from the top to the 
bottom, which is believed to have been made at 
CHRIST'S death. We went up to this rent one after 
another, and kissed it, putting our heads into it 
and as much of our bodies as we could. Moreover, 
on either side of the holy socket there are two 
other sockets, in which the crosses of the two 
thieves, Dysmas and Gesmas, who were crucified 
together with JESUS, were placed ; but these 
sockets cannot be seen, because upon them stand 
low pillars, upon whose heads there are iron 
spikes, upon which wax candles and lights are 
stuck, so that these pillars are, as it were, candle- 
sticks. Howbeit, we kissed the pillar which stood 
at the right hand of the cross." 

Fabri tells us that the whole body of pilgrims 
remained on Calvary "giving themselves up to 
prayer and devotion," for more than an hour. 
Afterwards, following the course of the passion, 
they visited the stone of unction and some other 
shrines. But the climax of this solemn procession 
was the coming to the Holy Sepulchre. Obviously 



152 The Stations of the Cross 

the joy of that supreme moment was still vividly 
present to his mind when he wrote his account : 
He heads this section : How the pilgrims came into 
the most Holy Sepulchre of the LORD JESUS. 

"Rouse up yourselves now, my lords and 
brother pilgrims, arise and hurry onward with 
a swifter pace, but come not save in a cheerful 
mood. Lay aside all sorrow, wipe away the tears 
from your eyes, refrain from lamentations, and all 
together sing that sweet Easter song, Alleluia; 
for after the gloomy Jewish Sabbaths a genial 
light has shined forth upon the world from the 
squalid and darksome sepulchre which we are 
about to enter; for the world has received far 
brighter light from thence than from the glim- 
mering bodies in the firmament. Come then with 
joy and praise, look upon the place where the 
LORD was laid, and behold the end of your pil- 
grimage. So hereupon the precentor in a pleasant 
and cheerful voice began the paschal hymn, Ad 
c&nam agni providi, etc., and we walked on in 
procession chanting it, and came to the most 
precious sepulchre of the LORD JESUS, before 
which we rang out our Easter hymns with many 
an Alleluia, with as great, or it may be with even 
greater joy than if we had reached happy Easter 
day after a sad and toilsome Lent. For as on 
Mount Calvary we pitied our LORD CHRIST, and 
shed tears, so here we rejoiced with our RE- 
DEEMER, and offered to Him sweet tears of joy 
and lively songs, and rightly so ; for JESUS, our 
SAVIOUR, after His tears and sorrow, after His 
mockings and scourgings, after His cups of vine- 
gar and gall, after His torture and wounds upon 
the cross, after His terrible death itself, after His 
piteous burial, after He had descended into the 



The Devotional Aspect 153 

everlasting shades of hell, after He had broken 
the iron bars, after He had bound the prince of 
darkness, and set free all the chosen patriarchs, 
rose glorious and triumphant from this tomb we 
now behold. From this darksome cave there shone 
forth so bright a light, there darted forth so bril- 
liant a ray, there gleamed such snowy whiteness, 
there appeared such blessed peace, there came forth 
such happiness, there breathed forth such salva- 
tion as made the earth, sea and sky to rejoice to- 
gether. In this sepulchre, in this tiny hut did the 
eagle renew its youth, the lion roused up its cub, 
the phcenix renewed its life, Jonah came forth 
unharmed from the whale's belly, the candlestick 
was clad with gold, the tabernacle of David which 
had fallen down was set up again, the sun shone 
forth after being behind a cloud, the grain of 
wheat which had fallen into the earth and died 
had quickened, the stag again put forth his horns, 
Samson bore away the gates and broke through 
his guards, Joseph was brought forth from prison, 
shaved, gaily dressed, and made Lord of Egypt. 
The sackcloth of CHRIST JESUS was cut away ; He 
was clothed with gladness, and besides all this, 
our toilsome pilgrimage, our weary wanderings 
are here ended and brought to rest. Here, then, 
I pray you, let us lay aside our pious plaints of 
sorrow, our clouds of grief, and let us draw a 
quiet breath in happiness : let us who have fol- 
lowed our REDEEMER to His tomb with sorrow 
now take part in the joy of His glorious resur- 
rection. Come, then, gather yourselves together, 
knights and kindly pilgrims, enter the most holy 
sepulchre and see with your eyes, feel with your 
hands, touch with your mouth the place where 
the LORD lay. So we joyously went in, one after 



154 The Stations of the Cross 

another, into the most precious sepulchre of the 
LORD JESUS, kissed the most holy bier, and re- 
ceived entire and most plenary indulgences for 
all sins. We were indeed filled with an especial 
joy here, greater than what we felt at the other 
holy places. Thus St Bernard, in the second 
chapter of his sermon to the Knights Templars, 
says that the sepulchre hath as it were the pre- 
eminence among the holy and desirable places, 
and that something more of devotion is felt at the 
place where He lay at rest than at those where 
He moved about in life. Thus, too, the remem- 
brance of His death excites our piety more than 
that of His life: I suppose because His death was 
cruel, while His life was pleasant by comparison, 
and because our human weakness is more attracted 
by the repose of sleeping than the toil of living 
among men, more by the safety of death than by 
righteousness of life. The life of CHRIST is to me 
a rule by which to live, His death is my redemp- 
tion from death. Here we received spiritual re- 
freshment and indulgences, and passed out with 
joyous thanksgiving, and thus our procession 
came to an end one hour before midnight." 

As a counterpart to this vivid description of 
an actual visit to the Holy Sepulchre, I venture 
to turn to the meditation which Perreyve sug- 
gests for those who, in making the Stations of 
the Cross, would contemplate the Sepulchre in 
spirit. He takes up and develops an idea which 
is already suggested by Fabri, that of the grain 
of wheat falling to the ground. No one of Per- 
reyve's reflections on the Stations is more beauti- 
ful than this. 




THE 

From the " Geystlich Strass" Nuremberg, 1521 

Even at this early date the Pieta and the Sepulchre were 
included in the exercise of the Stations of the Cross. See p. 186 
below. 

To face p. 154 



The Devotional Aspect 155 

The Sepulchre. 

" I ADORE Thee, Lord Jesus, whilst faithful, loving 
hands bear away Thy sacred body and lay it in the 
Sepulchre, of which they close the entrance with 
a great stone. I adore Thee during the silence of 
that stupendous night, in which the author of all 
life seemed bound in the chains of death. The 
Pharisees, alarmed by the memory of Thy pro- 
phecies, cause the stone-closed entrance of Thy 
tomb to be sealed; guards watch before it; Thy 
disciples are dispersed; all around is wrapped in 
silence. It seems as if death had gained the vic- 
tory, and finally asserted its empire. 

" Yet speak, O Master, and tell me what les- 
son I ought to learn from that last act of Thy 
Passion." 

JESUS CHRIST: " My child, you must not see 
in My tomb a mystery of death, but a mystery of 
life. Let not My lips now so silent, My body so 
motionless, My heart so chill and pulseless de- 
ceive you ; it is not death which triumphs, it is 
life which withdraws itself for a moment but 
which will soon rise again to roll away the stone 
for ever. 

" Remember, My child, the parable I one day 
spoke to My disciples: * Unless the grain of wheat 
fall into the ground and die, itself remaineth alone; 
but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit/* Think 
of what a grain of wheat is in the hands of him 
who sows. The grain at first is hard, shut up in 
itself, unproductive. Then if the hand of the sower 
cast it into the furrow, it disappears into the earth, 
and it remains hidden, covered as with a shroud. 
Next follows death. The seed is dissolved by rain, 

* John xii, 24. 



156 The Stations of the Cross 

by the ardent rays of the sun, by the very action 
of its tomb ; it dies, but immediately all-conquering 
life springs from the confines of its utter annihi- 
lation. Nothing can resist it now, neither stones, 
nor darkness, nor the winding-sheet that wraps it 
round, nor the tomb within which it lies ; it grows, 
it climbs, it pierces the earth, and looking fear- 
lessly out upon the sun, it pushes its way up- 
wards, bearing in its bosom an entire harvest. 
Now this triumphant death of the grain of wheat 
is the symbol of My death, and of the spiritual 
death of all My children. It faithfully portrays 
the transformation of souls, who once for all learn 
to die with Me, and to await in My sepulchre 
their hour of resurrection. Happy the soul which 
realizes that it is only awaiting the moment of 
release. For you, My child, to whom I have con- 
fided My secrets, surely you understand now what 
it all means. 

" 'My sepulchre/ I have said. Shall I tell you 
what it is ? It is all that hides the Christian from 
the world and from himself. It is all that humbles 
you, my child, all that opposes your wishes, de- 
feats your best efforts, checks every generous im- 
pulse, reduces your will to impotence, seems to 
drag you down to nothingness, and to render you 
unheeded and useless in this world. It may be 
bodily infirmity, that great contradiction of nature, 
which twenty times a day breaks down your will ; 
it may be the unintelligent malice of men who do 
not understand your generous projects, and take 
pleasure in putting a thousand ^obstacles in the 
way of their fulfilment. It must be in any case the 
cumulative effect of the weakness, the difficulties, 
the misunderstandings, the misery in yourself and 
in others, which so often cast a dull and heavy pall 



The Devotional Aspect 157 

over your life and leave you without heart for the 
struggle. This is your sepulchre. Enter it, My child, 
enter it as I entered the tomb, in the spirit of obedi- 
ence to the will of My Father, in the spirit of faith, 
and, above all, of indomitable hope. Accept sick- 
ness, contradiction that obstacle which all that 
is worth anything is sure to encounter accept at 
My feet the full bitterness of that hour in which 
everything seems to prove that life is over for you, 
that you will never again achieve anything among 
men. Enter, then, as the grain of wheat, into the 
bosom of the earth, enter into the depths of humi- 
liation, of abandonment, of self-renunciation. Enter 
fearlessly, for, again I say, this is your sepulchre. 

" But in what do you suppose that all these 
trapping's of death are after all to end? What was 
it that I was meditating in my tomb the triumph 
of death or its defeat? Was not that tomb the 
cradle of all life ? Look well into the depths of My 
sepulchre, My child, and faith will teach you to 
see therein the germ of all that lives and endures. 
I tell you, in all truth, that everything is there 
which was afterwards to come My resurrection, 
the inspiration of My Apostles, their courage, 
which from that day never faltered; the fortitude 
of My martyrs, the purity of My virgins, the 
daring of My apologists, the learning of My 
doctors, the authority of My pontiffs, the strength 
of My confessors, the light of all Christian ages, all 
the progress of humanity even to your own days. 
All these things lie in germ beneath the shroud 
which covers Me. That great river of life, of 
strength, of virtue, of immortality wells up from 
that tiny spring. Do you not see, then, My child 
that there is nothing in all the world so full of 
living promise as My sepulchre r" 



158 The Stations of the Cross 

And here we may leave this fruitful theme of 
the devotional suggestiveness of the Stations of 
the Cross. No exercise by which our LORD'S 
Passion is honoured is likely to be more practi 
cally helpful than this, precisely because of the 
wide range of thought which it admits and of its 
contact upon so many sides with the needs and 
interests of our daily life. 



159 



Chapter VIII-The Stations in 
Modern Times 

IT is not the purpose of this little volume to 
provide devotional aids for performing the 
exercise of the Way of the Cross, neither is it 
meant to be a manual of information for those 
who are interested in the minutiae of ecclesiastical 
legislation on the subject. Of such books there is 
already an abundant supply,* and the aim of this 
essay is to throw light upon certain historical 
questions which have hitherto failed to attract 
particular attention. But before taking leave of 
the whole subject it seems desirable to say a few 
words about the developments of the devotion 
during the last two centuries, and it is impossible 
to do this without touching at least briefly upon 
the obscure and delicate question of the indul- 
gences of the holy places. 

If in making the Way of the Cross Catholics 
have come in modern times to follow one almost 
uniform system throughout the world, the cause 
of the uniformity is not far to seek. Even apart 
from the strong appeal which ourpresent arrange- 
ment of fourteen Stations seems to have made to 
the devotional sense of the faithful, the question 
of indulgences must undoubtedly have had much 
to say to the rapid disappearance of all rival 

* I may refer in particular to the long 1 essay or series of 
essays upon the Way of the Cross to be found in the' eighth 
volume of the collected works of Mgr Barbier de Montault, 
pp. 14-271. 



i6o The Stations of the Cross 

methods. According to the terms of the conces- 
sions made by various popes at the instance of 
Friars Minor of the Observance during the last 
two hundred years the grant of indulgences is, 
practically speaking, limited to that form of the 
exercise which we use to-day, the form which was 
gradually adopted in the West by the sons of St 
Francis, and which has been placed by the Holy 
See under their special charge and direction. 
That the Franciscan Order may justly claim to 
hold a quite exceptional position with regard to 
this devotion no one will be tempted to dispute. 
Ever since the thirteenth century these devoted reli- 
gious have been the official custodians of the ho'ly 
places. They have borne the heat and burden of 
the day during periods of great hardship, danger 
and humiliation. They have remained faithful at 
their posts, never faltering in their work of love, 
and no tongue can tell the countless services they 
have rendered to successive generations of pil- 
grims who, thronging from all parts of the world 
to this barbarous and hostile land, have found 
themselves almost entirely dependent upon their 
good offices. 

But while in this way the great work of the 
veneration and maintenance of the holy places 
owes almost everything to the sons of St Francis, 
it would not seem that down to the close of the 
seventeenth century we can connect them with 
any definite system of honouring the Way of the 
Cross in western lands. In Antwerp, as we have 
already seen (p. 69), they favoured an arrange- 
ment of seven stations ; at Jerusalem itself they 
counted eight; on the Sacro Monte di Varallo 
Blessed Bernardino Caimi, O.F.M., arranged for 
the erection of more than a score of chapels lead- 



In Modern Times 161 

ing up to Calvary.* Hence, although before the 
days of that great apostolic preacher St Leonard 
of Port Maurice, the Way of the Cross had be- 
come a practice of devotion which was almost 
distinctive of the Franciscan missionaries in Italy 
and was much relied upon by them, the scheme 
of Stations was not of their own creation. There 
can be no doubt that, consciously or uncon- 
sciously, they had merely borrowed the arrange- 
ment set out by Adrichomius and invented by 
Pascha, adapting the exercise for popular use by the 
recitation of a few simple prayers at each halting 
place and by the singing of hymns as the congre- 
gation moved from one to another. It is only 
with the closing years of the seventeenth century 
that we begin to meet with a certain number of 
papal briefs directly connecting the Franciscans 
of the Observance with the exercise of the Way of 
the Cross. These were granted at the instance of 
the General of the Order, and they were the pre- 
lude of an important movement which was soon 
to follow. It would take us a great deal too far to 
attempt to enter into the exact provisions of these 
early papal documents. The question all turned 
upon the possibility of communicating to those 
who took part in the exercise of the Stations in 
Europe or elsewhere the extraordinarily rich 
indulgences which were believed to attach to the 
veneration of the actual halting places in the Via 
Dolor osa in Jerusalem. It is sufficient to say that 
this communication of privileges was first accepted 
in principle by Popes Innocent XI and XII, and 
that after being limited at first to those who were 
under the jurisdiction of the Franciscan General, 
either as members of the Order or as tertiaries, 
At present there seem to be some forty-four chapels in all. 

II 



1 62 The Stations of the Cross 

etc., it was gradually extended to those who 
visited the sets of Stations erected in Franciscan 
churches, and finally was placed within the 
reach of all the faithful who complied with cer- 
tain conditions in any church, providing that the 
fourteen Stations had been canonically erected 
there by some priest duly empowered, either as 
himself a member of the Order of Friars Minor* 
or as the appointed delegate of their Father 
General. 

Curiously enough it had been boldly asserted, 
as far back as the close of the fifteenth century, 
that those who travelled to Jerusalem in spirit 
only, might gain all the indulgences offered to the 
pilgrims who venerated the holy places by their 
bodily presence. There was certainly at that time 
no papal authority for any such belief, but the 
statement is clearly made upon the title page of 
the little book of Heer Bethlem mentioned above 
(see p. 79, note),t and is developed in the follow- 
ing passage of Bethlem's Introduction : 

"This is the indulgence of the holy city of 
Calvary, which indulgence everyone can gain 
who follows the painful and heavy way of the 
cross-bearing of the naked, bleeding JESUS, and 
thinks with pity on the bitter Passion in his in- 
most heart. This is not so to be understood as if 
those only gained it who are in Jerusalem or who 
travel there, but all persons in what place soever 

* These powers were originally committed to the Franciscan 
Observantines alone. They have been subsequently extended to 
the Recollect and Capuchin branches of the Order. 

t As to Bethlem's book, see further in Appendix A. The 
great popularity of this little treatise both in France and the 
Netherlands must have made the idea of the communication of 
indulgences very familiar. It is for this reason perhaps that 
the indulgences are also inserted in Pascha's '* Spiritual Pil- 
grimage." See facsimile at page 88 above. 



LA 
PEREGRINATION 

SP1RITFELIE: VERS 
Terufa- 

lem.BethIehem,au Ionian etc. 

Compofe'ecn JangueTbyoife, 

par feu f> lean l*afcha ,D.en 

Theolbgte:Et noaeilemet ttan- 

flate'e, par Venerable Seigneur, 

Nicolas de Leuze,difl 

ni$,Char,oine de fainft Pierre a 

Loain , & Licenrie en la 

, facre'e Theologi* 

^i^-i Af'.Jr" 
wl I*tf4m <& rimrimtr'u dt 




T/r P^G (reduced) OF THE FRENCH EDITION OF 
P*ASCH<A'S " GHEESTELTCK 



This book includes the mention of the usual indulgences to be gained at the 
Holy Places (see the facsimile, p. 78) though it does not, like Bethlem's little 
manual, proclaim them on its title-page. 




To face p. 162 



In Modern Times 163 

they are, if in their inmost heart they turn to 
GOD and meditate with attention and compassion 
on those holy places where this took place as 
much as humanly they can may gain this indul- 
gence from the mercy of GOD as often as they 
themselves wish, and also as entirely as if they 
were in the city of Jerusalem and visited bodily 
all these holy places. Still those who travel 
thither with great labour and expense will, with- 
out doubt, be heard by our dear LORD according 
to the greatness of their labours and their devo- 
tions. But those who cannot come there bodily, 
and who with the powers of their soul meditate 
on those holy places and salute them with com- 
passion, after the manner hereafter described, to 
such as these the indulgence of the holy city of 
Jerusalem and of Calvary shall be as fully granted 
as if they had been present there in person ; be- 
cause the holy popes have given us this out of 
the worthy merits of the bleeding, crucified JESUS 
CHRIST, our dear LORD, by His holy Wounds and 
precious Blood poured out, in the same way as 
the indulgence of Rome is given us to be gained 
in all churches. Thus those pastors give us power 
to lessen penalties and remit guilt. This [indul- 
gence] is found true and has been proved, and all 
Christian men should constantly gain it, that 
their cold hearts may be inflamed by the hot 
Blood of JESUS CHRIST as He suffered His bitter 
Passion so willingly for us/'* 

Of the fact that the indulgences of the holy 
places have now been validly communicated, and 
are available for those who piously make the Way 

' The indulgences specified by Bethlem are more ample than 
those found in the ordinary lists, and include, for instance, one 
of thirty-three thousand years attached to the House of 
Veronica, 



1 64 The Stations of the Cross 

of the Cross in any church in which it has been 
properly erected, there can be no doubt whatever. 
What is not quite so clear is the precise nature 
of the spiritual treasures which have been thus 
placed within the reach of all the faithful. From 
the fourteenth century onwards the numberless 
accounts which have been preserved to us of the 
pilgrimage to the Holy Land make particular 
mention of the large indulgences which were 
there to be gained upon the simple condition of 
praying at each of the various shrines to which 
they were attached. It would even seem that at 
an early date compendious lists of these holy 
places, both in Jerusalem and throughout Pales- 
tine, naming each shrine and the indulgence 
attached to it, were in regular use and passed 
from hand to hand. We have, moreover, much 
evidence to show that the pilgrims made a 
practice of copying out these lists and bringing 
them back with them to Europe, where they too 
often served the writer, instead of notes of a more 
personal and trustworthy character, to draw up 
an account of his visit to the holy places after his 
return. The items mentioned in this list and the 
character of the indulgences attached to them 
often vary considerably; though in saying that 
the indulgences vary, I do not mean that, as so 
often happened with devotional shrines in the 
West, fantastic figures and terms of years were 
quoted at haphazard. Only two types of indul- 
gence commonly appear the plenary, which was 
usually called an indulgence a posna et culpa (re- 
mission of penalty and guilt),* and the partial, 

* I may perhaps be allowed to refer the reader to what 1 
have written on this subject in the " Dublin Review," January, 
1900, and in "The Holy Year of Jubilee" (Sands and Co,), 
PP- 



In Modern Times 165 

which was always in these cases an indulgence of 
seven years and seven quarantines (or lents, The 
reader is informed in many of these relations that 
where a cross is marked (ijt) a plenary indulgence 
is to be understood; where some other symbol is 
used or nothing is said, an indulgence of seven 
years should be assumed. At the same time, if we 
compare the narratives of different pilgrims, we 
find a great many discrepancies. The shrine which 
according to one witness enjoys a plenary indul- 
gence, according to another is only to be credited 
with an indulgence of seven years, and in the 
opinion of yet a third is not indulgenced at all.* 
The general impression derived from these vary- 
ing statements is not very favourable either to 
the authenticity of the grants or to the seriousness 
of the effort to keep an accurate record of them. 
There is, however, one point upon which we 
find that the writers who mention the matter at 
all, were, practically speaking, unanimous. They 
maintained that the indulgences attached to the 
holy places were of the most venerable antiquity. 
It was Pope St Silvester, they asserted, '"who 
granted them at the prayer of the Emperor Con- 
stantine and his mother St Helen. Thus, to take 
an example almost at random, Ogier d'Anglure, 
in 1395, distinctly assertsf that the said indul- 
gences were granted at the prayer of St Helen 

* For example, the place where our LORD met His blessed 
Mother is stated by Fabri (1483) and Suriano (1495) to possess 
a plenary indulgence. By N. de Martoni (1394), by Wey (1465), 
and by Quaresmius (1625) only a partial indulgence of seven 
years is mentioned. Others like Sigoli (1384) omit it altogether. 
Again, Suriano, Martoni and Wey assign a seven years' indul- 
gence to the stone which marked the last Fall. Sigoli and Fabri 
speak of a plenary ; Quaresmius omits it. See the tabular state- 
ment in the Appendix. 

t Ogier d'Anglure, ed. Bonaardot, p. 13. 



1 66 The Stations of the Cross 

and of " Saint " Constantine her son. Or to quote 
the still more formal assertion of Nompar de Cau- 
mont in 1419: 

"Ci ENSUiVENTles peregrinations, endulgences 
et pardonances de peine et de coulpe de toute la 
terre sainte, que je, NOPER, SEIGNEUR DE CAU- 
MONT, DE CHASTEAU NUEF, DE CHASTEAU CUL- 
LIER ET DE BERBEGUIERES, ay ensuites par la 
grace Nostre Seigneur; lesquelles endulgences 
furent concedees de saint Silvestre, papa, a la 
requeste de 1'empereur Constantin et de sainte 
Hellene, sa mere, et furent escriptes en la cipt6 
de Jherusalem le xiiie jour du mois de juillet, 1'an 
mil ccccxix." Which is to say, in modern English : 

" Here follow the pilgrimages, indulgences and 
pardons from penalty and guilt, of all the Holy 
Land, the which I, Noper, Lord of Caumont of 
Chasteau Nuef, of Chasteau Cullier and of Ber- 
beguieres, have duly accomplished by the grace 
of our LORD. And the said indulgences were 
granted by St Silvester, Pope, at the request of the 
Emperor Constantine and of St Helen his mother, 
and they were written down [by me] in the City 
of Jerusalem the thirteenth day of the month of 
July in the year one thousand four hundred and 
nineteen." * 

No doubt it may very reasonably be objected 
that these are statements made by irresponsible 
private pilgrims, laymen who would naturally in 
those days have accepted without questioning 
any pious legend that was current among their 
contemporaries. But, if this be so, we can only 
attach the more importance to the deliberate 
utterances of the official custodians of the holy 

* "Voyage d'Oultremer de Nompar de Caumont," ed. La 
Grange, p. 59; Cf. Rohricht, " Bibliotheca," p. 101, 



In Modern Times 167 

places. Now among these a certain Brother 
Francesco Suriano holds an exceptional position. 
He was twice over guardian of Mount Sion (i.e., 
Superior of all the Franciscan communities in 
Palestine) and Commissary Apostolic, and he was 
evidently a man of scholarly tastes, who gave him- 
self to research, as research was understood in those 
days. Now, in his book, which he calls distinctly 
" Indulgentie de Terra Sancta," he says, with all 
the deliberation of aman who has taken some pains 
to investigate the point, that all the indulgences 
of the Holy Land, with the exception of three, 
were granted by St Silvester. The other three 
indulgences, which he specifies, had been granted 
only a few years before by Pope Sixtus IV,* and 
the document containing them was still pre- 
served in their archives at Jerusalem. But the Bull 
of Pope Silvester, adds Fra Suriano with much 
naivete he had evidently hunted for it is not 
any longer to be found there. Moreover, in another 
revision of his work, Suriano himself propounds 
the objection that the institution of plenary indul- 
gences was more recent than the time of St Sil- 
vester, for the Portiuncula indulgence of St Francis 
had been, he declares, the earliest example of 
such a concession. To this difficulty he finds 
nothing better to say than that Pope Silvester no 
doubt granted the indulgences in the form which 
was customary in his own day. The matter, I may 
add, is discussed with the same seriousness by 
Quaresmius, in the most careful and authori- 
tative of all the books ever produced by the Fran- 
ciscan custodians of the holy places. Quaresmius 

* This was a grant of a plenary indulgence for the chapel of 
St Helen in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, for that of St 
Thomas on Mount Sion, and that of St Mary Magdalen at 
Bethany. 



1 68 The Stations of the Cross 

unhesitatingly accepts the tradition referred to, 
and is at pains to refute the objections which had 
been made against the possibility of St Silvester 
having granted such indulgences as early as A.D. 

335- 
Now, the modern reader will not require to be 

told that the supposition of St Silvester having 
granted indulgences in the time of Constantine 
is absolutely inadmissible and impossible. If no 
better authority than that of St Silvester can be 
found for these indulgences, they are unquestion- 
ably spurious. Moreover, so far as regards the 
middle ages, it is hard to understand why no 
record should be found at Mount Sion if the grants 
had really been made by any later pope. By the 
end of the fifteenth century, for example, it was 
generally stated that there was an indulgence 
at the house of Veronica. But the numerous early 
pilgrims, while mentioning other sites, say nothing 
of this one. Veronica's house had only been known 
for one hundred years at most, and if any indul- 
gence had been attached to it, the grant must have 
been made in quite recent times. Yet, when Su- 
riano wrote in 1485, no documents were preserved 
and no memory existed of any such separate con- 
cession for Veronica's house. What is more, \ve 
find that in the numerous extant narratives of 
pilgrimages earlier than about 1345 there is not 
the least mention of any indulgence attaching to 
the holy places.* Such detailed accounts as those 
of Wilbrand de Oldenburg (i 2 1 2), Burchard (1283), 
Ricoldus (1294), Philippus Brusserius (c. 1287), 
Simon FitzSimon (1322), Marino Sanuto (1321), 
or Lodulf Sudheim (1348) may be searched in vain 

* Niccol6 da Poggibonsi (1346) is the earliest pilgrim I know 
who gives a detailed account of the indulgences of the holy 
places. 



In Modern Times 169 

for the slightest trace of any belief to that effect.* 
It is hard to resist the conviction that the whole 
complexus of these vague, fluctuating and indefi- 
nite indulgences was apocryphal. 

Now this, of course, is rather a startling conclu- 
sion, for it would follow from it that the pilgrims 
who at the cost of infinite hardship, danger and 
expense made their way over sea and land to pay- 
honour to the scenes of our LORD'S earthly life 
were deceived and disappointed in their hope of 
generous recompense from the spiritual treasury 
of the Church. Perhaps we may reasonably hold 
that in the case of an error so widespread and so 
inculpable "the Church supplied," and that the 
well meaning pilgrims were not defrauded of their 
expectations. But the element of doubt must in 
any case remain. 

With regard to the indulgences of the holy 
places at a later period, and with regard conse- 
quently to the indulgences now communicated to 
those who make the Stations, matters stand upon 
a somewhat different footing. It seems to have 
occurred to Brother Boniface of Ragusa, who was 
the guardian of Mount Sion in the middle of the 
sixteenth century, that a grant of indulgences 
attributed to Pope Silvester was not perhaps the 
safest form of title-deed upon which these privi- 
leges of the Church could be based, and he accord- 
ingly applied to Pope Pius IV for a confirmation. 
This was granted in a Bull dated July 17, 1561, 
a copy of which in Quaresmius's time was pre- 
served at Jerusalem among the archives of the 
Franciscan Custodians of the Holy Places. The 

* This is the more noteworthy when we find pilgrims to Rome 
at a much earlier date than this making 1 the most elaborate cal- 
culations of the indulgences they gained. See, e.g., Giraldus 
Cambrensis in his " Speculum Ecclesiae" (c. 1200). 



1 70 The Stations of the Cross 

Bull of confirmation is in many respects a most 
remarkable document. It does not specify the 
indulgences which were to be confirmed, but it 
states that they were said to have first been con- 
ceded by Pope St Silvester and that they were 
enumerated upon a certain "tabella" in the 
Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. 
When Quaresmius wrote, not much more than 
fifty years later, he, though himself the successor 
of Brother Boniface in the office of guardian of 
Mount Sion, was quite in the dark as to what this 
"tabella" might be. He knew of nothing of the 
sort preserved in the Holy Sepulchre Church, 
but he conjectures that the Bull must refer toacopy 
of that widely circulated list of the shrines and 
their indulgences to which we have made refe- 
rence above. That Pius IV should have confirmed 
a list of indulgences which professed to emanate 
from St Silvester but were quite indeterminate in 
their nature does not seem a very satisfactory 
proceeding. Neither is the case improved by the 
clause in the Bull to the effect that the indul- 
gences "are conceded anew in the same manner 
and form in which they were originally granted." 
At the same time the terms of the document leave 
no doubt that Pius IV intended to remedy all 
defects and to make a new grant in case the 
former concession was invalid. How far this Bull 
of confirmation can be treated as of undoubted 
force and authority I must leave to more learned 
theologians to determine. Without in the least 
questioning the genuineness of the instrument 
itself, it seems to me to offer certain weak points 
to an opponent who might be disposed to argue 
that the Bull was void, owing to the irregular 
form in which it had been drafted. 

Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the 



In Modern Times 171 

document is the manifest intention of the framer 
to tie the hands of succeeding pontiffs. Apart from 
the ordinary non obstantibus clauses familiar in 
such concessions and the equally familiar formula 
that the privilege conceded is to "endure for 
ever/' the Pope seems distinctly to contemplate 
the case of some subsequent enactment which 
might revoke his grant. "We declare these pre- 
sent letters," he says, "to be in no wise included 
under any dispositions to a contrary effect which 
may emanate on occasion from us and from 
the Roman Pontiffs our successors, but seeing 
the remoteness of these holy places and their 
sanctity, we declare these present letters to be 
always excepted from any such dispositions, and 
as often as they shall be issued so often shall 
these letters of ours be restored to their primitive 
and most vigorous state . . . and shall be granted 
and be held to be granted anew." Let us hasten to 
admit that the text of the Bull by no means reads 
so simply and straightforwardly as I have ren- 
dered it. There are several intervening clauses 
which I have omitted, and of one of these I can 
make no sense whatever. The tenses also as 
printed by Quaresmius are quite untranslatable. 
But, in spite of this the general meaning seems 
plainly to be what I have stated. All things con- 
sidered, it is probable that we ought to lay stress 
upon the words attenta locorum distantia etreligione, 
and to conclude that this portion of the document 
is intended to protect the holy places from any 
ill-considered general clause in some future papal 
constitution revoking such concessions. It was no 
doubt meant that the indulgences attached to the 
holy places should remain in force until there had 
been time to represent the matter, and to obtain 
a final decision upon this special point direct from 



172 The Stations of the Cross 

the Holy See. Whether such provision for the auto- 
matic reviviscence of privileges, in case a subse- 
quent pontiff should attempt to abrogate them, was 
ultra vires concedentis, and whether a concession 
ultra vires invalidates the whole document in 
which it is contained, I leave for canonists to 
determine. 

It should also perhaps be noticed here that 
when Clement XII, in 1731, issued his instructions 
for making the Way of the Cross in public, the 
following regulation was included among the rest: 

"No announcement should be made either 
from the pulpit or otherwise, and still less by any 
written placard set up in the chapels or attached 
to the Stations, to publish in definite numbers 
the amount of the indulgences which may be 
gained by performing the Stations. It has often 
been discovered that either by inadvertence or by 
error, or by confusion between one 'devotion and 
another, the true character of the indulgences has 
been wrongly represented. Consequently it will be 
sufficient to say that whoever meditates on the 
Passion of our LORD during these holy exercises, 
by the concession of the sovereign Pontiifs, will 
gain the same indulgences as if he had person- 
ally visited the Stations ot the Cross in Jeru- 
salem/' 

In his treatise on the Way of the Cross, St Leo- 
nard of Port Maurice, at whose instance this in- 
struction of ClementXIIhadbeenissued, declares 
that the regulation just quoted had been made for 
very wise reasons; for the catalogues which con- 
tained authentic details of these indulgences of 
Jerusalem had been destroyed by fire in the Church 
of the Holy Sepulchre in the time of St Pius V 
(1566-1572). Be it said in passing that there seems 
to be no record of any such fire. Quaresmius, who 



In Modern Times 173 

was the superior of the Franciscans in Jerusalem a 
little more than fifty years afterwards and who 
was anxious to explain the disappearance of the 
tabulce^ makes no mention of a conflagration in the 
Church of the Holy Sepulchre. On the contrary we 
know that the building remained i intact from the 
middle ages to the great fire of 1808. Again it 
is remarkable that Suriano (c. 1495), who was 
equally guardian of Mount Sion, makes no men- 
tion of any " authentic" catalogue of indulgences, 
although he has every reason to touch upon the 
subject in the various redactions of his "Indul- 
gentie de Terra Santa." Supposing, with Quares- 
mius and Ferraris, that the lost tabula were simply 
a copy of one of the old medieval lists of which we 
have spoken, we may note that for Quaresmius, 
who had such a list before him, the Stations of 
the Cross from the Praetorium to the Holy Sepul- 
chre apparently included six plenary and five 
partial indulgences. The guide books at the 
present day indicate six plenary and eight 
partial indulgences. But the variations in the 
estimates of the indulgences attaching to the Via 
Cruets had best be studied in the tabular state- 
ment of the data given by various authorities both 
before and after the Bull of Pius IV, which will be 
found in the Appendix. In any case these indul- 
gences are extremely moderate when compared 
with those alleged to belong to the Stations at 
Rome. 

We have already said that the greatest deve- 
lopment of the Way of the Cross as a popular 
devotion dates back to the time of St Leonard of 
Port Maurice, O.F.M. (he died in 1751), being due 
partly to the immense zeal with which he propa- 
gated this practice of piety, partly to the favour 
which he enjoyed with Popes Clement XII and 



1 74 The Stations of the Cross 

Benedict XIV. It was the latter Pontiff who, in 
1750, erected the Stations of the Cross in the Coli- 
seum, the great ruined amphitheatre of ancient 
Rome, and there the exercise used to be conducted 
processionally every Friday afternoon down to 
the time of the Italian occupation. Under the in- 
fluence mainly of the Franciscan Fathers of the 
Observance, the devotion of the Stations spread 
rapidly from Italy throughout Europe, in the same 
form, practically speaking, in which it is familiar 
to us at the present day. In England it does not 
appear to have become at all generally known 
before about 1845, and we may probably attribute 
its introduction to the devotional revival which 
took place among English Catholics about that 
date, under the influence of such men as Dr Gen- 
tili, Father Ignatius Spencer and other represen- 
tatives of a more ultramontane tradition. None 
the less a booklet upon the Way of the Cross, 
which was published in Rome in 1834 and was 
indulgenced by Pope Gregory XVI for private 
recitation with the same indulgences as if the 
exercise were performed in a church, was trans- 
lated into English and issued about 1835 from the 
Propaganda Press. It seems to have been intended 
for use in all English-speaking countries, and I 
have seen a copy printed at Sydney, Australia, 
in 1840. 

Of the conditions regulating the practice of the 
Stations of the Cross at the present day I may be 
content to say only a very few words. All the larger 
modern treatises on indulgences, for example 
those of Beringer and Mocchegiani, afford the 
fullest information upon every question that is 
likely to arise. For the proper performance of the 
exercise and the gaining of the indulgences it is 
in the first place necessary that the Stations 



In Modern Times 175 

should be properly erected. This involves the 
obtaining of the permission of the bishop and the 
parish priest, and the blessing of the Stations on 
the spot, according to a specially appointed form, 
by a Franciscan or some other priest duly em- 
powered for the purpose. The sculptures or 
pictures need not be blessed, but the crosses 
which are fastened to them must. These crosses 
are bound to be of wood, and it is to them that 
the blessing attaches. In other words, the pictures 
or sculptures may be replaced as long as the 
crosses remain. The Stations must be fourteen in 
number, and should be separated the one from 
the other by some little interval, while the sub- 
jects depicted upon them are not optional, but 
must be those mentioned in the papal constitu- 
tions. Lest any scruple or popular deception 
should arise from some flaw in the observance of 
these conditions in the past, the Holy See has 
several times issued decrees declaring all the sets 
of Stations, which up to a certain date had been 
exposed in churches for the veneration of the 
faithful, validly erected and duly indulgenced, 
thus supplying for any accidental defect.* 

With regard to the exercise itself three things 
only are requited: first meditation on the Passion 
of CHRIST; secondly, the moving from station to 
station ; thirdly, that the whole fourteen stations 
should be visited continuously, that is to say, 
without any notable interruption. 

Supposing the state of grace on the part of 
the person performing the exercise, the indul- 
gences may be fully gained by the devout obser- 
vance of these three conditions. Moreover, accor- 
ding to the more probable opinion they may be 

' The last decree of this kind seems to have been issued in 
1896. 



i ;6 The Stations of the Cross 

gained toties quohes, i.e., as many times in the 
day as the exercise is repeated. No recitation of 
a specified number of " Our Fathers " or " Hail 
Marys" is prescribed as of obligation; neither is 
it necessary to meditate upon the subject of each 
successive station as it is visited in order. 
Meditation on the Passion in general is sufficient. 
With regard to the moving from place to place 
recent decrees have approved the practice of the 
congregation remaining in their seats when the 
exercise is being publicly made in a crowded 
church. Some little external indication that the 
procession is being mentally followed, as the 
priest and acolytes pass from one station to an- 
other, is all that is recommended. 

In practice it is customary when the exercise 
is performed in public to follow the prayers now 
to be found in almost every prayerbook. The 
officially approved " Manual of Prayers for Con- 
gregational Use" embodies a concise form of the 
devotion translated from the Italian of St Al- 
phonsus Liguori. In passing from station to 
station a strophe of the Stabat Mater is usually 
sung. 

finally, it should be noticed that for the bene- 
fit of invalids, prisoners and others who are un- 
able to obtain access to the stations in a public 
church, Fathers of the Franciscan Order have 
power to communicate the stational indulgence 
to crucifixes for private use. To gain the indul- 
gence it is only necessary to hold the crucifix in 
the hand and to say twenty Our Fathers, Hail 
Marys and Glorias with contrition and devotion. 
For those who are too ill to make this physical 
effort the conditions may be rendered less 
onerous. 



177 



Appendix ^-Heer Bethlem's 
" Overwegingen " 

A CLUE which I have only been able to follow up 
since the foregoing- pages were in type leads to 
the conclusion that in some of its aspects the practice 
of making spiritual pilgrimages to the Holy Land is 
rather older than I had supposed. The substance of 
the little book of Heer Bethlem referred to on pp. 77-79. 
must undoubtedly have been compiled in the fifteenth 
century. Besides the British Museum Manuscript 
(Ad. 24937) another MS. copy of the same trac- 
tate exists at Gottingen (MS. Theol. 295, i)* and a 
fragment of the same is contained in MS. 406 of the 
Pauline Library at Munster.f Now as in each case the 
manuscripts are described by competent authority as 
belonging to the fifteenth century, it would be unrea- 
sonable to doubt that Heer Bethlem's little work must 
be somewhat older than say the year 1490. On the 
other hand, as Pope Sixtus IV is mentioned, it must be 
more recent than the year 1471. The proper title seems 
to be "Overwegingen op het Lijden des Heeren voor 
degenen, die in den Geest de heilige Plaatsen willen 
bezoeken " (Considerations upon the Passion of our 
Lord for those who wish to visit the Holy Places in 
spirit). Although the considerations began as far back 
as the Last Supper, it is strictly a book of the Stations 
of the Cross; the distances from place to place are 
given, the indulgences announced and special prayers 
assigned. Here we find for the first time the recep- 
tion of the cross mentioned as a separate station, 

* See " Verzeichniss der Handschriften im Preussischen 
Staate," Gottingen, vol. II, p. 477. 

t See J. Stander, " Chirograuhorum Catalogs," p. 92. 

12 



178 The Stations of the Cross 

and here also a fall is distinctly alluded to in 
connexion with the Judicial Gate. These points at 
least have seemingly been borrowed by Pascha from 
Bethlem's little book. The book was printed in 1518, 
1520, 1536 and 1561. It has also been transcribed and 
reprinted in modern times in the " Bijdragen voor de 
Geschiedendis van het Bisdom van Haarlem," by 
C. J. Gonnet, vol. xi, p. 324. 

This Appendix was itself in type when at the very 
last moment I have found it possible to push the 
enquiry a stage further. The little tract ascribed to 
Heer Bethlem must undoubtedly have had a wide 
circulation. Tiny as it is, and in consequence excep- 
tionally liable to be thrown aside and destroyed, we 
have already accounted for four Dutch editions. And 
now it appears that it must have been popular in 
France as well, for I have discovered two printed 
French translations in the library of the British 
Museum.* The first may be dated conjecturally 
1550, and was published by Jacques Kerver at Paris 
with this title: " Devote Meditation sur la Mort et 
Passion de nostre Seigneur Jesus Christ et de place 
en place ou nostre Sauveur a souffert pour nous, avec 
les oraisons a ce proprices. Et disent quelques uns 
qu'autant de fois qu'on les diet devotement, on gaigne 
tous les pardons aussi pleinement comme si on visi- 
toit corporellement toutes les sainctes places en Hie- 
rusalem." In this version a good deal of matter- 
mostly French verse has been interpolated. The 
second translation keeps closer to the original. It 
seems to have been printed about 1570 by Guillaume 
Merlin at Paris. The title runs thus: " Sensuyt une 
devote meditation sur la Mort et Passion de nostre 
Sauveur et Redempteur Jesus Christ, avec les me- 
sures mises de place en place ou nostre Seigneur a 
souffert pour nous." 

* I do not think it would be extravagant to suppose that for 
one edition which has survived of such a book, five or six have 
left no trace of their existence. 



Appendix 179 

Among the introductory remarks we read: "Item 
un honorable homme d'eglise, nomme Sire Barthe- 
lemy, qui a demoure" long temps en la terre de pro- 
mission en la cite de Hierusalem a descript ce livre 
devot. Et il a mesure" bien etroictement et descript 
toutes les places sainctes ou nostre benoist sauveur 
et redempteur a souffert pour nous." The author, 
therefore, according to this translator, was called 
Bartholomew. Whether " Bethlem " was a legitimate 
form of this name, or whether it was due to some 
error, I am not sufficiently acquainted with Flemish 
to determine. But there seems in any case reason 
to suppose that Bethlem was not the original form. 
About the year 1475 a tiny volume was printed at 
" Aesii" (i.e., Jesi in the Marches of Ancona), which 
professed to give the indulgences of the Holy Land 
and which were written by a certain BARTHOLOMEW, 
Canon of Pola in Istria. Now I believe, from various 
minor indications too long to detail, that this Bartho- 
lomew is no other than our Bethlem. From a copy of 
this rare little treatise preserved in the Bibliotheque 
Nationale at Paris we learn that the title begins: 
" Queste sono le perdonanzze de terra sancta in 
ierusalem, lequelle scrise prete bartolome, chanonicho 
de puole, el quale ando a vixitare lo sancto sepul- 
chro," etc. The printer was Frederick de Comitibus. 
See Pellechet, " Catalogue des Incunables," vol. i. 



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Notes to Appendix 181 

Notes to ^Appendix B Table of Indulgences 

1. Poggibonsi supposes the meetings with Mary, the 
women of Jerusalem and Simon to have all taken place at 
same spot. 

2. I take the indulgences attached to the Stone of Unc- 
tion as the equivalent of an indulgence for the thirteenth 
station. 

3. These indulgences are marked in the Procemium to 
James of Verona's journey. This is almost certainly a later 
interpolation. The journey itself took place in 1335. 

4. "Where Simon came to help Him," says Sigoli. He 
means where Simon ceased to help Him. 

5. I take the place of the casting of lots as the equiva- 
lent of the stripping. 

6. He says " the three Marys," but he means the women. 

7. This might perhaps be counted as an indulgence for 
the seventh station. 

8. Here CHRIST took the cross from Simon again. 

9. Nompar and others suppose that CHRIST met Simon 
and the women at the same spot. 

10. The two stones on which CHRIST rested. 

1 1 . Wey mentions, " porta civitatis per quam JESUS fuit 
ductus ad mortem"; it is not clear whether he refers to the 
Judicial Gate or the Ecce Homo Arch. 

12. This assigning a plenary indulgence to the stone in 
the courtyard is no accidental oversight, but the statement 
is twice repeated at length. 

13. Claes van Dusen made eleven successive pilgrimages 
to Jerusalem in eleven successive years. 



182 




Appendix C-Relative Antiquity of 
the Various Stations 

IN " La Palestine, Guide Historique," by the As- 
sumptionist Professors of Notre Dame de Sion a 
list is given of the Stations with the dates of their 
earliest appearance in the narratives of pilgrims to 
the Holy Land. As my conclusions differ in many 
respects from those there enunciated, a few notes may 
be added upon this subject. 

I. The Praetorium seems perhaps to be first quite 
unmistakably assigned to the site which has now 
become traditional by Riccoldo (1296), and this, as I 
judge, for the thoroughly sound and scientific reason 
that the Praetorium must have lain within the city 
wall, and consequently could not have been situated 
on Mount Sion. They accordingly located it where 
there were signs of the existence of a paved court- 
yard (lithostrotos) near the Ecce Homo Arch. 

II. The receiving of the cross is first indicated as 
a special object of devotion by Bethlem, c. 1475. See 
above, p. 78. 

III. The idea of the first of a series of falls, as 
distinct from the fall at the corner where the station 
of Simon of Cyrene used to be indicated, is also clearly 
traceable to Bethlem. He and other contemporaries 
suppose that this first fall took place upon the steps 
of the Scala Santa outside Pilate's Praetorium. 

IV and V. The meetings with our Lady and with 
Simon of Cyrene seem first to be plainly commemo- 
rated in Riccoldo 1296. 

VI. Veronica's house first appears amongst the 
holy places of Jerusalem in the Procemium of James 
of Verona. This pilgrimage was made in 1335, but 



Appendix "~ 183 

the Procemium must be a later addition. It is, how- 
ever, in any case older than 1420. 

VII. A fall at the gate of the city is very clearly 
indicated in the preface to Burchard, 1283. Possibly 
it was from this source that Bethlem (? 1475) came to 
speak of " a heavy fall " at the Judicial Gate. 

VIII. The meeting with the women of Jerusalem 
is mentioned by most pilgrims of the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries, though they consider that it is 
closely associated with the coming of Simon of Cy- 
rene. Our LORD spoke to the women as soon as He 
was relieved of the weight of the cross and was in 
consequence able to raise His head. 

IX. Verona (1335) and Poggibonsi (1346) speak 
of the stone in the courtyard of the Church of the 
Holy Sepulchre, upon which our SAVIOUR fell, or, as 
other accounts say, rested for a while when climbing 
the steep of Calvary. 

X. XI, XII. These stations are made prominent 
as separate incidents by Pascha (?c. 1539). The strip- 
ping appears among the seven Falls before 1500. See 
pp. 65, 72 and 73. 

XIII and XIV. It can by no means be said, as in 
" La Palestine, Guide Historique," that the thirteenth 
and fourteenth stations were only added to the Way 
of the Cross in the eighteenth century at the earliest. 
Both these episodes are separately commemorated and 
illustrated by pictures in the "Geystlich Strass," 1521 
See illustration above at p. 154. 




THUFSTON, Herbert. 

The Stations of the Cross 



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4439 
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