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A Marian alternative to the Stations of the Cross


It is called the “Via Matris.”

Click here to launch the slideshow

According to an ancient tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary visited the sites of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection on a daily basis after his ascension into Heaven. Many other traditions also claim that Mary followed Jesus as he took his cross to Calvary.

In this way the Virgin Mary was the first to accompany Jesus along his Via Crucis (“Way of the Cross”)providing an example that many Christians have followed ever since.

Read more: How to pray the Stations of the Cross as if you were there

Franciscans popularized the practice with their Stations of the Cross, but that is not the only way of walking in the sorrowful footsteps of Mary. There also developed a devotion called the Via Matris (“Way of the Mother”), which focuses on the seven sorrows of Mary — not only at the crucifixion, but also throughout her life.

According to the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows, “Modeled on the Via Crucis, the pious exercise of the Via Matris Dolorosae, or simply the Via Matris, developed and was subsequently approved by the Apostolic See. This pious exercise already existed in embryonic form since the sixteenth century, while its present form dates from the nineteenth century.”

Below is a brief presentation of the Via Matris, along with the corresponding scripture passage.

Click “Launch the Slideshow” in the image below:

Read more: Why are there Stations of the Cross in (almost) every Catholic church?

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