Grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic, pilgrims can follow in Jesus’ footsteps from their own homes.
A highlight of any pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a walk down the cobblestone streets of the Via Dolorosa, following in Jesus’ footsteps as he made his way to the Cross. For the second successive Lenten season, pilgrimages –and following the original Stations of the Cross –will not be possible.
This year the Franciscan friars of the Custody of the Holy Land, who have served as the Catholic Church’s caretakers of the the Holy Places since the 13th century, have found a way to bring the Via Dolorosa to the homes of those who cannot travel to Jerusalem.
The faithful can now access a virtual Way of the Cross through 13 short videos in which friars offer meditations on each station. The videos are narrated by a friar from each of the Holy Land shrines, and are filmed at various locations including in Syria, Jerusalem, Greece and Tel Aviv, Israel.
Brother Francesco Patton, OFM, the Custos of the Holy Land, told Vatican News that they conceived of the project to help “the faithful pilgrims scattered throughout the world to find the deepest meaning of their lives, of their existence.”
The virtual Way of the Cross, is also “a message of hope in a time like the one we are living – a time of difficulty and suffering,” he said.
How to watch the virtual Way of the Cross
The videos will be posted ever Tuesday and Friday until March 30, and can be found and the social media pages of the Custody of the Holy Land.
Watch the first station of the cross here:
And watch the second station here: