The Way of the Cross with St. Francis

by Sister Julie Ann on March 21, 2009

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Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity, Sister Victoria Masil, OSF, portrays Francis of Assisi’s love by placing him as a figure in each one of these original stations.

The saint had a great devotion to Jesus crucified. Francis identified with Christ’s sufferings to such an extent that he was gifted with the marks of the Passion, the stigmata.

The fifteen station is expressed in these paintings by superceding the triumph over the burial in the fourteenth station.

The original inlaid, wooden, bas-relief paintings are at the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Motherhouse, Manitowoc, WI. The Congregation published a station book in which writings of St. Francis accompany this artwork.

We invite comments on  how these Stations of the Cross speak to you.

20 thoughts on “The Way of the Cross with St. Francis”

  1. Our Stations at our Motherhouse done by Sr. Victoria bring you to a closer union with Christ. As you behold Christ and St. Francis in each Station, one is drawn into the sufferings of both of these men and then moved into the suffering Christ in our midst – the sick, the aging, the homeless, the hungry, the rejected, the parentless, the faithless, the hopeless, the jobless, the blind, the deaf, the handicapped, the dying, the mourning…
    Take one of these people with you as you pray the Stations and reach out to them to make a difference in their lives.
    The Stations on the Creighton University website gives another Prayer experience in the Way of Christ (

    Our Pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Parish here in Manitowoc is encouraging each person to pray the Stations during Lent. Each of the 3 Parish sites have Stations prayed together each week of Lent.
    As I walk and pray the Stations each day, I pray for each of you in your need.
    In St. Francis,
    Sister Lois Ann

  2. My eyes are drawn to the human expressions in these paintings. Francis tried to imitate this reverence of the person.

    More important than praying the stations is living the way of Jesus. Each moment contains graced opportunities to be there with others who feel burdened, bruised and betrayed. And in some cases to be on the receiving end of others’ comPASSION.

  3. I have always loved to gaze on this set of stations by Sr. Victoria. The blazing white of the garment of Jesus is striking and draws me into the moment of the Passion being depicted.

    I think this is a particularly good time to pray the stations as so many people are “walking the way” of betrayal, suffering, and helplessness as they experience unemployment, lessing of salaries and fear of losing their home. Each person experiences their own Passion; maybe more than once in a lifetime. Jesus, often through us, walks that way with them.

  4. Sr. Marci Lambert, SSJ-TOSF says:

    The pictures are very expressive. I noted that
    a station booklet was printed for use with it.
    Is it available to others? Where? How much?
    Sister Marci Lambert
    Quad-Parishes Social Concerns Office
    211 N. Maple Avenue, GreenBay, WI 54303

  5. Sr. Marci, thanks for asking about the station book. I’ll see that you receive one.

  6. Maureen Donovan says:

    Beautiful stations. I like the one word descriptions that bring a very good focus to the work. I am especially impressed with the resurrection being included. Thank you for sharing.

  7. The beauty of a single word is captured in these contemplative moments. Thanks, Maureen,for taking the time to comment.

  8. Sister Mary Bodwin says:

    The art work always inspires me.The fact that Sister Victoria has Francis in the background of every station is so meaningful.
    Sister,left the community a beautiful gift that we all cherish.
    Sister Mary Bodwin

  9. Sister Rosangela says:

    Every time I look at the these stations and use the station book, it makes me realize the genius of Sister Victoria. In her unassuming way she has left behind a great gift to our community. As Sister Anne Marie mentioned, the dazzling white robe of Jesus draws us to focus on Him and His sufferings.

  10. Callie Beth says:

    I love this slideshow. I love how it molds and changes slowly into the next scene. Sister VIctoria paints such beauty! This was a treat to receive the booklet of this it conveys what CHrist went through for us, man who is so unworthy of His love yet He comes to open arms and loves us forever! THis is beautiful, may we all continue to keep this artwork in our hearts this Lent and forever- His Passion.

  11. Callie, thanks for your affirmation of Sister Victoria’s gift of glorifying God by using her own talent of painting. Peace and all good to you as you share your enthusiasm and love for life with others as well.

  12. Leslie says:

    The sixth station Veronica wipes the face of Jesus has always had a special meaning to me. In the midst of violence and anger compassion and love still lives. Veronica does what she can for Jesus. All though it is a very small act of kindness it was in the midst of fear and violence. Often it is the little things that people do for one another that leave the biggest impacts. I believe that Jesus must have felt very much gratitude towards Veronica and perhaps her kindness gave him renewed strength. Then Jesus gives Veronica a wonderful gift in return for her kindness, an imprint of his face on her cloth. Even in while he is dying Jesus continues to give.

  13. Leslie, after reading your comments, I gazed one more time at Sister Victoria’s sixth station. It is so fitting that Sister painted Veronica’s clothing in bright red–a sign of deep love.

  14. Sister Sue Ann Hall says:

    I remember when Sister Victoria began creating the Stations for St. Mary’s Chapel. She studied the human body from every angle. Her first drawings were of the muscles and tendens of Jesus’ body. I had the chance to see some of her drawings and was very inpressed with the details she expressed. She has such expression in creating them. I especially like St. Francis in the first Station as he stands over Pilot almost holding his breath anticipating Pilot’s response to the Jews: Please, no you won’t condemn Him, you just can’t. You said you found no guilt in Him deserving of death, remember?

    I remember the day, Sunday February 9,1986, when the Stations were unveiled as we prayed each Station of the Way of the cross. I stood in awe as did each sister who attended.
    May God’s Name be Praised! Sister Sue Ann

  15. metindal says:

    An exciting news : Way of the Cross is wrong, claims leading archaeologist

  16. In a supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture and the leadership (Magisterium) of the Church are so intertwined that one of them cannot stand without the other. Thus, new knowledge gained through out the centuries (including archeological digs) is ever carefully studied. Thanks for the comment. The places where Jesus walked on earth will ever be held sacred and open to contemplation.

  17. I would like a copy of the stations of the cross with st. francis. Where may i purchase a copy. thanks. I truly love your website.
    thanks and continued blessing, Roch

  18. Hi Fr.Roch,
    It means a lot to have you share on our blog, thanks for joining in! Yes of course we will get a station booklet to you! Easter Blessings of Joy!

  19. sharon suchocki says:

    I am looking for a Priest who had a profound impact on my life years ago …. when I googled the name it brought me to a blog on this website … Fr. Roch CIandella. It only takes me to this page ,,,, bless Fr Roch …. he changed my life so many years ago at Immaculate Conception in Schenectady NY

  20. Sharon, I’m glad you found Fr. Roch and us at the same time. Do come back here again.

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