Holy Week: Connecting Mind, Body, Spirit in the Franciscan Way

by Sister Julie Ann on April 6, 2009

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A prayer meant to awaken the senses, The Silver Lake College of the Holy Family community, Manitowoc, WI created Lenten Stations of the Cross for cafeteria time reflection. Art students, faculty and staff collaborated on this journey of faith.

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The traditional Stations of the Cross couldn’t be a more Franciscan prayer. The National Shrine of St. Francis notes:

  • 1686- “the Franciscans received from Innocent XI the right to erect Stations in their churches; thus they, and all others affiliated to their order, could gain the same indulgences for making the Way of the Cross in their own churches as if they had made the journey to Jerusalem.
  • 1726- Benedict XIII extended the right to gain indulgences in these Franciscan churches to all the faithful.
  • 1731- Clement XII permitted indulgenced Stations to al churches-provided they were erected by a Franciscan priest.
  • 1862 -this last restriction was removed, to accommodate those places where no Franciscans were available.”

We adore You,
O Lord Jesus Christ,
in this Church and all the Churches of the world,
and we bless You,
by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world. Amen.

How have these scenes of Christ’s sufferings and death moved your heart? Are there any particular Stations of the Cross that you find meaningful?

12 thoughts on “Holy Week: Connecting Mind, Body, Spirit in the Franciscan Way”

  1. It is a reflective walk praying the stations of the cross in the Silver Lake College Cafeteria.

    One of the most meaningful stations for me is “Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.” A number of years ago a sister-friend of mine and I shared about a specific station for which we will pray for each other. Hers was that of Veronica.

    I always remember to pray for her each time I get to that station of the cross; may she continue to find Jesus’ face in all those she serves and takes special care of.

  2. For anyone desiring to learn more about the Franciscan tradition, scholar and historian Dominic V. Monti, OFM highlights the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Franciscan Order in a newly released book, ‘Francis and His Brothers: A Popular History of the Franciscan Friars’. It is being published by St. Anthony Press.


  3. Sister Mardelle says:

    I commend the students, faculty and staff who participated in creating these Stations of the Cross.
    One of the creating students reflected with me on her station. As a mother, no matter how old her child becomes, the love expressed is vewed through the eyes of a mother. Thus, Mary comforting Jesus is the mother holding her baby, her body embrassing the child, her heartbeat comforting the frighten heartbeat, her words soothing the trembling one. The question arises: How am I called to comfort those who enter my life?

  4. Leslie says:

    St. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus. The 6th station has always been very meaningful for me. In all the pain and suffering there was some slight relief. In all the anger and violence compassion still managed to shine through. Despite the fear she must have been feeling Veronica did what she could to make a suffering person feel some comfort. It is possible that Veronica didn’t even know who Jesus was. She may have just been helping a suffering person through a small act of kindness. I hope that we may show small acts of kindness towards others whenever we have the opportunity.

  5. Leslie, thanks for your comment. Each of us is called to be a ‘Veronica’, a person aware of others’ needs. May we all be open to find those special moments of meeting Jesus in our midst.

  6. Michelle Hess says:

    I love the station where Simon is enlisted to help Jesus carry the cross. It makes me realize that I too must help people to lighten their burdens. Also, if Jesus was humble enough to receive help in his time of need, then I must be humble enough to allow people to help me!

  7. Thank you for writing Michelle. It is so meaningful to pray with Jesus walking the Stations of the Cross. I am sure that Simon will continue to inspire you as you humbly allow Jesus to walk with you these days!
    May the Lord give you peace.

  8. Sister Kay Klackner says:

    The creativity and uniqueness of each of these stations reminds me how the journey of the way of cross is unique to each of us at any particular time in our lives.

  9. Sister Natalie says:

    What a blessing to check out Franciscanized World today, Good Friday! I appreciated the YouTube overview of the Art Department. The creativity of people can open the mind and heart to ideas that would have otherwise stayed dormant.
    In my teaching years I had the students depict the Way of the Cross through illustrations. Each Station has a significant meaning for me and I appreciate the artist’s interpretation. Thank you for sharing this medium of prayer, walking with Jesus on this Good Friday.

  10. Thank you for reflecting with us Sister Kay and Sister Natalie! On Zenit this morning we are also given the message of Jesus walking the Stations of the Cross with us:

    The meditations for the traditional event were written this year by Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati, India, who began the introductory meditation with an invitation to “sing together a ‘hymn of hope.'”

    We want to tell ourselves that all is not lost in hard times,” he said. “Indeed, in testing times we see no reason for believing and hoping. And yet we believe. And yet we hope.”http://www.zenit.org/article-25634?l=english

  11. Anne Neeb says:


  12. I agree Anne! Thanks for writing!!!Happy Easter!

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