The 12th station pictures the death of Jesus. For the three hours Christ hung upon the cross, he was a model of love, duty and prayer.
In the first station we see Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea, sentencing Christ to death. Christ was then led away to be crucified.
The second station pictures Christ accepting the weight of the cross onto his wounded shoulders. This marked the start of his journey to Golgotha, the hill on which he was to be crucified.
The third station pictures Christ losing his strength and falling to the ground under the heavy weight of the cross. This was due to his earlier ordeals, which had left him wounded, weak and covered in blood.
As Christ made his way through the city, tradition has it that he briefly met his mother along the way. Her presence at his Passion had been prophesied by Simeon.
This station tells the story of Simon of Cyrene, who was plucked from the crowd to help Christ to carry the cross, who was clearly struggling with its weight.
Catholic tradition brings us the story of Veronica, a woman who took it upon herself to relieve the sufferings of Christ. Seeing his struggles as he carried the cross, Veronica bravely stepped forward and wiped his bloody face with her veil.
The seventh station pictures Christ falling for a second time, as the journey became more and more difficult for him. The repeated falls are signs of Christ’s understanding of our weakness. He knows that we are liable to repeatedly fall into sin, to struggle with suffering – or even want to give up altogether.
The sufferings of Christ so touched the hearts of the women of Jerusalem that they shed bitter tears for this condemned man. Yet Christ asked them not to mourn for him, but for themselves and the sad future that lay ahead for their families.
The ninth station visualises Christ’s third painful fall in the city street. The message of this station is that even when we feel that is impossible to go on, God is our refuge and our help.