The practice of going on pilgrimage dates back to the earliest years of the church. St. Jerome, who lived in the Holy Land, writes of the number of Christians who came on pilgrimage to visit the places associated with the life and death of Jesus. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, devotion to the passion Christ became common because of the number of former crusaders who erected representations of places they visited in the Holy Land.
When the Franciscans began to take care of the Holy Places in the early fourteenth century, they were inspired to promote devotion to these places and to the Passion of Jesus. It is to them that the stations of the Cross, as we know them, can be traced.
Today the practice of making the Stations of the Cross centres on fourteen different representations,(or stations), of Christ on his final journey to Calvary. Each Station involves stopping to contemplate these scenes, accompanied by either silent or spoken meditation and prayer.
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