Via Dolorosa (The Way of Sorrow) (2)
The Way of Sorrow, Via Dolorosa (in Italian), refers to the route that Jesus Christ took as he carried the Cross after He was sentenced to crucifixion, and until his death and burial. The route is divided into 14 stations, nine of which are outside the Church of Holy Sepulcher and five inside it. The current Via Dolorosa route was finally agreed on in the early 19th century. It is a religious site for Christian sects, particularly Catholics, who march along the route to commemorate its events every Friday at 3:00 pm, starting from al-Umariyya School, the first station of Via Dolorosa (the location of the castle of the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate).
Protestants do not recognize these stations, but most pilgrims and tourists walk the route and read the gospel along the stations. Via Dolorosa is a main feature of the Old City of Jerusalem, although streets and crossings have changed substantially since the time of Christ.
The stations and their locations are as follows:
1- Christ’s trial and sentence to death inside Al-Umariyya School;
2- Christ carries the Cross and is lashed near Al-Jald (Lashing) Church, across from Al-Umariyya School;
3- Christ falls under the weight of the Cross, at the intersection of Via Dolorosa Street and al-Wad Street;
4- Christ meets his mother Mary a few meters south of the third station;
5- Simon the Cyrene carries the Cross for Christ beginning of ‘Aqabat al-Mufti junction with al-Wad Street;
6- St. Veronica wipes Christ’s face halfway down ‘Aqabat al-Mufti Street;
7- Christ falls again from the weight of the Cross at the crossing of ‘Aqabat al-Mufti and Khan al-Zait;
8- Christ faces the weeping women of Jerusalem halfway down al-Khanqa al-Salahiyya southwards;
9- Christ falls under the weight of the Cross for the third time at the Coptic Church at the entrance of Deir al-Sultan. The remaining five stations are inside the Church of Holy Sepulcher, these are:
10- Stripping Christ of his clothes;
11- Placing Christ on the Cross;
12- Christ’s death on the Cross (these three stations are at the Golgotha);
13- Taking Christ’s body down from the Cross;
14- And the final stage is burying Christ.