via dolorosa in the bible

Via Dolorosa in the Bible

The Via Dolorosa in the Bible is the most famous street in Jerusalem. The name comes from Latin and means “painful path, the path of suffering.” It passes through the Old City of Jerusalem and begins at the Lion’s Gate, also known as Stephen’s Gate because this is where the martyr’s stoning took place in the presence of a confident Saul of Tarsus. From here, after a few meters, you come to the Flagellation Chapel of the Franciscans as the second station of the Way of the Cross, and the road stretches over 14 stations to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Way of the Cross begins at the Antonia Fortress west of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the distance to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is about 700 meters. It is a must for any Christian visitor to Jerusalem to visit this route, which was established in the 18th century. The street – Via Dolorosa in the Bible- is today an old town street in the eastern part, while the western part leads through winding alleys between the old houses, partly covered with archways.

According to tradition, the Via Dolorosa in the Bible is the road that led from the official seat of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate to the place of execution on Calvary Hill at the time of Jesus’ death. Jesus had to travel this route before his crucifixion, carrying the cross himself for most of the way. Of the 14 Stations of the Cross, only eight are on the Via Dolorosa in the Bible itself ninth station is on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the last five stations are in the church itself.

History of Via Dolores

The Via Dolorosa in the Bible is the modern remnant of one of the two major east-west routes. ( Decumanus Maximus ) Through the Colonia, Aelia Capitolina was built under Emperor Hadrian (76 – 138). It is located in the northern part of the former central axis Decumanus in the Roman road network. 

The first reports of a pilgrimage route corresponding to biblical events date back to Byzantine times. During this period, a procession began on Maundy Thursday from the Mount of Olives. Past the Garden of Gethsemane, on to the Old City through the Lion’s Gate. And then followed roughly the current route to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The first stop today would be the site of Jesus’ condemnation by Pilate in the castle of Antonia. Of which very little has survived. 

The Way of the Cross

Tradition has recorded 14 stations on the way to the cross. They are praying for people to walk along this path. But they represent a more hustle and bustle of the bazaar streets that characterize today’s Via Dolorosa in the Bibler streets. And here – right here – the pilgrim of today is closest to the Way of the Cross of yesteryear, however strange and unfamiliar this idea may seem.

The way that Jesus had to go at that time was not a procession with a flag and incense. The train with the condemned had to fight its way through the crowd. Life went on as usual. Most were undeterred by one more or less being led to execution. There were undoubtedly a few who remained shocked, who wanted to make the cross a little easier with a small gesture of compassion.

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At the beginning of the Via Dolorosa in the Bible is the Ecce Homo Convent (Convent of the Sisters of Zion), whose nuns belong to the Congregation of Notre-Dame de Sion, a community founded in Paris (France) in 1847 by Alphonse Ratisbonne. The monastery was built in the 19th century and contained critical archaeological finds from Jerusalem’s Roman period. In 1857, a former French Jew and atheist who converted to Catholicism and later became a member of the Society of Jesus bought to.

After the verdict from Via Dolorosa in the Bible, Jesus Christ is handed over to the soldiers. They strip him of all his clothes and put a purple cloak around him. Finally, they put a crown of thorns on him. The soldiers taunt, spit, and hit Jesus. They put his clothes back on him, and he has to carry his cross to the hill of Golgotha himself. 

via dolorosa in the bible

Representation of Via Dolorosa


Both the course of the street and the level of the city have changed significantly over the last 2000 years. This path must be seen more as a connection between memorial sites than a hike in Jesus’ footsteps. Ways of the Cross with 14 illustrated stations have been erected since around 1600. They showed the way of Jesus from the condemnation by Pontius Pilate to the crucifixion and burial. As the 15th station, each church served as an image of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This form goes back to the Franciscan Leonhard of Porto Maurizioreturn. Pope Clement XII. In 1731, he briefed on how to conduct the Way of the Cross. He recognized this form of the Way of the Cross. As canonical and granted him indulgences.

At many Franciscan monasteries, Ways of the Cross were created based on this model, such as the Chapel Way of the Cross. In the Old Town Monastery. In the last year of his life, Leonhard of Porto Maurizio built chapels with the fourteen Stations of the Cross in the arena of the Colosseum with papal permission, which established the tradition of the Way of the Cross in this place, which is still celebrated today. From the Baroque period, Calvary developed based on the Rosary’s Five Painful Mysteries (Dolores Mysteria). One such from the late 17th century can be found in Maria Plain Salzburg. There is also a Rosary Way with fifteen stations from 1705.