Via Dolorosa

Via Dolorosa

Garden of Gethsemane Holy Sepulcher Church
Via Dolorosa Jerusalem

Via Dolorosa - Jerusalem

Old Jerusalem's "pavement" like the one above date back to Biblical times. The famed Via Dolorosa in Old Jerusalem is said to retrace Jesus' steps from his sentencing by Pontius Pilate to his crucifixion at GolgothaVia Dolorosa, which means, "Path of Pain," is marked by 13 "Stations," each commemorating an event that supposedly took place en route, as follows:

Station 1 of Via Dolorosa: where Pontius Pilate sentences Jesus to be crucified.
Station 2 of Via Dolorosa: where Jesus picks up his cross and starts walking.
Station 3 of Via Dolorosa: where Jesus falls down under the weight of the cross.
Station 4 of Via Dolorosa: where Jesus meets and chats with Mary, His mother.
Station 5 of Via Dolorosa: where Simon of Cyrene takes over carrying Jesus' cross.
Station 6 of Via Dolorosa: where Veronica wipes Jesus' face with a cloth.
Station 7 of Via Dolorosa: where Jesus falls down again under the cross' weight.
Station 8 of Via Dolorosa: where Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem.
Station 9 of Via Dolorosa: where Jesus falls down again under the cross' weight.
Station 10 of Via Dolorosa: where Jesus is stripped naked by the Roman soldiers.
Station 11 of Via Dolorosa: where Jesus is nailed to the cross.
Station 12 of Via Dolorosa: where Jesus dies on the cross.
Station 13 of Via Dolorosa: where Jesus' body is anointed for burial.

Are these 13 'Stations' of Via Dolorosa authentic?

Some are inexplicable self-contradictions: Simon of Cyrene carried Jesus' cross, supposedly from "Station 5," to Golgotha so why would Jesus fall down at Station 7 and Station 9 from the weight of the cross that Simon was carrying? Others are fabrications: there is nobody named Veronica in the Bible, according to which, Jesus neither met her (Station 6) nor Mary (Station 4) nor fell (Station 3) during His walk. And why is Station 11 different from Station 12? Did the cross hop out of its hole in the ground and into another hole as Jesus was dying? (see Why Was Jesus Crucified?) The rest of the "Stations" are arbitrary locations for Biblical but unplaceable events.

Below is the entirety of what the 4 Gospels (see When Were The Gospels Written?) tell us about Jesus' walk from Pontius Pilate to Golgotha:

And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. And when they had come to a place called Golgotha... (Matthew 27:31-33)

And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. And they brought Him to the place Golgotha... (Mark 15:20-22)

Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus. And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’ For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?” There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him... (Luke 23:26-33)

Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away. And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him... (John 19:16-18)

Because the Bible, as you read above, does not specify (nor does it need to) the route Jesus took from Pontius Pilate to Golgotha, the route has been manipulated over the centuries to lend credence to unbiblical Catholic relics (e.g., the cloth of "Saint" Veronica) and to elevate the prestige of the chapels and other real estate held by whichever Catholic order held sway in Jerusalem over the centuries. When two rival Catholic orders held equal power in Jerusalem during the Middle Ages, there were two competing Via Dolorosas.

There is nothing painful about today's version of this "Path of Pain," which dates from the 19th century AD and almost the entire length of which is lined with shops, including large tourist shops strategically located next to each "Station."

Garden of Gethsemane Holy Sepulcher Church
Israel Jerusalem Jesus Birthplace Jesus Tomb
Dome of the Rock Lake of Gennesaret Why Was Jesus Crucified?
Al Aqsa Mosque Sermon on the Mount Mount of Olives
Wailing Wall Prayers Capernaum Christian Hospice
Damascus Gate Tabgha Palestinian Christians
Jerusalem Wall Qumran Caves Evangelizing Israel
Zion Gate When Gospels Written? School of Tyrannus
Holocaust Museum Garden of Gethsemane Cayster River
Oskar Schindler Grave Via Dolorosa Temple of Diana
Israeli Soldiers Holy Sepulcher Church Ephesus Theater
West Bank Wall Tomb of Jesus? Ephesus Church
Nativity Church Golgotha Recommended Reading
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