Via Delarosa (Via Dolorosa)
Christians from around the world come to Jerusalem to walk the Via Delarosa located in the Christian quarter of Jerusalem, it means the “way of sorrow” and are real streets located in the Old City of Jerusalem. This path that Jesus walked carrying his cross from the place of Pontius Pilate’s sentencing to Golgotha where he was crucified and died winds through several Jerusalem old city quarters, small alleys and sudden plazas bustling with the sights and sounds of Jerusalem and is surrounded by some of Christianity’s holiest sites.
It is roughly 2,000 steps in two parts, with its route starting just inside the Lions Gate at the Umariya Elementary School which is near the location of the former Antonia Fortress heading west to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher passing through both Gethsemene and Mount Zion. The first reports of a pilgrimage route corresponding to Biblical events dates from the Byzantine era when a Holy Thursday procession would start from the top of the Mount of Olives, stop in Gethsemane then enter the Old City at the Lion’s Gate and followed the current route to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher with no stops along the way. By the 8th century the Via Delarosa went along the western hill starting at Gethsemane and ended at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher stopping at appointed stations. It has been marked since the late 15th century by nine Stations of the Cross with five stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the road signage is translated into three languages: English, Hebrew and Arabic. The current celebrated Christian pilgrimage path has been established since the 18th century when it replaced earlier versions. Reenactments are still seen along the Via Delarosa when every Friday afternoon as Franciscan monks proceed along the Via Dolorosa, stopping at all the Stations of the Cross.
The Fourteen Stations of the Via Delorosa: Jesus condemned by Pontius Pilate, Jesus receives his cross, Jesus falls under the weight of the Cross, Jesus meets his mother, Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross, Veronica wipes the face of Jesus, Jesus falls a second time, Jesus speaks to the daughters of Jerusalem, Jesus falls a third time, Jesus is stripped of his garments, Jesus is nailed to the Cross, Jesus dies on the Cross, Jesus is taken down from the Cross, Jesus is laid in the tomb.
“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, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink. Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots. Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, I am the Son of God. Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.” (Matthew 27:32-44).
“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, which is translated, Place of a Skull. Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take. Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS. With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, And He was numbered with the transgressors. And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross! Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.” (Mark 15:21-32).
“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, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. And they divided His garments and cast lots. And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God. The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself. And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us. But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong. Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom. And Jesus said to him, Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:23-43).
“They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” (Psalm 22:18).