La Via Crucis (dal latino, Via della Croce – anche detta Via Dolorosa) è un rito della Chiesa cattolica con cui si ricostruisce e commemora il percorso doloroso di Cristo che si avvia alla crocifissione sul Golgota.
L’itinerario spirituale della Via Crucis è stato in tempi recenti completato con l’introduzione della Via Lucis — che celebra i misteri gloriosi, ovvero i fatti della vita di Cristo tra la sua Risurrezione e la Pentecoste.
The Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross, also known as the Way of Sorrows or the Via Crucis, refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers. The stations grew out of imitations of Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem which is believed to be the actual path Jesus walked to Mount Calvary. The object of the stations is to help the Christians faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage through contemplation of the Passion of Christ. It has become one of the most popular devotions and the stations can be found in many Western Christian churches, including Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and Roman Catholic ones.
Commonly, a series of 14 images will be arranged in numbered order along a path and the faithful travel from image to image, in order, stopping at each station to say the selected prayers and reflections. This will be done individually or in a procession most commonly during Lent, especially on Good Friday, in a spirit of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus endured during his passion.