The Stations of the Cross, or in Latin the Via Crucis, tell the story of the Passion of Jesus Christ in fourteen steps or stations. Walking the Stations is a tradition for Roman Catholics and also Anglicans and Lutherans. It is a common Lenten practice. Most of the stations come directly from Scripture while the others come from tradition.
The tradition to walk the path of the Stations of the Cross developed for the faithful to better contemplate the events of The Passion of Jesus Christ. The Stations were first only at the historical sites of the Passion, however European Christians on pilgrimage to the Holy Land took the idea of the Stations home with them, and made their own versions of the holy walk.
There are two traditions to the development of the Stations. The first tradition holds that the path of the Stations follows the route the Blessed Virgin Mary took after Jesus Christ’s resurrection. The other tradition is linked to St. Francis of Assisi and his followers who popularized the first Stations of the Cross when they were given custody of the holy sites in Jerusalem in the 14th century.