Jesus falls the second time - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City

Stations of the Cross

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Stations of the Cross

The Way on Calvary Hill

In Leyte, just outside Tacloban City, is a hill with the name Calvary Hill. On the slopes of Calvary Hill are groups of statues depicting the stations of the cross. It follows the traditional fourteen stations, from Jesus’ condemnation to His entombment. There is one extra statue on top: Jesus arisen from death.

Follow me as I climb Calvary Hill on my way to the arisen Christ.

Jesus is condemned to death

The first station is Jesus’ condemnation to death. He was condemned by the Sanhedrin, the Jewish court. Pontius Pilate later confirmed the death penalty. We see Pilate washing his hands here.

Jesus is condemned to death - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
First station: Jesus is condemned to death

Jesus receives the cross

Jesus receives the cross and starts the Way of the Cross. The cross is marked INRI, which stands for Iesus Nazarenus rex Iudaeorum, in English Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. It is based on John 19:19-20:

And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

Jesus receives the cross - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Second station: Jesus receives the cross

Jesus falls the first time

In the traditional series of stations, Jesus stumbles or falls three times. There is no basis for this in the scriptures, though.

Jesus falls the first time - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Third station: Jesus falls the first time

Jesus meets His Mother

On our way to the next station, a small child joined us, requested a peso to be our guide, and (after receiving the fee) walked with us to the top. The little kid pointed out the several stations (as if we could miss the large statues!) and posed on each of them, whether we wanted or not.

The next station depicts Jesus meeting his mother, Mary. This station has no basis in the scriptures.

Jesus meets His Mother - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Fourth station: Jesus meets His Mother

Simon of Cyrene carries the cross

According to the gospels of St Matthew, St Mark and St Luke, Simon of Cyrene carried the cross all the way. He was just a passer-by who was ordered to bear the cross. In the stations of the cross, we usually see Simon helping Jesus to bear the cross, or taking over from Him, after Jesus bore it Himself for the first part of the Way of the Cross.

Simon of Cyrene carries the cross - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Fifth station: Simon of Cyrene carries the cross

Veronica wipes Jesus’ face with her veil

The story of Veronica is based on the Acta Sanctorum, not on the scriptures.

Saint Veronica was a pious woman of Jerusalem who, moved with pity as Jesus carried his cross to Golgotha, gave him her veil to wipe his face. After Jesus used it, the image of His face was miraculously impressed upon it.

Veronica wipes Jesus' face with her veil - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Sixth station: Veronica wipes Jesus’ face with her veil

Jesus falls the second time

Apparently, Simon of Cyrene has disappeared and Jesus carries his own cross again. He stumbles for the second time. Again, there is no basis for this in the scriptures.

Jesus falls the second time - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Seventh station: Jesus falls the second time

Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem

This station is based on Luke 23:27-8:

And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Eigth station: Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem

Jesus falls the third time

Jesus falls the third time - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Ninth station: Jesus falls the third time

Jesus is stripped of His garments

According to the scriptures, the soldiers who accompanied Jesus took his garments and divided them among themselves by casting lots.

Jesus is stripped of His garments - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Tenth station: Jesus is stripped of His garments

Jesus is nailed to the cross

We are nearing the top. My companions (all Visayans) are exhausted by the climb and the heat and stay behind. Except for the little kid, who followed me all the way to the top.

We have arrived now at the actual Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross.

Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Eleventh station: Crucifixion, Jesus is nailed to the cross

Jesus dies on the cross

The death of Jesus. Jesus dies on the cross, surrounded by three (female) mourners.

Jesus dies on the cross - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Twelfth station: Jesus dies on the cross

Jesus’ body is removed from the cross

This station is also known as Deposition or Lamentation. We see the same three mourning women as Jesus’ body is removed from the cross. One may assume though that someone else must have been present to help remove the body.

Jesus' body is removed from the cross - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Thirteenth station: Jesus’ body is removed from the cross

Jesus is laid in the tomb

The fourteenth and last of the traditional stations. Jesus is laid in His tomb. Ususally, the last station also depicts covering Him in incense, but I don’t see any incense here.

Jesus is laid in the tomb - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Fourteenth station: Jesus is laid in the tomb

Jesus rises from death

Not part of the traditional stations, but the most essential part of the story: The arisen Christ. Jesus stands here on top of Calvary Hill, overlooking and apparently blessing Tacloban City.

Jesus rises from death - Stations of the Cross, Tacloban City
Last station: Jesus rises from death

Views from the hill

Those that make it to the top are rewarded with magnificent views over the city and the San Juanico Strait.

View from Calvary Hill over Tacloban City and the San Juanico Strait
View over the city and the San Juanico Strait
View from Calvary Hill over Tacloban City and the San Juanico Strait
View over the city and the San Juanico Strait
View from Calvary Hill over Tacloban City
View from Calvary Hill over the city
View from Calvary Hill over Tacloban City and the San Juanico Strait
View over the city and the San Juanico Strait

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