Novenas are very popular and traditional methods of Catholic prayer. Novena is derived from the Latin "novem", meaning nine. A novena is when a series of private or public prayer to obtain special graces, to implore special favors, or to make special petitions. The prayers are given for nine days straight for the special intention. The novena is offered as a sacrifice to God. God sees a novena as a sign of devotion especially when the person saying the novena asks for a specific reason.
For Roman Catholics throughout the world, the Stations of the Cross are synonymous with Lent, Holy Week and, especially Good Friday. This devotion is also known as the "Way of the Cross", the "Via Crucis", and the "Via Dolorosa." It commemorates 14 key events on day of Christ's death. The majority of them concern His final walk through the streets of Jerusalem carrying the Cross.
Fourteen stations of the Cross depicted by life-size statues crafted in bronze and resin in aged hues are located on the Basilica grounds along a path that spans almost one mile.The project for adding The Way of the Cross took more than five years from initial concept to its dedication in October 1993. It consists of 30 life-size bronze figures.
Italian artist Edmund Rabanser brought the statues to life. A master woodcrafter, he created the appropriate expression of each different Station in a truly unique form. Meticulously carved in wood, these life-size figures were then reproduced in bronze. The solid oak crosses offer a contrasting difference in medium.
Set in natural stone, each station offers a visual opportunity for quiet reflection. We invite you to prayerfully reflect at home as you wander virtually through this Via Crucis.