After emerging from 40 days of Lent, now is the time to rejoice in the 50 days of the Easter Season. One practice to aid in keeping the joy of Easter alive is the praying of the Via Lucis – The Stations of the Resurrection. Via Lucis is Latin for Way of Light.
There is a saying, “Without Good Friday, there would be no Easter Sunday”, i.e. Jesus’ suffering and death was the first event in the Pascal mystery, and the Resurrection is the following event. Like the Stations of the Cross (Way of the Cross or Via Crucis), the Via Lucis also has 14 Stations, each based in scripture from the Gospels or Acts of the Apostles.
The pious exercise was reportedly conceived in the 1990s by Fr. Sabino Palumbieri, a Salesian priest in Rome who based the Stations off of an inscription found on a wall of the San Callisto Catacombs on the Appian Way in Rome – named for Saint Callistus, a slave who eventually became the 16th pope (217-222).
Although, there is not yet a formal recognition of the devotion, it has been acknowledged by the Vatican’s “Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments“. A common sequence of stations (with scripture reference) is as follows:
- Jesus is raised from the dead (Matthew 28:1-7)
- The finding of the empty tomb (John 20:1-9)
- Mary Magdalene meets the risen Jesus (John 20:11-18)
- Jesus appears on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-31)
- Jesus is recognized in the breaking of bread (Luke 24:28-35)
- Jesus appears to the disciples in Jerusalem (Luke 24:36-49)
- Jesus gives the disciples his peace and the power to forgive sins (John 20:19-23)
- Jesus confirms the faith of Thomas (John 20:24-29)
- Jesus appears by the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1-13)
- The Risen Lord forgives Peter and entrusts him to feed his sheep (John 21:15-17)
- Jesus sends the disciples into the world (Matthew 28:16-20)
- The Ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:6-11)
- Mary and the disciples wait in prayer (Acts 1:12-14)
- The Holy Spirit descends at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13)
See some beautiful reflections on each of the events by Sr. Kathryn Hermes, FSP, MTS at https://touchingthesunrise.com/2021/04/03/stations-of-the-resurrection-or-via-lucis/
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Catholic News Agency – https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/liturgy/easter-season/the-way-of-light-via-lucis
Knights of the Holy Eucharist of Waverly, NE -https://www.knightsoftheholyeucharist.com/stations-of-the-resurrection-prayer-download/