I compiled a .pdf file of Art for Meditation on the Via Lucis, Way of Light, or Stations of the Resurrection. It’s a rather large file, with two images per station. After enjoying praying the Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, all through Lent, this is a wonderful way to focus on the risen Christ during the Easter season.
Via Lucis Prayers (right now the prayers are a bit of a rough draft, only includes the verses of O Filii et Filiae and the Gospels’ and Acts’ excerpts of the Resurrection and Pentecost.
Some other choices of prayers which I think are mainly taken from the Vatican’s release from Jubilee Year, to accompany the images, can be found from
- Archdiocese of Detroit
- Catholic News Agency
- Archdiocese of Toronto
- Prayers for Community, Young People, and Children
(Some further ideas for children are Stations boxes and Three-Part Cards. The cards aren’t the same illustrations as above, but still very wonderful.)
I printed these out on cardstock, inserted them into plastic sheet protectors, and placed in a small binder. I chose two paintings for each to help my son understand that these are artistic renditions, and not actual photographic renditions of these events. It’s something at 5 he’s having a hard time understanding. Our Stations of the Cross images were by the same artist, so he started asking me if this is what it really looked like. These images help him see it’s in the artist’s eye, and not necessarily a realistic image.
Some choices may seem odd. For example, the second station, Finding of the Empty Tomb, I could not find online a classic artwork depicted Peter and John running to the tomb, or peering into the empty tomb. The first work by Holbien is a detail image that shows John and Peter in the background, racing from the tomb. I also couldn’t find images that showed Mary and the Disciples waiting in prayer, so I chose two more images of Pentecost.
There is an extra Ascension image for the Commissioning of the Apostles, because it’s one of those great works that have two actions in one painting. Jesus is at the bottom of the painting commissioning and then he is portrayed ascending into heaven. My son really enjoys finding the “other stories ” hidden in the paintings, and I have picked a few.
The one artist I did use heavily is Duccio di Buoninsegna, as he has so many beautiful works that were right on subject for the Stations. Many of these had few, almost no other choices than Duccio and some illuminated manuscripts. The latter I love, but I had difficulty finding downloadable images. And then for some Stations, the choices were overwhelming, and really hard to “just” choose two.
Please enjoy, as we are, seeing the beautiful renditions of this joyous part of Christ’s life.
The 14 Stations:
1. Jesus Rises From the Dead (Matthew 28:1-10)
2. The Finding of the Empty Tomb (John 20:1-10)
3. The Risen Lord Appears to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18)
4. Jesus Appears on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-27)
5. Jesus is Known at the Breaking of Bread (Luke 24:28-35)
6. Jesus Appears to His Disciples in Jerusalem (Luke 24:36-43)
7. Jesus Gives the Disciples the Power to Forgive Sins (John 20:19-23)
8. Jesus Strengthens the Faith of Thomas (John 20:24-29)
9. Jesus Appears by the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1-14)
10. Jesus Tell Peter to Feed His Sheep (Primacy of Peter) (John 21:15-17, 19b)
11. Jesus Commissions the Disciples on the Mountain (Matthew 28:16-20)
12. Jesus Ascends into Heaven (Acts 1:6-12a)
13. Mary and the Disciples Wait in Prayer (Acts 1:12-14)
14. The Holy Spirit Descends at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13)
For more information on the Via Lucis, read this except from the Directory of Popular Piety and the Liturgy published by the Congregation for Doctrine and Worship in 2001:
153: A pious exercise called the Via Lucis has developed and spread to many regions in recent years. Following the model of the Via Crucis, the faithful process while meditating on the various appearances of Jesus – from his Resurrection to his Ascension – in which he showed his glory to the disciples who awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 14, 26; 16, 13-15; Lk 24, 49), strengthened their faith, brought to completion his teaching on the Kingdom and more closely defined the sacramental and hierarchical structure of the Church.
Through the Via Lucis, the faithful recall the central event of the faith – the resurrection of Christ – and their discipleship in virtue of Baptism, the paschal sacrament by which they have passed from the darkness of sin to the bright radiance of the light of grace (cf. Col 1, 13; Eph 5, 8).
For centuries the Via Crucis involved the faithful in the first moment of the Easter event, namely the Passion, and helped to fix its most important aspects in their consciousness. Analogously, the Via Lucis, when celebrated in fidelity to the Gospel text, can effectively convey a living understanding to the faithful of the second moment of the Paschal event, namely the Lord’s Resurrection.
The Via Lucis is potentially an excellent pedagogy of the faith, since “per crucem ad lucem” [through the Cross (one comes) to the light]. Using the metaphor of a journey, the Via Lucis moves from the experience of suffering, which in God’s plan is part of life, to the hope of arriving at man’s true end: liberation, joy and peace which are essentially paschal values.
The Via Lucis is a potential stimulus for the restoration of a “culture of life” which is open to the hope and certitude offered by faith, in a society often characterized by a “culture of death”, despair and nihilism.
I share my printables for free and I hope you enjoy them. A small donation can help support my family. Thank you for your generosity!