Apps offer Stations of the Cross you can pray at home

With so many churches closed this Lent during the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of apps are out there to help you pray the Stations of the Cross at home.

This centuries-old devotion invites us to literally walk with Jesus during his Passion and Death, stopping at key moments to meditate and pray. At each of the 14 stations we reflect on the event that went on in that time and place. Our top picks for Stations of the Cross apps will help to enrich your prayer experience with beautiful imagery, meditations and even audio in some cases. 

PAYG_LogoAudio quasi-Stations of the Cross via Pray as You Go app (Free) Apple | Android Enjoy fully-produced audio reflections with lovely prayers and music appropriate for the reflection to enhance your experience of praying Stations but not THE traditional Stations of the Catholic Church. The value lies in the richness of meditations that include the Good Thief and Peter’s denial mixed in with some traditional stations as you take an imaginary walk through the Passion and Death of Christ. You may find this journey enriches the traditional Stations when you pray those. If nothing else, it will get you to Sloooow down and calm your mind as you ease into reflection on sublime topics. The sublime music draws you in unexpected ways. On that note, the first station is sure to get you hooked.

Separate audio files for each station do not need to be downloaded to play, but that option is available if you want to take this on your walk. Web link for direct access to this devotion without the app here.

stations-prayASUGo

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viadolorosaapp.pngVia Dolorosa ($2.99) Apple | Android If ever there was a blessing of an app, it is this one. Imagine walking in the footsteps of Jesus on his Way of the Cross in the designated locations as they appear today. This very journey that pilgrims take in the Holy Land is offered to you in a virtual setting supplied by this lovely app. Enjoy stunning photographs of each station blended in a video format with serene background music as you listen to the description, reflection and prayer. The narration, delivered in a soothing voice, gently walks you through the scene as described by Scripture and tradition. You get a sense of what went on in those specific places you see before you.

viadolorosa-screenshotLike an actual pilgrim in Jerusalem, you are supplied with an interactive map which denotes the actual place of each station on the Via Dolorosa. These stations were officially designated in the 19th century, but generally follow the route of pilgrims centuries earlier. While nine of the stations are based on Gospel accounts, the rest are based on tradition (Jesus’ three falls, his meeting with his Mother, and Veronica wiping his face).  If you can’t get to a Catholic church to walk the stations (complete with the graces that come with that effort), this is an inspirational substitute. Yes, these follow the designated stations in a Catholic church. The audio portion of the app alone is worth the price. Listen to this while you’re out for a walk. It is also a beautiful way to end your day before going to bed.

Via Dolorosa App is developed by the World Evangelical Alliance, one of the world’s largest alliances of Christian churches. So while the descriptions and photos show you key art and architecture of each station (many of them in Catholic churches/chapels), you won’t see the Fourth Station’s magnificent Eucharistic Adoration chapel, for example.

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play


 Way of the Cross  Android ($1.99). Traditional stations with scripture passages and Reflections from Pope Benedict XVI’S Good Friday Way of the Cross public prayer 2006-2011. From Developer: “In the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II directed an annual public prayer of the Stations of the Cross at the Roman Colosseum on Good Friday. Originally, the Pope himself carried the cross from station to station, but in his last years when age and infirmity limited his strength, John Paul presided over the celebration from a stage on the Palatine Hill, while others carried the cross… Each year a different person is invited to write the meditation texts for the Stations.”. Choose the version (year) you wish to use. This app allows for landscape viewing in addition to portrait. You can enlarge both the text (for easy reading!) and photos. English & Spanish.

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play


istations.pngiStations ($1.99) Android Apple. Traditional images of stations and the popular St. Alphonsus Liguori devotional text. For most people, that’s all they ask for. But you get more–There is an audio version imbedded.  If you are not in church, the app helps to simulate the experience by providing beautiful traditional art depicting the stations for you to use in your private prayer. Two traditional methods, including a Franciscan method. Also, text of traditional prayers in English and Latin.

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play


viaVia Crucis: Catholic Meditations on the Way of the Cross by St. Francis of Assisi ($2.99) Apple Why shell out three bucks for this app? Because you don’t often find one based on “Meditations on the Way of the Cross” by St. Francis of Assisi. In addition, the classic artwork offered is just gorgeous on your device. This art includes timeless masterworks in painting and stained glass. Touch the picture and it opens to a larger format via 3-D touch which you can pinch/zoom to fill the screen.

IMG_3603St. Francis’ meditations bring us into Christ’s sufferings, challenging us to consider our part in each station. They are brief and to the point. This type of app is fine to use while you’re in church walking the Stations on your own or outside of church using the beautiful artwork to aid your meditation.

We appreciate the option to change the font size for easier reading. Offered in 4 languages: English, Italian, French, and Portuguese.

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Categories: Blog for Catholic Apptitude

Author:Jennifer Kane

Content Evangelist, Jennifer Kane, is a secular Carmelite (OCDS), wife, mother, grandmother who worked for more than 30 years in marketing/communications which included 20 years in radio broadcasting including news director. She holds degrees in Journalism/Communication (BA) and English (MA) from St. Bonaventure University. In 2016 she authored the Vatican application for minor basilica status for The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Olean, New York. Pope Francis granted that title in 2017. Research on the basilica formed the basis of her history book, A Place Set Apart. She previously authored the book, A Worthy and Capable Clergyman, the second part of the history book in a slightly different format. She is founder and editor of the website, CatholicAPPtitude.org, the #1 English language website cataloging/reviewing Catholic apps for mobile devices.

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