The Scriptural Stations of the Cross with Fr Robbie Low 1: Gethsemane

A station at Pasierbiec, Poland

These Stations of the Cross are the Scriptural Stations introduced by Pope Saint John Paul II and celebrated by him at the Colosseum in Rome. They are presented as an alternative to the traditional stations and as a way of reflecting more deeply on the Scriptural accounts of Christ’s passion. In this first station Fr Robbie meditates on Jesus in his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Then Jesus came with them to a small estate called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Stay here while I go over there to pray’. He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him. And sadness came over him, and great distress. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here and keep awake with me.’ And going on a little further he fell on his face and prayed. ‘My Father,’ he said ‘if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it.’ He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, ‘So you had not the strength to keep awake with me one hour? You should be awake, and praying not to be put to the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26: 36-41 (Jerusalem Bible)

Click to read the text version of this meditation

Poems on the Road to Calvary written and read by Fr Robbie Low

We are offering several ways of listening to or reading these moving devotional poems by Fr Robbie Low. Please select whichever you find most helpful.

In the first recording below Fr Robbie reads the fourteen poems straight through, one for each Station of the Cross.

In the second recording he provides a devotional rendering, with hymns and prayers, suitable for praying the Stations in a group or alone.

You can select to print either of these alternatives as a Word document or an A5 folded booklet.

We pray you enjoy the poems.

POEMS ON THE ROAD TO CALVARY written and read by Fr Robbie Low

Click here for a text version of the Poems in Word

Click here for a text version of the Poems as an A5 folded booklet
PRINT selecting ‘Landscape’, ‘Both Sides’ and ‘Flip on Short Edge’

STATIONS OF THE CROSS LITURGY with poems by Fr Robbie Low

Click here for a text version of the Stations of the Cross Liturgy in Word

Click here for the text version of the Stations of the Cross Liturgy as an A5 folded booklet
PRINT selecting ‘Landscape’, ‘Both Sides’ and ‘Flip on Short Edge’

The Stations of the Cross – Poems and Meditations written by Fr Robbie Low – an Introduction

Just before Ash Wednesday this year one of the regular readers of this website asked if I was planning to do anything on the Stations of the Cross. I was not.  Then, of course, the idea would not let me rest for the following week. Why wasn’t I planning to do anything special on this?                                         

Well, Lord, because it’s an awful lot of work – equivalent to 14 homilies – and Lent is already under way. (By now it had moved on from a dialogue with my faithful correspondent to an increasingly strongly worded set of prayer memos from Head Office.)  Worse still was that I was given a poem on one of the Stations.

Was I now expected to write 14 poems – a year’s work for an amateur scribbler – in addition to the homilies/meditations and why the duplication?                                                                                                        
The answer on that came quite quickly – the poems were to be on the traditional stations, the dramatic meditations were for the Scriptural Stations.    The Scriptural Stations are just that, as you will see, and were introduced by Pope St. John Paul II on Good Friday 1991 and celebrated at the Colosseum.                                         

So, a lot of midnight oil later, and thirty years on from their first praying, I have tried, as a grateful tribute to the Pope who brought me home, to explore dramatically some of the characters and events of that day of eternal destiny.      In places the language is necessarily rough but, I hope, realistic.

On the traditional stations, I offer a set of poems. They are not Wordsworth or Eliot but a simple attempt to capture something of the context of the pivotal moment of Man’s salvation. Other people’s poetry is, I am aware, not always to our own taste.

The whole project is, I appreciate, rough edged and could do with more refining and editing. It’s all been done in three weeks and it needs to be out now – before Lent ends.

So….my thanks to my faithful correspondent who provoked this and my thanks to St John Paul II who made my journey easier and whose prayers, as a fellow Parkinson’s recruit, I value daily. And my thanks to Jesus who died for my sins and who will raise me up at the last day and who invites us all to walk the Via Dolorosa with Him to the Calvary because it is the only road to the miracle of the Third Day.


The Traditional Stations will be placed on this website in text form, recorded as poems on their own and recorded as a spoken and sung half hour praying of the Stations.  (The 14 poems are all 14 lines long though in very different meters.)

The Scriptural Stations will be posted on the website in text and recording.

My thanks to Lynne who makes these incomprehensible technical things work.  To Gabrielle who faithfully posts my weekly offerings. To Sara who provides the connections and the essential Nihil Obstat.  And to Kristine who smuggled in God’s idea disguised as a humble request.
Fr Robbie Low