The Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross, also known as the Way of Sorrows or the Via Crucis, refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers. The stations grew out of imitations of Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem which is believed to be the actual path Jesus walked to Mount Calvary. The object of the stations is to help the Christian faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage through contemplation of the Passion of Christ. It has become one of the most popular devotions and the stations can be found in many Western Christian churches, including Anglican,Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic.

Inchicore is home to two major churches: the Church of Mary Immaculate [Oblates] and St. Michael’s which I did not photograph today but I hope to do so in the not too distant future.

Behind the Oblate’s Church is a full size replica of the Grotto of Lourdes, which was opened in 1930. The grotto is 50 feet high, 130 feet wide and 40 feet deep, and is built of reinforced concrete. The grotto does need some attention as its condition is not good. According to many reports the local bishop disapproved of the grotto and insisted that it must not be referred to as the “Irish Lourdes” – he also disapproved of ‚Äútorch-lit processions, praying with outstretched hands and all-night novenas, especially those with women in attendance.

For many the main attraction is the rosary garden or rosary walk which was established later than the Marian Grotto but I do not know exactly when.

Oblates exercise very diverse ministries but above all seek to dedicate themselves to the poor and abandoned. One can thus find Oblates in Britain and Ireland working in parishes, in missionary formation, preaching, social justice and pastoral ministries, or prisons.

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