Our Lady of Suffering Armenian Catholic Church
Station of the Cross 3 on the Via Doloroa
Type of Prayer Place
The third station of the cross is outside of this church on a wall on the street, but don’t miss the religious treasures inside. Just inside is a small chapel with a piece of artwork that I found very moving – a statue of Christ struggling under the weight of the cross while a curved line of angels hover above with expressions of grief and sorrow over the suffering of Christ.
Connected to this chapel is a wonderful church gift shop with Armenian crosses and artwork. Exiting the gift shop through a downstairs hallway takes you to the church crypt where tradition says that Mary stood in sorrow as she encountered her beloved Son on his way to the crucifixion in order to become the savior of the world.
Behind glass walls and doors you will find an adoration chapel with a sign that says, “Enter only to pray.” Inside there is a very unusual monstrance the appears to me to depict Mary with Christ in her womb in a modern/abstract design. Outside the church we found a sign saying that this church area was set aside as a “Center for Peace Payer.”
Upstairs is the sanctuary itself which is used for church services. Here you will encounter traditional religious art as well as one contemporary piece that stood out depicting Christ lying face down on the pavement tied to the cross.
How I used this place of prayer
It was truly wonderful to spend time in the adoration chapel in the presence of Christ, a rare luxury on the Via Dolorosa where the stations of the cross are located out on the busy marketplace streets. The sanctuary upstairs is also a wonderful place to pray and meditate as this area, too, has signs designating it as a place of silence. It is refreshing contrast to some of the other holy sites where tour groups come through taking photos and talking.
Since my visit I have often thought back to this place where I can connect my concerns as a mother for my sons with Christ’s suffering and that of his mother.
Hours of Operation & Admission Requirements
Contact Information / Sponsoring Organization
Armenian Catholic church
The time we did the Stations of the Cross we were unaware of the side chapel and the church. We discovered it on a later walk by accident when some of the church members were outside the church with baskets of olive wood crosses at good prices that they were selling to benefit the church.
Added by Karen Barber on August 11, 2013