(Use the links at lower left or below to navigate all fourteen stations.)
Though many saints were devoted to the Way [or Stations] of the Cross, perhaps no one did more to promote it than St. Leonard of Port Maurice, Italy (1676-1751). As a Franciscan priest, St. Leonard preached the Way of the Cross at missions for forty-three years and reportedly set up stations in 571 locations throughout Italy, including the Colosseum in Rome. (Read Origins of the Stations of the Cross and Stations of the Cross for the Elderly)
Born Paul Jerome Casanova in Porto Maurizio, he realized while still a teenager that he had a religious vocation. At the age of twenty-one, he joined a strict branch of the Franciscan Order, taking the name Leonard after a relative who had been kind to him.
Combining a severely austere monastic observance with active missionary work, St. Leonard earned the deep respect of Pope Benedict XIV, who enlisted the saint’s assistance in a diplomatic mission in 1744.
For a time, St. Leonard was the spiritual director of Clementina Sobieska of Poland, the wife of King James II of England.
In spite of wearing himself out in mission work, he also found time to write many letters and devotional work, such as his "Resolutions." He promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Sacrament, and the Immaculate Conception but was best known for preaching the Way of the Cross.