STATIONS of the cross

Located along the east and west sides of the Shrine, the 14 Stations of the Cross, each an example of impeccable craftsmanship, consist of life-sized figures in scenes carved from a single piece of marble. Interestingly, the Italian quarry from which the material for the stations came also produced the marble used by Michelangelo to create the Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Pepini, the artist responsible for their creation, and his school of sculptors, took one year to complete each piece, using painstaking detail to depict the Passion of Jesus.

To remain consistent with the architectural style of other such shrines, the Basilica features two additional “stations” — Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane and Our Blessed Mother of Sorrows.

One station in particular, Jesus Meets His Afflicted Mother, holds a place of significance within the Basilica. Because of his devotion to Mary, Father Baker could often be found in front of the sculpture, his back against a column, contemplating the powerful and emotional scene.  The image here shows the spot -- the column Father Baker would lean against is at the left of the photo.