Release Date: September 2006
In the Middle Ages, pilgrims to Jerusalem identified with Christ's journey as He dragged His massive cross toward the crucifixion. The Via Dolorosa has been traditionally recognized as the route of the cross - the road He traveled while enacting the twelve ritual occurrences or "stations of the cross". Recently I had the opportunity to visit Via Dolorosa and set up my easel at the very spot commemorating where Christ received His crown of thorns. The sweeping arches you see in the mid-distance date back to the Roman era and provide an historic link to the early era of the Christian church.
In addition to being a spiritual landmark for Christians, the Via Dolorosa is also a modern street in the Arab section of the old city. As I worked, small Arab children gathered about me and at one point playfully pelted me with pebbles. Happily, Arab shopkeepers immediately came to my rescue and chased off the pint-sized intruders. I later bought a decorative tile from one of my rescuers as a small gesture of thanks.