The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine reported to Historic City News today that since early September of last year, the Stations of the Cross that adorn the walls of the Cathedral Basilica have not been in their usual places.
At that time, shortly after Tropical Storm Fay had passed through North Florida, the fourteen stations, which depict scenes from the passion and death of Jesus, were removed for cleaning and restoration.
The newly restored Stations of the Cross will be returned to the Cathedral in time for the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday.
The Cathedral’s pastor, Fr. Tom Willis, is planning on a special service to welcome the return of the much beloved stations for the first Friday of the Lenten season — February 27 — at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
“The Stations had accumulated a lot of dirt and grime over the 43 years since the Cathedral’s renovation in the mid-1960’s,” Fr. Willis said. “Some had also incurred a little water damage a number of years ago. It was time to get them restored to their original beauty.”
The stations are painted copies of the ones that hang in the Pauline Chapel of the Vatican Palace. They were a gift to the Cathedral by an unknown benefactor in the late 1800’s and were placed in the Cathedral following the fire of 1887.
The $40,000 cost of the renovation has been supported by donations from Cathedral parishioners. “Their generosity and kindness have allowed us to do this project and we are grateful for their support,” Fr. Willis said.
James Swope of West Palm Beach is in charge of the restoration. He has also done work for the Lightner Museum and Flagler College.