THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS
AT ST. BRIGID PARISH, SAN DIEGO
The Stations of the Cross, as laid out above, run from right to left and from top to bottom. The beginning of the first panel shows Pontius Pilate washing his hands as Jesus is taken away. The end of the last panel shows Jesus being carried into the tomb. These Stations of the Cross murals run along the side walls of St. Brigid Parish, a beautiful church in San Diego. The murals are by Dom Gregory de Wit. He was born in Hilversum, Holland in 1892 and entered the Benedictine Order in Belgium in 1913 at the Abbey of Mont CÚsar, Louvain, Belgium, taking Gregory as his monastic name. He was ordained a priest in 1918. Dom Gregory then studied art in Belgium, Germany, and Italy and by 1929 he had several art exhibitions in Holland and Germany. He began creating murals in the 1930s, painting on dry plaster. In addition, he designed vestments, statues, and furniture in wood and marble, and was also a prolific painter of religious and secular scenes in every artistic medium.
Finally, he came to the United States in 1938 at the invitation of the Abbot of St. Meinrad Abbey in Indiana. In his mid-40s, he there began his most productive years. Most of his major American works are in Indiana and Louisiana. He is especially known for the murals he painted at St. Joseph Abbey (in St. Benedict, Louisiana); these are featured in the book Living in Salvation, produced by the St. Joseph Abbey. The Stations at St. Brigid Parish were completed in 1948. They are unique in that they are murals and are not episodic, but a continuous procession of events leading to the Crucifixion. They clearly display Byzantine iconographic influences and the humanity of Christ as he walked to Golgotha. Dom Gregory de Wit died in 1978.