Blessed Alvarez of (Córdoba) Cordova (1350-1430) whose feast day is celebrated on 19th February, was born to a noble family in Zamora, Spain. He joined the Dominican Order and preached throughout Spain. Upon his return from pilgrimage to the Holy Land he preached the crusades against the Moors that were fighting Christendom. He also successfully led a resistance against the anti-pope and brought Spain under allegiance to the true Pope of Rome. He founded the famous priory of Scala Caeli (ladder of Heaven) at Cordova, a convent of strict observance, and it is said that angels helped provide its building materials. In its gardens he erected pictures of the holy places in Jerusalem where Our Lord had suffered His Passion, the origin of the custom of the Stations of the Cross. It was also by his preaching and contemplation of the Lord’s Passion that the practice of the Way of the Cross was spread throughout western Europe. He lived a life of great austerity and holiness and numerous miracles are attributed to him. Among them, it is told that he once came upon a poor dying man. He wrapped him in a blanket and carried him back to the Order. Upon unwrapping the cloth he found only a crucifix.
Here is an audio recording of meditations on the Stations of the Cross by St. Alphonsus de Liguori (in the voice of Fr. Z).