Following his trip to Lebanon, Benedict XVI had asked several young people there to write the reflections for this year. Their guide was Patriarch and Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai.
Father Toufic Bou Hadi was one of the chosen people to write a meditation. He arrived in Rome to carry out the task on behalf of Catholics in Lebanon.
FR. TOUFIC BOU HADIR
"We are very happy and proud to be elected as Lebanese youth to write the texts of the Via Crucis Stations this year. This is a tribute to our dear emeritus Pope, Benedict XVI, after visiting Lebanon and the youth gathering.”
"We went to a small retreat, and in front of the Holy Sacrament to the Lord, really inspired us. We asked what should we do, what should we tell, what is our word for us?”
To write the speeches, each person from the six Catholic churches in Lebanon was randomly assigned one of the Stations of the Cross.
DENISE EL KHOURY
"I worked on the first Station that talk about Pilates, who knew Jesus was innocent, and he could have released him, but he didn't because he was afraid of loosing his power, loosing his image. And it is not an image that happened once in the history, but it is repeated. We have a lot of Pilates, in our days and in a lot of countries.”
"We had the tenth Station where Jesus is deprived of his clothes, and there we have seen that the persecution in that part of the world. The persecution of the Christian, it is like us deprived of our clothes. Some people are deprived from their houses but Jesus was very sure of his Father, who will provide the Resurrection.”
To be a Christian in the Middle East is not an easy thing. Although their freedom of worship varies from country to country, in many they are treated as second class citizens.
DENISE EL KHOURY
"It is very important to stay in our land, because it is our land. It is the place where the Church has born, where Jesus has born, where the 12 disciples were born. The apostles are from there. It is our land, with capital L. So we have to stay there, it is a duty, an obligation.”
Although it was Benedict XVI who made the invitation, it will be Pope Francis who presides over the Way of the Cross, the first of his Pontificate.