Once again, Pope Francis presided over the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum, which is a symbol for the martyrdom of early Christians.
Thousands of pilgrims flocked to the center of Rome to commemorate the Passion of Jesus at 14 stations.
At each station, different people who symbolized pain or difficulty in the world carried the cross.
In a year specially dedicated to the family, they could not fail. A large family with adopted children carried the cross at the first station.
Sick people were also present. At the fifth station, in which Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus carry the cross, this woman was in charge of holding the cross.
Representatives from countries in crisis were also present. People from Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Egypt and China, countries where Christians are persecuted, all carried the cross.
The meditations that accompanied the Stations were written by the Italian Bishop Renato Corti. He compared Christ's suffering with the dramas of today: the persecution of Christians, child abuse, human trafficking, and the death penalty.
At the end of the ceremony, Pope Francis offered a brief meditation. He placed a special emphasis on the plight of persecuted Christians.
"In You, Divine Love, we still see our persecuted brothers, beheaded and crucified because of their faith while we watch or while we remain silent accomplices.”
Pope Francis also invited Christians to learn from Jesus Christ, who he said never tires of forgiving. He asked them to never get tired of apologizing to God and believing in His limitless mercy.