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Pope Francis presides over the Way of the Cross from the Colosseum in Rome

2016-03-25

Thousands of people have accompanied Pope Francis during the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum. This year's meditations, entitled "Passion of Christ,” were written by Cardinal Gualtiero Basseti, the archbishop of Perugia, Italy.

At each station, different people who symbolized pain or difficulty in the world carried the cross

A family with four children carried the cross at the first station.

At another station, a disabled man in a wheelchair was present with his sister.

Also, a man with his wife and daughters participated. 

As is the case with many youths all over the world, a group of young people without a job were present at the fourth station. 

Representatives from countries in crisis like Uganda, Kenya, Bosnia were also present. But also from Syria and China, countries where Christians are persecuted. All carried the cross. 

During the meditations, the cardinal compared Christ's suffering with the dramas of today: Family struggles, abused children and the plight of the refugees.

At the end of the Via Crucis, the Pope read a touching prayer, were he showed some crosses of our time, from the persecuted Christians to terrorism lead by fundamentalist and the loneliness of the elderly.

POPE FRANCIS
"O Cross of Christ, today too we see you raised up in our sisters and brothers killed, burned alive, throats slit and decapitated by barbarous blades amid cowardly silence.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in expressions of fundamentalism and in terrorist acts committed by followers of some religions which profane the name of God and which use the holy name to justify their unprecedented violence.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in thieves and corrupt officials who, instead of safeguarding the common good and morals, sell themselves in the despicable market-place of immorality”.

A prayer in which the Pope also thanked God for the goodness in so many people who help others without expecting anything in return.


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