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Pope at Stations of Cross: Credibility of Christians is not in ideas but in accepting marginalized

2016-07-29

Blonia Park was the scene of an emotional Stations of the Cross which was presided over by Pope Francis.

Each station was accompanied by a creative presentation. For example, the third was represented with this ballet to the classic tune of Miserere Mei Deus by Gregorio Allegri. This represented when Christ falls the first time while carrying the cross. 

Or this scene, during the sixth station: It was a ballet in which Veronica wiped the face of Christ.

On the tenth station, there was this spectacular representation, which explains when Christ is stripped of his garments. 

Young people around the world carried the WYD cross through the park. Some were Syrian refugees, others had never had a home in their life and others had some kind of disability. Some religious sisters, like Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, also were able to help carry this significant cross.

The crowds prayed for the sick, the poor, and those who suffer the tragedy of forced migration such as refugees from Greece or Lampedusa. Young people also prayed so together, they could build a different world.

In a powerful speech, the Pope explained that while there is no human response to life's difficult questions, God is with those who suffer. He proceeded to greet the young people who experience these questions first-hand, Syrian pilgrims.

POPE FRANCIS
"Tonight Jesus, and we with him, embrace with particular love our brothers and sisters from Syria who have fled from the war. We greet them and we welcome them with fraternal affection and friendship."

He said the hallmark of a true Christian attitude is serving Christ through the persecuted, needy or sick.

POPE FRANCIS
"In welcoming the outcast who suffer physically and sinners who suffer spiritually, our credibility as Christians is at stake. It's not in ideas, it's there."

With strong words, he reminded the pilgrims that humanity needs young people who are committed to the poorest and weakest of society. He warned that otherwise they deny Christ himself, by the way they live their lives.

POPE FRANCIS
"In the face of evil, suffering and sin, the only response possible for a disciple of Jesus is the gift of self, even of one’s own life, in imitation of Christ; it is the attitude of service. Unless those who call themselves Christians live to serve, their lives serve no good purpose. By their lives, they deny Jesus Christ."

Finally, the Pope invited them to follow the Way of the Cross, which is not for the insensitive but for those who want to sow hope in the world.


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