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Pope during Way of the Cross at Colosseum: we are shameful, but have a heart full of hope

2017-04-14

The area around the Colosseum was lit up by candlelight as thousands of pilgrims joined Pope Francis in the Way of the Cross for all those present. 

The somber meditations, were written by a French woman, Ratzinger prize-winner Anne-Marie Pellettier. The reflections focused on war, pedophilia and the countless refugees and displaced people who have fled their home. 

Lay people, cardinals and bishops carried the cross from station to station and passed it on to various others, representing pain and challenges in life. 

"In a world where there is so much to cry about.”

For example, the third station featured a man in a wheelchair, along with a stretcher-bearer and two medical nurses. 

Countries currently experiencing hardship, from political crisis to persecution of Christians were also represented. There were citizens from Colombia, Africa, China, and the Holy Land who all shared in carrying the Cross.

Even a family from recently attacked Egypt was present in the stations. The pope will travel to Cairo in the next couple weeks to facilitate peace and unity in this suffering country.

When it was concluded, the pope gave a brief reflection on the meaning of the Cross in today's society. He also prayed to ask for God's help and forgiveness for the situation of the world.

POPE FRANCIS
"Oh Christ, our only Savior, we come back to you this year with downcast eyes, with shame and with a heart full of hope. Shame for all the images of devastation, destruction and drowning, which have become ordinary in our lives. Shame for the innocent blood that is poured out daily from women, children, immigrants and people persecuted for the color of their skin, their ethnic and social belonging, or their faith in you."

This year's Way of the Cross lasted almost an hour and forty-five minutes, and ended at 11 o'clock. According to the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps, 20,000 people participated.


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