August 19, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Surrounded by youths from different parts of the world, the pope participated in the Station's of the Cross along Madrid's Paseo de Recoletos which runs from the Plaza de Colon to the Plaza de Cibeles.
For the special occasion, sculptures used for Spain's Holy Week were also used during the procession. This is the first time many of these sculptures were used outside of Holy Week.
A group of 14 young adults carried the Cross of the Youth. Each one, represents a country where the Church is going through challenges or even being persecuted.
The Sisters of the Cross of Sevilla were in charge of writing the prayers that were read at each station.
They pointed out that Christ offered his life for others. They also prayed for victims of war, AIDS, sexual abuse. The readings also included immigrants, the unemployed and Christians who are ashamed of their faith.
A key moment was when the procession was marked by a deep silence, which represented the death of Jesus. Then, only the sound of drums could be heard in the background.
The Pope explained the meaning of Christ's suffering and the Cross.
“Christ’s passion urges us to take upon our own shoulders the sufferings of the world, in the certainty that God is not distant or far removed from man and his troubles. On the contrary, he became one of us "in order to suffer with man in an utterly real way — in flesh and blood.”
Benedict XVI also urged young people to help others who may be suffering.
“Dear young friends, may Christ’s love for us increase your joy and encourage you to go in search of those less fortunate. You are open to the idea of sharing your lives with others, so be sure not to pass by on the other side in the face of human suffering, for it is here that God expects you to give of your very best: your capacity for love and compassion.”
The Way of the Cross ended with the pope's blessing and the singing of the anthem of the WYD.