Pope in Copacabana: From the hungry, to the disillusioned, the Cross leads to hope
The coastline along Brazils Copacabana beach became a site of prayer, as thousands of youths from every corner of the world took part in the Way of the Cross ceremony. In an artistic setting, with warm colors and moving moments, 13 stations were led by pilgrims fromBrazil, Mexico, Argentina, Germany and the U.S. On the 14th station they arrived to the main stage, where they met with Pope Francis. During his speech, he said, the Cross, means much more than what meets the eye.
POPE FRANCIS "With the Cross, Jesus unites Himself to the silence of the victims of violence, those who can no longer cry out, especially the innocent and the defenseless; with the Cross, he is united to families in trouble, those who mourn the loss of their children, or who suffer when they see them fall victim to false paradises, such as that offered by drugs.â?
The prayers of every station focused on issues related to the youth, including challenges faced by young mothers, terminal illnesses, conversion, the defense of life, incarceration, vocations and student life. The Pope explained that through the Cross, Jesus shows His support. Everyone from the hungry, to those who have lost their faith in the Church.
POPE FRANCIS "On the Cross, Jesus is united with those who are persecuted for their religion, for their beliefs or simply for the color of their skin; on the Cross, Jesus is united with so many young people who have lost faith in political institutions, because they see in them only selfishness and corruption. He unites himself with those young people who have lost faith in the Church, or even in God because of the counter-witness of Christians and ministers of the Gospel.â?
The Cross that was carried throughout the stations, is the one John Paul II gave to WYD when he launched the celebration decades ago. The Pope added that the Cross is much more than a symbol of sacrifice, the Cross, he said is hope.
POPE FRANCIS "I ask you here today, who do you want to be like? Do you want to be like Pilot who didn't show the strength to stand up and save Jesus' life, choosing instead to wash his hands. Tell me, are the type that doesn't get involved? Do you look the other way? Or are you like Cyrene who helps Jesus to carry the heavy Cross?â?
As he addressed hundreds of thousands of youths, Pope said that evil, suffering and even death don't have the last word, because Jesus, he said, gives hope and life. He explained that even the Cross, which was a symbol of hate and defeat, was turned into a symbol of victory and love.
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