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Nun writing Way of the Cross for pope on Good Friday: it should unite past and present suffering

This year, Pope Francis asked a woman, Sr. Eugenia Bonetti, to write the meditations for the Way of the Cross he will pray at Rome's Colosseum on Good Friday.

She spoke to Vatican press two days before the ceremony. Sr. Eugenia Bonetti is a Consolate nun and the President of the association, “Slaves No More,” which helps women and fights against human trafficking. The meditations will thus focus around this theme. 

“The great dream I have in my heart, what I truly hope is that this Way of the Cross at the Colosseum, a place of so much suffering from the past, becomes the place that welcomes the ever-many sufferings of the present. The suffering by these women, of these minors. Those without a face, without a name, who are only used and thrown out."

She says having the opportunity to live and pray all together for the current “passion” and pain of the time, the suffering of these women is the point. 

“The meditations will be short but significant accounts of heartfelt prayer we have received from these women. We would like to share them with our world, while gathered around the cross of Christ, who still is dying today, out in our streets.”

Yet, this care for women and desire for girls to support one another has grown over the years. 

Originally a missionary in Kenya for 24 years, she was eventually asked to return to Italy. Sister said this began a major conversion in her and a turning point, that all started with a girl named Maria who came to the center for women and refugees, where she worked.

“How did I see her? With her behavior, how she was dressed, with her make-up... I immediately labeled her. I, too, like so many of us when we see them on the road. For me, at that moment, she was no longer a woman, she was a prostitute.”

After this, she realized why she was in Italy, to help these women and grow in her own faith. Now she works to not only help the women who are suffering and enslaved, forced to go sell their bodies in the streets, but she encourages everyone to do their part to end modern slavery. 

Pope Francis will join Sr. Eugenia on Friday in praying these meditations that reflect many stories Sr. Eugenia has lived and women she has helped.