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Rome Reports

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Silence and reflection on the celebration of the Passion of the Lord in the Vatican

The ceremony commemorating the death of Jesus on the Cross is a time for silence and reflection.

It normally begins with the pope lying prostrate on the ground. It is to remember the pain of sin God has suffered for humanity.

During this ceremony, the pope did not give a homily. Instead Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Papal Household, was in charge of this responsibility.


Preacher, Papal Household

“Today venerable fathers, brothers and sisters, we want to contemplate the Crucified One. Specifically in His capacity as the prototype and representative of all the rejected, the disinherited, and the 'discarded' of the earth."

During his homily Cantalamessa quoted Dostoevskij and Martin Luther King.

He said the Christian God is a God difficult for those who have everything to understand; but easy for those who have lost everything. He recalled the historical example of the African slaves in the south of the United States. 


Preacher, Papal Household

“It is easy to imagine the spirit with which they sang out in the sun or inside their huts, 'Nobody knows the trouble I have seen. Nobody knows, but Jesus.'”

“Jesus not only restored dignity to the disinherited of the world, he also gave them hope!”

The culminating moment of the ceremony came with the adoration of the Cross. This is when people contemplate the Crucifix recognizing with gratitude the suffering Christ endured and love He shows for everyone.