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Rome Reports

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Pope reflects on the suffering of children during the Way of the Cross

This is what the Way of the Cross on Good Friday looked like before the Covid19 Pandemic.

And this is what it looks like now.

For the second year running, one of the most moving ceremonies of Holy Week had to be held in an empty St. Peter's Square.

Empty, except for those who wrote this year's Way of the Cross reflections: children and adolescents between the ages of 8 and 19.

The children and young people reflect on their difficulties, following the narrative of Jesus' Passion. They ask forgiveness for whatever big or small sins they've committed.

The reflections also describe situations that cause them pain: like being bullied, or losing a grandparent during the pandemic.

My best friend, who didn't really like soccer, came to one of my games to support me. It was the first time he saw me play, and unfortunately we lost.

Pope Francis followed the Way of the Cross alone and in silent prayer.

In an attempt to curb the pandemic, the most moving ceremonies, presided over by the Pope during Holy Week, had to be replaced by more sober events, like this one.

But perhaps it's this same sobriety that best communicates the messages of sorrow, and of hope, that are at the very heart of Easter.