Every year, on Good Friday, thousands of pilgrims go to the Colosseum to take part in the “Via Crucis” (the Way of the Cross) to honor and remember the Passion of Jesus.
As Pope Francis overlooked the crowds of faithful, the 14 stations of the Cross were carried out by priests, friars, sisters and laypeople from different parts of the world.
The ceremony included a series of prayers to reflect on Jesus’ Passion and his message.
“Lord, we too carry a cross of suffering and illnesses, but we accept it because You are with us.”
Leading his first Way of the Cross as Pontiff, Pope Francis said only a few words are necessary to understand God’s message.
“Sometimes it may seem as though God does not react to evil, as if he is silent. And yet, God has spoken, he has replied, and his answer is the Cross of Christ: a word which is love, mercy, forgiveness.”
The Cross was carried by families from India and another from Italy. There was an ill person on a wheelchair and also people from countries were Christians are often persecuted.
A group of Catholics from Lebanon helped organize the reflections and meditations that were read during the ceremony. They made reference to the daily challenges Christians face in some regions, especially in the Middle East, for practicing their faith.