The Way of the Cross was celebrated by Pope Francis on Friday evening at the Colosseum in Rome. Meditations for the Thirteenth Station were carried out by nurses from Russia and Ukraine – Rome together. During the service, a text different from the previously announced text was read.
It was the pope’s first crucifixion after a two – year hiatus from the COVID-19 epidemic. Thousands of believers gathered around the ancient Amphitheater.
This year, the pope entrusted the task of preparing reviews with crucifixes to the families. The head of the festival read the texts they had prepared.
Crucifixion centers in the Colosseum
Considerations First station The young spouses shared the hardships and joys of everyday life and their fears.
By Second station The family, who quit their job 10 years ago, shared their experiences. She admitted that there were temptations to give up everything and run away, but it was “betrayal of the poor brethren”.
By Third station It is about married couples who get married late in life and have no children. The couple wrote that they often heard that their marriage and love were “not enough to build their family”. These words were accompanied by prayers for childless spouses.
By Fourth station The cross was carried by a family of five children. “It’s not easy, but it is infinitely beautiful” – they wrote in response. Prayers for large families are said here.
Shared their experiences at Fifth station Parents of a disabled child. “The doctors made it clear that it was better not to be born,” they wrote. As they added, they heard that it would be a burden to them and the community. “We are not free from doubts or temptations to wonder what would happen if things changed differently. But in reality, disability is a condition, not a characteristic, and the soul, thank God, knows no barriers” – the parents confessed.
By Sixth station The couple told of their family, which includes three own children and five who were adopted with serious disabilities. Pain “regulates priorities in life and restores the simplicity of human dignity,” they summed up their experiences.
By Seventh Station After thinking about the serious illness, a prayer was said that the children should take care of their parents with gratitude.
By Eighth Station Provides a response from a married pensioner caring for their five grandchildren. “Being an oxygen to our children’s families is a gift that brings back the emotions we felt when we were little,” they wrote.
By Ninth Station The comments of the family with the adopted children were read. “Adoption is the story of life marked by abandonment, it is healed by adoption. But abandonment is always a bloody wound. Adoption is the cross that parents and children carry on their shoulders” – believers asked.
Tenth Station Accompanied by prayers for families who have experienced the loss of their parents.
By Eleventh Station Memories were shared by the parents of a man who chose a dedicated life. As they admitted, they did not make his decision right at first, and protested and abandoned him. “We hoped our cooling would get him out,” they added.
In the reviews Twelfth Station One mother, whose daughter died of cancer, admitted: “I felt like Mary under the cross during my daughter’s chemotherapy treatment.”
Crucifixion of a Ukrainian and a Russian woman
Considerations Thirteenth Station, “Jesus died on the cross”, ready friends: Irina from Ukraine is a nurse and Albina, a Russian woman with a degree in nursing. They met in the hospital ward in Rome. The women carried the cross together.
At the final point of the Way of the Cross, the following text was read in a modified version: “In the face of death, silence is more eloquent than words, so let’s pause in silence, let us all pray in our hearts. Peace in the world.”
Silence prevailed after these words.
The text of the review was completely changed in the face of protests and concerns about the Ukrainian community and the Ukrainian Embassy in Holy See. It was previously reported that some Catholic media in Ukraine did not broadcast the Way of the Cross from the Colosseum, which is related to the debate over the joint decision of Ukrainian and Russian women to carry the cross.
Prayer for peace
By Last station The cross was borne by the immigrant family. “We are here after a journey that saw the deaths of women and children, brothers and sisters. We are here, we have been saved. We see it as a burden,” they wrote in their response. “We are Catholics, but this also sometimes seems secondary to the fact that we are immigrants,” they admitted. At the end of the Way of the Cross, a prayer was said for “to change the rebellious hearts” and for peace. “Let the enemies shake hands with each other and taste mutual forgiveness. Disarm a brother’s hand against his brother. Where there is hatred, let consent flourish” – the believers prayed.
Key Photo Source: Reuters
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