.- Pope Benedict XVIâs meditations for the upcoming Good Friday Stations of the Cross ceremony have been written by an Italian couple that has been married for nearly 50 years.
âIn all of the moments of the Stations of the Cross, there were special moments within us for the family,â Anna Maria Zanzucchi told CNA in a recent interview.
âThey were taken on by Jesus to redeem the family, and this was the strongest thing that we confronted, and the path that we have always followed illumined us, we were illuminated by the grace concentrated in the stations,â Anna Maria explained.
The traditional Catholic practice of praying the Stations of the Cross is done each Friday of Lent. The liturgy involves remembering and reflecting on 14 different moments in the passion and death of Jesus.
Traditionally, the Pope leads a procession of pilgrims in praying the stations on the evening of Good Friday at Romeâs Colosseum. At each station, the Pope recalls the particular moment of Christâs passion and reads a reflection. This year, the meditations will come from the Zanzucchis.
The Vatican asked 83-year-old Anna Maria and her 92-year-old husband Danilo to write this yearâs stations. The Zanzucchiâs explained that they compiled the prayers with the help of the Holy Spirit and their own experience of family life.
The couple has known each other since 1952, when Danilo proposed within a day of meeting Anna Maria. She said âyesâ and they were married the following spring. They went on to have five children.
In 1967 they were asked by the founder of the Focolare Movement, Chiara Lubich, to help establish a new familiesâ movement. It aims to help families to âlive the spirituality of unity and to spread throughout the world family values that promote universal brotherhood.â
âIt is God who helps the family and society to rebuild themselves, to live as true men,â said Danilo.
He explained that if families âhave this disposition of being ready to love others as oneself, for the love of God,â then âthey put into practice the words of Jesus that wherever two or more are gathered in my name, I am with them.â
This, he said, is a âformidable resource to heal and aid people, without judging anyone because we are all poor people.â
âThe family needs to be renewed, to be reinforced, to be united,â added Anna Maria.
âUnity is that love that unites, it is the impetus that forms families, but then humanity is such that â and we all know what can happen â we have arguments, misunderstandings, little things can become big.â
She explained that these obstacles can be overcome by love, which is used in turn to ârenew the love that we all carry within.â
âIt is like Danilo said, it is about renewing ourselves and then we can look to help others.â