At the beginning of the traditional Good Friday Way of the Cross,
Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, read an emotional message from Pope John Paul II in which the Pope, who continues to recover from his throat surgery, notes: "Brother and Sisters, I am with you spiritually at the Coliseum, a place that evokes so many memories and emotions in me, to carry out the evocative rite of the Stations of the Cross this Good Friday evening."
"I unite myself with you in the meaningful invocation 'Adoramus te, Christe, et
benedicimus tibi, quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum' (We adore you Oh Christ and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world). Yes, we adore and bless the mystery of the Cross of the Son of God, because precisely from that death a new hope for humanity has arisen."
"The adoration of the Cross refers us to a commitment we cannot ignore: the
mission expressed by St. Paul with the words: 'I fill up in my flesh what is
lacking in the sufferings of Christ, for the good of his body which is the
Church'. I, too, offer my sufferings, that the will of God be fulfilled and His
word spread among the people. I also feel close to those who, in this moment,
are being tried by suffering. I pray for each one of them."
"On this day in which we remember Christ crucified, I gaze upon and adore the
Cross with you and I repeat the words of the liturgy: 'O crux, ave spes unica!'
Hail, oh Cross, our only hope, give us patience and courage and attain peace for the world!"
"With these sentiments, I bless you and all those who participate in this Way of
the Cross through radio or television."