Vatican City, Apr 10, 2020 / 14:50 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis prayed for those who are serving the suffering as he presided at the Stations of the Cross in a deserted St. Peter’s Square on Good Friday evening.
At the conclusion of the Stations, the pope prayed: “O God, eternal light and day without sunset, fill with your goods those who devote themselves to your praise and the service of those who suffer, in the countless places of humanity’s sorrow. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
The official booklet for the ceremony suggested the pope would then offer a short reflection, but instead he simply imparted his apostolic blessing.
With Italy under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, this was the first time in decades that the Via Crucis was not held at the Colosseum, a Roman amphitheater associated with the Christian martyrs.
The pope had asked the chaplaincy at the “Due Palazzi” House of Detention in Padua, northern Italy, to prepare the meditations for this year’s Stations of the Cross. Contributors included parents whose daughter was murdered, the child of a man sentenced to life imprisonment, a magistrate, a prisoner’s mother, a corrections officer and a priest acquitted after eight years in the justice system.