Pope Francis leads Via Crucis at Rome's Colosseum on Good Friday Pope Francis leads the Way of the Cross against the iconic backdrop of Rome’s Colosseum on Good Friday evening. Pope Benedict XIV in the 18th century started the tradition of celebrating the Way of the Cross at Rome’s Colosseum. Every year a different person is chosen to prepare the texts that accompany a brief reflection at each of the 14 Stations. Pope Francis asked a religious Sister to prepare the meditations. Sr Eugenia Bonetti, a Consolata Missionary and President of the Association "Slaves no more".
The full text of Sr. Bonetti's prayers for the Way of the Cross can be found here:
At the end of the Stations Pope Francis recited a special prayer -
Here is a Vatican News translation of the Pope’s prayer:
Lord Jesus, help us to see in your Cross all the crosses of the world:
The cross of those who hunger for bread and for love;
The cross of those who are alone or abandoned even by their own children and family members;
The cross of those who thirst for justice and peace;
The cross of those who do not have the comfort of the faith;
The cross of the elderly who are bowed down under the weight of years and loneliness;
The cross of migrants who find doors closed because of fear, and hearts sealed by political calculations;
The cross of the little ones, wounded in their innocence and purity;
The cross of humanity that wanders in the darkness of uncertainty and in the darkness of the culture of the fleeting moment;
The cross of families broken by betrayal, by the seductions of the evil one or by murderous lightness and by selfishness;
The cross of consecrated persons who tirelessly seek to bring your light into the world and feel rejected, mocked and humiliated;
The cross of consecrated persons who, along the way, have forgotten their first love;
The cross of your children who, believing in you and trying to live according to your word, find themselves marginalized and discarded even by their families and their peers;
The cross of our weaknesses, our hypocrisies, our betrayals, our sins and our many broken promises;
The cross of your Church which, faithful to your Gospel, struggles to carry your love even among the baptized themselves;
The cross of the Church, your bride, who feels continually attacked from within and from without;
The cross of our common home that withers seriously before our selfish eyes that are blinded by greed and power.
Lord Jesus, rekindle in us the hope of the resurrection and of your definitive victory against all evil and all death. Amen!