Pope Francis presided over the liturgy of Our Lord's Passion in St Peter's Basilica on Good Friday. The celebration, recalling the events leading up to Jesus' Crucifixion and death on the Cross, included reflections given by the preacher of the Papal Household, Father Raniero Cantalamessa.
The Pope lays on the floor of St. Peter's Basilica to pray before the ceremony of the Passion of Christ. The gesture takes place on Good Friday as a sign of penance and adoration of the Cross.
The Good Friday homily delivered today in St. Peter's Basilica by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pontifical Household. - Zenit
Pope Francis attends Stations of the Cross in the Colosseum
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Good Friday was scheduled to lead the traditional torch-lit Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession at Rome’s Colosseum. The meditations for the 14 Stations of the Cross have been written this year by Renato Corti, Bishop Emeritus of Novara in Italy and are intended to guide the faithful in an exercise of imagining what Jesus was thinking and feeling as he carried the Cross along Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa.
The theme for the meditations is the Cross as the radiant culmination of God’s protective love and in his introduction Bishop Corti said his writings refer constantly to the gift of our being protected by this love. He said we, in turn, have the task of being loving protectors of all creation, of every person, especially the poor.
Bishop Corti explained that the meditations also consider some of those challenging situations, which, for better or worse, are typical of our own time including the crucified of today and those who crucify others.
At the second station where Jesus takes up his cross, the meditations include a prayer for the fundamental right of religious freedom using an excerpt from the words of a modern-day martyr, Shahbaz Bhatti. He was a Catholic and the minister for religious minorities in Pakistan who was murdered in 2011 for his work on behalf of religious minorities.
At the 10th station where Jesus is stripped of his garments, the meditations underline the evil of child abuse as it looks at the appalling realities of human trafficking, child soldiers and slave labour.
Click here for the full English translation of the meditations