Pope Francis follows the Way of the Cross held at Rome’s Colosseum on Good Friday from his residence at the Casa Santa Marta, while still leading the faithful in reflecting on our Christian journey of prayer.

“We now take this time to be with you. We want to spend it in closeness to you. On the way from Gethsemane to Calvary, you never stopped praying.”

Pope Francis introduced his reflections on the Good Friday Via Crucis with an invitation to reflect on the centrality of prayer in the Christian life, especially during the Year of Prayer leading up to the 2025 Jubilee.

According to the Holy See Press Office, the Pope chose not to attend the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum in person.

“To preserve his health for tomorrow’s Vigil and the Holy Mass on Easter Sunday,” said the statement, “Pope Francis will follow the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum this evening from the Casa Santa Marta.”

Last year, too, Pope Francis was not present at the Colosseum. Cardinal Angelo de Donatis, the Vicar General of the Diocese of Rome, offered the final blessing, both in 2023 and this year.

Carrying the cross in all walks of life

However, the Pope was present in his words and reflections on the 14 Stations of the Cross.

Each Station saw a different group carry the Cross through and near the ancient Flavian Amphitheatre, each of which represented various expressions of the Church’s life.

These included several cloistered nuns, people in financial difficulty, a family, people with disabilities, a prayer group, priests, women carrying out healthcare ministry, migrants, catechists, parishioners, young people, consecrated women, university students, and people serving in the diocesan Caritas.

‘Prayer can change the world’

In his reflections, Pope Francis recognized the difficulty of living in prayer amid the struggles and difficulties of life.

Prayer, he said, is “entrustment and offering,” as we seek to draw near to the Lord in intimacy and dialogue.

“Rouse us, Lord!” he prayed. “Awaken our hearts from their lethargy, for today too – today above all – you count on our prayer.”

Source: vaticannews.va