On Good Friday, Pope Francis led the traditional Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) at the Colosseum in Rome.
The meditations for the 14 Stations of the Cross were written this year by Mons. Renato Corti, Bishop Emeritus of Novara in Italy, and can be read here.
Here below is the meditation of Pope Francis at the conclusion of the Way of the Cross
O Christ crucified and victorious,
Your Way of the Cross is the summary of your life,
the icon of Your obedience to the will of the Father,
and the realization of your infinite love for us sinners.
It is the proof of Your mission.
It is the final fulfillment of the revelation and the history of salvation.
The weight of Your cross frees us from all of our burdens.
In Your obedience to the will of the Father,
we become aware of our rebellion and disobedience.
In You, sold, betrayed, crucified by Your own people and those dear to you,
we see our own betrayals and our own usual infidelity.
In Your innocence, Immaculate Lamb, we see our guilt.
In Your face, slapped, spat on and disfigured,
we see the brutality of our sins.
In the cruelty of Your passion,
we see the cruelty of our heart and of our actions.
In Your own feeling of abandonment,
we see those abandoned by their families,
by society, by attention and by solidarity.
In Your body, sacrificed, ripped and torn,
we see the body of our brothers who have been abandoned along the way,
disfigured by our negligence and our indifference.
In Your thirst Lord, we see the thirst of Your merciful Father,
who desired to embrace, forgive and save all of humanity.
In You, Divine Love, we see even today, before our very eyes,
and often with our silence and complicity, our persecuted brothers and sisters,
decapitated, crucified for their faith in You.
Imprint in our heart, Lord, sentiments of faith, hope and charity,
of sorrow for our sins, and lead us to repent for our sins that have crucified You.
Lead us to transform our conversion with words
into a conversion of life and works.
Help us to preserve within us a living memory of Your disfigured face,
so that we may never forget the terrible price You paid to free us.
Crucifed Jesus, strengthen in us a faith that does not collapse
in the face of temptations; awaken in us the hope that does get lost
following the temptations of the world.
Preserve in us the charity that is not fooled by the corruption of worldliness.
Teach us that the cross is the way to the resurrection.
Teach us that Good Friday is the way to the Easter of light.
Teach us that God never forgets any of his children,
and never tires of forgiving us and embracing us with His infinite mercy.
But also teach us to never tire of asking Him for forgiveness
and believing in the boundless mercy of the Father.
Soul of Christ, sanctify us!
Body of Christ, save us!
Blood of Christ, inebriate us!
Water from the side of Christ, wash us!
Passion of Christ, comfort us!
O Good Jesus, hear us!
Hide us in your wounds!
Do not allow us to separate from You!
From the evil enemy defend us!
In the hour of our death, call us!
And command us to come to You,
so that we may praise You with Your Saints forever and ever. AMEN.
(English working translation from television transmission by Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB)
Watch the Via Crucis via the Vatican's YouTube channel below.
Earlier this afternoon, Pope Francis presided at the liturgy of the Passion of Our Lord in St. Peter's basilica. As is customary, the homily was given by the preacher of the papal household, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCap.