Once again an empty St Peter's Square is the backdrop to the liturgy. Meditations and prayers are proposed by the Agesci Scouts “Foligno I” (Umbria) and by the Roman parish of Holy Martyrs of Uganda.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - A Way of the Cross for children, children who wrote the meditations, others who read them, still others who carried torches and crosses through an empty St Peter's Square, due to a pandemic the was ever present in words of the little ones: a grandfather carried away by "men who looked like astronauts", visits denied, distance from classmates, school closed.
Once again this year the Way of the Cross echoed in a hollow St. Peter's Square lit only by torches, the stations located around the obelisk and along the path leading to the basilica. In the center of the square, Pope Francis.
This year the meditations and prayers were prepared by the Agesci Scouts “Foligno I” (Umbria) and by the Roman parish of Holy Martyrs of Uganda. Stories of children, such as Marco, haunted by regret for failing to defended a friend accused unjustly, or the children who miss visits to their grandparents - "my parents say it's dangerous, we could make them sick" – volleyball team mates, and friends at scouts.
Ahead of the Way of the Cross, in the afternoon, during the celebration of the Passion of the Lord, in the basilica, Francis prayed for the end of the pandemic.
He prayed: "Relieve the pain of the sick, give strength to those who take care of them, welcome those who have died into your peace and, throughout this time of tribulation, help us all to find comfort in Your mercy."
The Pope also had another prayer for those facing trials, so that God "purify the world of errors, remove diseases, overcome hunger, make prisoners free, break the chains, grant security to those who travel, a return to those far from home, health for the sick and dying, eternal salvation.”
In the morning, the Pope made a surprise visit the atrium of the Paul VI Hall, while the vaccinations of the homeless were taking place. Francis greeted the doctors and nurses, followed the procedure for preparing the vaccine doses and chatted with the people waiting for the vaccination. To date, about 800 of the approximately 1,200 people in need who will be given the vaccine this week have been vaccinated with the first dose in the Vatican.