04/02/2021, 12.00
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Card. Gracias leads Way of the Cross a relic of the Cross (VIDEO)

by Nirmala Carvalho

The Indian metropolis struggling with the new peak of infections from Covid-19. The cardinal presided over the rite streamed live online from the cathedral without the faithful in attendance. "Today is the day of repentance, but also of forgiveness". The virtual blessing with the relic of the True Cross donated by the city of Brescia.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, led a Way of the Cross streamed live online for the faithful of the archdiocese from the Cathedral of the Holy Name this morning.

In fact, following a new peak of infections from Covid-19, a night curfew was imposed again in Mumbai from March 28 and, in addition, the civic authorities also imposed severe restrictions on places of worship: churches can only accommodate 50 people, in compliance with safety measures.

As a result, Cardinal Gracias held the traditional celebration of Good Friday without the participation of the faithful: the rite was televised from the archdiocese's website and some other web channels, precisely because of the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the pandemic.

The stations were accompanied by meditations taken from the writings of St. John Henry Newman. Leading the Archdiocese of Mumbai and those connected via web from all over the world in prayer, Cardinal Gracias began the Way of the Cross with the recitation of the act of contrition.

“Most of us” Cardinal said, “begins Good Friday with the Way of the Cross, we accompany our Lord on the 14 stations of the Cross, walk with HIM, as he walks to Calvary.  I invite you to compose yourselves, try and get into the Spirit of each of the 14 Stations.   Most of us, have been able to make our confessions, cleanse ourselves.  I understand some of you have had difficulties, because you are from different parts of the world, different stages of lockdown, diff rules by the civic authorities, but do not worry, today is the day, when we have been redeemed, when we have been saved, when we have been forgiven. Therefore, I invite you at the very beginning of the way of the Cross to make an act of contrition.  I invite each of you including youth and children, grandparents, clergy and religious, etc. make an act of contrition, recall your faults, as we (including I) recall what each of us have done, straying away from HIM.  The Lord is all compassion, so recalling that we are sinners, that we have strayed from HIM, and make an act of contrition and be cleaned to enter into the mysteries this evening.”

After the meditations were completed, the Cardinal exhorted to pray for the intentions of the Pope which - he recalled - obtain the indulgence of sins, which can also be applied to some loved ones who have died. Finally, he concluded the celebration by a benediction with the relic of the True Cross donated in 2015 by the city of Brescia to the archdiocese of Mumbai.

“On that occasion, I received the relic of the True Cross. This relic was given by the Emperor Constantine on his way back after the Cross had been found (by his mother, Saint Helena. It is guarded very specially, but the authorities, the Mayor, gifted me a sliver.”

With this relic of the True Cross, Cardinal Gracias gave the blessing to all those who participated virtually in the rite.

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