The Way of the Cross at the Colosseum, Families Pray for Peace in Russia and Ukraine

The stories, joys and troubles of many families over the 14 seasons of Good Friday Rite with Pope Francis. In the family year, “Amoris Letitia,” meditations describe parts of everyday life, but also the hardships of war in Eastern Europe and the migrants in the host countries.

Tijiana Campisi – Vatican News

There are families in their daily lives, the joys of shared love, the problems of couples, the cares of their children, the agony of illness, the pain of losing a partner in the meditations on the way to the cross. Like the Ukrainian and Russian people who have lived through the war for more than a month, the protagonists of the conflict are responsible for the brutal deaths, or else they have to face distance from their country to find a future. And suffer for being called a mere immigrant. Real and concrete stories. The excitement expressed in the Coliseum on Good Friday is Christ, but is incarnated in the daily life of many homes. Couple of young spouses (I station), family on mission (II), childless elderly spouses (III), large family (IV), family of children with disabilities (texts written by the family), family run by family (VII), sick father (VII) ), A couple grandparents (VIII), an adopted family (IX), a widow with children (X), a family with a holy son (XI), a family who lost a daughter (XII), a Ukrainian family and a Russian family (XIII) and an immigrant family (XIV) .

The protagonists of the family during the family ‘Amoris Letitia’

Pope Francis wanted the families to be the protagonists of 14 seasons in a year dedicated to the family, with which the church celebrates five years of apostolic preaching Amoris Letitia; The year ends with the Tenth World Assembly of Families held in Rome from June 22-26. Evidence placed along with Jesus’ journey to Calvary describes the moments of life that many families find themselves in, compiled by Gigi De Paulo, national president of the Forum of Family Associations and the Foundation for Birth, and his wife, Anna Chiara. Gambini, author of Meditation. The same families tell their stories in meditation, which carry the cross at the Flavio Amphitheater, where Christianity gathers in the night of silence, in memory of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. The disciples carried the promise with good news.

Couples in early marriage and mission

With Jesus, the journey of families is a true journey through the seasons of life, even if the 14 seasons do not fully reflect the cast used by tradition. But in the history of devotion, it is known that the names of the seasons and sometimes the numbers had different plans. Via Dolorosa is opened by a couple who have been married for only two years. The path in her reflections is joyful, but there is also fear and uncertainty about the future: the fear of separation, because it has happened to so many partners, the misconceptions in the conversation, it is difficult to get to the end of the month. There are family days on the mission of meditating on Christ’s love for meditations that are not yet known, but living the grief of living an uncertain life away from their source. “Living on faith and charity is not easy, because many times we cannot give ourselves completely to Providence. . Betraying our poor brothers who are your flesh in the world and reminding us that you are alive ”, reads the second season.


And there are couples who cannot afford to have children, who continue to walk hand in hand every day, take care of others, who have become home and family over time. Like spouses who have changed their professional dreams because of their children, Pietro is afraid to deny them everything; As well as “the pain and temptation of repentance in the face of another unexpected cost.” But if it is not easy to sacrifice old desires for the family, “it is infinitely more beautiful.” For anyone who has a disabled child, the judgment of people who interpret this different offspring of the cross as a burden. But what has been learned is that “disability is not a pretense or a label, but a dress of the soul that prefers to remain silent in the face of unjust judgments, not of shame, but of mercy toward those who judge.” “Jesus holds the crown of thorns,” recalls the VI station, where two spouses, 3 spouses, 9 grandchildren, and 5 adopted children with 42 years of marriage meditated with 6 adopted children who were not self-sufficient with mental problems. “We do not deserve such a blessing from life,” he writes. “For those who believe that it is not human to leave one alone, the Holy Spirit moves within the will to act and does not remain indifferent, strangers,” he explains, “return to the needs of pain, which dictates the priorities of life and restores the simplicity of human dignity.” And whoever the hero of adoption is, by contrast, imagining “parents and children,” reveals that cross, which is the story of life marked by abandonment, healed by acceptance, hides the secret of happiness. At the eleventh station, “Jesus promises the kingdom to the good thief.” Abusers are defined as two parents who initially did not accept the option of their son’s priesthood. Awareness of wrongdoing, fighting this profession in various ways and confessing to God: “We are the boat and you are the sea. We spark and fire you. And then, like a good thief, we ask you to remember us as we enter your kingdom.

Loads of grandparents and broken families

On the way to Golgotha, there is also the story of a husband facing his wife’s illness, the unexpected cross that Jesus carried, which ruined the balance of the family, but it blossomed into many help. Two retired grandparents are also described, who dreamed of a peaceful old age, but must help the families of their daughters who are in trouble and take care of their grandchildren. “Carried with the Cross”, they also recognize the gift of “oxygen” to the families of their children, “because you will never cease to be a father and mother”. Finds a deeper meaning, finds love of the Creator, brothers and “the Church reaches its hand with all its faults.” Identifying at the feet of Jesus.

War in Ukraine

The last two stations of the Via Cruise were the representations of those days. The Ukrainian family and the Russian family trace all the changes of war, “existence, days, carefree winter snow, picking up children from school, work, hugs, friendships.” They pray to God in tears and say that anger has “paved the way for resignation,” and they become desperate because they can no longer feel the love of the Almighty. He knows the difficulty of reconciliation, he invites the Lord to speak “in the silence of death and division,” teaching him to “make peace, to be brothers and sisters, to rebuild bombs.”

The promise of immigrants

Finally, the migrant family admits that after a difficult journey, they are seen as a burden in the host country. “Here we are numbers, classes, simplifications. However, we are more than immigrants. We are the people”, between the 14th station lines, “the body of Jesus is laid in the grave”, with his sacrifices and his past. There is no resignation in his words, but hope. “We know that the great stone at the door of the tomb will one day be rolled away,” he concludes, looking at Easter and the new life of Christ.


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