Pope in Krakow: The Way of the Cross defeats sin, evil and death
(Vatican Radio)The theme of this Way of the Cross for World Youth Day was the path of mercy and this solemn event opened in Blonia Park in Krakow to the anthem of the Jubilee Year performed by a talented youth orchestra and choir with Pope Francis looking on.
In a prelude to the mediations for this evening, a girl in Marian like clothes took to the stage creating a design drawn in sand which revealed the face of Christ.
All through the Via Crucis the World Youth Day cross was brought to each station by a different group of young people which included a group of refugees from Syria, a former homeless couple from Poland and nuns from the missionaries of charity; all symbolising the works of mercy.
Many of the stops on the way to Calvary were artistically re-enacted through the medium of dance and at the 10th station an acrobat took to the sky where the cloth wound around him fell away to symbolise Jesus being stripped of his garments.
At the 12 station and to the strains of Samuel Barber’s, “Adagio for Strings”, Jesus on the Cross at Blonia Park took his last breath and the worlds’ youth here fell silent
In his words, following this intense and moving event, the Holy Father posed the question; where is God, if evil is present in our world, if there are men and women who are hungry and thirsty, homeless, exiles and refugees? Where is God, when innocent persons die as a result of violence, terrorism and war? “We can only look to Jesus and ask him”, the Pope said, “and Jesus’ answer is this: “God is in them”. Jesus is in them; he suffers in them and deeply identifies with each of them.”
The Pope also had words for the group of Syrian refugees present here on Friday evening, saying, “tonight Jesus, and we with him, embrace with particular love our brothers and sisters from Syria who have fled from the war. We greet them and we welcome them with fraternal affection and friendship.”
As Pope Francis departed from Blonia Park, he left the hundreds of thousands of young people present with this message of hope.
“The Way of the Cross alone defeats sin, evil and death, for it leads to the radiant light of Christ’s resurrection and opens the horizons of a new and fuller life.”
With Pope Francis in Krakow, I’m Lydia O’Kane