The World

Pope points out that "the Cross is the greatest meaning of love".

This afternoon at 6:00 p.m. (Lisbon time) the Pope's Way of the Cross took place with pilgrims from all over the world, on the "Hill of Encounter" of WYD Lisbon 2023.

Loreto Rios-August 4, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes

A moment of the Way of the Cross with the Pope at WYD ©Bruno Seabra ©Bruno Seabra WYD 2023

The Pope was greeted with songs upon his arrival at the "Hill of the Encounter" at the WYDW to celebrate the Stations of the Cross. The musical animation of the prayer included the participation of the "Singing Hands" project, composed of six deaf people who choreographed the songs in sign language, translating the lyrics of each song.

At the beginning of the Stations of the Cross, the Pope addressed the pilgrims in Spanish, pointing out that "Jesus is the way and we are going to walk with Him, because He walked with us when He was among us". He indicated that "the way that is most engraved in our hearts is the way of Calvary, the way of the cross, (...) Let us look at Jesus who is passing by and let us walk with Him".

The beauty of the crucified

He also emphasized that in the Incarnation and the Cross God "comes out of himself to walk among us (...). The cross that accompanies every World Youth Day is the figure of this journey, the cross is the greatest meaning of love. He added that with this love "Jesus wants to embrace our life, yours, that of each one of us (...). And no one has more love than he who gives his life for others. Do not forget this. And this is what Jesus taught, that is why when we look at the crucified one, so painful, we see the beauty of the love that gives life for each one of us".

He went on to emphasize that "Jesus is walking, but he is waiting for something, he is waiting for our company, he is waiting to open the windows of my soul, of the soul of each one of us".

In conclusion, he asked young people to dare to love: "He hopes to push us to embrace the risk of loving. To love is risky. It is a risk, but it is worth taking (...) Today we are going to walk the path with him, the path of his suffering, the path of our loneliness". He invited the pilgrims to reflect on their own suffering and "on the desire for the soul to smile again. And Jesus walks to the cross, dies on the cross, so that our soul can smile".

The Way of the Cross with the Pope

The Stations of the Cross began with a group of young people forming a pyramid, symbolizing Calvary. At each station, the youth choreographed the stations on the WYD stage. Each scene was also accompanied by panels designed by the Portuguese Jesuit Nuno Branco, representing Jesus at the different moments of the Stations of the Cross.

Some of the 14 Stations of the Cross were accompanied by video testimonies of young people: the third, "Jesus falls for the first time," featured Esther, a 34-year-old Spanish woman who had an abortion and, years later, returned to the Church; the seventh station, "Jesus falls for the second time," featured the video of Joao, a 23-year-old Portuguese man who was bullied at school and, years later, suffered from depression. The eighth station featured the testimony of Caleb, a 29-year-old American who suffered from drug addiction and came out of it thanks to his encounter with Christ.

The reflections have revolved around themes such as depression, intolerance, the destruction of Creation, or individualism.

Finally, the Pope gave his blessing and personally greeted all the artists who participated in the preparation and representation of the Stations of the Cross.

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