Covid-19: Pope takes suffering of children in the pandemic to the Way of the Cross on Good Friday

Celebration meditations in St. Peter’s Square evoke problems at school and deaths caused by the pandemic

Vatican City, March 31, 2021 (Ecclesia) – The Good Friday Way in the Vatican will feature meditations by Italian children this year, which evoke problems at school and deaths caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the past year, we have not visited our grandparents again with the family; my parents say it’s dangerous, we could make them sick with covid. I miss them! Just as I miss volleyball friends and scouting. I often feel alone ”, says one of the texts proposed for the celebration, which this year takes place in St. Peter’s Square and not in the Colosseum in Rome, in the image of what happened in 2020, due to the sanitary measures in force in Italy.

The preparation of texts and drawings for this Way of the Cross involved 500 children and adolescents from the catechesis of the Roman parish of the Holy Martyrs of Uganda, 145 escorts from the Agesci group of “Foligno I”, in Italy; 30 children and young people from the “Tetto Casal Fattoria” family home in Rome; and eight children, between 3 and 8 years old, from the house “Mater Divini Amoris”, also in the Italian capital.

Symbolically, 20 children and young people from Rome and Foligno will be next to Pope Francis on the Good Friday Way of the Cross, accompanied by millions of people around the world, through the media.

The reflections of the youngest speak of the closed schools, the “sadness of loneliness”, and the impact of the disease.

“Men came out of the ambulance, who looked like astronauts in caps, gloves, masks and visors, and took their grandfather who, for a few days now, had difficulty breathing. It was the last time that I saw the grandfather; he died a few days later in the hospital, suffering – I imagine – also from loneliness ”, writes one of the children.

The meditations were published by Livraria Editora do Vaticano, with an introduction that recalls the “crosses” of children ”.

These crosses are the fear of the dark, loneliness and abandonment, also because of the pandemic, the experience of one’s own limits, the provocation of others, the feeling of being poorer than colleagues, sadness about family discussions, among the country.

One of the meditations evokes the impact of “bullying” on colleagues, who cry when they are “ridiculed” for their limitations.

“Persecution is not a distant memory from two thousand years ago: sometimes, some of our actions can condemn, injure and step on a brother or sister. Sometimes we may have even felt a certain pleasure in making someone suffer, because behind those sufferings we disguise our own constraints ”, it can be read.

The reflections evoke themes such as the love of mothers, the experiences of failure, the attention to those who are different, solidarity, lies, forgiveness, love and death.

In the final prayer on the Way of the Cross, it is the adults who again speak, asking God: “Help us to become small, in need of everything, open to life”.

The celebration will be broadcast on Vatican channels at 9 pm (minus one in Lisbon), from the churchyard of St. Peter’s Basilica.



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