By Melissa Butz
The piercing silence in the Vatican added to the solemn remembrance of the Passion. Pope Francis prayed earnestly, interceding for the whole world on this unique Good Friday.
The Holy Father began the liturgies dedicated to the Lord’s Passion, prostrating himself on the ground.
Only he was allowed to kiss the cross, because of coronavirus.
Instead of speaking, Pope Francis listened to a reflection by the Preacher to the Papal Household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, who said the COVID-19 crisis is making all humanity equal.
“We have forgotten about building walls,” he said. “The virus knows no borders.”
He recalled that suffering is not in vain, because Christ changed the meaning of suffering. Pope Francis carried this message into a candlelit St. Peter’s Square for the Stations of the Cross.
The meditations for the Stations were written at Padua Prison, at the Holy Father’s request. The authors included prisoners and others. They touched on how Christ’s suffering related to them.
The procession also included two doctors, remembering all those suffering from COVID-19.
Now the anticipation for the Easter vigil begins – Usually the pope baptizes new Catholics into the faith, but not this year. He’ll celebrate the resurrection of Jesus alone at the Vatican, prayerfully united to all those at home around the world.