Pope Francis will use prayers written by two Lebanese young people when he leads the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.
To highlight the suffering of Christians in the Middle East. The Stations will be held in the Coliseum, where early Christian martyrs suffered and died.
He will also wash the feet of youthful offenders who are incarcerated in a detention center on Holy Thursday.
I wonder how many prisoners the world over will see this and realize that Jesus is their only hope? How many Christians in the MIddle East will hear of these prayers and see that God has not abandoned them?
“Preach the Gospel,” St Francis said. “If necessary, use words.” His namesake, our Pope Francis, seems to understand what he meant and is willing to put it into action.
I love these things our Holy Father is doing. I think they impart the true message and meaning of this Holy Week, which is that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of all people, everywhere. Disenfranchised people all over this lost and bleeding world are hungry to hear the message of salvation. I think Pope Francis knows that.
I do not care about the things a small number of our Catholic community seem to think are so important. Let me say that again: I do not care. All I want, all I ask, of any pope, priest or deacon is that they preach Christ and Him crucified.
I think we have that in Pope Francis, and that we are blessed that the merciful Lord has given us this wonderful man at this critical time in the life of the Church.
A CNA/EWTN article outlining Pope Francis’ schedule this week says in part:
Vatican City, Mar 25, 2013 / 10:55 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis will celebrate a full schedule this Holy Week, including washing the feet of youth detainees and leading the Stations of the Cross at the Coliseum.
His six main events are: Chrism Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica on Holy Thursday morning, followed by Mass at a youth detention center that evening, a Communion service and Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday evening and Easter Mass on Sunday morning.
Pope Francis will start the week by celebrating Chrism Mass on March 28 with cardinals and other clergy from Rome at Saint Peter’s Basilica. During the Mass, the Pope will consecrate the oils that will be used throughout the year for Baptism, Confirmation and Anointing of the Sick.
In keeping with his practice in Buenos Aires, he will celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at Casal del Marmo youth detention center, instead of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran.
When he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, then-Cardinal Bergoglio celebrated the Mass in a prison, a hospital or a hospice for the poor and marginalized people. This time around he will be with youth offenders and will wash their feet.
On Good Friday, March 29, he will preside over a Communion service and the Veneration of the Cross in St. Peter’s Basilica at 5:00 p.m. local time.
The pontiff will then go to the Coliseum to lead the Stations of the Cross at 9:15 p.m. The prayers for the 14 stations were written by two Lebanese youths with the help of Cardinal Bechara Rai.
The Vatican chose the young Arabs to highlight the suffering of Christians in the Middle East and the growing urgency of their situation.
After the procession around the Coliseum, Pope Francis will give a speech to people gathered there and impart his apostolic blessing.
On Holy Saturday, the Pope will celebrate the first of two Easter Masses when he holds the Easter Vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica.
He will bless a fire in the atrium of St. Peter’s Basilica and enter in a procession with the Paschal candle singing the Easter Proclamation.
The Pope will then concelebrate Mass at 8:30 p.m. local time with the cardinals and impart the sacrament of Baptism, which is traditionally done in churches worldwide at this time of year.
On Sunday at 10:15 a.m. Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at St. Peter’s Square, which will finish with his “Urbi et Orbi” greeting and blessing from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. (Read the rest here.)
Pope Francis is the Pope. If he decides to go for all the pomp his office allows ….
That’s fine with me.
Because he’s the Pope.
If on the other hand, he decides to wear sandals and walk rather than ride – or some black-shoed something in between the two extremes — that, too, would be ok with me.
Because he’s the pope.
It appears that most Catholics are like me: Over the moon about our new papa. But, you can’t please everyone. Human beings are too contrary for that to ever happen in this world. In their displeasure with our Holy Father, some of these displeased ones have fixated on one thing: The color of his shoes.
The red of the red shoes refers to the blood of the martyrs they tell us.
I’ve been thinking about this for days, largely because I don’t understand why we need to see red shoes to think about the blood of the martyrs. The blood of people dying for Christ is not an ancient artifact from a long ago history that has passed. The blood of the martyrs is soaking into the ground in a hundred places around the world as I type this.
This is the blood of the marytrs:
I have interviewed survivors of Christian persecution in Uganda and Nigeria. They are different from us. Their faith has been through the fire and this fire burned away the impurities of trivial concerns.
One of the many things about these people that impressed me is their gentleness; that, and their absolute faith in heaven. I never heard anything from them about the people who persecuted them being damned to hell. The harshest thing I heard was from an Anglican bishop who called them “ignorant.” Their focus is on Jesus. It is not on the ones who attacked them. They see past the persecution to heaven and the gift of eternal life.
More than once when I asked them how they got through it, they said two words: The cross.
They are different from you and me, these people who have been purified by the fires of persecution for the name of Jesus. I never asked any of them about red shoes. But if I had, I imagine that the response would have been incomprehension.
What Jesus Told Us