The Pope had written the Stations for the 1983-84 Jubilee, to mark the 1950th anniversary of the redemption, and the 2000 Jubilee, to celebrate the two millenniums since the birth of Christ.

Bishop Piero Marini, master of pontifical liturgical celebrations, explained that this year's meditations, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the present pontificate, were written not to celebrate a "third jubilee."

Rather, they are linked to the 1976 Spiritual Exercises that Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow preached to Pope Paul VI and the Roman Curia in the Vatican, the Vatican Information Service reported Thursday.

The 1976 meditations were published in 1977 with the title "Sign of Contradiction.'" A second edition was published in 2001.

John Paul II decided to reflect on those meditations during this year's Good Friday Via Crucis in the Colosseum.

Bishop Marini said that the meditations will put a special emphasis on the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace.