VATICAN CITY, MARCH 26, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is John Paul II’s message, which was read at the start of the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday night in the Colosseum in Rome.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am with you spiritually in the Colosseum, a place that brings to mind so many memories and emotions to live the moving rite of the Stations of the Cross on this Good Friday night.
I join you in that invocation of such profound meaning: “Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi, quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.” Yes, we adore and bless the mystery of the cross of the Son of God, as it is precisely from that cross that a new hope has arisen for humanity.
The adoration of the Cross invites us to a commitment that we cannot avoid: the mission that St. Paul expressed with the words “in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, that is, the Church” (Colossians 1:24). I also offer my sufferings so that God’s plan will be realized and his word spread among peoples. I am also close to all those who, at this time, are being tried with suffering. I pray for each one of them.
In this memorial day of Christ crucified I contemplate and adore the Cross with you and I repeat the words of the liturgy: “O crux, ave spes unica!” Hail, Cross, only hope, give us patience and courage and give peace to the world!
With these sentiments, I bless you all and all those participating in this Via Crucis on radio and television.
Vatican, 25 March 2005
IOANNES PAULUS II
[Translation by Zenit]