March 24th – Stations of the Cross, Migrants and refugees, men and women in search of peace
4:00PM from Castel Sant’Angelo, we will march the sidewalks of Tiber River to Ponte Cestio at Tiber Island. At the end of the prayer, a Eucharistic celebration memorial honoring Bl. Oscar Romero will be held in Santa Maria della Luce Church in Trastevere at 6:30PM.
The Stations of the Cross is one of our most dramatic and significant re- ligious traditions. The entire Christian community symbolically reenacts Jesus’ passion and his sorrowful journey towards the cross, walking with him during the decisive moments at the end of his life. In the mystery of his pain and suffering we encounter our God who invites us to journey with him in favor of life, promoting the rights and dignity of all human beings and building with him the reign of peace, love, justice and freedom.
This year we want to journey in prayer, in a special way, with our sisters and brothers who are migrants and refugees. We will reflect on their life stories in the spirit of the message of Pope Francis for the World Day of Peace. Pope Francis invites us to welcome, to protect, to promote and integrate them in our communities because they are our brothers and sisters in search of peace. It is in this Way of the Cross, that Jesus himself is walking the sorrowful journey of the migrants and refugees and guiding us with his own peace. For that reason, we want to commemorate this journey in solidarity with those people who leave their homes in search of the promised land, the land of milk and honey (Ex 3:8) which is the reign of God that Jesus Himself announces.
This Way of the Cross is intended for all those communities and people who are living in the difficult experience of migration, and for those who work with migrants and refugees. We hold in prayer all those who are trying to build a better world, a world without borders, without walls and those women and men who have opened their eyes and hearts to the harsh reality of this phenomenon and want to be challenged by it.
We have chosen our route for the Way of the Cross along the Tiber River, the third longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine mountains in Emilia Romagna and flowing 406 kilometers / 252 miles through Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio to meet the sea at Ostia. As we walk the Stations of the Cross, looking at the flowing water, we want to remember those for whom water has made it possible for us to be in solidarity with one another. At the same time, we also want to keep in mind those for whom water has been a barrier to establishing those relationships and has instead become their cemetery. All these people must not be forgotten because we are all co-responsible for making this world a better place for everyone.