Emotion and an intense atmosphere of prayer marked the celebration of the Way of the Cross at World Youth Day.
The Way of the Cross completely filled the high stage of the Hill of Encounter, which began to come alive from the very first station. Prayer, testimonies and songs filled the hearts of the pilgrims, while the cold blue stage was filled with movement and colour, dance and image, with panels by Jesuit priest Nuno Branco.
The cast of the show is made up of members of Ensemble23, a group of 50 young people from 21 different nationalities, who are performing at the central events of World Youth Day Lisbon 2023.
Each season, a different theme, chosen after listening to the 20 young people from the five continents who are part of the “International Youth Advisory Body” of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, created after the 2018 Synod, whose theme was “Young people, faith and vocational discernment”.
It was these young people who, among the many wounds and fragilities present in the lives of young people today, chose the 14 on which the pilgrims meditated.
The difficulties of earthly life were also addressed in the message that Pope Francis presented and which highlighted Jesus as “the way”, recalling that Jesus’ entire public life was spent travelling, going out to meet the people who need him most, those “who suffer and long for hope”.
In the words of Pope Francis, Jesus left himself to come and meet us, he became man to walk beside us. And from us he expects only that we open the windows of our soul “to the fullness of his life and love.” At the end of the journey, Jesus presents us with “a new beginning, an endless resurrection”.
“Let us look with confidence to him who is our peace”, the Pope concluded.