Pope asks prisoners to write Good Friday meditations

Prisoners, guards and the chaplain of a prison in Padua, Italy have been asked by Pope Francis to write this year’s Way of the Cross meditations.

The service will take place on Good Friday, at Rome’s Colosseum.

In a public letter, the pope said he chose the parish community so the meditations would reflect on the lives of those involved in the prison system.

These include “the victim, the prisoner, the prison officer, the volunteer, the family of those detained, probation officers, the church, and the innocent person who, at times, is unjustly accused.”

“The prison is a kaleidoscope of situations, and there is always a big risk in telling a detail to the detriment of the whole” system, he said. “The resurrection of a person is never the work of an individual, but of a community walking together.”

Francis has made it a habit each year to spread his requests for people to write the commentary and prayers for the Way of the Cross, so someone different writes them each time.

He says he chose to publish his choice for the meditations in Padua’s local newspaper because he wanted the announcement “to be a caress to the suffering of these days.”

Padua is located in northern Italy, the area being hit hardest due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has put the entire country under lockdown in an effort to prevent the virus spreading further.

“I write to you in order to write symbolically to everyone,” the pope’s letter to the paper said.

“The suffering and death that, as in other parts of Italy, you are experiencing because of the virus is for me a reason for prayer and human closeness.”

“It is also the reason for Christian hope: Even in these moments God is speaking to us,” he said.

Pope Francis, who has read the meditations from the Due Palazzi prison community, said he was “moved” by them.

They make him feel “like the brother of those who made mistakes and those who accept to stand beside them.

“I thank the parish of the prison and, together with them, I thank all those who work for this small world,” Francis said.

“God bless the good heart of those who challenge indifference with tenderness.”


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,