Ukrainian, Russian families carry cross in Good Friday ceremony at Colosseum

Via Crucis returns to Colosseum for first time in two years.

A Ukrainian family and a Russian family will carry the cross together during one of the stations of the Via Crucis ceremony led by Pope Francis at the Colosseum in Rome on Good Friday.

The two families have penned a meditation to accompany the 13th Station of the Cross, the solemn 14-step Catholic devotion that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Their co-written reflection is for the second-last station, “Jesus dies on the cross”, and refers to the pain and destruction of war.

  • Easter in Rome: Via Crucis returns to Colosseum for Good Friday

“We have no tears left. Anger has given way to resignation,” reads their text, “Lord, where are you? Speak to us amid the silence of death and division, and teach us to be peacemakers, brothers and sisters, and to rebuild what bombs tried to destroy.”

The 14 meditations for this year’s Via Crucis, which returns to the Colosseum for the first time since 2019, were written by families linked to Catholic communities and voluntary associations, all of whom speak about their own personal difficulties.

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The last two editions of the annual tradition – which dates to the 18th century and was revived in 1964 – were held in St Peter’s Square, minus the crowds, due to the covid pandemic.

Part of the Vatican’s Easter liturgical programme for Holy Week or Settimana Santa, the Via Crucis begins at 21.15 on Friday 15 April and will be broadcast on Italian television channel RAI Uno.

Photo credit: AM113 /