- Desperate migrants, suicidal failed business owners, battered women, torture victims and all people suffering in the world were remembered at a torch-lit Good Friday Way of the Cross procession presided over by Pope Francis at the Colosseum in downtown Rome.
Francis joined tens of thousands of faithful in listening to meditations. One meditation singled out the plight of child soldiers. Other readings recalled migrants who risk death in trying to reach the shores of affluent nations, women and children enslaved by human traffickers and inmates in overcrowded prisons.
The selection of subjects reflected the pope's resolve to focus the Catholic church's attention on those who suffer, often on the margins of society.
Near the end of the service, Francis told the crowd that the cross represented the "weight of all our sins." He decried the "monstrosity of man when he lets himself be guided by evil."
He ended with a prayer that all those "abandoned under the weight of the cross would find the strength of hope."