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Catholic News ServiceApril 07, 2022
Pope Francis speaks during the Way of the Cross outside the ancient Colosseum in Rome in this March 25, 2016, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has asked several families to write the prayers and meditations for his Stations of the Cross service at Rome’s Colosseum on Good Friday.

The request comes during the year Pope Francis asked Catholics to dedicate to families and to a rereading of “Amoris Laetitia,” his exhortation on the family, which was published in 2016.

The authors of the texts to be used for the nighttime service April 15 are “families linked to Catholic volunteer and assistance communities and associations,” said Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office.

The request comes during the year Pope Francis asked Catholics to dedicate to families and to a rereading of “Amoris Laetitia,” his exhortation on the family, which was published in 2016.

Families also will carry the cross between the stations at the Colosseum, he said. Those chosen will reflect the focus of each prayer and meditation -- for example, migrants and refugees or the elderly or those caring for a person with a disability.

In 2020 and 2021, the service was scaled down and held in St. Peter’s Square because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pope still used the prayers and meditations of special authors. In 2020, they were written by inmates at an Italian prison and in 2021 by Scouts and other children at a Rome parish.

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