VATICAN - Missionary Stations of the Cross prayer recalls suffering of children in the world: a response to Pope John Paul II’s call for Lent 2004

Wednesday, 17 March 2004

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The general secretariat of the Pontifical Mission Society for Missionary Childhood has produced a special Missionary Stations of the Cross which unites the suffering of children with the suffering of Jesus on the Way of the Cross. Taking inspiration from Pope John Paul II’s Message for Lent 2004, entirely dedicated to children, and drawing from the charisma of the Society which calls children to help other children with their prayers and sacrifices, the Stations of the Cross, titled “Small Steps of Love and Pain” reminds adults and children that the path trodden by Jesus is the same path trodden by millions of children today.
Like Jesus, thousands of children are condemned to death, by hunger, by disease, by war. Like him they cannot defend themselves because adults decide for them. The weight of the cross which Jesus accepts in order to save the world includes the burden carried by child workers in factories, plantations, workshops etc. Each Station presents a precise situation offered for contemplation and harmonised by prayer, which is usually a request for pardon because children are not given the attention they deserve. Simple illustrations also help reflection and prayer: the cross of Jesus is studded with the faces of children, his travelling companions, who carry with Jesus and like Jesus a cross which does not belong to their age. This special “Via Crucis” has been translated in five languages and sent to all National Pontifical Mission Societies Directors. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 17/3/2004; Righe 15; Parole 225)