ROME -- 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.
With his head bowed and eyes often closed, Francis joined tens of thousands of faithful in listening to meditations read aloud in the ancient arena in downtown Rome. One meditation, read by Italian actress Virna Lisi, 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.
Francis wore a white overcoat over a plain white cassock against the chill of the night.