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Wednesday 16 January 2019
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Lent in Assisi, in the Shrine of the Portiuncula

Assisi (PG) - When Francis was lonely near the church of St. Mary of the Portiuncula, weeping and wailing loudly. A pious man who heard him, he supposed that he was suffering from some illness or sorrow, and, moved by compassion, asked him why he was crying so. Francis said: "I mourn the passion of my Lord. For his sake I should not be ashamed to go moaning loudly for all the world." Then the man devoted joined the lament of Francis.

(Legend of the Three Companions 5.13)

Why mourn the Passion of Christ? Why do continually memory of the cross? Why does the Christian, called - as the Pope reminds us - to live the joy of the gospel? St. Paul has conquered the Mediterranean to Jesus Christ announcing the folly and scandal of the cross and, even today, many Christians die every day for the sign of the cross.

Conceived and propagated by St. Leonard of Port Maurice (Friar Minor, from 1676 to 1751), the practice of the Way of the Cross is meant to be much more than a pious devotion. The Way of the Cross is meant to be a summary of the Christian journey, the very life of every disciple of Jesus who is called by his Master to take up their cross and follow him.

That is why, during Lent, the community of Friars Minor of St. Mary of the Angels gather together with faithful and pilgrims, every Friday, for the Via Crucis. It does this around the Portiuncula, just like Francis, who cried Love, crucified and redemptive: tears of sorrow and joy, a moment of a lifetime to conversion to Christ, who is highly recommended to cure, especially in Lent .

This year in particular, we want to emphasize that the Christian's journey is the Way of the Cross in every situation and in every sphere of life. We will pray, in fact, for the family, for the world of work, for the defense of life, for the persecuted Christians, for the young and for all our brothers and sisters who are suffering. We will pray with them and for them, that is for each of us, so that Cross which often want to defend the symbolic presence in public places of work and care, and for every man and woman of our time, the answer more fully the mystery of evil and suffering. Why, then, the brothers invite everyone, every Friday at 17:15 pm, to take part in the Way of the Cross?

We let him explain to Papa Francesco (Gaudium Evangelii 85):

Although the painful awareness of their fragility, we must go forward without giving to the vanquished, and remember what the Lord said to St. Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor 12: 9). The triumph of the Christian is always a cross, but a cross that is at the same time banner of victory, which is worn with a tenderness fighting against the assaults of evil.

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[Source: Umbria OnLine]

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