The Crucifixion. The Crucifixion. 

Way of the Cross every Friday during Lent in St. Peter's Basilica

The faithful have been invited to participate in the Way of the Cross service every Friday in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome during Lent, which began with Ash Wednesday, March 2.

By Vatican News staff reporter

The Way of the Cross will take place every Friday in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica during the entire period of Lent.  In a statement on Tuesday, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica and of the Fabric of St. Peter invited the faithful in the pious practice of the Way of the Cross from March 4 to April 8 at 4 pm. 

This year, some of the paintings of the "Passion of Christ” by the Italian artist Gaetano Previati (1852 – 1920) are being exhibited in the transept and along the nave of the basilica.

It is the first time that the Way of the Cross of Previati is being displayed for popular devotion inside a sacred building.  “Previati had created ‘the Passion’ to stimulate people to pray through art,” Cardinal Gambetti said.  “We are happy that this purpose found the place of fulfilment in St. Peter's [Basilica] 120 years” after he created it in 1902.   “Thanks to an accurate and careful restoration carried out by the Vatican Museums, the images and the vivid colors with which ‘Christ Jesus Crucified’ have been brought to light,” he said.  

The initiative is the result of the collaboration between the Fabric of St. Peter and the Vatican Museums. The 14 Stations of the Cross can be venerated from March 4 to April 20.

Lent, which this year began on Ash Wednesday, March 2, is a 40-day period of prayer, fasting, abstinence and good ‎works, in preparation for Christianity’s most solemn feast of Easter, which celebrates Jesus’s glorious ‎resurrection following his passion and death on the cross.  The 40-day Lenten period excludes Sundays.  The imposition of ashes on the forehead or head on Ash Wednesday is a Biblical symbol of repentance reminding the faithful of man’s sinfulness before God and his mortality.  The priest who imposes the ashes says, “Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return."

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02 March 2022, 12:14