Rome, April 10 (DPA) Pope Benedict XVI planned to preside over Rome’s traditional Good Friday evening Way of the Cross procession at which the Vatican has invited the faithful to reflect on the persecution of Christians in India.
The procession was to be accompanied by words penned by Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati, India.
As in many previous years, the event which commemorates Jesus’ last hours leading to his crucifixion was set to be held at Rome’s Colosseum.
Prayers were also expected to refer to the grief that has gripped Italy this week following a devastating earthquake in the country’s central Abruzzo region.
On Friday, the toll from Monday’s earthquake stood at 287.
A message from Pope Benedict was read out at a state funeral for victims held Friday morning in the city of L’Aquila.
The 81-year-old pontiff is also scheduled to lead an Easter vigil at the Vatican Saturday.
On Easter Sunday, he is due to celebrate Mass in St Peter’s before delivering his Urbi et Orbi message and blessing ‘to the city and the world.’
Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is regarded by Christians as their most important religious feast.