The Stations of the Cross is a Catholic devotion from the late middle ages that has perdured for many years and expresses the desire of people of faith to walk with the Lord on His way to the Cross.
This year more than 3,000 came to Santa Rosa de Copán for the diocesan Stations of the Cross. Some traveled eight hours in bus from southern Intibucá.
The Stations began at the Cathedral and ended in the parking lot of the Catholic University of Honduras campus.
As usual the stations were related to the reality of Honduras. Some of them were very thoughtful and I will try to translate some of the reflections later this weekend.
These are the themes this year:
- Jesus is sentenced to death: Corruption and Impunity
- Jesus takes up his cross: The marginalized and excluded in society
- Jesus falls the first time: Alcoholism and drug addiction
- Jesus meets his mother: Migration and disintegration of the family
- Simon of Cyrene is forced to carry the Cross: Environment
- Veronica wipes the face of Jesus: Builders of a new society
- Jesus falls the second time: Drug trafficking and hired assassins
- Jesus consoles the daughters of Jerusalem: Media of communication
- Jesus falls the third time: Repression and violence against women
- Jesus is stripped of his garments: Human rights and privatization
- Jesus is nailed to the cross: Politics and participative democracy
- Jesus dies on the cross: Abortion
- Jesus is taken down from the Cross: Martyrs for the faith and commitment for the people.
- Jesus is laid in the tomb: A frightened and silenced people
The sun was hot but people endured the three hours of the stations and a half hour sermon by the bishop at the end of the stations. To my surprise – and the surprise of a number of people – there was no Mass at the end.
|Bishop Andino preaching at the end of the Stations|
But during the Stations people approached the priests for confessions. I too took advantage of the occasion to go to confession.
|Confession in the streets|
These Stations are, for me, a marvelous manifestation of the faith of the people of the diocese. From remote villages they came, villages where they meet weekly in base communities.
They are a materially poor people but they have a faith that puts much of the world to shame.
|Kneeling in the streets|
I am grateful to be here and have been able to walk with them on the Way of the Cross, which many of them live every day, sharing in the sufferings of Christ in their villages.
Some more photos follow.
|Venerating the Cross after the Stations were over.|
|Monseñor Darwin Andino, walking in the procession|
|A banner, showing the presence of base communities|