For the first time in his papacy, Pope Francis led the Way of the Cross from St. Peter’s Square rather than Rome’s Colosseum, where it has been held annually for more than five decades.

Two rows of torches lit the pathway from the stage set in front of St. Peter’s leading down the square; they surrounded the famed ancient Egyptian obelisk that once stood in the Circus of Nero and is believed to be a “witness” to the martyrdom of St. Peter.

The sounds of the Vatican choir chanting somber hymns broke through the eerie silence and echoed throughout the empty square April 10.

Praise the Lord

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