Thousands in Panama join Pope to pray for victims of violence worldwide
Hundreds of thousands of people on Friday joined Pope Francis to pray for the victims of terrorism, poverty and refugee exploitation as pilgrims gathered in the capital of Panama for the World Youth Day celebrations.
Persecution of Christians, the silent massacre of abortion, exploitation and abuse of refugees, violence against women and children, corruption, terrorism, marginalization of indigenous people were discussed during the Stations of the Cross prayer.
The Pope told the crowd that the path Jesus took to his passion and death on the cross is the same path of indifference and marginalization taken by those who suffer in the world today.
The Pope, 82, began the prayer surrounded by a large number of youths who were carrying the Pilgrim Cross and marking each station with a specific message and an invocation to the Virgin Mary.
To those youths of Venezuela, the Pope touched upon the problem of migration, and denounced the brutality against those who have lost everything.
Ariel, a Venezuelan pilgrim, explained to EFE that it was the union of the countries that would solve the difficulties of the continent and prayer was a step towards making a change.
The entire perimeter where the congregation had gathered was under heavy security with monitoring by police officers, as well as special intelligence corps, who controlled the access of each person.
The youth concert that followed focused on other events such as the launching of the movement “Laudato Si” (In the care of our common home) and a record of the world’s biggest hug.