Elderly Married Couple Writes Pope Benedict XVI’s Good Friday Talk

By Alessandro Speciale 04-02-2012
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

The Colosseum during the Way Of The Cross procession presided by Pope Benedict XVI Good Friday 2010. Franco Origlia/Getty Images

An elderly married couple asked by Pope Benedict XVI to write the texts for the traditional Stations of the Cross procession on Good Friday (April 6) at the Colosseum in Rome has chosen to tackle family problems such as marital infidelity and divorce.

Danilo Zanzucchi, 92, and his wife, Anna Maria, 83, who have been married for nearly 60 years and have five children, are the founders of the “New Families” group, an offshoot of Focolare, a Catholic movement.

The traditional Good Friday rite is led by Benedict and involves remembering and reflecting on 14 moments of Jesus' passion and death. Every year, the pope asks a different person to write the meditations.

Issues familiar to families worldwide will feature prominently in the Zanzucchis' texts. They say that every family has to go through its own “Via Crucis” (Way of the Cross) made of “illnesses, deaths, bankruptcies, poverty, infidelity, immorality, family quarrels and natural catastrophes.”

The couple reflects on the “pain” induced by adultery: “So many separations, so many infidelities ... Jesus, help us understand what is love and the meaning of forgiveness.”

The Zanzucchis also mention the difficulty of educating children in values such as “sobriety” and “sacrifice” in a society devoted to the pursuit of material wealth. In an interview with L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, the couple said they have tried to make Jesus' passion “contemporary” through the lens of their family experience.

Alessandro Speciale writes for the Religion News Service. Via RNS.

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