ROME (AP) - As Italy grapples with grief over the 290 lives lost
in Monday's earthquake, Pope Benedict XVI used Good Friday services
to encourage survivors to hold on to hope amid suffering.
Benedict presided over a torch-lit Way of the Cross procession
at the Colosseum. In an opening prayer, he told tens of thousands
of faithful that "all is not lost in moments of difficulty.
Benedict knelt on a terrace, hands folded in prayer and head
bowed as prelates and rank-and-file Catholics took turns carrying a
slender, lightweight wooden cross in the procession.
The ritual commemorates Jesus' suffering in the hours before his
crucifixion and his death on the cross.
Earlier in the day, Benedict sent a message to survivors at a
mass funeral for more than 200 quake victims in L'Aquila
(LAH'-kwee-lah), saying that working together will allow them to
"overcome this painful trial."