TAKOMA PARK, Md (WUSA9) -- For DC Latinos, Good Friday, one of the holiest days on the Christian calendar, was made even more inspiring by the election of the first new pope from the new world.
Thousands walked the stations of the cross, from Our Lady of Sorrows in Takoma Park, to St Camillus in Silver Spring.
"Originally, I'm from Cuba. And when we were there, we were not allowed to do anything like this," said Franciscan friar Erick Lopez.
The Good Friday march re-enacts Jesus carrying the cross to his crucifixion, from his first fall, to his last. Scores of people dragged ropes along the sides of the street. Others played Roman centurions. A man playing Jesus walked in a white robbed smeared with red paint.
"You got to know what happened in the past to enjoy the present." said John Adams, a teenager watching the procession.
For many Catholics, the pain carries with it the promise of rebirth. "A new season coming.... Blooming, you know," said Gustavo Delgado, who was narrating an internet radio show as the man portraying Jesus fell for the first time.
On a glorious spring day, the faithful dream that a new Pope will bring with him a new blossoming of the church.
Lopez is enchanted that Pope Francis would take his name from St. Francis -- and that he would preach of Christ's love for the poor and the troubled. "So much simplicity, so much humility. It speaks to me directly. It's a beautiful thing. Wonderful."
The stations of the cross focus on Jesus' suffering and death. Generally not depicted, the 15th station, the empty tomb, and Christ's resurrection.