Christianity Is Based on Historical Event, Pope Affirms

Delivers Easter Greetings in 65 Languages

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 24, 2010 ( Speaking from the central balcony of the Basilica of St. Peter’s, Benedict XVI once again affirmed today that Christianity is based on the historical event of the Resurrection.

In his Easter message, which he delivered before imparting his blessing «urbi et orbi» (to the city of Rome and the world), the Pope stated that «the resurrection of Christ is not the fruit of speculation or mystical experience,» but rather an event that took place «at a precise moment in history.»

«Right down to our own time — even in these days of advanced communications technology — the faith of Christians is based on that same news,» he added, «on the testimony of those sisters and brothers who saw firstly the stone that had been rolled away from the empty tomb and then the mysterious messengers who testified that Jesus, the Crucified, was risen.»

«The light which dazzled the guards keeping watch over Jesus’ tomb has traversed time and space,» the Pontiff continued. «It is a different kind of light, a divine light, that has rent asunder the darkness of death and has brought to the world the splendor of God, the splendor of Truth and Goodness.»

Before delivering an Easter greeting in 65 languages, Benedict XVI proclaimed the joy of the Resurrection: «The entire cosmos is rejoicing today, caught up in the springtime of humanity, which gives voice to creation’s silent hymn of praise.»

«The Easter Alleluia,» he added, «resounding in the Church as she makes her pilgrim way through the world, expresses the silent exultation of the universe and above all the longing of every human soul that is sincerely open to God, giving thanks to him for his infinite goodness, beauty and truth.»

After a week of intense Holy Week and Easter liturgies, the Holy Father departed Rome for the pontifical residence of Castel Gandolfo. He will return to Rome for the May 1 beatification of Pope John Paul II.

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