Below is a translation of Pope Francis’ address before and after the recitation of the Regina Coeli this Pentecost Sunday in St. Peter’s Square:
Before the Regina Coeli:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
The feast of Pentecost makes us relive the beginnings of the Church. The book of Acts says that, fifty days after the Passover, in the house where the disciples were, Jesus, “Suddenly, a sound like a violent wind blowing came from heaven … And they were calmed and filled with the Holy Spirit. From this outpouring, the disciples are completely transformed: the fear is replaced by courage, the closure gives way to the announcement, and any doubt is cast out by faith, full of love. And ‘the “baptism” of the Church, as such was starting its journey in history, driven by the strength of the Holy Spirit.
That event, which changes the hearts and lives of the Apostles and other disciples, is reflected immediately outside of the Cenacle. In fact, the door closed for fifty days is finally open and the first Christian community, no longer closed in on itself, begins to speak to the crowds from different backgrounds of the incredible things God has done (cf. v. 11), that is, the Resurrection of Jesus, who was crucified. And everyone present hears from the disciples in their own language. The gift of the Spirit restores harmony of languages that had been lost in Babel and prefigures the universal dimension of the mission of the Apostles. The universal Church is born, one, Catholic, with a precise, but open identity, that embraces the whole world, without exception. To nobody does the Mother Church closes the door in the face, to no one! Not even to the most sinful, to no one! And this is out of the strength, the grace of the Holy Spirit. The Mother Church opens, opens its doors to everyone because it is Mother.
The Holy Spirit poured out at Pentecost in the hearts of the disciples is the beginning of a new season: the season of the testimony and fraternity. It is a season that comes from above, from God, like flames of fire that came to rest on the head of each disciple. It was the flame of love burning away all bitterness; it was the language of the Gospel that crosses the boundaries put into place by men and touches the hearts of everyone, without distinction of language, race or nationality. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is poured out continuously, even today, on the Church and on all of us because we go out of our mediocrity and our closing off of ourselves and communicate to the world the merciful love of the Lord. This is our mission! We too are given the gift of the ‘language’ of the Gospel and the ‘fire’ of the Holy Spirit, in order for us to proclaim the risen Jesus, alive and present in our midst, and warm the hearts of people, bringing them closer to Him, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
We entrust to the maternal intercession of Mary, who was present as Mother in the midst of the disciples in the Upper Room: she is the Mother of the Church, the mother of Jesus becomes Mother of the Church. We entrust to her that the Holy Spirit descends abundantly upon the Church of our time, filling the hearts of all the faithful and kindling in them the fire of His love .[Original text: Italian]
After The Regina Coeli:
Dear brothers and sisters,
I continue following with great concern the events of the many refugees in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. I express my appreciation for the efforts made by those countries that have expressed willingness to welcome these people who are facing great suffering and danger. I encourage the international community to provide them with the necessary humanitarian assistance.
Yesterday, in El Salvador and Kenya, an archbishop and a nun were beatified. The first is Archbishop of San Salvador Oscar Romero, killed in odium fide, while he was celebrating the Eucharist. This zealous pastor, following the example of Jesus, chose to be among his people, especially the poor and the oppressed, even when it cost him his life. The nun is Italian Sister Irene Stefani of the Missionaries of Consolation, who served the Kenyan people with joy, mercy and tender compassion. The heroic example of these blesseds inspires in each of us to have the fervent desire to witness to the Gospel with courage and self-sacrifice.
I greet you all, dear Romans and pilgrims: families, parish groups, associations. In particular, the faithful from Brittany, from Barcelona, from Freiburg, and the boys choir of Herxheim. I greet the Dominican community in Rome, the faithful of Cervaro (Frosinone), the Air Force military stationed in Naples, the Sacra Corale Jonica and confirmation candidates of Pievidizzio (Brescia).
I wish you all a good Pentecost Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon.[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]