Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, Monday of the Angel, before and after praying the midday Regina Caeli from the Library of the Apostolic Vatican Palace. At the end of the Regina Caeli the Pope appeared at the window of his study and imparted His Blessing.
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Before the Regina Caeli:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Today, Monday of the Angel, the joyful proclamation resounds of Christ’s Resurrection. The evangelical page (Cf. Matthew 28:8-15) recounts that the women, scared, left Jesus’ sepulchre in haste, which they had found empty. However, Jesus Himself appeared to them on the way, saying: “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me” (verse 10). With these words, the Risen One entrusts to the women a missionary mandate to the Apostles. In fact, they gave an admirable example of fidelity, of dedication and of love of Christ in the time of His public life as well as during His Passion. Now He rewards them with this gesture of attention and predilection. The women are always at the beginning: Mary, at the beginning; the women, at the beginning.
First the women, then the disciples and, in particular, Peter ascertain the reality of the Resurrection. Many times, Jesus had preannounced to them that, after the Passion and Cross, He would resurrect, but the disciples hadn’t understood, because they weren’t yet ready. Their faith had to make a quality leap, which only the Holy Spirit, gift of the Risen One, could elicit.
At the beginning of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, we hear Peter state frankly, with courage, with frankness: “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses” (Acts 2:32). As if to say: “I show my face for Him. I give my life for Him.” And then he would give his life for Him. From that moment, the proclamation that Christ has risen has spread everywhere and reached every corner of the earth, becoming the message of hope for all. Jesus’ Resurrection says to us that life, not death, has the last word. By resurrecting His Only-Begotten Son, God the Father manifested fully His love and His mercy for humanity of all times.
If Christ is resurrected, it’s possible to look at every event of our existence with trust, even the most difficult and full of anguish and uncertainty. Here is the Easter message that we are called to proclaim, with words and, especially, with the witness of our life. May this news be able to resonate in our homes and in our hearts: “Christ, my hope, is risen!” (Easter Sequence). May this certainty reinforce the faith of every baptized person and encourage especially all those facing great sufferings and difficulties.
May the Virgin Mary, silent witness of the Death and Resurrection of her Son Jesus, help us to believe firmly in this mystery of salvation <that>, received with faith, can change our life. This is the Easter greeting I renew to all. I entrust it to Her, our Mother, whom we now invoke with the Regina Caeli prayer.[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Regina Caeli
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We heard that the women gave the disciples the proclamation of Jesus’ Resurrection. Today I would like to recall with you how much many women do, also in this time of health emergency, to take care of others: women doctors, nurses, agents of the forces of order and of prisons, employees of stores of goods of basic needs . . . and so many mothers and sisters and grandmothers that are shut-in at home with the whole family, with children, elderly and disabled persons. Sometimes they are at risk of suffering violence for living together, of which they bear too great a weight. Let us pray for them; may the Lord give them the strength and may our communities be able to support them together with their families. May the Lord give us the courage of the women to go forward always.
In this Easter week I wish to remember with closeness and affection all the countries severely affected by the Coronavirus, some with great numbers of infected and deceased, especially Italy, the United States of America, Spain, France . . . the list is long. I pray for all of them. And don’t forget that the Pope prays for you, is close to you.
I renew my heartfelt Easter greeting to all. Let us remain united in prayer and in the commitment to help one another as brothers. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye.[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]