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Regina Coeli Address: On Divine Mercy Sunday

‘On this Second Sunday of Easter, We Are Invited to Approach Christ with Faith, Opening Our Hearts to Peace, to Joy and to the Mission’

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, before and after praying the midday Regina Coeli with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

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Before the Regina Coeli:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

Today’s Gospel (Cf. John 20:19-31) tells us that on the day of Easter Jesus appeared to His disciples in the Cenacle, in the evening, bringing three gifts: peace, joy, and the apostolic mission.

 The first words He says are: “Peace be with you” (v. 21). The Risen One brings genuine peace because, through His sacrifice on the cross, He realized the reconciliation between God and humanity and vanquished sin and death. This is peace. His disciples first had need of this peace because, after the Master’s capture and condemnation to death, they were plunged in dismay and fear. Jesus appears alive in their midst and, showing His wounds — Jesus willed to keep His wounds –, in His glorious body; He gives peace as fruit of His victory. However, that evening Thomas wasn’t present. Informed about this extraordinary event he, incredulous before the testimony of the other Apostles, wants to verify in person the truth of what they affirmed. Eight days later, namely, in fact as today, the apparition is repeated: Jesus meets with Thomas’ incredulity, inviting him to touch his wounds. They constitute the source of peace because they are the sign of Jesus’ immense love, which has defeated the forces hostile to man, namely sin and death. He invites him to touch His wounds. It’s a teaching for us as if Jesus said to all of us: “If you’re not in peace, touch my wounds.”

To touch Jesus’ wounds, which are the many problems, difficulties, persecutions, and sicknesses of so many suffering people. Are you not in peace? Go, go visit someone, who is the symbol of Jesus’ wound. Touch Jesus’ wound. Mercy flows from those wounds. Therefore, today is the Sunday of Mercy, which comes to all of us through <His> wounds. All of us, we know, are in need of mercy. Let us approach Jesus and touch His wounds in our suffering brothers. Jesus’ wounds are a treasure: mercy flows from there. Let us be courageous and touch Jesus’ wounds. He is before the Father with these wounds, He makes the Father see them as if to say: “Father, this is the price, these wounds are what I have paid for my brothers.” Jesus intercedes, with His wounds, before the Father. He gives us mercy if we approach Him, and intercedes for us. Do not forget Jesus’ wounds.

The second gift that the Risen Jesus brings to His disciples is joy. The evangelist says that “the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord” (v. 20). And, in Luke’s version, there is also a verse that says they couldn’t believe because of their joy. It also comes to us when, perhaps, when something incredible, good happens to us, to say: “I can’t believe it, it’s not true!” The disciples were like this, they couldn’t believe because of <their> joy. This is the joy that Jesus brings us. If you are sad, if you aren’t in peace, look at Jesus crucified, look at Jesus Risen, look at his wounds and seize that joy.

And then, in addition to peace and joy, Jesus also brings the mission as gift to the disciples. He says to them: “As the Father has sent me, even so, I send you” (v. 21). Jesus’ Resurrection is the beginning of a new dynamism of love, capable of transforming the world with the presence of the Holy Spirit.

On this Second Sunday of Easter, we are invited to approach Christ with faith, opening our heart to peace, to joy, and to the mission. However, let us not forget Jesus’ wounds, because from there issues peace, joy and the strength for the mission. We entrust this prayer to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and earth.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

 

After the Regina Coeli:

 Dear brothers and sisters,

Proclaimed Blesseds yesterday in La Rioja, Argentina, were Enrique Angel Angelelli, diocesan Bishop; Carlos de Dios Murias, Conventual Franciscan; Gabriel Longueville, fidei donum priest, and Wenceslao Pedernera, catechist, father of a family. These martyrs of the faith were persecuted for the cause of justice and evangelical charity. May their example and intercession support, in particular, all those who work for a more just and solidary society. One of them was French; he went to Argentina as a missionary. The other three were Argentines. Let us applaud all the new Blesseds!

I invite you to join my prayer for the refugees that are in detention centers in Libya, whose situation, already very grave, is made even more dangerous by the on-going conflict. I make an appeal so that the women, the children and the sick, can be evacuated soonest through humanitarian corridors.

And let us pray also for all those that lost their lives or suffered serious damages due to the recent floods in South Africa. May our solidarity and also the concrete support of the International Community not be lacking these brothers of ours.

I greet you all, Roman faithful and pilgrims from Italy and many countries, in particular, the faithful of Tlalnepantla (Mexico); the young people of Valencia, the students of Tricase, the adolescents of Arcore and those of Carugo; the faithful of Modugno and of Genoa. A special greeting goes to the diocesan pilgrimage of the families of the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie, as well as the devotees of the Divine Mercy, gathered today in the church of the Holy Spirit in Sassia.

My warm wishes go to our brothers and sisters in the Oriental Churches that, in keeping with the Julian calendar, celebrate Holy Easter today. May the Risen Lord give them joy and peace! And an applause also for all Eastern Catholics and Orthodox, to say to them: Happy Easter!”

Finally, I thank all those who, in this period, have sent me messages of good wishes for Easter. I return them to them from my heart, invoking every good for each one and for every family.

A happy Sunday to all! And, please, don’t forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

About Virginia Forrester

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