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Monday, April 19, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 18, 2004 (VIS) - During reflections this morning with the large crowd of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray the Regina Coeli with him, Pope John Paul reflected on Christ's legacy to us from the Cross of pardon and divine mercy, pointing out that today, the Second Sunday of Easter is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday.

 "From high on the Cross on Good Friday Jesus bequeathed us pardon as His testament: 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do'. Tormented and derided, he invoked mercy on his killers. His open arms and his pierced heart thus became the universal sacrament of the paternal tenderness of God Who offers everyone pardon and reconciliation. The day of His Resurrection, the Lord, appearing to His disciples, greeted them: 'Peace unto you', and He showed them His hands and His side which bore the signs of His passion."

  "Jesus," underscored the Holy Father, "is our peace because He is the perfect sign of Divine Mercy. He infuses in the human heart, which is an abyss always exposed to the temptation of evil, the merciful love of God."

   "Today is Divine Mercy Sunday," said the Pope. "The Lord invites us to bring His peace to everyone, based on His pardon and the remission of sins. This is an extraordinary gift, that He wished to link to the Sacrament of penance and reconciliation. How much mankind needs to feel the efficacy of God's mercy in these times marked by growing uncertainty and violent conflicts!"
ANG/DIVINE MERCY/...            VIS 20040419 (260)

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