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Monday, April 23, 2012


Vatican City, 22 April 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, the third Sunday of Easter, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square below. Before the Marian prayer, the Pope dedicated some remarks to the signs the Risen Christ gave His disciples as they, "startled and terrified, thought they were seeing a ghost".

"The resurrection", the Holy Father explained, "did not cancel the signs of the crucifixion. Jesus showed the Apostles His hands and feet; in order to convince them He even asked for something to eat. ... Thanks to these very realistic signs, the disciples overcame their initial doubt and opened to the gift of the faith, a faith which enabled them to understand the things written about Christ 'in the law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms'. ... The Saviour assures us of His real presence among us through the Word and the Eucharist and, just as the disciples of Emmaus recognised Jesus in the breaking of the bread, so we too meet the Lord in the celebration of the Eucharist".

Finally the Holy Father recalled that during the period of Easter it is customary for the Church to administer First Communion to children. In this context, he exhorted pastors, parents and catechists "to prepare this feast of the faith well, with great fervour but also with sobriety".

Following the Regina Coeli the Holy Father mentioned yesterday's beatification in Mexico of Maria Ines Teresa of the Blessed Sacrament Arias Espinosa, foundress of the Poor Clare Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. "Let us give thanks to God for this exemplary figure of Mexico, a land I had the joy of visiting and which is always in my heart", he said,

Finally the Pope turned his attention to the Day of the Sacred Heart Catholic University, which is being celebrated this Sunday in Italy on the theme: "The Future of the Country in the Hearts of the Young". He said: "It is important for young people to be educated in values, over and above scientific and technical knowledge. It was for this reason that Fr. Gemelli founded the Catholic University, which I hope will remain abreast of the times but also faithful to its origins".

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