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Monday, April 16, 2012


Vatican City, 15 April 2012 (VIS) - Before praying the Regina Coeli this morning, Benedict XVI reminded the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square that today, the second Sunday of Easter, is known as Divine Mercy Sunday.

In His two apparitions to the disciples gathered in the Upper Room, Jesus often repeated the greeting "peace be with you". Following the resurrection, the Pope explained, this traditional salute became "the gift of that peace which only Jesus can give, because it is the fruit of His victory over evil. The 'peace' which Jesus offered His friends is the fruit of the love of God, which led Him to die on the cross and to spill His blood as a mild and humble Lamb 'full of grace and truth'. This is why Blessed John Paul II chose to dedicate the Sunday after Easter to Divine Mercy".

From the risen and living Christ "come the Paschal Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist. Those who receive these Sacraments receive the gift of eternal life", said the Holy Father. He also noted how Christian worship is essentially "a meeting with the risen Lord, Who lives in the dimension of God, beyond time and space, yet at the same time is truly present in the community. He speaks to us of Sacred Scripture and breaks with us the Bread of eternal life. Through these signs we have the same experience as the disciples: to see Jesus and at the same time not to recognise Him".

In conclusion the Pope invited believers to welcome the gift offered by the risen Christ. "Let us allow our hearts to be filled by His Mercy", he said. "In this way, with the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit which caused Jesus to arise from the dead, we too can take these Paschal gifts to others".

Following the Marian prayer, the Pope told the faithful: "On Thursday, the seventh anniversary of my election to the Chair of Peter, I ask you to pray for me, that the Lord may give me the strength to carry out the mission with which He has entrusted me".

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