Pope Benedict's Easter Monday Message From Castel Gandolfo
The real reason for this holiday is the Resurrection of Our Lord
Pope Benedict XVI prayed the Regina coeli with the faithful gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic retreat in Castel Gandolfo on Easter Monday - a bright, crisp, clear day, with an April breeze stirring the air.Easter Monday - a day of rest and recreation in many countries, as the Holy Father noted at the beginning of his remarks to the gathered faithful ahead of the traditional Eastertide prayer of Marian devotion - a day in which people often take leisurely walks in the city, or visit the country, spending precious hours with friends and family.
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (Vatican Radio) - Pope Benedict XVI prayed the Regina coeli with the faithful gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic retreat in Castel Gandolfo on Easter Monday - a bright, crisp, clear day, with an April breeze stirring the air.
Easter Monday - a day of rest and recreation in many countries, as the Holy Father noted at the beginning of his remarks to the gathered faithful ahead of the traditional Eastertide prayer of Marian devotion - a day in which people often take leisurely walks in the city, or visit the country, spending precious hours with friends and family.
The real reason for this holiday, though, is the resurrection of Our Lord - as Pope Benedict called it, "the decisive mystery of our faith."
The Holy Father went on to note that the Gospel writers do not describe the Resurrection, itself. "The event," he said, "remains mysterious - not as something unreal, but as something beyond the reach of our knowledge - as a light so bright the eyes cannot bear it." The narratives begin instead by when, at dawn the day after the Sabbath, the women went to the tomb and found it open and empty.
St. Matthew speaks of an earthquake and a bright angel who rolled away the great tomb stone and sat on it (cf. Mt 28.2). The women, when they had received from the angel the announcement of the resurrection, ran full of fear and joy, to break the news to the disciples - and it was in just that moment that they met Jesus, fell at his feet and worshiped him - and Jesus said to them, "Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee: there shall they see me (Matthew 28:10)."
The Pope went on to note important role that women play in the Gospel accounts of the appearances of the risen Jesus, as also in His passion and death.
"In those days, in Israel," said Pope Benedict, "women's testimony could have no official legal value." Nevertheless, the Pope continued, "women have experienced a special bond with the Lord, which is crucial for the practical life of the Christian community, and this always, in every age, not only at the beginning of the Church's pilgrim journey."
The Holy Father then called the attention of the faithful to Mary, Mother of the Lord: Sublime and exemplary model of this relationship with Jesus, especially in His paschal mystery. Precisely through the transformative experience of the Passover of her Son, the Virgin Mary becomes Mother of the Church, that is, of all believers and of their communities. "May Mary," he concluded, "obtain for us that we too might experience the living presence of the Risen Lord, source of hope and peace."
After the Regina coeli, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims in many languages, including English.
I am pleased to welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims present today for this Regina coeli prayer. Today we continue our solemn Easter celebration, recalling with greater joy than ever our redemption from sin and death in Jesus Christ. May the Risen Lord pour out his grace upon us, and give us the courage to bring the Good News to others. I invoke Easter blessings upon all of you!
The Voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the World
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Lent / Easter News
- 2nd Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
- 1st Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden
- The Lenten Invitation: Making Choices and Changing Ourselves
- Great tips for fasting during Lent from Dr. Denton
- Ash Wednesday Homily of Pope Francis
- The one surprising secret few people know about Lent!
- Aww, who needs Lent anyway?
- Answer the call of Pope Francis this Lenten season
- Lent: A time for spiritual housecleaning
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Easter / Lent
'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading
HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading
On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading
Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading
For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading
Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now
What did you give up for Lent?
From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »
Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 2/26/2015
"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5 WASHINGTON, D.C. ...Continue Reading
Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 2/21/2015
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and ...Continue Reading
Deacon Keith Fournier - Catholic Online, 2/20/2015
With His outstretched arms on the Cross, Jesus freely chose love and bridged the gap between heaven and earth. In His triumph over death he defeated the last enemy and began the new creation. We ...Continue Reading
Dr. Denton D Weiss, MD - Catholic Online, 2/19/2015
When we fast, we live largely on fluids. In doing so we are given the cleansing, perfect touch of God. In our separation from the consumable bounties of this world we are given insights into living ...Continue Reading
On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.
In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations
'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35
Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.
Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
Learn More »