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On Divine Mercy

"A New Reality, Fruit of the Love of God"

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 16, 2007 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today before reciting the Regina Caeli with the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

To all of you I renew the wish for a happy Easter, on the Sunday that closes the octave of Easter and is traditionally called Sunday "in Albis." This Sunday is also called Divine Mercy Sunday according to the wish of my venerable predecessor, the Servant of God John Paul II, who died right after the first vespers of this celebration.

On this singular occasion this morning I celebrated, in St. Peter's Square, a holy Mass, accompanied by cardinals, bishops, and priests, by the faithful of Rome and many pilgrims, who wanted to be close to the Pope, on the eve of his 80th birthday. From the depths of my heart I renew my most sincere thanks, which I extend to the whole Church, which, like a true family, especially in these days, surrounds me with its affection.

This Sunday -- as I said -- ends the week or, more precisely, the "octave" of Easter, which the liturgy considers a single day: "the day the Lord has made" (Psalm 117:24). It is not a chronological but a spiritual time that God has opened in the fabric of days when he raised Christ from the dead. The Creator Spirit, breathing the new and eternal life into the interred body of Jesus of Nazareth, brought the work of creation to its completion, bringing about a "first fruit"; a first fruit of a new humanity that is at the same time the first fruit of a new world and a new era.

This renewal of the world can be summed up in a word: the same word that the risen Jesus pronounced as a greeting, and much more as an announcement of his victory to his disciples: "Peace be with you!" (Luke 24:36; John 20:19,21,26). Peace is the gift that Jesus left to his friends (cf. John 2:27) as a benediction that was destined for all people and all nations.

It is not a peace according to the mentality of the "world," as a balance of power, but it is a new reality, fruit of the love of God, of his mercy. It is the peace that Jesus Christ earned at the price of his blood and that he communicates to those who trust in him. "Jesus, I trust in you": In these words the faith of the Christian is summed up, a faith in the omnipotence of the merciful love of God.

Dear brothers and sisters, as I thank you again for your spiritual nearness on the occasion of my birthday and the anniversary of my election as the Successor of Peter, I entrust all of you to Mary "Mater Misericordiae," Mother of Jesus who is the incarnation of Divine Mercy.

With her help let us be renewed by the Spirit to cooperate in the work of peace that God is accomplishing in the world and that does not make noise, but that is realized in the countless acts of charity of all its sons.

[Afterward the Holy Father greeted the English-speaking pilgrims with the following words:]

To the English-speaking pilgrims I offer warm greetings of Easter joy. In today's Gospel, the Lord Jesus extends to us the gift of his peace. May this peace fill your hearts and inspire you to spread the Good News of his resurrection. I thank you for your prayerful presence. A Happy Easter to all!

© Copyright 2007 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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Keywords

Pope, Benedict, Regina, Caeli, Easter, Lent

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