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Online Edition - April 2006

Vol. XII, No. 2

Pope John Paul II

+ April 2, 2005

Regina Cæli Message for Feast of Divine Mercy

Second Sunday of Easter, April 3, 2005

Pope John Paul II died on the evening of April 2, at 9:37 pm, as thousands of the faithful prayed the Rosary in Saint Peter’s Square — thus ending a reign of more than a quarter century. The Holy Father‘s last gift to the Church was the Regina Caeli Message he had written in advance for Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3 (the Second Sunday of Easter). This brief message was read by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, of the Secretariat of State, at the end of the Mass celebrated on that day in Saint Peter’s Square for the deceased pope; and it was recently quoted by Pope Benedict XVI. We reprint this message on the first anniversary of the death of the beloved pope, who is pictured at left praying in the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis during his visit to that city in January 1999. -- editor

***

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today the glorious Alleluia of Easter resounds. Today’s Gospel from John emphasizes that on the evening of that day He appeared to the apostles and “showed them His hands and His side” (John 20:20), that is, the signs of the painful passion with which His Body was indelibly stamped, even after the Resurrection. Those glorious wounds, which He allowed doubting Thomas to touch eight days later, reveal the mercy of God who “so loved the world that He gave His only Son”. (John 3:16)

This mystery of love is at the heart of the liturgy today, the Second Sunday of Easter, dedicated to the devotion of Divine Mercy.

As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness and fear, the Risen Lord offers His love that pardons, reconciles and reopens hearts to love. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!

Lord, who reveals the Father’s love by your death and Resurrection, we believe in you and confidently repeat to you today:  Jesus, I trust in you, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world.

The liturgical solemnity of the Annunciation that we will be celebrating tomorrow urges us to contemplate with Mary’s eyes the immense mystery of this merciful love that flows from the Heart of Christ. With her help, we will be able to understand the true meaning of Easter joy that is based on this certainty: the One whom the Virgin bore in her womb, who suffered and died for us, is truly risen. Alleluia!

***

“John Paul II died as he had always lived,
animated by the indomitable courage of faith, giving
himself up to God and entrusting
himself to Mary Most Holy....

“His heritage is immense, but the message of his long
pontificate can be summarized in the words with which he chose to open it, here in St. Peter's Square on

October 22, 1978:
‘Open wide the doors to Christ!’”

-- Pope Benedict XVI
Angelus message , April 2, 2006

***

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