Bookmark and Share

Divine Mercy Sunday 2004

Blessed John Paul II's words, before the Regina Caeli

- in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

1. From the height of the Cross, on Good Friday Jesus bequeathed to us his testament of forgiveness: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Lk 23: 34). Tortured and mocked, He invoked mercy for his killers. His open arms and pierced side became in this way the universal sacrament of the fatherly tenderness of God, who offers to all forgiveness and reconciliation.

The day of the resurrection the Lord, appearing to his disciples, greeted them thus: "Peace be with you!", and showed them his hands and his side with the marks of the passion. Eight days later, as we read in today's Gospel, Jesus once again came and stood among them in the Upper Room, and once again said to them: "Peace be with you" (cf Jn 20: 19-26).

2. Peace is the gift par excellence of the crucified and risen Christ, the fruit of the victory of his love over sin and death. By offering himself, the immaculate victim of expiation on the altar of the Cross, He poured out on humanity the beneficial flow of Divine Mercy.

Jesus, therefore, is our peace, because He is the perfect manifestation of Divine Mercy. He infuses in the human heart, which is an abyss always exposed to the temptation of evil, the merciful love of God.

3. Today, Sunday in Albis, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. The Lord is also sending us out to bring to everyone his peace, founded on the pardon and remission of sins. This is an extraordinary gift, which He desired to tie to the Sacrament of penance and reconciliation. What great need humanity has to experience the efficacy of God's mercy in these times marked by growing uncertainty and violent conflicts!

May Mary, Mother of Christ our peace, who on Calvary received his testament of love, help us to be witnesses and apostles of his infinite mercy.

I now address a special greeting to the pilgrims from various nations who have gathered here on the occasion of Divine Mercy Sunday. Dear friends, I ask you to be witnesses of God's merciful love, after the example of St Faustina Kowalska.

I wish everyone a good Sunday!

JPII - 18 April 2004

Divine Mercy Sunday:

2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 & the great Jubilee 2000.