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Divine Mercy Sunday 2005

Pope John Paul II died peacefully on the evening of 2 April, 9:37 pm Rome time. The last gift of the Holy Father for Divine Mercy Sunday, 3 April (also the Second Sunday of Easter), was the Regina Caeli, read by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, Substitute of the Secretariat of State, at the end of the Holy Mass celebrated that day in St Peter's Square for the deceased Pope. "I have been charged", Archbishop Sandri said, "to read you the text that was prepared in accordance with his explicit instructions by the Holy Father John Paul II. I am deeply honoured to do so, but also filled with nostalgia."

Pope Saint John Paul II's words prepared for the Regina Caeli
Sunday 3rd April 2005 - in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. Today the glorious Alleluia of Easter resounds. Today's Gospel from John underlines that the Risen Jesus, on the evening of that day, appeared to the Apostles and "showed them his hands and his side" (Jn 20: 20), that is, the signs of the sorrowful passion with which his Body was indelibly stamped, even after the resurrection. These glorious wounds, which he allowed the incredulous Thomas to touch eight days later, reveal the mercy of God who "so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (Jn 3: 16).

This mystery of love is at the heart of today's liturgy for Sunday in Albis, dedicated to the devotion of Divine Mercy.

2. To humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, of selfishness and fear, the Risen Lord offers as a gift his love which pardons, reconciles and reopens the soul to hope. It is a love which converts hearts and gives peace. What great need the world has to understand and accept Divine Mercy!

Lord, who by your death and resurrection reveal the love of the Father , we believe in You and with confidence repeat to you this day: Jesus, I trust in You, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world.

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