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Divine Mercy Sunday 2010


Papa Benedict XVI's words, before the Regina Caeli:

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

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Sunday concludes the Octave of Easter. It is a unique day "made by the Lord", distinguished by the outstanding event of the Resurrection and the joy of the disciples at seeing Jesus. Since antiquity this Sunday has been called in albis from the Latin name, alba, which was given to the white vestments the neophytes put on for their Baptism on Easter night and took off 8 days later, that is, today. Venerable John Paul II entitled this same Sunday "Divine Mercy Sunday" on the occasion of the canonization of Sr Mary Faustina Kowalska on 30 April 2000.

The Gospel passage from St John (20: 19-31) is full of mercy and divine goodness. It recounts that after the Resurrection Jesus visited his disciples, passing through the closed doors of the Upper Room. St Augustine explains that "the shutting of doors presented no obstacle to the matter of that body, wherein the Godhead resided. He indeed could enter without their being opened, by whose birth the virginity of his mother remained inviolate"; and St Gregory the Great added that after his Resurrection the Redeemer appeared with a Body by its nature incorruptible and tangible, but in a state of glory. Jesus showed the signs of his Passion even to the point of allowing doubting Thomas to touch him; but how can a disciple possibly doubt? Actually God's indulgence enables us to profit even from Thomas' disbelief, as well as from the believing disciples. Indeed, in touching the Lord's wounds, the hesitant disciple not only heals his own diffidence but also ours.

The visit of the Risen One is not limited to the space of the Upper Room but goes beyond it, to the point that all can receive the gift of peace and life with the "creative Breath". In fact Jesus said twice to his disciples, ""Peace be with you." And he added, "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." Having said this he breathed on them, saying "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." This is the mission of the Church, eternally assisted by the Paraclete: to bear the Good News, the joyful reality of God's merciful love, in order, as St John says, "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name" (20: 31).

In the light of these words I encourage, in particular, all Pastors to follow the example of the holy Curé d'Ars, who "in his time... was able to transform the hearts and the lives of so many people because he enabled them to experience the Lord's merciful love. Our own time urgently needs a similar proclamation and witness to the truth of Love" (Letter inaugurating the Year for Priests, 16 June 2009). In this way we shall make increasingly familiar and close the One whom our eyes have not seen but of whose infinite Mercy we are absolutely certain. Let us ask the Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, to sustain the Church's mission and invoke her exulting with joy: Regina Caeli....

BXVI - Castel Gandolfo, Divine Mercy Sunday, 11 April 2010 - © Copyright 2010 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Divine Mercy Sunday:

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