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Maundy Thursday

In the Vatican, the Chrism Mass is celebrated on the morning of Holy Thursday.
The Mass of the Last Supper is celebrated on the evening of Holy Thursday -
5th Luminous Mystery of the Rosary
With the washing of feet & the institution of the Eucharist begins the Holy Triduum.

Pope Francis's words in: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, Jubilee of Mercy 2016, 2015, 2014 & Year of Faith 2013
Benedict XVI's words in: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 & 2006
St John Paul II's words in: 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1980 & 1979.

The Easter Triduum during the Jubilee of Mercy

Catechesis by Pope Francis
General Audience, Wednesday 23 March 2016, St Peter's Sqaure - in Arabic, Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear Bothers and Sisters, Good morning,
Our reflection on the mercy of God introduces us today to the Easter Triduum. We will live Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday as powerful moments that allow us to enter ever further into the great mystery of our faith: the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Everything in these three days speaks of mercy, because it makes visible the extent of God’s love. We will listen to the account of the final days of Jesus’ life. John the Evangelist offers us the key to understanding its profound meaning: “having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (Jn 13:1). The love of God has no bounds. As St Augustine often repeated, it is a love that goes “to the end without end”. God truly offers all of himself for each of us and holds nothing back. The Mystery which we adore in this Holy Week is a great history of love which knows no obstacles. The Passion of Jesus lasts until the end of the world, because it is a story of sharing in the suffering of all humanity and a permanent presence in the events of the private life of each of us. Indeed, the Easter Triduum is the commemoration of a drama of love which gives us the certainty that we will never be abandoned in life’s trials.

On Holy Thursday Jesus institutes the Eucharist, anticipating in the Passover banquet his sacrifice on Golgotha. In order to make the Apostles understand the love which enlivens him he washes their feet, offering once again in the first person the example of how they must act. The Eucharist is the love that becomes service. It is the sublime presence of Christ who wishes to relieve from hunger every man and woman, especially the weakest, to enable them to undertake a journey of witnessing amid the difficulties of the world. Moreover, in giving himself to us as food, Jesus attests that we must learn to share this nourishment with others so that it may become a true communion of life with those who are in need. He gives himself to us and asks us to dwell in him in order to do likewise.

Good Friday is the culminating moment of love. The death of Jesus, who on the Cross surrenders himself to the Father in order to offer salvation to the entire world, expresses love given to the end, a love without end. A love that seeks to embrace everyone, that excludes no one. A love that extends over time and space: an inexhaustible source of salvation to which each of us, sinners, can draw. If God has shown us his supreme love in the death of Jesus, then we too, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, can and must love one another.

Lastly, Holy Saturday is the day of God’s silence. It must be a day of silence, and we must do everything possible so that for us it may truly be a day of silence, as it was in that time: the day of the silence of God. Jesus laid in the sepulchre shares with all of humanity in the tragedy of death. It is a silence which speaks and expresses love as solidarity with those who have always been neglected, whom the Son of God reaches, filling the emptiness that only the infinite mercy of God the Father can fill.

God is silent, but out of love. On this day, love — that silent love — becomes the expectation of life in the resurrection. Let us think about Holy Saturday: it will do us good to consider the silence of Our Lady, “the Believer”, who awaited the Resurrection in silence. Our Lady will be, for us, the icon of Holy Saturday. Think hard about how Our Lady lived that Holy Saturday; in expectation. It is love that has no doubt, but which hopes in the word of the Lord, that it may be made manifest and resplendent on the day of Easter.

It is all a great mystery of love and mercy. Our words are poor and insufficient to express it fully. We may find helpful the experience of a young woman, not very well known, who wrote sublime pages about the love of Christ. Her name was Julian of Norwich. She was illiterate, this girl who had visions of the passion of Jesus and who then, after becoming a recluse, described, with simple but deep and intense language, the meaning of merciful love. She said: “Then our good Lord asked me: ‘Are you glad that I suffered for you?’. I answered him: ‘Yes, good Lord, and I am most grateful to you; yes, good Lord, may You be blessed’. Then Jesus, our good Lord, said: ‘If you are glad, so too am I. Having suffered the passion for you is for me joy, happiness, eternal bliss; and if I could suffer more I would’”. This is our Jesus, who says to each of us: “If I could suffer more for you, I would”.

How beautiful these words are! They allow us to truly understand the immense and boundless love that the Lord has for each one of us. Let us allow ourselves to be wrapped in this mercy which comes to meet us; and in these days, as we keep our gaze fixed on the passion and death of the Lord, let us receive in our heart his boundless love and, like Our Lady on Saturday, in silence, await the Resurrection."


Je suis heureux de vous accueillir, chers pèlerins de langue française. En ces jours qui nous conduisent vers Pâques, je vous invite à ouvrir grand votre cœur pour accueillir la miséricorde sans limites que Dieu nous offre dans la mort et la résurrection de son Fils ! Bonnes fêtes de Pâques !

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including those from Ireland, Australia, Indonesia, Japan and the United States. With cordial good wishes for a blessed Easter, I invoke upon you and your fmailies the loving mercy of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you all!

Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Brüder und Schwestern deutscher Sprache, besonders an die Gruppe der jungen Teilnehmer der Wallfahrt des Regnum Christi. Wir vertrauen darauf, dass Jesus im Leben eines jeden von uns gegenwärtig ist; deshalb wollen auch wir den Leidenden und Bedürftigen nahe sein. Frohe Ostern.

Saludo cordialmente a los bulliciosos peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los grupos provenientes de España y Latinoamérica. Que en estos días santos, acojamos en nuestro corazón la grandeza del amor divino en el misterio de la Muerte y Resurrección del Señor. Gracias.

Amados peregrinos de língua portuguesa, particularmente o grupo de Filhas de Maria Auxiliadora acompanhadas de educadores vindos de Portugal, Brasil, Angola e Moçambique: Deixai-vos iluminar e transformar pela força da Ressurreição de Cristo, para que as vossas existências se convertam num testemunho da vida que é mais forte do que o pecado e a morte. Um Santo Tríduo Pascal para todos!

أتوجه بتحية حارة للحجاج الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصة القادمين من مصر ومن العراق ومن ‏الشرق ‏الأوسط. إن‏ رحمة الله ومحبته يتجسدان بشكل كامل، لكل واحد منا، في وجه يسوع الذي أحب خاصته حتى ‏المنتهى، وقدم ذاته كي لا يهلك كل من يؤمن بقوة صليبه المخلصة. لنصل من أجل جميع المتألمين كي يحول ‏الرب أحزانهم إلى أفراح،‏ وآلامهم إلى خلاص، وصلبانهم إلى قيامة.‏ ليبارككم الرب جميعا ويحرسكم من ‏الشرير!‏

Pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Kochani, wchodząc z miłością w głębię tajemnic świętego Triduum, pozwólmy się ogarnąć tym miłosierdziem, które wychodzi nam na spotkanie; wpatrując się w mękę i śmierć Pana, przyjmijmy w naszym sercu wspaniałość Jego miłości w oczekiwaniu na zmartwychwstanie. Niech Bóg wam błogosławi!"


"With a heavy heart I have followed the appalling news of the terrorist attacks that happened yesterday in Brussels, which caused many deaths and injuries. I assure my prayers and my closeness to the dear Belgian people, to all the families of the victims and to all the injured. I renew the appeal to all people of good will to join in the unanimous condemnation of these cruel abominations that only cause death, dread or horror. I ask everyone to persevere in prayer and in asking the Lord, in this Holy Week, to comfort suffering hearts and to convert the hearts of these people blinded by cruel fundamentalism, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary. Let us pray: “Hail Mary, ...”. Now in silence, let us pray for the victims, for the injured, for the families and for all the people of Belgium.

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Cari pellegrini di lingua italiana: benvenuti! Sono lieto di accogliere i partecipanti al Congresso UNIV per studenti universitari, promosso dalla Prelatura dell’Opus Dei. Saluto i membri del centro scuola e cultura italiana di Toronto, con il Vescovo Mons. Nicola De Angelis; i partecipanti alla marcia “Montefortiana” di Verona e l’Associazione Giuriste Italiane. La visita alla Città Eterna in occasione del Giubileo della misericordia faccia riscoprire in tutti la gioia del dare, attraverso le opere di misericordia, che riempie il cuore più del ricevere.

Un pensiero speciale rivolgo ai giovani, agli ammalati e agli sposi novelli. Domani inizia il Triduo Pasquale, cuore dell’anno liturgico. Cari giovani, la Pasqua vi faccia riflettere sull’amore di Dio per noi dimostrato con la morte in croce; cari ammalati, il Venerdì Santo vi insegni la pazienza nei momenti bui della croce; e voi, cari sposi novelli, riempite della gioia della Risurrezione la vostra nuova famiglia."