Pope Benedict XVI highlighted the importance of Divine Mercy devotion
before praying the Regina Caeli with more than 50,000 individuals
gathered in St. Peter’s Square on the event of the Divine Mercy
He stressed that devotion to Divine Mercy is “an integral dimension
of a Christian’s faith and prayer”.
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
This Sunday the Gospel of John recounts that the risen Jesus appeared
to his disciples, gathered in the cenacle, on the evening of the
"first day of the week" (John 20:19), and that he showed
himself to them again in the same place "eight days later"
From the beginning, therefore, the Christian community began to
live a weekly rhythm, highlighted by the encounter with the risen
It is what is also emphasized by the Second Vatican Council's constitution
on the sacred liturgy, which affirms: "The Church, by an apostolic
tradition, which has its origin in the same day of the resurrection
of Christ, celebrates the paschal mystery every eight days, on the
day that is called with reason 'day of the Lord' or Sunday"
("Sacrosanctum Concilium," No. 106).
The evangelist also recalls that in both apparitions the Lord Jesus
showed the disciples the signs of the crucifixion, very visible
and tangible also in his glorious body (cf. John 20:20,27). Those
sacred wounds, in the hands, the feet and the side, are an inexhaustible
source of faith, hope and love in which each one can drink, especially
souls most thirsty of Divine Mercy.
In consideration of this, the Servant of God John Paul II, valuing
the spiritual experience of a humble religious, St. Faustina Kowalska,
wanted the Sunday after Easter to be dedicated in a special way
to divine mercy, and providence disposed that he should die precisely
on the vigil of that day (in the hands of Divine Mercy).
The mystery of the merciful love of God was at the center of the
pontificate of my venerated predecessor. Let us recall, in particular,
the encyclical "Dives in Misericordia" of 1980, and the
dedication of the new shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow, in 2002.
The words he pronounced on that last occasion were as a synthesis
of his magisterium, evidencing that devotion to Divine Mercy is
not a secondary, but an integral dimension of a Christian's faith
May Mary most holy, mother of the Church, whom we now address with
the Regina Caeli, obtain for all Christians to live in fullness
Sunday as the "week's Easter," relishing the beauty of
the encounter with the risen Lord and drinking from the source of
his merciful love, to be apostles of his peace.
[After praying the Regina Caeli, the
Pope greeted pilgrims in eight languages. In English, he said:]
I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors
present for this Regina Caeli. Today's Gospel portrays the risen
Christ as the bearer of peace, granting the Church the power to
forgive sins. On this, the second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy
Sunday, may God's blessings of reconciliation and peace be with