VATICAN CITY, 19 APR 2009 (VIS) - At midday today, the second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Benedict XVI prayed the Regina Coeli with faithful gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo.
The Pope expressed his thanks for greetings he had received over the last few days, both for his birthday, 16 April, and for the fourth anniversary of his election as Pontiff, which falls today 19 April.
"As I had the opportunity to reiterate recently", he remarked, "I never feel alone. And in this special week, which for the liturgy constitutes a single day, I have enjoyed an even greater experience of the communion that surrounds and supports me: a spiritual solidarity, nourished primarily by prayer, that express itself in a thousand different ways. From my collaborators in the Roman Curia to the most far-flung parishes, we Catholics form a family and must feel ourselves to be such, animated by the same sentiments as the first Christian community".
The Holy Father went on to recall how the communion of early Christians "had the risen Christ as its centre and foundation. In fact, the Gospel recounts how at the monument of the Passion, when the divine Master was arrested and condemned to death, the disciples scattered. ... Having risen, Jesus gave His followers a new unity, stronger than before, invincible, because founded not upon human resources but upon divine mercy which made them all feel loved and forgiven by Him. It is, then, the merciful love of God that unites the Church, yesterday as today, and makes humankind a single family".
"Animated by this profound conviction, my beloved predecessor John Paul II wished to dedicate this Sunday, the second of Easter, to Divine Mercy, and to show everyone the risen Christ as their source of faith and hope, accepting the spiritual message transmitted by the Lord to St. Faustina Kowalska, a message encapsulated in the invocation: 'Jesus, in You I trust'".