At midday today, Monday of the Angel, the Holy Father Francis led the recitation of the prayer of the Regina Caeli from the Library of the Vatican Apostolic Palace. At the end of the Regina Caeli the Pope appeared at the window of his study and imparted his Blessing.
The following are the Pope’s words of introduction to the Marian prayer:
Before the Regina Caeli
Dear brothers and sisters, good day!!
Today, Easter Monday of the Angel, the joyous proclamation of Christ’s resurrection resounds. The Gospel passage (cfr Mt 28:8-15) recounts that the fearful women, leave Jesus’s tomb quickly. They had found it empty. But Jesus Himself appears to them on the way, saying: “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me” (v. 10). With these words, the Risen One entrusts the women with a missionary mandate to the Apostles. In fact, they gave an admirable example of faithfulness, of dedication, of love for Christ during the time of His public life, as well as during His passion. Now they are rewarded by Him with a particular gesture of attention and predilection.
First, the women, then the disciples, and Peter in particular, bear witness to the reality of the resurrection. Jesus had foretold a number of times that, after His passion and cross, He would rise. But the disciples had not understood because they were not yet ready. Their faith had to take a qualitative step forward, which only the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Risen Once, could have provoked.
At the beginning of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, we hear Peter boldly declaring: “God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses” (Acts 2;32). From that moment on, the proclamation that Christ is risen has spread everywhere and has reached every corner of earth, becoming for everyone the message of hope. Jesus’ resurrection tells us that death does not have the last world, life does. In raising His only-begotten Son, God the Father has fully manifested His love and His mercy to humanity for all time.
If Christ has been raised, it is possible to have a hopeful outlook on every event of our existence, even the most difficult ones, those charged with anguish and uncertainty. This is the Easter message that we are called to proclaim with words, and above all through the witness of life. In our homes and in our hearts, may this joyful news resound: “Christ, my hope, is arisen!” (Easter Sequence). This certainty strengthens the faith of every baptised person and above all, encourages those who are facing greater suffering and difficulty.
May Mary, the silent witness of the death and resurrection of Her Son, Jesus, help us to believe strongly in this mystery of salvation, which, welcomed with faith, can change our lives. It is this Easter wish that renews everyone. I entrust it to You, our Mother, whom we now invoke with the prayer, the Regina Caeli.
After the Regina Caeli
Dear brothers and sisters,
We have heard that the women proclaimed Jesus’s Resurrection to the disciples. Today I would like to call to mind the efforts that so many women are making to take care of others, even during this health crisis: women doctors, nurses, members of security forces, and prison guards, employees in stores providing basic necessities…, and many mothers and sisters who are confined to their homes with their entire family, with children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. At times, they are at risk of enduring violence due to a living situation in which they bear a burden that is way too heavy. Let us pray for them, that the Lord might grant them strength, and that our communities might support them together with their families.
I renew my heartfelt Easter greetings to everyone. Let us remain united in prayer and in the commitment to help each other as brothers and sisters.
Enjoy your meal and arrivederci.