.- Sunday, thousands of pilgrims flocked to St. Peter's square on a hot April day to hear the Holy Father speak at his weekly Regina Caeli address. The Pope drew attention to the importance of this first Sunday after Easter, reminding those present that it "is traditionally called White Sunday."
However, he continued, “my venerable predecessor, Servant of God John Paul II, who died just after the first vespers of this feast” changed its name to Divine Mercy Sunday.
"This Sunday . . . concludes the week, or, more properly, the Octave of Easter," the Pope said, highlighting the fact that "the liturgy considers [the Octave] like one day, 'the Day the Lord has made.'"
By raising Christ from the dead, "the Creator Spirit . . . has completed the work of creation, giving a 'primacy' at the beginning: the primacy of a new humanity that, at the same time, is the primacy of a new world and a new era."
According to His Holiness, this primacy can be summed up in the words "that the risen Jesus pronounced as a greeting, and as an announcement of His victory to His disciples, "Peace be with you." Peace, in the Holy Father's view, "is the gift that Christ left to His friends, as a blessing destined to all men and all people."
The Pope, however, was quick to point out that "this is not peace according to the world's mindset, an equilibrium of forces, but a new reality, the fruit of the Love of God." This peace is none other than "the peace that Jesus Christ purchased with the price of His Blood, and that is given to all who confide in Him, "Jesus I trust in you."
Before closing and praying the Regina Caeli with the pilgrims, the Pope ended with a prayer to Mary, the "Mater Misericordiae, the mother of Jesus, Who is the incarnation of Divine Mercy." He asked for her help to "let us allow ourselves to be renewed in the Spirit to cooperate in the work of Peace that God is completing in the world."