.- Today, Pope Benedict prayed the Easter Marian prayer, the “Regina Caeli”, from his residence of Castelgandolfo, where he invited the faithful to be “like living stones, to build the Holy Church.”
“Mary”, said the Pope, “kept in her the heart the ‘Good News’ of the resurrection, thesource and secret of the true joy and real peace that the Dead and Risen Christ conquered for us with the sacrifice on the Cross.”
Moreover, he called on the Blessed Mother “to continue guiding our steps in this time of spiritual joy so that we may always grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord and become witnesses and apostles of His peace.”
Benedict XVI continued his message, affirming that “in the context of Easter, I would like to share with you the joy of an important anniversary. Five hundred years ago—April 18, 1506, to be exact—Pope Julius II laid thefirst stone of the new Basilica of St Peter, [a structure] that the entire world admires for the powerful harmony of its forms”.
Recalling the many Pontiffs who through centuries, contributed to building and decorating of the Basilica,” the Holy Father stressed that this anniversary should reawaken “in every Catholic the desire to be likeliving stones (1 Pt: 2,5) to build the Holy Church in which the ‘light of Christ’ is brightly visible through charity that is lived and witnessed before the world.”
After praying the Regina Caeli, the Pope greeted in different languages the pilgrimswho had gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace. He concluded by giving the Apostolic Blessing.
The Easter Marian prayer was broadcast live via satellite in Saint Peters square, where thousands of faithful were gathered to follow the event on giantscreen.