Pope Benedict prayed the Regina Caeli on Easter Monday from the Pontifical residence at Castel Gandolfo, where he traveled following Sunday's Easter celebrations at the Vatican. During his address before the prayer, he called the faithful to become announcers of God's love.
The Holy Father explained the significance of “Angel's Monday,” as the day following Easter Sunday is traditionally called in Italy, before the recitation of the Marian prayer at noon.
Contemplating the term "angel" during this time of Easter, observed the Pope, our thought goes immediately to Christ's tomb and the announcement by one or two angels that “He is risen,” as recounted in the Gospels.
"But," he added, "the Angel of the resurrection also recalls another meaning."
Besides being applicable to the "spiritual creatures endowed with intelligence and will, servants and messengers of God, it is also one of the oldest titles attributed to Jesus himself," the Pope taught, citing Tertullian's words that Christ is the announcer of the "great design of the Father for the restoration of man."
As the Angel of the Father, Jesus Christ "is the Messenger par excellence of his love," he pointed out.
Pope Benedict went on to explain that the risen Christ's words to the Apostles, "As the Father has sent me, so I send you," mean that we must emulate Jesus' role as the "announcer of the love of God the Father" and "also be this of the love of Christ" as "we are messengers of his resurrection, of his victory over evil and death, carriers of his divine love."
We receive this "mission" through Baptism and Confirmation, he continued, saying that it is referred in a special way to priests as "ministers of Christ."
The Holy Father concluded by invoking the assistance of the Queen of Heaven, so we are able to fully welcome "the grace of the paschal mystery and become courageous and joyous messengers of the resurrection of Christ."
The message and prayer were broadcast from Castel Gandolfo simultaneously through the large screens and speakers of St. Peter's Square.