.- Today, at midday, Pope Benedict XVI marked Easter Monday with the praying of the Regina Coeli, the Marian prayer which replaces the Angelus during the Easter Season. Speaking from his balcony at Castelgandolfo, the Pope reminded the faithful that those who have encountered the resurrected Christ and who believe, have nothing to fear.
After presiding over Easter Morning Mass yesterday in St. Peter’s Square and following a long week of liturgies and prayers, the Holy Father departed for the Papal retreat in the small village near Rome. He will remain at Castelgandolfo until Saturday.
The Holy Father offered a short reflection and prayed with those pilgrims gathered under his window as well as those gathered in St. Peter’s Square, who had an Audio/Video link to the Pope.
Prior to leading the group in prayer, the Pontiff of Rome recalled that Church’s “liturgy commits not only one day, but a good fifty days, to the Easter season, which concludes with Pentecost.”
The Holy Father also recalled the particular significance of Easter Sunday, which the Church considers to be spread across an entire week, forming the Octave of Easter.
Today’s liturgy, he continued, calls us to the tomb where Jesus appeared to those women who remained with him during His Passion, and tells us, like them “Do not be afraid.”
“Those who encounter the resurrected Jesus and who entrust themselves totally to Him have nothing to fear,” the Pope said. This is the message which Christians are called to spread to the ends of the earth.”
The Christian faith, in fact, was born “in the encounter with one person, with Christ who died and rose again. In our daily existence, dear friends, there are several occasions to communicate to others our faith in a simple and convincing way. And it is never more urgent that men and women in our age know and encounter Jesus, and thanks also to our example, are left to be overcome by Him.”
The Christian tradition loves to consider Mary in these first moments of resurrection, the Pope noted, as “the Mother of the Redeemer rejoices with the ‘friends’ of Jesus, who make up the newly born Church. As I renew my heartfelt Easter greetings to all of you, I invoke Her, the Queen of Heaven (Regina Coeli), to preserve the living faith in the resurrection in each of us and to restore the message of hope and love of the resurrected Christ.”
Following the Regina Coeli, the Pope greeted the faithful in several diverse languages.