Vatican City, Apr 2, 2005 / 22:00 pm
A message by Pope John Paul II for Divine Mercy Sunday, written prior to his death, was read today at the at the end of the first funeral mass celebrated for the pontiff.
Archbishop Leonardo Sandri read the text before the recitation of the Regina Coeli, which during the Easter season replaces the Angelus.
The feast of Divine Mercy, celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter, was dear to the pontiff, who instituted the feast day several years ago
"To all of mankind, who so often seems lost and dominated by the power of evil, egoism and fear, the Risen Lord offers as a gift His love, which pardons, reconciles and opens the soul again to hope,” the Pope had written. “It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How the world needs to understand and welcome Divine Mercy!”