Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pope Benedict Talks About Divine Mercy at Today's Angelus

Thanks again to the Ratzinger Forum for the translation. More pics are available here also.

Dear brothers and sisters: During the Jubilee Year of 2000, the beloved Servant of God John Paul II decreed that in the whole Church the Sunday after Easter, also called Domenica in Albis (White Sunday), should also be designated as Divine Mercy Sunday. This came about together with the canonization of Faustina Kowalska, the humble Polish nun (1905-1938) who was a zealous messenger of the Merciful Jesus. Mercy is really the nucleus of the Gospel message - it is the name of God himself, the face with which he revealed himself in the Old Alliance and fully in Jesus Christ, the incarnation of creative and redemptive love.

This merciful love also illuminates the face of the Church, and is manifested both through the Sacraments, particularly that of Reconciliation, and through works of charity, individual and communal. Everything that the Church says and does shows the mercy that God has for man. When the Church needs to remind the faithful about a misunderstood truth, or a virtue that has been betrayed, it always does so with merciful love, so that men may have life and have it in abundance (cfr Jn 10,10). It is from divine mercy, which pacifies hearts, that peace in the world will come, peace among different peoples, cultures adn religions. Like Sister Faustina, John Paul II became in his turn the apostle of Divine Mercy.

That unforgettable evening of April 2, 2005, when he closed his eyes to this world, was the eve of the second Sunday of Easter, and many noted the singular coincidence that the date united in itself the Marian dimension, being the first Saturday of the month, and that of Divine Mercy. In fact, his long and multiform Pontificate also has that at its nucleus: his entire mission in the service of the truth about God and man and of peace in the world, is summarized in the message that he gave in Cracow-Lagiewniki in 2002, when he inaugurated the Shrine of Divine Mercy: "Beyond the mercy of God, there is no other source of hope for human beings". His message, like that of Sr. Faustina, leads us to the face of Christ, supreme revelation of God's mercy.

To contemplate that face constantly is the legacy he has left us, and which we have welcomed joyfully and have made our own. In the next few days, there will be much reflection on Divine Mercy at the first World Apostolic Congress on Divine Mercy in Rome, which will open with a Mass which, God willing,

I will preside over on Wednesday morning, April 2, on the third anniversary of the pious death of the Servant of God John Paul II. Let us place the Congress under the heavenly protection of Mary, our most Blessed Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy).

To her, let us entrust the great cause of peace in the world, so that God's mercy may fulfill what is impossible through men's efforts alone, and instill in men's hearts the courage for dialog and reconciliation.

After the prayers, he said:

I address my heartfelt greetings to the many pilgrims who are gahtered today in St. Peter's Square, and particularly to those who took part in the Holy Mass celebrated at the church of the Holy Spirit in Sassia by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, on the occasion of this feast of Divine Mercy. Dear brothers and sisters, may the intercession of St. Faustina and the Servant of God John Paul II help you to be authentic witnesses to merciful love. As an example to imitate, I am happy to cite Mother Celestina Donati, founder of the Congregation of the Poor Daughters of St. Joseph Calasanzio, who will be proclaimed Blessed in Florence today.

In English, he said:

I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors here today. This Sunday’s Gospel reminds us that through faith we recognize the presence of the Risen Lord in the Church, and that we receive from him the gift of the Holy Spirit. During this Easter season may we strengthen our desire to bear witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ calling us to a life of peace and joy. Upon each of you present and your families, I invoke God’s blessings of happiness and wisdom. In Polish, he had a special message: I greet all the Polish pilgrims, but in particular, the faithful who are gathered at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Cracow-Lagiewniki. I entrust your personal concerns and the affairs of the Church in Poland to the Mercy of God. May the peace brought to us by the Risen Lord be always in your hearts. God bless you.

No comments: