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Pope Francis: “Christ, My Hope, Is Risen!”

© Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

Pope Francis greets the crowd standing on the popemobile surrounded by bodyguards after the Palm Sunday mass at St Peter's square on March 20, 2016 in Vatican.

Diane Montagna - published on 03/28/16

At Easter Monday Regina Caeli, Pope invites Christians to allow their lives to be pervaded by the certainty that Jesus is risen

VATICAN CITY — With the Resurrection, moments of darkness, failure and even sin can be transformed into a new way forward, Pope Francis said today.

Appearing at the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace at midday on Easter Monday to recite the Regina Caeli with faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the pope encouraged the faithful to allow their lives to be pervaded by the certainty that Christ is risen.

After praying the Regina Caeli, he greeted pilgrims and called the faithful to spend five minutes each day, throughout this Easter Week, reading Gospel passages on the Resurrection.

The Regina Caeli [Queen of Heaven] is one of the four seasonal Marian antiphons of the Blessed Virgin Mary, prescribed to be sung or recited in the Liturgy of the Hours at the conclusion of Compline, or night prayer. The Regina Caeli is sung or recited in place of the Angelus during the Easter season, from Holy Saturday through the Saturday of Pentecost.

Here below we publish an English translation of the pope’s address.

Dear brothers and sisters,

Good morning.

On this Monday after Easter, called “Easter Monday” [in Italian: Angel Monday], our hearts are still filled with Easter joy. After the Lenten season, a time of penance and conversion, which the Church lived with particular intensity during the Holy Year of Mercy; after the evocative celebrations of Holy Saturday, we pause today before the empty tomb of Jesus and meditate with wonder and gratitude on the great mystery of the resurrection of the Lord.

Life has conquered death. Mercy and love have triumphed over sin. One needs faith and hope to open to this wondrous new horizon. And we know that faith and hope are God’s gift, and we have to ask for it: “Lord, give me faith. Lord give me hope. We need it so much!”

Let us allow ourselves to be pervaded by the emotion that resonates in the Easter sequence: “Yes, we are certain: Christ is truly risen.” This truth indelibly marked the lives of the apostles who, after the resurrection, saw again the need to follow their Master and, having received the Holy Spirit, went fearlessly to proclaim to everyone what they had seen with their own eyes and personally experienced.

In this Jubilee year, we are called to rediscover and to welcome with particular intensity the comforting announcement of the resurrection. “Christ, my hope, is risen!” If Christ is risen, we can look with renewed eyes and hearts on each event in our lives, even the most negative. The moments of darkness, failure and even sin can be transformed and herald a new path forward. When we have reached the bottom of our misery and weakness, the risen Christ gives us the strength to rise again. If we entrust ourselves to him, his grace saves us. The crucified and risen Lord is the full revelation of mercy, present and at work in history. This is the Easter message that still resonates today and that will resonate throughout the season of Easter until Pentecost.

Mary was the silent witness of the events of Jesus’ passion and resurrection. She stood at the cross: she did not yield to the pain, but her faith made her strong. The flame of hope always kept burning in her broken, maternal heart. Let us ask her to help us also to welcome the Easter proclamation of the resurrection in its fullness, to incarnate it in our concrete daily lives.

May the Virgin Mary give us faith’s certainty that every step suffered along our journey, illumined by the light of Easter, will become a blessing and joy for us and for others, especially for all those who suffer on account of selfishness and indifference.

Let us invoke her, therefore, with faith and devotion, with the Regina Caeli, the prayer that substitutes the Angelus for the entire Easter Season.

Regina caeli…
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia.
Has risen, as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray.

O God, who through the Resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
gave rejoicing to the world,
grant, we pray, that through his Mother, the Virgin Mary,
we may obtain the joy of everlasting life.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Special Greetings after the Regina Caeli

In the continuing Easter climate, I cordially greet all of you pilgrims, who have come from Italy and from various parts of the world to participate in this moment of prayer. Always remember this beautiful expression from the liturgy: “Christ, my hope, is risen!” Let’s say it three times together: “Christ, my hope, is risen!”; “Christ, my hope, is risen!”; “Christ, my hope, is risen!”

May each of you spend this week in which the joy of Christ’s resurrection is prolonged in joy and serenity. To live this time more intensely, it will do us all good each day to read a passage from the Gospel that speaks of the event of the resurrection. In five minutes, not more, one can read a Gospel passage. Remember this!

A blessed and holy Easter to everyone. Please, don’t forget to pray for me.

Have a nice lunch, and arriverderci!

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