At 12 o’clock, from the central loggia of the Vatican Basilica, the Holy Father Francis addressed those present in St. Peter’s Square and to those who listened to him through the radio, television and the new communication technologies, the message that follows:

Dear brothers and sisters,

I renew my best wishes for a Happy Easter to all of you, coming from Italy and from different countries, as well as to those connected through television, radio and other means of communication. The joy and hope of the risen Jesus give comfort to families, especially to the elderly who are the precious memory of society, and to young people who represent the future of the Church and of humanity.

I thank you for your presence on this Easter day, the most important feast of our faith, because it is the feast of our salvation, the feast of God’s love for us. Special thanks for the gift of flowers, which come this year from the Netherlands.

In these Easter days, with the words and with the life, announce the good news that “Jesus and the Risen One”. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Happy Easter lunch and goodbye!

Urbi et Orbi

Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Easter!

Jesus is risen from the dead!

This message resounds in the Church the world over, along with the singing of the Alleluia: Jesus is Lord; the father has raised him and he lives forever in our midst.

Jesus had his death and resurrection using the grain of wheat . He said: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies; but if it dies, it bears much fruit “( Jn 12:24). And this is precisely what happened: Jesus, the grain of wheat sowed by God in the furrows of the earth, died by the sin of the world. He spent two days in the tomb; but his death contained God’s love in his power, released and made manifest on the third day, the day we celebrate today: the Easter of Christ the Lord.

We believe and know that Christ’s resurrection is the true hope of the world. It is the power of the grain of wheat, the power of that love which humbles itself and gives itself to the very end, and thus truly renews the world. This power continues to bear fruit today in the furrows of our history, marked by so many acts of injustice and violence. It bears fruits of hope and dignity where there are deprivation and exclusion, hunger and unemployment, where there are migrants and refugees, and victims of the drug trade, human trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery.

Today we implore fruits of peace from the world, with people who are worn down by an apparently endless war. This Easter, may the light of the risen Christ, illumine the consciences of all political and military leaders, know that a swift end may be brought to the carnage in course, that humanitarian law may be help so urgently needed by our brothers and sisters, while also fitting for the return of the displaced.

We beseech fruits of reconciliation for the Holy Land, also related to these days the wounds of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. May our brothers and sisters in Christ, who are not infrequently put up with injustice and persecution, be radiant witnesses of the risen.

We invoke on this day the fruits of hope for those who are pregnant in the African continent, affected by hunger, endemic conflicts and terrorism. The healthiest in South Sudan and open hearts to dialogue and mutual understanding. Let us forget the victims of that conflict, especially the children! May there be no lack of solidarity with all those forced to leave their native lands and lacking the bare essentials for living.

We implore fruits of dialogue for the Korean peninsula. These people can be supported by the community.

We also beseech fruits of peace for Ukraine.

We also invoke the fruits of consolation for the Venezuelan people, who have been written in their own country. May that nation, from the power of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, find a just, peaceful and humane way to quickly surmount the political and humanitarian crises that grip it. May welcome and assistance to leave their homeland.

May the Risen Christ bring fruits of new life to those children, as a result of wars and hunger, grow up without hope, lacking education and health care; and to those people who are cast off by a selfish culture that ostracizes those who are not “productive”.

We also implore fruits of wisdom for those who have political responsibilities in our world, that are devoted to the pursuit of the common good.

Dear brothers and sisters,

The words heard by the women are also addressed to us: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen “( Lk 24: 5-6). Death, solitude and fear are not the last word. It is a word that transcends them, a word that can only be translated into English. God is speaking: it is the word of the resurrection (see JOHN PAUL II, Conclusion of the Way of the Cross, 18 April 2003). En “dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, drives out hatred, fosters concord and brings down the mighty” ( Easter Proclamation ).

Happy Easter to all!

Image: Stephan Driscoll/CNA Source: Vatican News

This article is archived here from my work for the online publication, Spotlight.Africa which I wrote whilst working for the Jesuit Institute South Africa. Spotlight.Africa was a work of the Society of Jesus in South Africa from 2017-2021.

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