23-Apr-2001 -- Vatican Information Service


VATICAN CITY, APR 22, 2001 (VIS) - At the end of today's Mass in St. Peter's Square, and before reciting the Regina Coeli in the presence of an estimated 40,000 pilgrims, including numerous Poles, the Holy Father reflected on today's celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday.

John Paul II said that "as we conclude this solemn Eucharistic celebration, we turn to Mary Most Holy, whom today we invoke with the sweet title of 'Mater misericordiae'. Mary is the 'Mother of Mercy' because she is the mother of Jesus, in Whom God revealed to the world His 'heart' overflowing with love.

"It is precisely through Mary's motherhood that God's compassion for man was communicated to the world," he continued. Mary "was intimately linked to the passion, death and resurrection of the Divine Son. At the foot of the cross Our Lady became the mother of the disciples of Christ, mother of the Church and of all of mankind. 'Mater misericordiae'."

Then, speaking Polish, the Pope greeted the pilgrims from his native land who had come to Rome for today's Mass, and also had words for those in Poland listening to the liturgy by radio and television. "During this celebration, together with you, I thanked God Who, almost one year ago, allowed me the grace of canonizing Sister Faustina Kowalska, the chosen apostle of the merciful Christ and of proclaiming the second Sunday of Easter as the Feast of Divine Mercy for the entire Church."

"And now," he concluded, "by reciting the 'Regina coeli' antiphon, we wish to ask Mary to intimately live the joy of the resurrection and to cooperate with the commitment to the universal plan of divine mercy."

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