Speaking to crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Regina Coeli prayer, the Pope highlighted the fact that the eighth Sunday of Easter is also Divine Mercy Sunday, and he renewed his Easter greetings with the words of the Risen Christ: Peace be with you.
These words – he said – are not a simple greeting: they are a gift – the precious gift that Christ offered to his disciples after he rose from the dead.
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you…” And the Pope said "this peace is the fruit of the victory of God’s love over evil, it’s the fruit of forgiveness". And he said this is the true peace that comes from having experienced God’s mercy.And speaking of the peace Jesus gave to the Apostles so that they could spread it in the world the Pope said we too must have the courage to be witnesses of the faith in the Risen Christ. We must not be afraid – he said – to be Christians and to live as Christians.
Pope Francis urged those listening to have the courage to go forth and to announce the Risen Christ because He is our peace, He made peace possible with his love and his forgiveness, with his blood and with his mercy.
And Pope Francis concluded his address announcing he would be celebrating Mass in the afternoon in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, and he invited those present to pray for the bishop and for the people of Rome in their journey of faith and charity.