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Holy Father Speaks on Divine Mercy

Pope Benedict VXI stated that silent acts of charity help to build a world of peace. He made this comment today before reciting the Regina Caeli with those gathered in St. Peter's Square, and after presiding over a Mass marking his 80th birthday on Monday, and his second anniversary as Pope on Thursday.

Below is the translation of the Holy Father’s address by Zenit.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

To all of you I renew the wish for a happy Easter, on the Sunday that closes the octave of Easter and is traditionally called Sunday "in Albis." This Sunday is also called Divine Mercy Sunday according to the wish of my venerable predecessor, the Servant of God John Paul II, who died right after the first vespers of this celebration.

On this singular occasion this morning I celebrated, in St. Peter's Square, a holy Mass, accompanied by cardinals, bishops, and priests, by the faithful of Rome and many pilgrims, who wanted to be close to the Pope, on the eve of his 80th birthday. From the depths of my heart I renew my most sincere thanks, which I extend to the whole Church, which, like a true family, especially in these days, surrounds me with its affection.

This Sunday -- as I said -- ends the week or, more precisely, the "octave" of Easter, which the liturgy considers a single day: "the day the Lord has made" (Psalm 117:24). It is not a chronological but a spiritual time that God has opened in the fabric of days when he raised Christ from the dead. The Creator Spirit, breathing the new and eternal life into the interred body of Jesus of Nazareth, brought the work of creation to its completion, bringing about a "first fruit"; a first fruit of a new humanity that is at the same time the first fruit of a new world and a new era.

This renewal of the world can be summed up in a word: the same word that the risen Jesus pronounced as a greeting, and much more as an announcement of his victory to his disciples: "Peace be with you!" (Luke 24:36; John 20:19,21,26). Peace is the gift that Jesus left to his friends (cf. John 2:27) as a benediction that was destined for all people and all nations.

It is not a peace according to the mentality of the "world," as a balance of power, but it is a new reality, fruit of the love of God, of his mercy. It is the peace that Jesus Christ earned at the price of his blood and that he communicates to those who trust in him. "Jesus, I trust in you": In these words the faith of the Christian is summed up, a faith in the omnipotence of the merciful love of God.

Dear brothers and sisters, as I thank you again for your spiritual nearness on the occasion of my birthday and the anniversary of my election as the Successor of Peter, I entrust all of you to Mary "Mater Misericordiae," Mother of Jesus who is the incarnation of Divine Mercy.

With her help let us be renewed by the Spirit to cooperate in the work of peace that God is accomplishing in the world and that does not make noise, but that is realized in the countless acts of charity of all its sons.

[Afterward the Holy Father greeted the English-speaking pilgrims with the following words:]

To the English-speaking pilgrims I offer warm greetings of Easter joy. In today's Gospel, the Lord Jesus extends to us the gift of his peace. May this peace fill your hearts and inspire you to spread the Good News of his resurrection. I thank you for your prayerful presence. A Happy Easter to all!


 
LIVES OF THE SAINTS

JULY 1
BLESSED JUNIPERO SERRA
Blessed Junipero Serra was born in Petra, Spain, on November 24, 1713. The boy became a student at the Franciscan school in Palma 

JULY 2
ST. OTTO.
St. Otto lived in the twelfth century. He was born in Swabia, present-day Bavaria. 

JULY 3
ST. THOMAS
St. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. His name in the Syriac language means "twin."

JULY 4
ST. ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL
St. Elizabeth, a Spanish princess, was born in 1271. She married King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve.

JULY 5
ST. ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born in Italy in 1502. While he was still young, his father died.

JULY 6
ST. MARIA GORETTI

St. Maria Goretti was born in 1890. Her father died when she and the other five children in her family were small. At twelve, Maria was already very pretty.

JULY 7
BLESSED ROGER DICKENSON, BLESSED RALPH MILNER AND BLESSED LAWRENCE HUMPHREY

These three martyrs lived in England during the time of Church persecution by Queen Elizabeth I.

JULY 8
BLESSED EUGENE III

Blessed Eugene III was born near Pisa, Italy, in the twelfth century. He was baptized Peter.

JULY 10
ST. FELICITY AND HER SEVEN SONS.

St. Felicity was a noble Christian woman of Rome. She lived during the second century.

JULY 11
ST. BENEDICT

St. Benedict was born in 480. He was from a rich Italian family. His life was full of adventure and wonderful deeds.

JULY 12
ST. JOHN GAULBERT

St. John Gaulbert was born in Florence, Italy, at the end of the tenth century. He and his father were devastated when John's only brother, Hugh, was murdered.

JULY 13
ST. HENRY II.

St. Henry II was born in 972. He became the duke of Bavaria in 995. One night he had an unusual vision. St. Wolfgang, who had been his beloved teacher when he was a boy, appeared to him.

JULY 14
BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin. Her father was a non-Christian Mohawk chief.

JULY 15
ST. BONAVENTURE.

St. was born in 1221 in Tuscany, Italy, and was baptized John.

JULY 16
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg.

JULY 17
ST. LEO IV.

St. Leo IV lived in the ninth century. He was a Roman by birth and spent his life in that city. Leo was educated in the Benedictine monastery near St. Peter's Basilica.

JULY 18
ST. FREDERICK.

St. Frederick lived in ninth-century Utrecht, in the central part of the Netherlands. When he was ordained a priest, Bishop Ricfried put him in charge of instructing converts.

JULY 19
ST. MACRINA.

St. Macrina was the first child of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia.

JULY 20
SAINT CHARBEL.

St. Charbel was born to a poor Maronite Family on May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Biqa-Kafra, Lebanon.

JULY 21
ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI.

St. Lawrence was born Caesar Rossi in Brindisi, Italy, in 1559. Brindisi was part of the Kingdom of Naples, Italy.

JULY 22
ST. MARY MAGDALENE.

St. Mary Magdalene was from Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. Some people identify her as a well-known sinner when she first saw Our Lord.

JULY 23
ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN.

St. Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. From the time she was a child, she was greatly devoted to the passion of Jesus.

JULY 24
ST. BORIS AND ST. GLEB

St. Boris and St. Gleb, the brothers, were born toward the end of the tenth century.

JULY 25
ST. JAMES THE GREATER

St. James was a fisherman like his father Zebedee and his brother John.

JULY 26
ST. JOACHIM AND ST. ANNE

St. Anne and St. Joachim are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

JULY 27
ST. PANTALEON

St. Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He lived in the fourth century.

JULY 29
ST. MARTHA

St. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus.

JULY 30
ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS

St. Peter Chrysologus was born in the small town of Imola, Italy.

JULY 31
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA

St. Ignatius, the famous founder of the Jesuits, was born in 1491.

 
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Tour of the Relics of the Passion
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REFLECTIONS

“Jesus’ Baptism”

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God?

 
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