The transforming power of the Resurrection
April 5, 2021
Three new Spiritan deacons
April 5, 2021

Pope gives Easter blessing

With Italy on another lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pope gave his Easter blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) standing inside St Peter’s Basilica rather than from the balcony overlooking a full St Peter’s Square.

“The Easter message does not offer us a mirage or reveal a magic formula,” the Pope said before giving the blessing. “It does not point to an escape from the difficult situation we are experiencing. The pandemic is still spreading, while the social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for the poor.”

The Pope offered prayers for the sick and those who have died of COVID-19 and for the doctors and nurses who have made “valiant efforts” to care for the pandemic’s victims.

And he had special words of Easter hope for young people struggling in isolation from their friends. “Experiencing real human relationships, not just virtual relationships, is something that everyone needs, especially at an age when a person’s character and personality is being formed,” he said.

“I express my closeness to young people throughout the world and, in these days, especially to the young people of Myanmar committed to supporting democracy and making their voices heard peacefully, in the knowledge that hatred can be dispelled only by love,” he said.

Pope Francis prayed for many places in the world where the need to fight the pandemic has not silenced the weapons of war and violence.

“This is scandalous,” he said. “Armed conflicts have not ended, and military arsenals are being strengthened.”

The gospel witnesses to the Resurrection, he said, “report an important detail: the risen Jesus bears the marks of the wounds in his hands, feet and side. These wounds are the everlasting seal of his love for us. All those who experience a painful trial in body or spirit can find refuge in these wounds and, through them, receive the grace of the hope that does not disappoint.”

“May the light of the risen Jesus be a source of rebirth for migrants fleeing from war and extreme poverty,” he prayed. “Let us recognise in their faces the marred and suffering face of the Lord as he walked the path to Calvary. May they never lack concrete signs of solidarity and human fraternity, a pledge of the victory of life over death that we celebrate on this day.”

Calling again for a fair and speedy distribution of COVID vaccines, the Pope said that “in embracing the cross, Jesus bestowed meaning on our sufferings, and now we pray that the benefits of that healing will spread throughout the world.”

Photo by Ashwin Vaswani on Unsplash