Photo: Marie Romagnano
Pope Benedict XVI's remarks were broadcast on a wide screen in Rome on Divine Mercy Sunday.
Pope Benedict: Mercy is 'the Name of God Himself'
"Mercy is in reality the core of the Gospel message; it is the name of God Himself, the face with which He reveals Himself in the Old Testament and fully in Jesus Christ, the Incarnation of creative and redemptive love."
Thus, spoke Pope Benedict XVI on Divine Mercy Sunday from the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo.
Pope Benedict spoke about the significance of Divine Mercy Sunday. He also announced that he will preside over Mass in memory of John Paul II, who died three years ago on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday. The Mass this Wednesday will open the first-ever World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in Rome.
Pope Benedict XVI recalled that John Paul II designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday, and did so on the day the Polish nun, St. Faustina Kowalska, was canonized in 2000. Saint Faustina, who died in 1938, is known as the messenger of God's Mercy, since it was through her Diary that the message of mercy came to be known to the world, even before it was approved by the Holy See.
Speaking to thousands of pilgrims at Castel Gondolfo and in St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict said:
This love of mercy also illuminates the face of the Church, and is manifested through the sacraments, in particular that of reconciliation, as well as in works of charity, both of community and individuals.
Everything that the Church says and does, shows that God has mercy for man. When the Church must call attention to an unrecognized truth, or a good betrayed, it is always driven by merciful love that all people might have life and have it abundantly (cf. Jn 10.10). From Divine Mercy comes hearts that are pacified, and then comes true peace in the world, peace between peoples, cultures and religions.
Like Sister Faustina, Pope John Paul II was in his time an apostle of Divine Mercy. Many noticed the remarkable coincidence that when he closed his eyes to this world on the evening of Saturday, April 2, 2005, it was on the eve of the second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, and also at the same time as the Marian devotion of the first Saturday of the month. In fact, this was at the core of his long and multifaceted pontificate; his entire mission in the service of God and man and peace in the world was summarized in the announcement he made in Krakow in 2002.
Pope Benedict recalled the ceremony in Krakow, Poland, where John Paul II inaugurated the great Shrine of Divine Mercy and said: "'Outside the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for human beings.' His message, like St. Faustina's, leads back to the face of Christ, the supreme revelation of God's mercy. Constantly contemplating that face: This is the legacy that he has left us, which we welcome with joy and make our own," the Holy Father said.
At the end of his reflection, Pope Benedict urged the faithful to "place the congress under the heavenly protection of most holy Mary, Mother of Mercy. We entrust to her the great cause of peace in the world so that the mercy of God achieves what is impossible with human strength alone, and instills the courage for dialogue and reconciliation."
This story was drawn reports by Catholic News Agency, Zenit, and asianews.it.