April 30, 2000

Divine Mercy Sunday

Regina Caeli

Canonization of St. Faustina (L’Osservatore Romano, May 3, 2000)

Before imparting the final blessing of the Mass he celebrated on Sunday, 30 April, for the canonization of Sr. Mary Faustina Kowalska, the Holy Father led the recitation of the Regina Caeli prayer, which he introduced with greetings in various languages to the pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square and those at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Lagiewniki, Poland, who were linked by television with the celebration in Rome.

1. At the close of this celebration, in which our Easter joy is combined with that of Sr. Faustina Kowalska's canonization, I affectionately greet and thank all of you who have come from various parts of the world. I ardently hope that each of you can experience what Our Lady one day assured St. Faustina: "I am not only the Queen of Heaven, but also the Mother of Mercy and your Mother" (Diary, 141).

2. The message of Divine Mercy and the image of the merciful Christ of which Sr. Faustina Kowalska speaks to us today are a vivid expression of the spirit of the Great Jubilee which the whole Church is celebrating with joy and fruitfulness. Many of you have come to honor the new saint. May her intercession bring abundant gifts of repentance, forgiveness and renewed spiritual vitality to the Church in your countries. May the thought of God's loving kindness stir up in your hearts new energies for works of faith and Christian solidarity.

I cordially greet the French-speaking pilgrims, especially those who have taken part in the canonization of Sr. Faustina. Following her example, may you entrust yourselves totally to the Lord and praise him in the power of His mercy! May the renewing strength of the risen Christ fill your hearts!

At the same time my thoughts embrace all my compatriots and I entrust them to the intercession of the saintly Sr. Faustina. In the new millennium may the message of the merciful love of God, who bends over all human poverty, be an endless source of hope for everyone and a call to show active love to one's brothers and sisters. I cordially bless you all.

Today we also join the Primate, Archbishop of Gniezno, and all our compatriots who have gathered in Gniezno for the solemnity of St Adalbert.

"Gaude Mater Poloniae..." Rejoice, Mother of Poland; rejoice, Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, because our Sr. Faustina has been raised to the glory of the saints.

I cordially greet the pilgrims from Poland and all those devoted to the Divine Mercy who have gathered at the shrine in Krakow-Lagiewniki. I am happy that on this day — so special for our country — representatives of the Government of the Republic of Poland are here with the Prime Minister, as well as representatives of Solidarnosc.

Divine Providence has linked Sr Faustina's life with the cities of Warsaw, Plock, Vilnius and Kraków. Today I recall the names of these cities, of which the new saint is the patroness, entrusting to their residents a particular concern for the Divine Mercy apostolate.

3. And now let us pray to the merciful Queen of Heaven.