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Pope Extends Easter Greetings to Catholics

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Vatican, April 9 – On Christ’s Bright Sunday, Pope Francis congratulated Catholics on Easter and addressed the flock with the traditional message and blessing Urbi et Orbi (“City and Peace”), devoting it to the problem of reconciliation and the path of fraternity.
In the morning, in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis led a solemn Mass, celebrated in the altar by Giovanni Battista Ra, Dean of the College of Cardinals in the Vatican. A week ago, the Pope was discharged from the Gemelli Hospital in Rome after three days of hospitalization for bronchitis. Due to the consequences of the illness, Pope Francis on Friday did not take part in the traditional celebration of the Way of the Cross at the ancient Roman Colosseum.
The Pope proclaimed the good news of Christ’s resurrection, recalling the meaning of the word “Easter” as “transition”. He noted in Jesus that “the decisive transition of mankind has taken place: from death to life, from sin to grace, from fear to faith, and from ruin to society.”
May it be for each of you, dear brothers and sisters, especially for the sick and the poor, for the elderly, for those in moments of adversity and fatigue, the transition from sorrow to consolation, said the Pope. He turned to the biblical description of the Resurrection, where “the first witnesses ran to tell Christ’s disciples about it, and the apostles, in turn, rushed to his tomb.

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“Let us hasten to walk the path of mutual trust: trust between peoples, between peoples and nations… Let us hasten to overcome conflicts and differences and open our hearts to those who need it most. Let us hasten to follow the paths of peace and brotherhood.”
According to him, there are many obstacles on the way to the Risen Christ, therefore believers turn to Him with a prayer: “Help us run to You! Help us open our hearts!”
In his message, the Pope referred to the Ukrainian and Russian peoples affected by the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria.
By tradition, he devoted part of his Easter message to the situation in the modern world, focusing on Tunisia, Lebanon, Haiti, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a separate context, Pope Francis expressed his concern about the clashes in the Holy Land, “which threaten the climate of trust and mutual respect necessary for the resumption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Pope Francis delivered his Easter message from the richly decorated balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. According to news channels, about 100,000 worshipers gathered in Vatican Square.

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