Pope greets Oriental Christians celebrating Easter

20 April 2020
Pope Francis prays the Regina Coeli on Divine Mercy Sunday. Image: Vatican Media/Vatican News.


As the Latin-rite Catholic Church marks Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis sends his well-wishes and blessings to those Eastern Catholic rites and Orthodox Churches celebrating Easter.

Pope Francis prayed the Regina Coeli on Divine Mercy Sunday, following Mass in the Church of the Holy Spirit in the Saxon District.

The Pope spoke before the recitation of the traditional Marian prayer during the Easter season.

In his remarks, the Pope recalled that Pope St. John Paul II had designated the Church of the Holy Spirit as a shrine to Divine Mercy. He said it was fitting that he should celebrate the Eucharist there, twenty years after his predecessor had instituted the Feast.

“The Christian response to the storms of life and history cannot but be mercy: compassionate love among us and toward everyone, especially toward those who suffer, who have more difficulties, and are abandoned.”

Compassion, not mere assistance

Pope Francis said mercy is not simply “devotionalism, or mere assistance, but com-passion, which comes from the heart.”

“Divine Mercy,” he added, “comes from the Heart of the Risen Christ. It flows from the wound in His side that is always open, open for us, who are always in need of pardon and comfort.”

As the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, he prayed that nations might find inspiration in Christian mercy to help their citizens in “the spirit of solidarity.”

Oriental Easter wishes

Christians belonging to the Orthodox Churches and Eastern Catholic communities are celebrating Easter Sunday this year on 19 April.

So Pope Francis sent his greetings to “our brothers and sisters who belong to the Oriental Churches.”

“At this moment of trial,” he said, “let us feel what a great gift and hope it is that comes from being risen with Christ!”

With thanks to Vatican News and Devin Watkins, where this article originally appeared.


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