Pope Francis Calls Attention to the Importance and Beauty of Easter
- By WRN Editorial Staff --
- 23 Apr 2023 --
Calling Easter Sunday “the most important and beautiful day of history,” Pope Francis addressed an audience of around 100,000 people after presiding over Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on April 9.
“Let the Church and the world rejoice, for today our hopes no longer come up against the wall of death, for the Lord has built us a bridge to life,” Francis said in his annual message on Easter, the holiest occasion in the Christian calendar. Easter marks what the faithful believe is Jesus’s rising from the dead following his crucifixion on Good Friday.
Some 300 priests, 15 bishops and 31 cardinals also attended the occasion in an atmosphere made lush by more than 35,000 flowers and plants brought in from the Netherlands, according to the National Catholic Register.
Francis called for peace and prayed for people across the planet who are suffering from war, conflict or natural disasters, ranging from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Syria and Jerusalem to Lebanon, Haiti, Nicaragua and Burma (Myanmar).
The pope, who returned to the Vatican on April 1 after spending three days in hospital in Rome for bronchitis treatment, did not celebrate Mass at the altar because of difficulty walking and standing. His customary place was instead taken by Cardinal Battista Re.
Before observing Mass, Francis offered the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” blessing to the faithful gathered at the celebration. Translated from the Latin as “To the City [of Rome] and to the World,” the apostolic blessing is given by the pope every Easter Sunday, Christmas, and on other major occasions in the Christian calendar.
“May this Easter be for each of you, dear brothers and sisters, and in particular for the sick and the poor, the elderly and those experiencing moments of trial and weariness, a passage from affliction to consolation,” the pope said.
“We are not alone: Jesus, the Living One, is with us, forever. Let the Church and the world rejoice, for today our hopes no longer come up against the wall of death, for the Lord has built us a bridge to life.”