Vatican City, 21 April 2014 (VIS) – At midday today, on “Monday of the Angel”, the Pope appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli – the prayer that substitutes the Angelus at Easter time – with the thousands of faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Francis wished all present a happy Easter, commenting that the prevalent sentiment in the Gospel readings of the Resurrection is “joy filled with wonder … a joy that comes from within”, and that through the liturgy we relive the state of mind of the disciples upon receiving the news from the women.

“May this experience, imprinted in the Gospel, become imprinted in our hearts and shine through in our lives”, he continued. Those who have this experience, he explained, “become witnesses of the Resurrection, because in a sense, he himself is risen, she herself is risen. Thus they are able to bring a ‘ray’ of light of the Risen Lord to different situations: to happy ones, making them even more beautiful and preserving them from selfishness; and to painful ones, bringing serenity and hope”.

The Pope advised rereading the chapters of the Gospel that recount the Resurrection and also thinking of “the joy of Mary, the Mother of Jesus”. “Mary’s heart, after passing through the experience of the death and resurrection of her Son, seen through the eyes of faith as the supreme expression of God’s love, became a source of peace, comfort, hope, mercy. All the prerogatives of our Mother come from this: from her participation in the Paschal mystery of Jesus. … From Friday to Sunday morning, she did not lose hope: we contemplated as a mother both sorrowful and full of hope. She, the Mother of all the disciples, the Mother of the Church, is the Mother of hope. We ask her, the silent witness of Jesus’ death and resurrection, to lead us in the joy of Easter”, concluded Pope Francis.