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Full text of Pope Francis’s Urbi et Orbi address

By on Sunday, 31 March 2013

Pope Francis waves from the loggia of St Peter's Basilica (AP)

Pope Francis waves from the loggia of St Peter's Basilica (AP)

Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, Happy Easter!

What a joy it is for me to announce this message: Christ is risen! I would like it to go out to every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals, in prisons…

Most of all, I would like it to enter every heart, for it is there that God wants to sow this Good News: Jesus is risen, there is hope for you, you are no longer in the power of sin, of evil! Love has triumphed, mercy has been victorious!

We too, like the women who were Jesus’ disciples, who went to the tomb and found it empty, may wonder what this event means (cf. Lk 24:4). What does it mean that Jesus is risen? It means that the love of God is stronger than evil and death itself; it means that the love of God can transform our lives and let those desert places in our hearts bloom.

This same love for which the Son of God became man and followed the way of humility and self-giving to the very end, down to hell – to the abyss of separation from God – this same merciful love has flooded with light the dead body of Jesus and transfigured it, has made it pass into eternal life. Jesus did not return to his former life, to earthly life, but entered into the glorious life of God and he entered there with our humanity, opening us to a future of hope.

This is what Easter is: it is the exodus, the passage of human beings from slavery to sin and evil to the freedom of love and goodness. Because God is life, life alone, and his glory is the living man (cf. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, 4,20,5-7).

Dear brothers and sisters, Christ died and rose once for all, and for everyone, but the power of the Resurrection, this passover from slavery to evil to the freedom of goodness, must be accomplished in every age, in our concrete existence, in our everyday lives. How many deserts, even today, do human beings need to cross! Above all, the desert within, when we have no love for God or neighbour, when we fail to realize that we are guardians of all that the Creator has given us and continues to give us. God’s mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones (cf. Ez 37:1-14).

So this is the invitation which I address to everyone: Let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection! Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.

And so we ask the risen Jesus, who turns death into life, to change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace. Yes, Christ is our peace, and through him we implore peace for all the world.

Peace for the Middle East, and particularly between Israelis and Palestinians, who struggle to find the road of agreement, that they may willingly and courageously resume negotiations to end a conflict that has lasted all too long. Peace in Iraq, that every act of violence may end, and above all for dear Syria, for its people torn by conflict and for the many refugees who await help and comfort. How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must there still be before a political solution to the crisis will be found?

Peace for Africa, still the scene of violent conflicts. In Mali, may unity and stability be restored; in Nigeria, where attacks sadly continue, gravely threatening the lives of many innocent people, and where great numbers of persons, including children, are held hostage by terrorist groups. Peace in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in the Central African Republic, where many have been forced to leave their homes and continue to live in fear.

Peace in Asia, above all on the Korean peninsula: may disagreements be overcome and a renewed spirit of reconciliation grow.

Peace in the whole world, still divided by greed looking for easy gain, wounded by the selfishness which threatens human life and the family, selfishness that continues in human trafficking, the most extensive form of slavery in this twenty-first century. Peace to the whole world, torn apart by violence linked to drug trafficking and by the iniquitous exploitation of natural resources! Peace to this our Earth! Made the risen Jesus bring comfort to the victims of natural disasters and make us responsible guardians of creation.

Dear brothers and sisters, to all of you who are listening to me, from Rome and from all over of the world, I address the invitation of the Psalm: “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever. Let Israel say: ‘His steadfast love endures for ever’” (Ps 117:1-2).

  • lewispbuckingham

    A wonderful message of peace. ‘Make me a channel of your peace’ St Francis

  • nemo

    Actually that song/text is from the 19th century, Francis never uttered them. pax et bonum.

  • Kevin

    “by the iniquitous exploitation of natural resources!”

    Whom is the Holy Father referring to here? Someone apparently has an urgent need to amend their ways, but do they know who they are or what they are doing wrong?

    Also, I cannot find abortion on this list. People often object, somewhat disconcertingy, that “it is not all about abortion”, but is it not about abortion at all?

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    When OUR POPE starts saying, JESUS THE LORD has done such and such thing for me when I prayed to him is going to be the DAY ONE in his life as our POPE, the one who sits on the Chair of Peter REPRESENTING JESUS THE LORD of Life and Death, JESUS, GOD OUR SAVIOR and the SAVIOR of ALL People.

    Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

  • Asif

    Pick, pick, pick, pick. …….pick, pick.
    Happy Easter !

  • NatOns

    A trifle ungracious of you also, Asif. Kevin seeks properly to highlight the root of human injustice: Self-centred-ness .. at the heart of Pope Francis’ message; and it is this ‘me-ism’ that has wrought the mayhem of immorality in family life, social well-being, and the precious gift we all rely on – Creation. Abortion is one of those symbolic, indeed keystone, issues that the Christian cannot glide over, for it is slaughter made to seem just; yet K does an injustice to Pope Francis – as the world still does injustice to Venerable Pope Pius XII – on ‘speaking out’ against a regime that sees itself as the ideology of the unconquerable Now and soon to be our common ‘future’ (as eugenics, abortion, sterilisation, euthanasia, moral relativism, unjust war, social injustice, greed etc have to a certain measure become the unquestionably accepted norm ‘now’ – if rarely discussed in that manner and still deemed unacceptable to a few).

    http://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/the-tragic-heroism-of-pope-pius-xii

    “Peace in the whole world, still divided by greed looking for easy gain, wounded by the selfishness which threatens human life and the family, selfishness that continues in human trafficking, the most extensive form of slavery in this twenty-first century.” Pope Francis, Urbe et Orbi, 2013.

  • http://twitter.com/tom_heath_sc Tom Heath

    “the selfishness which threatens human life”

    How does that not address abortion? Or euthanasia? Or “same-sex” so called marriage?

  • Kevin

    I do not think child murder is a “picky” topic. Any more than human and drug trafficking, child hostages, civil war and nuclear tension.

  • Kevin

    It does not explicitly address abortion or euthanasia in the same way that “human trafficking”, “Syrian refugees” and “terrorist hostages” explicitly address those issues. And you have just done it in one line.

  • la catholic state

    That is very true…..and it’s worrying. We should all tweet the Holy Father and ask him to mention specifically the unborn slaughtered in abortion.

  • Asif

    OK, it depends how you take Kevin’s comments, all I see is someone, who after reading a very powerful address can only find time to pick faults. Let’s try and be positive shall we ? If I’m wrong I apologise.
    Abortion certainly is a great evil in this world, amongst many, but I don’t think the Pope had time to make a comprehensive list. Perhaps another address at another time will be about abortion, he hasn’t been in post that long.

  • Margaret Hickey

    perhaps the Pope was wise to encompass abortion and same sex marriage into a general condemnation of human selfishness at this point as the Media would only have reported on that and missed the context of his remarks which challenge all to look at the fundamentals of their moral and ethical life.

  • Jill

    I have a dumb question. Why are the two cardinals beside the Holy Father wearing red? Isn’t white the proper color for the Resurrection?

  • EuroPax

    If the Holy Father were to cover all the causes of untimely death in this world that result from greed, selfishness, hatred and abuse of power, his homily would still be in progress next Easter.

  • EuroPax

    Were the 11 references to God not enough? That the love of God is stronger than evil and death? God wants to sow this Good News: Jesus is risen? …. did you not read the same piece as I did? Is there a language barrier? Do you have eyes to see and ears to listen?

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    TO FUNCTION as an APOSTLE in PRACTICE like Peter himself and thus to be an example and inspiration to all Christians to be APOSTLES, it has to be like those APOSTLES in the Primitive Church of Peter, where there will be PROCLAMATION inspired by the SPIRIT OF JESUS and that too.accompanied by the Signs of the KINGDOM.

    Let us all Pray for this wonderful grace of God for OUR POPE.

    Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

  • EuroPax

    It is an evil and unfaithful generation asking for a sign, and the only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah.’ And he left them and went off.

    Leia mais em: http://www.bibliacatolica.com.br/new-jerusalem-bible/matthew/16/#ixzz2PCOCY9h0

  • Tom

    None of them is wearing sacred vestments in the picture above, Jill. At the mass all the sacred ministers wore wore white/cream chasubles and dalmatics

  • William Callaghan

    They wear choir dress for the Urbi et Orbi message and blessing as this is not strictly considered as a liturgical rite – according to Monsignor Guido Marini, Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    That is an out of context quote, because Jesus had already done a lot of miracles for them to see and get convinced but they were not open; they did not have goodwill towards Jesus and so they could not believe or accept him.

    When merely arguing using such out of context quotes, it could end up in mere playing with words just to enjoy the illusion of a moment’s victory. All those who go by the logic of their heads to get hold of the Spirit of God with it have this problem. As good Christians we should keep away from such temptations and traps.

    The Lord wanted the twelve (and others) to do his work among the people all over the world, in the WAY he himself DID it, using the same MEANS to get the same RESULT.

    “If you don’t believe my words, at least look at my Works..”, he
    had already told his enemies who did not believe. But his enemies were unworthy of Salvation, that is why they killed him by crucifixion.

    To his disciples disciples he had told, once I am with the father, you will do
    greater things….referring to the signs of the Kingdom they would be enabled to perform.

    See, what the 12 ( Lk.. 9,1-6, 10-17)and later the 72( Lk.10,1ff) had done when the Lord sent them out to PROCLAIM.

    Now Look at John, the Beloved one of the Lord; he has written and told us,
    ” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which
    are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that
    Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in
    his name. Jn. 20, 30ff

    TAKE NOTE, “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book….”

    In St.Mathew 10, 1-15, we read, “Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness……….Jesus sent out these twelve …………..As you go make this proclamation: “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons………..

    In Mt. Ch. 11 to John the Baptist’s disciples, The Lord answered, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

    Where his mighty deeds were not accepted and people did not repent, Jesus reproaches saying to them, “Woe to you Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! for the mighty deeds in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes………………….Mt.11, 20-24

    Lk.24, 44-49; 9, 6: “Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.”

    Lk.9,10-17: ” When the Apostles returned , they explained to him what they had done………………………….The feeding of the crowd with miraculous 5 loaves and 2 fishes…………

    Mk.3, 13 ff : “…………………..”He appointed whom he names Apostles that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.”

    The MOST SERIOUS Mistake of the Official Church : Because of INSTITUTIONALISATION brought about by Pagans, the official Church keeps on making the very serious mistake of keeping the people occupied with ‘Renewals and renewals and Renewals. It is just like a Person who keeps on trying to lift oneself holding on to his both the feet.

    WHAT THE CHURCH needs is EVANGELISATION of its all members; otherwise it remains like those of the Lord’s own enemies WHO neither entered the KINGDOM nor allowed others to enter….St.Lk.7, 29-30

    Mt.21,31b-32 : the tax collectors and prostitutes believed; and thus were saved but the enemies of the Lord were not….

    see also Mt.21, 23ff.

    The Proclamation of THE WORD through the SPIRIT OF JESUS and the SIGNS of the KINGDOM are all one UNIT. These are found only in THE APOSTLES of JESUS THE LORD and not in anybody else. This implies if Christians want to spread the Lord’s KINGDOM, they need to yearn and pray to become APOSTLES. In the Primitive Church every Christian was an APOSTLE, so the Church went on conquering under the guidance, protection and direction of THE SPIRIT OF JESUS THE LORD.

    Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    IF OUR POPE avoids all CONTROVERSIAL subjects and gets occupied in those things APOSTOLIC just like the 12 Apostles……….Proclamation under the The Spirit of Jesus, the world will be peaceful….. and he will be a WINNER, for the LORD JESUS will be with him.

    By raising CONTROVERSIES, the Pope will create only many ENEMIES; People have their own goals and interests, who are we to tell them what they should have: same sexer-marriage, Homoes, Lesbies, womb-bound Child killers or any for that matter.

    LET THE LIGHT OF CHRIST THE LORD SHINE INSTEAD OF CURSING THE DARKNESS. It happens only through the Proclamation of of God’s WORD and PROMOTION OF APOSTLESHIP as Jesus the Lord himself DID.

    Fr.Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

  • tiredofjunk!

    Beautiful words from a humble Pope Francis. We all just want peace!