Skip to comments.Pope Celebrates Easter, Prays for Peace
Posted on 04/16/2006 10:23:35 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his first Easter Sunday as pontiff, praying for peace Iraq, negotiated solutions to the world's nuclear disputes and dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians.
Looking tired, Benedict led nearly 100,000 pilgrims, tourists and Romans in Mass in St. Peter's Square. His 79th birthday coincided with Easter, when Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion.
"Today, even in this modern age marked by anxiety and uncertainty, we live the event of the resurrection, which changed the face of our life and changed the history of humanity," Benedict said in the traditional "Urbi et Orbi" message Latin for "to the city and to the world."
From the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, the pontiff reviewed conflicts around the globe to rousing cheers and applause.
"In Iraq, may peace finally prevail over the tragic violence that continues mercilessly to claim victims," Benedict said, pausing as the crowd applauded.
"I also pray sincerely that those caught up in the conflict in the Holy Land may find peace, and I invite all to patient and persevering dialogue, so as to remove both ancient and new obstacles," the pope said.
"May the international community, which reaffirms Israel's just right to exist in peace, assist the Palestinian people to overcome the precarious conditions in which they live and to build their future, moving toward the constitution of a state which is truly their own," he added.
He also prayed for resolutions to global nuclear crises, though he did not name specific countries. Disputes over the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea have embroiled many countries and are at an impasse.
"Concerning the international crises linked to nuclear power, may an honorable solution be found for all parties, through serious and honest negotiations," Benedict said.
Benedict also called on world leaders to promote racial, cultural and religious harmony "to remove the threat of terrorism."
The pope touched on the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's Darfur region and conflicts in other parts of Africa. He said that in Latin America, millions of people needed better living conditions and democratic institutions.
When the faithful read out prayers during the Mass, a woman speaking in French prayed for the pope. She offered a birthday wish and prayed that Benedict receive peace and the comfort of "serene" days.
Benedict wished the faithful a joyous holiday in 62 languages.
His wishes in Italian referred to Italy's political stalemate, in which conservative Premier Silvio Berlusconi has refused to concede defeat to center-left rival Romano Prodi in the extremely narrow April 9-10 elections.
"In the particular moment that Italy has been living through in these months, may the risen Lord bring serenity to the national community and strengthen those who work to serve it," Benedict said.
Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II, died six days after Easter last year. He was so weak during his final illness that he was unable to address faithful in the square on Easter, only raising his hand in blessing.
In this photo made available by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI gives his blessing after his traditional 'Urbi et Orbi'' speech overlooking St.Peter's Square, Sunday, April 16, 2006. Pope Benedict XVI, celebrated his first Easter as pontiff as well as his 79th birthday. Pope Benedict XVI, celebrating his first Easter as pontiff as well as his 79th birthday, led tens of thousands of faithful in Mass.(AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
Pope Benedict XVI gives his blessing after his traditional 'Urbi et Orbi'' speech, Latin for 'To the city and to the world'', from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, April 16, 2006. Pope Benedict XVI, celebrating his first Easter as pontiff as well as his 79th birthday, led tens of thousands of faithful in Mass. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Pope Benedict XVI blesses with holy water as he leads the Easter mass in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican April 16, 2006. REUTERS/Max Rossi
p>Men ride dressed in black on decorated horses carrying banners of their parish, during the Easter rider procession near Crostwitz, some 40 Miles east of Dresden, Sunday, April 16, 2006. According to a tradition started in the 16th century the men of the Sorbs, an ethnic, slavic German minority situated near the German-Polish border, preach the message for Jesus`s resurrection on Easter Sunday. (AP Photo/Matthias Rietschel)
I only wish he were younger as I believe Benedict XVI will be a truly great Pope.
A Christian Syrian girl buys chocolate from a sweet shop to celebrate Easter, in Damascus Sunday, April 16, 2006, when the Catholic Church celebrates the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion on Good Friday. Christians pose around 10 percent of Syria's 18.3 millions inhabitants. (AP Photo/BassemTellawi)
He has certain shown he is willing to stay the course, hopefully his efforts, while likely shortened due to age, will help to stem the tide of secularism that is devouring our collective being.
He spoke in 62 languages. Impressive.
Indonesian Catholics distribute Easter eggs at the government-sanctioned South Cathedral after Easter Sunday mass in Beijing April 16, 2006. China has no timetable for re-establishing ties with the Vatican, a religious official was quoted as saying, throwing into doubt earlier reports that the two sides could have diplomatic relations by the 2008 Olympics. REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV
I was just thinking what a wonderful first year Benedict has had. I too wish he was many decades younger.
Frantiska Polackova(L) and her grand-daughter decorate Easter eggs with the help of scalpels at the Old Town restaurant, in downtown Prague. With a steady hand and pinpoint precision, Polackova, 80, sculpts her painted eggs, a Czech Easter tradition which survived communism and provides an authentic souvenir for tourists.(AFP/Michal Cizek)
In this photo, provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Jason Schwenke glides above the sea floor in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo, Fla., Friday, April 14, 2006, while hiding colored, hard-boiled eggs for an underwater Easter egg hunt. Schwenke's Florida Keys Dive Center, as well as other area dive shops, are staging subsea egg hunts during the Easter holiday weekend. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Bob Care)
One year-old Chase Verdery Jr. participates in the White House Easter Egg Roll, 2003. Dozens of gay couples and their children are planning to make their presence felt at the annual White House Easter egg party -- no matter what the conservative occupants think.(AFP/File/Luke Frazza)
Pastry maker Bosch, poses next to his chocolate sculpture of FC Barcelona's Stadium, Camp Nou Stadium, at Bosch Pastry Shop in Pineda de Mar, near Barcelona April 7, 2006. The chocolate works feature uses some 700kg of chocolate. In Catalunya, a traditional chocolate cake named Mona is given as a gift on Easter to children. REUTERS/Albert Gea
Is it so amazing then this trembling awe we felt? We came to the tomb to find him dead as our hearts, but an angel was there with a story of life . If you are wondering what Easter really is its finding leaven in a dough that was dead. It is despair moving over to make room for hope. It is joy suddenly crowding out your sorrow. It is a tomb transformed into a womb life pushing its way out of death. It is the stone being rolled away on the morning of a great sorrow. The angel of life at the tomb of death!
When the dawn stands still with wonder
when the birds jubilate in the trees
when buds hurry into blossoms and grass starts wearing green
I always know that Easter wants to come again.
But deeper yet richer still
When Jesus, imprisoned in me,
asks me to roll away the stone
that locks him in
then Easter wants to come again.
So, let it come
Its one dawn past rising time
and resurrection is the wildest news
thats ever touched
this crazy, mixed-up world.
It says, yes!
when everything else says, no!
It says, up!
when everything else says, down!
It says, live!
when everything else says, die!
Easters standing at your door again,
so dont you see that stone has got to go?
that stone of fear
of selfishness and pride
of greed and blindness
and all the other stones we use
to keep Jesus in the tomb.
So heres to rolling stones away
to give our Lord the chance He needs
to rise and touch
a troubled, lonely world
Some call it Resurrection.
Its wild with wonder,
Its beautiful and real
Intent on throwing life around
it touches and it heals!
Yes, Easter you can come
An angle of life Ill be.
Ill roll the stone away
and set you free.
I just pray the Pope will get serious about expelling the homosexuals and the pedophiles out of the Catholic seminaries, colleges and Catholic priesthood. Christ cleaned the money changers out of the temple, Benedict should do the same with the perverts.
No way!. I coulda sworn that was John Fscknuckle Kerry.
"Frantiska Polackova(L) and her grand-daughter decorate Easter eggs with the help of scalpels at the Old Town restaurant, in downtown Prague. With a steady hand and pinpoint precision, Polackova, 80, sculpts her painted eggs, a Czech Easter tradition which survived communism and provides an authentic souvenir for tourists.(AFP/Michal Cizek)"
Frantiska could pass for Mother Angelica's twin sister!