"URBI ET ORBI"
Easter Sunday, 30 March 1997
1."Victimae paschali laudes / immolent Christiani ..."
Christians, to the Paschal Victim offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are
ransomed by the Lamb;
and Christ, the undefiled,
hath sinners to his
I speak to you, Christians! I speak to you,
Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants!
I come to you with the
marvellous announcement: Christ is risen!
The One whom John the Baptist had
as the Lamb of God (cf. Jn 1:29,36)
has redeemed his flock: "Agnus
Christ has redeemed the whole human flock,
being, without exception.
Christ, innocent victim on the cross,
reconciled us sinners with the Father.
He who was without sin
us sinners back to the Father.
On this great Feast of Easter
the reconciliation of humanity with the Father,
through the power of Christ
who for us became obedient
unto death: "Victima paschalis".
2. "Mors et vita / duello conflixere mirando ."
"Death with life
contended; combat strangely ended!
Life's own Champion, slain, yet lives to
Let those who struggle against evil,
those who must measure
themselves against death,
who strive to defend life and save it from every
let them today pause, pause in wonder.
Behold, today death has been
The Son of God born of the Virgin,
God from God, Light from
the Son of God of one being with the Father
ignominious death on the Cross.
On Good Friday he had been laid in the tomb
and behold, today before dawn,
he has rolled away the stone closing the tomb
and has risen by his own power:
"Dux vitae mortuus regnat vivus".
3. "Dic nobis Maria, / quid vidisti in via? ..."
"Tell us, Mary: say
what you saw on the way".
"The tomb the Living did enclose;
there attesting; shroud with grave-clothes resting".".
of Christ is confirmed by the witnesses,
by those who at first light on the
day after the Sabbath,
today, went to the tomb.
First the women, and after
them the Apostles.
The ancient liturgical Sequence
addresses Mary Magdalen
because it was granted to her not only to discover the tomb empty
but also to
announce the event to the Apostles.
Peter and John ran to the tomb and found
that what the women were saying was true.
4. We turn to you, Mary Magdalen,
who, kneeling at the foot of the Cross
kissed the feet of the dying Christ.
Moved by love, you hurried to the tomb
and found it empty;
you were the first to see the Risen Lord and to speak to
A converted sinner,
Christ made you in a way equal to the Apostles,
putting on your lips the message of the Resurrection.
Rejoice, Mary of
Rejoice, Peter and John!
Rejoice, Apostles one and all!
Rejoice, o Church, for the tomb is empty.
Christ is risen!
Where they had
there are only the linen cloths
and the shroud
they had wrapped him on Good Friday.
Proclaim with us and with the whole of
"Surrexit Christus spes mea - Surrexit Christus spes nostra!"
5. Proclaim with us that Christ is the hope
also of those who see life and
threatened by war and hatred,
especially in the heart of
May the light of Christ guide the leaders of the Nations,
to direct by their decisions
harmonious living between different peoples,
cultures and religions,
as in the Holy Land.
May the power of the Risen
those who work to strengthen peace and democracy,
obtained at the cost of great sacrifice,
as in the Balkans,
in beloved Albania.
May the love of Christ, victorious over sin and death,
grant everyone the courage of forgiveness and reconciliation,
without which there can be no solutions worthy of man:
our thoughts go in
a special way to the people
who for months have been held hostage in Lima,
May they finally gain the freedom they ardently long for!
6. May all our brothers and sisters in the faith
who, in different parts
of the world,
are victims of restriction or persecution
be enabled to
share in the joy of Easter.
They are unable, alas, to celebrate
feast of the Redemption as they would wish.
Let them not give in to
let them not feel abandoned!
Christ is with them, the
Church is with them!
Christ is truly risen!
In him, today, we can overcome
the forces of evil.
He offers everyone a new life;
thanks to him, from
this moment on,
each one of us can turn in love to our brothers and sisters
in openness, in service, in forgiveness.
Yes, in the Risen Jesus,
everything gains new meaning and value.
7. "Scimus Christum / surrexisse a mortuis vere".
Christ is truly risen from the dead we know".
The witness of the women
and of the Apostles,
the witness of the Church,
reaches not only Jerusalem
and the hills of Galilee.
It spreads to every corner of the world.
end of the Second Millennium,
as the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 draws
this witness now re-echoes everywhere:
Christ is risen!
Christum / surrexisse a mortuis vere!"
We believe because we know:
And from the depths of this sublime knowledge,
word of God and human reason meet,
we invoke You, Christ Crucified and Risen:
"Tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere!"