With Italy’s lockdown measures loosening, a number of faithful come to St. Peter’s Square for the Regina Caeli prayer and blessing.
Pope Francis on Sunday looked visibly joyful at being able to bless the faithful in person, even if the number was reduced and, of course, they were separated from each other by safe distances.After the midday Regina Caeli, which he prayed again indoors, the Holy Father came to the window of the apostolic palace where this Sunday address is normally given.
Francis has been coming to the window during the weeks of lockdown, and giving a blessing over an empty Square – symbolic of his prayers for the city, and the world. But now that Italy’s restrictions have loosened somewhat, and St. Peter’s Basilica is back open, this time he was able to wave to actual people and give his blessing.
The Holy Father spoke during his address about the Risen Christ’s presence with us through the Holy Spirit.
That Spirit, sent by Christ and the Father, works the remission of sins and sanctifies all those who are repentant and open themselves with confidence to His gift. With the promise to remain with us until the end of time, Jesus inaugurates the style of His presence in the world as the Risen One.
Jesus is present in the world but with another style, the style of the Risen One, that is a presence that is revealed in the Word, in the Sacraments, in the constant and interior action of the Holy Spirit.
The Feast of the Ascension tells us that Jesus, although He ascended to Heaven to dwell gloriously at the right hand of the Father, is still and is always among us: this is the source of our strength, our perseverance and our joy, from the presence of Jesus among us with the strength of the Holy Spirit.
Pope Francis also noted that May 24, the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, is the Church’s day dedicated to pray especially for the Church in China.
Dearest Catholic brothers and sisters in China, I wish to assure you that the universal Church, of which you are an integral part, shares your hopes and supports you in your trials of life. She accompanies you with prayer for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that the light and beauty of the Gospel may shine in you as the power of God for the salvation of whoever believes. In expressing to you all once again my great and sincere affection, I impart a special Apostolic Blessing. May Our Lady keep you always!