Tired Pope greets pilgrims on Easter Monday
Clearly fatigued after completing a heavy public schedule of events during Holy Week and Easter, Pope John Paul II repeated his Easter greetings to the faithful yesterday during a short public audience.
The Holy Father prepared only a short address for the audience, and then skipped some portions of that prepared text. He spoke from the window of his apartment in the apostolic palace. On a rainy day, the crowd in St. Peter's Square was relatively small and subdued, after the excitement of Easter Sunday.
"I confide all the concerns and hopes, all the worries and fears of the whole world, to the mother of the crucified and resurrected Jesus," the Pope said.
On Easter Sunday, he called today on world leaders to resolve conflicts in Iraq, the Middle East and Africa, and used his Easter message to pray that hope will conquer the "inhuman" and growing phenomenon of terrorism.
"May the culture of life and love render vain the logic of death," he said. The Pope delivered the message in his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" blessing - Latin for "To the City and the World," as he celebrated Easter Mass on the flower-decked steps of St Peter's Basilica before tens of thousands of people.
"I pray to the risen Lord that all of us baptised may soon be able to together relive this fundamental feast of our faith each year on the same day," he said.
Speaking strongly and clearly despite having completed a gruelling spate of Holy Week ceremonies, John Paul urged the faithful to find the courage to confront the many evils facing the world today.
"In particular, may (humanity) find the strength to face the inhuman and unfortunately growing phenomenon of terrorism, which rejects life and brings anguish and uncertainty to the daily lives of so many hard-working and peaceful people," John Paul said.
He called for governments and international institutions to overcome the troubles afflicting people around the globe and work for a more peaceful world order.
"May world leaders be confirmed and sustained in their efforts to resolve satisfactorily the continuing conflicts that cause bloodshed in certain regions of Africa, Iraq and the Holy Land," he said.
Dressed in golden robes and a jewelled mitre, the Pope was alert and spoke clearly throughout the Mass, despite having struggled through a three-hour Easter Vigil that ended just a few hours earlier.
On Friday, he braved the chilly night air to preside over a re-enactment of Christ's Passion at Rome's Colosseum.
In years past, John Paul himself had carried a light cross through the Good Friday ritual recreating the last hours of Jesus's life, but in recent years as his ailments worsened, he has left it to others to perform the Stations of the Cross.
Today, John Paul celebrated Mass under a hazy and chilly sky, surrounded by cardinals in red and an arch of pink tulips and yellow daffodils arranged around the altar on the steps of St Peter's.
At one point during the ceremony, he laughed heartily as a toddler in traditional Asian dress struggled up the stairs of the basilica toward him with her parents and brother to present offerings. He reached out to her and blessed her and the rest of the family.
Later, he delivered his annual Easter greetings in a scheduled 62 different languages - including Aramaic, Hebrew, Hindi and Maori - to the applause and shouts of the crowd.
Italy stepped up security around the Vatican, monuments, airports and other sites over the Easter holiday, as it did during Christmas.
Tired Pontiff greets pilgrims Easter Monday (Catholic World News 12/4/04)
Oppose terrorism, Pope urges (The Age/Associated Press 11/4/04)
Pope calls for commitment to beat terror (The Age 12/4/04)
End 'Logic of Death' in Iraq, Mideast, Pope Says (Reuters 11/4/04)
Pope begins Easter services amid tight security (Reuters 8/4/04)
Security tight as Pope presides over Easter events (ABC 10/4/04)
Pope Calls for Peace in Easter Message (The Guardian/Associated Press 11/4/04)
Against Terrorism, Pope Presents Logic of Christ's Love (Zenit 11/4/04)
Pope Again Proposes One Easter Date for All Christian (Zenit 11/4/04)
Holy Father Leads Vigil, and Baptizes 7 (Zenit 11/4/04)
Papal Preacher's Homily for Good Friday (Zenit 10/4/04)
Pope Addresses Faithful After Easter (Associated Press/Newsday 12/4/04)
Pope's Easter message: full text (The Australian 12/4/04)
Pope undeterred by terror threats (The Tablet 10/4/04)
POPE: I PLACE HOPE AND FEAR OF THE WORLD ON THE VIRGIN (AGI 12/4/04)
Pope's Homily for Easter Vigil (Zenit 11/4/04)
Pope prays for end to terror in Easter message (Catholic World News 12/4/04)
The Way of the Cross at the Colosseum With the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, Presiding (OFFICE OF PAPAL LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS)
EASTER VIGIL HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II (10 April 2004)
URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II ( Easter Sunday, 11 April 2004)
Pope says this is the time of the Cross, Love, Glory (AsiaNews.it 10/4/04)
Pope: United with Jesus in his death, we are risen to life (AsiaNews.it 10/4/04)
Pope: The Body of Christ Nourishes for Service to Humanity (AsiaNews.it 9/4/04)
Easter addresses: Pope warns that terrorism is growing (Independent 12/4/04)
13 Apr 2004