Vatican City, 1 April 2013 (VIS) – At noon today, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with the numerous faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

“Good morning and Happy Easter to you all,” he said. “Thank you for coming today, in such large numbers, to share the joy of Easter, the central mystery of our faith. May the power of Christ’s resurrection reach every person—especially those who are suffering—and every place that is in need of trust and hope.”

“Christ has fully and finally conquered evil, but it is up to us, to people in every age, to embrace this victory in our lives and in the concrete realities of history and society. … The Baptism that makes us children of God and the Eucharist that unites us to Christ must become our lives. That means they must be reflected in our attitudes, behaviours, actions, and choices. The grace contained in the Easter Sacraments is an enormous source of strength for renewal in personal and family life, as well as for social relations. But everything passes through the human heart: if I allow myself to be reached by the grace of the risen Christ, if I let grace change for the better whatever is not good in me, whatever might do harm to me and to others, then I allow Christ’s victory to affirm itself in in my life, to broaden its beneficial action. This is the power of grace! Without grace we can do nothing! Without grace we can do nothing! And with the grace of Baptism and Holy Communion we can become an instrument of God’s mercy—that beautiful mercy of God.”

“Expressing in our lives the sacrament we have received: that … is our daily work—and, I would also say, our daily joy! The joy of being instruments of Christ’s grace, as branches of the vine that is Christ himself, inspired by the sustaining presence of His Spirit! Let us pray together, in the name of the dead and risen Lord and through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, that the Paschal mystery might work deeply in us and in our time so that hatred may give way to love, lies to truth, revenge to forgiveness, and sadness to joy.”

After the Reginal Coeli the Pope, in Italian, greeted the pilgrims from the various continents, wishing them a tranquil Monday of the Angel (as Easter Monday is traditionally referred to), “on which the joyful announcement of Easter strongly resounds: Christ is risen! And I close with these words: ‘Happy Easter to all and have a good lunch!’”