Pope: Happy Easter Orthodox, Eastern Churches

Also Renews Prayers for Peace in Myanmar, Offers Condolences for Accident Victims in Israel

Easter Orthodox Eastern Churches
© Vatican Media

Pope Francis on Sunday sent Easter wishes to members of the Orthodox Churches and the Eastern and Latin Catholic Churches that celebrate Easter on May 2.

The Holy Father, in comments following recitation of the Regina Caeli in St. Peter’s Square, also renewed his call for peace in Myanmar and offered condolences for the April 30 tragedy in Israel that claimed 45 lives.

“I send my best wishes to our brothers and sisters of the Orthodox Churches and of the Eastern and Latin Catholic Churches who today, according to the Julian calendar, celebrate the solemnity of Easter,” the Holy Father said. “May the Risen Lord fill them with light and peace and comfort the communities that live in particularly difficult situations. Happy Easter to them!”

Israel is observing a national day of mourning on May 2 after a stampede at the Jewish Orthodox B’Omer festival, near Mount Meron in northern Israel killed 45 men and boys and injured some 150 others.

“With sadness I express my sympathy to the people of Israel for the accident which took place last Friday on Mount Meron, killing 45 people and injuring many,” Pope Francis said. “I assure you of my remembrance in prayer for the victims of this tragedy and for their families.”

The Pope also recalled that in the Marian month of May, a prayer campaign around the world is imploring the end of the coronavirus pandemic. The Holy Father launched the campaign on May 1 by leading the recitation of the Rosary in St. Peter’s Basilica.

“We have entered the month of May, in which popular piety expresses devotion to the Virgin Mary in many ways,” Francis said. “This year it will be marked by a prayer marathon involving important Marian shrines, to implore the end of the pandemic. Yesterday evening was the first stop, in Saint Peter’s Basilica.

“In this context, there is an initiative that is very close to my heart: that of the Burmese Church, which invites us to pray for peace with a Hail Mary for Myanmar in our daily Rosary. Each of us turns to our Mother when we are in need or in difficulty; this month, we ask our Mother of Heaven to speak to the hearts of all leaders in Myanmar so that they may find the courage to walk the path of encounter, reconciliation, and peace.”

Holy Father’s Full Regina Caeli Commentary