By Courtney Grogan, CNA
On Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis reflected on Christ’s wounds, which he said contain the difficulties and persecutions endured by people who suffer today.
“Touch the wounds of Jesus,” Pope Francis said April 28. “The wounds of Jesus are a treasure from which mercy comes.”
Pope Francis said that in visiting someone who is suffering, one can touch the wounds of Christ.
“Let us draw close to Jesus and touch his wounds in our brothers,” he said before leading pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square in the Regina Coeli prayer.
Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated each year on the Sunday immediately following Easter since St. Pope John Paul II established it in 2000 during the canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska.
In his remarks on the feast day, Pope Francis called for prayers for refugees held in detention centers in Libya, where increasingly violent conflict has threatened their safety.
“I appeal for the special evacuation of women, children and the sick as soon as possible through humanitarian corridors,” the pope said.
Pope Francis also prayed for those who lost their lives or suffered serious damage due to the recent floods in South Africa, which have displaced more than 1000 people.
“With his wounds, Jesus intercedes before the Father,” the pope said. The wounds of Jesus, he said, contain “the many problems, difficulties, persecutions, diseases of so many suffering people."
Pope Francis said that when Jesus appeared to his disciples in the Upper Room after his resurrection, he brought them the gifts of “peace, joy, and apostolic mission.”
“The Risen One brings authentic peace, because through his sacrifice on the cross he has realized the reconciliation between God and humanity and has overcome sin and death,” Francis said.
“The resurrection of Jesus is the beginning of a new dynamism of love, capable of transforming the world with the presence of the Holy Spirit,” he said.