Pope John Paul II's own words were read aloud by Archibishop Leonardo Sandri at the conclusion of the requiem mass in St. Peter's Square. It was the Pope's final letter to the world and was to be read by the Pope himself at today's mass of the Divine Mercy, had he been able. The Vatican has posted the text of this letter on its Web site. So far it is only available in Italian. I have translated it into English. Note that this is not an official translation, as none to my knowledge is yet available to the public.
After the solemn Eucaristic Celebration in requiem for His Holiness John Paul II, presided by the Cardinal Angel Sodano, the former Secretary of State, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, before he recites the Regina Coeli, gives reading of a text that the Holy Father had previously prepared in occasion of the solemnity of the Divine Mercy that celebrates the second Sunday of Easter.
Dearest Brothers and Sisters!
1. Resonate also today the joyful Alleluia of Easter. Today's reading from the Gospel of John emphasizes that the Resurrected one, the evening of this day, appeared to the Apostles and "showed them his hands and side" (Jn 20,20), that is the signs of the painful passion impressed in permanent way on his body even after the resurrection. Those glorious wounds, which eight days later made to touch to the doubting Thomas, reveal the mercy of God, that "he so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (Jn 3,16).
This mystery of love is at the center of today's liturgy of Sunday in Albis, dedicated to the belief of the Divine Mercy.
2. To all humanity, which at times seems so lost and dominated by the power of evil, selfishness and fear, our resurrected Lord offers in gift his love that pardons, reconciles and reopens the soul to hope. The love that converts the hearts and bestows the peace. How much need the world has to understand and to receive the Divine Mercy!
Lord, whose death and resurrection reveals the love of the Father, we believe in You and with confidence we say again to you this today: Jesus, I trust in You, have mercy on us and the entire world.
3. The liturgical feast of the Annunciation, that we will celebrate tomorrow, pushes us to contemplate with the eyes of Mary the immense mystery to us of this merciful love that gushes from the Heart of Christ. She helps us so that we can comprehend the true sense of the paschal joy, which I found myself on this certainty: He whom the Virgin has carried in her womb, that has suffered and died for us, is truly risen. Alleluia!