Pope sends Paschal greetings on Julian calendar Easter

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Pope sends Paschal greetings on Julian calendar EasterPope Francis offers Easter greetings to Eastern-rite Catholics and Orthodox brothers and sisters who celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection according to the Julian Calendar, and prays for peace for Ukraine, and for Palestine and Israel.

“With great affection, I offer my best wishes to our brothers and sisters in the Orthodox Churches and various Eastern Catholic Churches who celebrate the Holy Pasch today, in accordance with the Julian calendar,” Pope Francis said on Sunday.

Eastern Christians, including Eastern Rite Catholic and Orthodox believers in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East are celebrating Easter today, according to a calculation based on the Julian, rather than the Gregorian calendar. “Julian” Easter (sometimes referred to as “Orthodox Easter”) therefore normally falls later than “Gregorian” Easter, although the dates will occasionally coincide, as will occur in 2025.

Speaking at the Regina Coeli in St Peter’s Square, the Holy Father prayed “may the Risen Lord fill all the communities with joy and peace, and comfort those who are facing adversity.”

“Happy Easter to them!”

‘No to war, yes to dialogue!’

Pope Francis also took the occasion, once again, to ask for continued prayers for “tormented” Ukraine, and for Palestine and Israel – and specifically, that “dialogue may be strengthened and bear good fruit.”

“No to war!” he exclaimed. “Yes to dialogue!”

“No to war! Yes to dialogue!”

Julian Easter around the world

On Saturday evening, an important part of Easter celebrations in the Holy Land, the “Holy Fire” appeared in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Orthodox Christians believe that the “Holy Fire” appears at Easter in the church as a result of a Divine intervention, and regard the event as miraculous.

Given the delicate security situation in region, and following meetings with Israeli police, clergy in charge of the 2024 event ruled that no more than 4200 people could attend the event at the church, which sits in the heart of the old city.

“Christos anesti! Christ is risen!”

In many towns across the Mediterranean, bonfires were lit on Saturday evening after midnight services.

In the Greek Orthodox and Coptic churches, worshippers greet one another with, “Christos anesti”, which translates to “Christ is Risen”, followed by the reply 'Alithos anesti', meaning: “He has indeed risen!”

In a message to Greeks abroad, the Greek Foreign Minister, Giorgios Kotsiras, said Easter sent a unique message to the whole world: “The triumph of Life over Death. For us Christians, this message is a source of joy and hope. The Resurrection expresses the defeat of darkness, the opening of the heart to our fellow man”.

Nathan Morley and Christopher Wells
Source: vaticannews.va/en