05/01/2005, 00.00
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First Regina Coeli for Benedict XVI

The window of the study in the Apostolic Palace opens after the death of John Paul II with best wishes to Orthodox Churches that celebrate Easter today. The Holy Father Benedict XVI speaks about the Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker and jokes with the faithful in the square. He greets ACLI delegations attending the service and prays that there may be employment for those who need it that is dignified. After the Regina Cœli, his thoughts turn to the people of Togo, "torn by painful domestic strife".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Here is the full text of the message the Pope read during his first Regina Caeli as Pontiff:

My very dear brothers and sisters!

I address you for the first time from this window that the beloved figure of my predecessor made familiar to countless people in the entire world, and we also think about another window.

From one Sunday to the next, John Paul II, who was faithful to this engagement that had become an amiable custom, accompanied for a quarter of a century the history of the Church and of the world, and we continue to feel him close more than ever.

My first sentiment is one of gratitude for those who have supported me in these days in their prayers and for those who have sent me their well-wishing messages.

I wish to greet with special affection the Orthodox Churches and the Eastern Orthodox Churches who today celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.

To our dear brothers I send the traditional announcement of joy: Christós anesti!

Yes, Christ is risen, He is truly risen,

I wholeheartedly wish that the celebration of Easter be for them a choral prayer of faith and praise to He Who is our common Lord, and Who calls us to follow with decisiveness the path that leads to full communion.

Today we begin the month of May with a liturgical memory so dear to the Christian people, that of Saint Joseph the Worker, and you know that my name is Joseph.

This Feast Day was created by Pope Pius XII of venerated memory exactly fifty years ago to call attention to the importance of work and of Christ and the Church among working class people.

It is also necessary to bear witness in today's society to the 'Gospel of work" John Paul II spoke about in the encyclical Laborem exercens.

I hope everyone finds a job, especially the young, and that working conditions be always respectful of the dignity of the human person.

I think about all the workers and greet those gathered in St Peter's Square belonging to different associations. In particular, I greet the friends from ACLI (Christian Associations of Italian Workers), who this year celebrate the 60th anniversary of their association.

My wish is that they continue to live according to the choice of "Christian brotherhood" as a principle embodied in the fields of work and social life since solidarity, justice and peace are the pillars on which the unity of the Christian family can be built.

Finally, my thoughts go to Mary. The month of May is especially dedicated to her. With words, and even more, with deeds, Pope John Paul II taught us to contemplate Christ through the eyes of Mary, especially by putting great value into the prayer of the Holy Rosary.

With the song of the Regina Caeli, we entrust all the needs of the Church and of humanity to the Virgin.

A few more greetings.

These days I often think about all the peoples who suffer as a result of war, diseases and poverty. In particular today, I feel close to the dear populations of Togo who are torn by painful domestic strife. For all these nations I implore for harmony and peace.

Saludo ahora cordialmente a los fieles de las parroquias Santa Joaquina Vedruna, de Barcelona, y Santa Catalina de Siena, de Madrid, que participan en esta oración mariana. Queridos hermanos: que la visita a las tumbas de los Apóstoles os confirme en vuestro compromiso de total entrega a Cristo y a su Iglesia.

[I now cordially greet the faithful from the parishes of Santa Joaquina Vedruna in Barcelona, and Santa Catalina de Siena in Madrid, who are taking part in this Marian prayer. My dear brothers, may the visit to the tombs of the Apostles confirm you in your commitment of total devotion to Christ and His Church.]

I greet with affection the faithful from Budapest and Pécs, in Hungary; the Canossian Lay Brothers and Sisters; the children from the kindergarten in Abbasanta (Sardinia) who are here with their teachers and parents, and the Railway Engineers Regiment of Bologna.

Good Sunday to you all!

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