Easter is not based on a myth, a theory or a fairy tale, but rather on the very real historical event of Christ's death and resurrection, says Benedict XVI. The Pope said this today during the Easter message he delivered from St. Peter's balcony at midday before he imparted his blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city of Rome and the world). He began with the question: "What is there after death?"
As the city of L'Aquila gathered to mourn the loss of hundreds of its citizens, victims of a deadly earthquake, Benedict XVI sent a message of solidarity and hope. The Holy Father sent a letter today to the national funeral of the victims of the earthquake that hit the capital of the Abruzzo region of central Italy. Friday was declared a day of national mourning and a moment of silence was observed nationwide.
Christians across Kerala celebrated Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of the holy week before Easter, by attending church and offering special prayers. Churches distribute palms to commemorate Jesus Christ's entry into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in his path before his arrest and crucifixion on Good Friday.
Two master iconographers, one painting in the Russo-Byzantine style and the other painting in the Byzantine (Greek-Cretan School) tradition, will offer exclusive workshops on the campus of St. Vladimir's from June 11-17, 2009. Fr. Protodeacon Nazari Polataiko, of the Ss. Alipij & Andrei Rublev Icon Studio in Winnipeg Canada, and Khouriya Erin Mary Kimmett of Norwood, Massachusetts, will open their summer workshops to 12 students each, and will accept students with experience ranging from none to decades-long practice, and expertise ranging from novice to master.
The Moscow Patriarchate urged participants in the political conflict in Moldavia to dialogue. "The Church urges to peace as it has always urged to peace, the Church urges various political to dialogue. It is evident that it is difficult to reach anything without such a dialogue," head of the Synodal Church and Society Department Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said answering students of the High School of State Management at Moscow State University.