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Women, first witnesses to the Resurrection, show how to spread faith, Pope tells audience

April 03, 2013

In his weekly public audience on April 3, Pope Francis spoke about the role of women as witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection and, more generally, witnesses to the faith.

The New Testament refers to the apostles as the first witnesses of the Resurrection, the Pope said, because the “according to Jewish law of the time, women and children couldn’t give reliable, credible witness.” But “God’s choices are not made in accordance with human criteria,” and in fact the Gospel accounts clearly show that women were the first to see the empty tomb—just as humble shepherds were the first to witness the birth of Christ.

“The women,” the Pope said, “are compelled by love” to spread the news of the Resurrection; they cannot contain their joy but must share it with others. “This should also happen in our lives,” he said. “How can we not share this treasure, this certainty, with others? It is not just for us; it is to be proclaimed, to be given to others, to be shared with others.”

The Pope reflected that women, “in the Church and in the journey of faith, have had and still today have a unique role in opening doors to the Lord, in following him and conveying his face, because seeing with faith always takes love's gaze, which is simple and profound.” Faith is passed on through loving testimony, the Pope said, and women regularly take the lead in that respect.

Pope Francis arrived in St. Peter’s Square in the popemobile for the Wednesday audience, and spent some time making a circuit of the plaza, greeting people, before his audience. He began his remarks with what has become his customary simple opening: “Good morning.”


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