Around 150,000 revelers joined Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, in celebrating Easter Sunday in the Vatican, according to the Associated Press.
“In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death,” Francis told the massive crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “With this joyful certainty in our hearts, today we turn to you, risen Lord!”
Christians all over the world are celebrating Easter, the holiest day in the Christian calendar, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus three days following his crucifixion as described in the New Testament. Francis, who is preparing for a trip to the Middle East next week, also took time to pray for an end to ongoing violence and turmoil everywhere from Eastern Europe to the Middle East to West and East Africa.
“We ask you, Lord Jesus, to put an end to all war and every conflict, whether great or small, ancient or recent,” Francis said.
President Barack Obama is also celebrating Easter with the First Family at Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.
“These holy days have their roots in miracles that took place long ago,” Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday. “And yet, they still inspire us, guide us, and strengthen us today. They remind us of our responsibilities to God and, as God’s children, our responsibilities to one another.”