What the Saints Say About Easter

Poignant quotes celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord.

The holy witnesses in heaven have words of wisdom to share about the Resurrection.
The holy witnesses in heaven have words of wisdom to share about the Resurrection. (photo: Unsplash)

Easter is the feast of all feasts, as the saints have proclaimed throughout the ages. Easter is the great cause for rejoicing because it is the promise of eternal life fulfilled. Jesus our Lord and Savior has broken the bonds of death and restored us to life. Saints have broadcast the message unceasingly, from past to present centuries.

“The glory of God is that man lives. Behold, man lives in Christ. Here is the moment in which what he, Christ, said is accomplished: ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live’ (John 11:25).” — St. John Paul II, 1990

“Yes, Christ is truly risen, and we are witnesses of this. We proclaim this witness to the world, so that the joy which is ours will reach countless other hearts, kindling in them the light of the hope which does not disappoint.” — St. John Paul II, 2000

“If this mission may sometimes seem difficult, call to mind the words of the Risen Lord: ‘I am with you always, to the close of the age’ (Matthew 28:20). Certain of his presence, you shall fear no difficulty and no obstacle. His word will enlighten you; his Body and his Blood will nourish you and sustain you on your daily journey to eternity.” — St. John Paul II, 2004

“He has risen. This is the heart of our faith. Mary was a silent witness of all these events. Let us ask her to help us also to receive the fullness of this Easter message.” — St. John Paul II, 2000

“At the side of each of you there will always be Mary, as she was present among the apostles, frightened and confused at the time of trial. And with her faith she will show you, beyond the night of the world, the glorious dawn of the Resurrection.” — St. John Paul II, 2004

“Here is the good news! Risen Jesus is the authentic ‘Gospel of life.’ He communicates divine life to man, the dignity of a child of God. From the apostles we have received this good news, which we must bring ‘to the heart of every man and woman’ by placing it ‘in the innermost folds of the whole society."’— St. John Paul II (Evangelium Vitae)

“Christ's resurrection is the strength, the secret of Christianity. It is not a question of mythology or of mere symbolism, but of a concrete event. It is confirmed by sure and convincing proofs. The acceptance of this truth, although the fruit of the Holy Spirit's grace, rests at the same time on a solid historical base. On the threshold of the third millennium, the new effort of evangelization can begin only from a renewed experience of this Mystery, accepted in faith and witnessed to in life.” — St. John Paul II, 1996

“May she [Mary], who at the announcement of the angel welcomed Jesus, the ‘Gospel of life,’ into her womb and was filled with exultation at the moment of his resurrection, obtain for us to be witnesses of the Risen Christ in the world, messengers of his joy, communicators of his love.” — St. John Paul II, Regina Caeli, Easter Monday 1995 

“Mary guides us in knowing the mysteries of the Lord: and as in her and with her we understand the meaning of the cross, so in her and with her we come to grasp the meaning of the Resurrection, enjoying the joy that emanates from this experience.” — St. John Paul II, 1983

“May Mary's journey also be ours. May his joy also be ours. And as she, joyful for the resurrection of her Son, is the source of our joy, causa nostrae laetitiae, so let us commit ourselves to be Mary's joy, letting Christ the Redeemer mold supernatural life in us, until the eternal joy of [the] Blessed homeland. With her, Queen of Heaven.” — St. John Paul II, 1983

“The Church is alive, as her Divine Founder is alive! The Church advances with the very virtue of life, as Jesus, after having submitted to the debt of mortal nature, proceeds victoriously beyond the stone barrier, which his enemies have placed to guard the tomb! Over the centuries, too, there have been other enemies for the Church, who have tried to close it as if in a sepulcher, celebrating its agony and death from time to time. But she, who has within her the invincible strength of her Founder, is always reborn with him, forgiving everyone and assuring serenity and peace to the humble, the poor, the suffering, to men of goodwill.” — St. John XXIII, 1959

“This is the meaning of the upcoming Easter feast, which we love to propose to you first of all, dear children, so that your fidelity to the Church never waver, but rather, rooted and founded in charity, you know how to participate with joy and generosity in the life of your Mother, certain of his victorious security; ready to fight to defend it, to spend yourselves to spread it, united in bearing witness to it …” — St. John XXIII, 1959

“Easter is for everyone a mystery of death and life: For this reason, according to the express precept of the Church, which we paternally remind you, every faithful is invited at this time to purify their conscience with the sacrament of penance, immersing it in the Blood of Jesus; and he is called to approach the Eucharistic Banquet with greater faith, to feed on the life-giving flesh of the immaculate Lamb. The mystery of Easter is therefore of death and resurrection for each believer.” — St. John XXIII, 1959

“‘Do you not know that those who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into his death?’ We were in fact buried together with him by baptism into death: so that, as Christ rose from the dead for the glory of the Father, so we may live a new life. ... Therefore, sin may not reign in your mortal body” (Romans 6: 3-4, 12). — St. John XXIII, 1959

“Our Easter is therefore for everyone a dying to sin, to passions, to hatred, to enmities, to all that is a source of imbalance, bitterness and torment in the spiritual and material order. This death is in fact only the first step towards a higher goal: since our Easter is also a mystery of life.” — St. John XXIII, 1959

“Christianity is not that complex of oppressive factors … but it is peace, it is joy, it is love, it is life that is always renewed, like the secret pulsing of nature at the beginning of spring. The source of this joy is in the Risen Christ, who frees men from the slavery of sin, and invites them to be with him a new creature, waiting for blessed eternity.” — St. John XXIII, 1959

“Throughout the Easter season the Church will make the joyful announcement resound: Surrexit Dominus vere! The Lord is truly risen! … Our prayer rises fervently to the Divine Savior for all and for each of you: for priests and for the souls consecrated to God; for the bold and thoughtful youth, the future hope of the Church; for Christian families, especially for those who in their wombs keep the precious deposit of a numerous sonship with greater fidelity and sacrifice; for those whose advanced age makes the heavenly homeland look with firm hope; for those who study, who teach, who work; especially for workers who do heavy work during the day and night; for the sick, who are so dear to us. We want to assure everyone that not only our particular predilection constantly follows them, but also that their life, even if hidden and humble, is so precious before God.” — St. John XXIII, 1959

“The Gospels do not speak to us of an apparition of the Risen Jesus to the Mother: This ineffable mystery of joy remains under the veil of a mystical silence. It is certain, however, that she, the first redeemed, as she was in a special way close to the cross of her Son (John 19:25 ), so she had a privileged experience of the Risen One, such as to cause in her a very intense joy, unique among those of all other creatures saved by the Blood of Christ.” — St. John Paul II, 1983

“But the greatest of all [feast days] is Easter Day, the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, because today assurance was given to us to obtain eternal and immortal life in soul and body. Christ gave it to us through his resurrection, which is the cause and the assurance of our resurrection.”— St. Vincent Ferrer

“It is the conclusion of many theologians saying that Christ in his resurrection first appeared to the Virgin Mary, his mother. The first apparition he [Jesus] did was to the Blessed Virgin Mary, although the Gospel does not tell us about this.” — St. Vincent Ferrer

“Since, Scripture says, ‘Honor your father, and forget not the groaning of your mother’ (Sirach 7:29), Christ most perfectly kept the law of honoring parents. It follows that he appeared to his mother first, who was stressed [tribulata] more than all the others.” — St. Vincent Ferrer

“The Virgin Mary was most certain that her son would rise on the third day, as he had predicted, but perhaps she did not know the hour of his resurrection, because it is not written that Christ had revealed the hour of his resurrection, whether at prime or terce [first or third hour of daylight], etc. … And she prepared the room, and found a chair for her son, saying, ‘Here my son shall sit and here I will speak with him.’  And she looked out of the window, and she saw the dawn breaking, and she rejoiced, saying, ‘Now my son is rising.’ And on her knees she prayed, saying: ‘Rise up Lord to meet me, and behold: even you, O Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel’ (Psalm 58:6).” — St. Vincent Ferrer

“Christ greeted his mother, saying: ‘Peace be with you.’ The Virgin fell to her knees and weeping abundantly for joy adored him, kissing his hands and feet saying: ‘O blessed wounds, which have given me such pain on Good Friday.’ Christ, kissing his mother, said:  ‘My mother, rejoice, because from now on, you will have nothing but joy and celebration.’ Drying her tears, he sat down on the chair, and they spoke with each other very sweetly. Oh, if only someone could have been present to this exchange! The Virgin said to her son, ‘Son, I am used to celebrating a feast on the Sabbath [Saturday], signifying [God's] rest from the creation of the world, but from now on I celebrate a feast on Sunday, in memory of your resurrection, and rest and glory.’ It pleased Christ. St. Vincent Ferrer

“Why should we today sing Alleluia, Praise the Lord? Because this day we are fed, freed, assured of the truth, and given promises of being endowed, in our resurrection, with the gifts of clarity, agility, brightness and impassibility, which Christ showed in his resurrection.” — St. Vincent Ferrer

“There is, however, a multiple reason why today we ought spiritually to rejoice and praise God. First, because God feeds us with his Body and Blood in the sacrament of the altar, for families celebrate much by eating together. So the Body which today he gives us sacramentally is the same body which he assumed from the Virgin, in which he lived for 33 years, and in which he wished to suffer, be buried and rise. With his body, he gives his soul and divinity, because of natural concomitance.” — St. Vincent Ferrer

“All I want to know is Christ and the power flowing from His Resurrection!” — St. Francis of Assisi

“We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song!” — St. John Paul II, 1986 


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