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Pope celebrates Easter Monday

April 1, 2013 at 1:37 PM

VATICAN CITY, April 1 (UPI) -- Pope Francis offered the Regina Coeli prayer to crowds gathered Monday in St. Peter's Square, observers said.

The Argentine pontiff celebrated his first Easter Monday, or "Monday of the Angels," by urging the crowd to give up "hate" and cooperate with the "grace of Christ," Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

"Without [the] grace [of God] we can do nothing," he said in Italian.

"Christ has conquered evil so fully and definitively, but it is up to us, to men of all ages, to welcome this victory in our lives and in the realities of history and society," the pope said. "Yes, Baptism that makes us children of God, the Eucharist unites us to Christ, must become life, that is reflected in attitudes, behaviors, actions, choices."

He then recited the Regina Coeli, or "Queen of Heaven," prayer, ANSA said.

In closing, the pope told the crowd: "Happy Easter and have a good lunch."

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