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  • » 01/01/2008, 00.00


    In the name of Mary, peace among peoples, God’s only family, said Pope

    In expressing his best wishes for the New Year, Benedict XVI calls on the world to rediscover God and build solidarity among peoples as one family. He sends special greetings to the Italian president and all Church communities, like Sant’Egidio’s, who have sponsored initiatives for World Day of Peace.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In the first Angelus of the year, the Pope expressed his best wishes for a “peaceful and useful” New Year to more than 30,000 pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square, entrusting it to “the celestial protection of Our Lady which today’s liturgy makes us invoke using her most ancient and important title, that of Mother of God.” Also in the “name of Mary, Mother of God and of men,” he also entrusted the World Day of Peace, which today celebrates its 41st edition. This year’s chosen theme is the “Human family, Community of Peace.”

    “The same love that builds and holds together the family, the vital cell of society, favours among the peoples of the earth the start of relations of solidarity and collaboration suitable to members of the human family. The Second Vatican Council made this point when it asserted that ‘[o]ne is the community of all peoples, one their origin . . . One also is their final goal, God’ (Declaration Nostra Aetate, 1). There is therefore a close link between family, society and peace.”

    Quoting his own Message, the Pontiff said that “whoever, even unknowingly, circumvents the institution of the family undermines peace in the entire community, national and international, since he weakens what is in effect the primary agency of peace” (Message, n. 5).

    There is also a link between peace and the recognition of God the Creator. Quoting again his Message the Pontiff added that “do not live alongside one another purely by chance; all of us are progressing along a common path as men and women, and thus as brothers and sisters” (Message, n. 6).

    It is then truly important that each one of us assume our own responsibilities before God and recognise in Him the original source of one’s own existence and that of others. From this awareness comes a commitment to make humanity a true community of peace under a ‘common law . . . one which would foster true freedom . . . and protect the weak from oppression by the strong (Message, n. 11).”

    The Pope concluded his brief reflection praying that “Mary, Mother of the Prince of Peace, may sustain the Church in its indefatigable service to peace and help the community of peoples, which in 2008 celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in its journey of true solidarity and stable peace.”

    Following the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI thanked all those who sent him best wishes, mentioning in particular the Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano.

    He also thanked “all those who promoted and participate in” the innumerable initiatives “sponsored by Church communities in every continent” for World Day of peace. Among them he singled out the rally for “Peace in All Lands” organised by the Sant’Egidio community in Rome and in many other cities around the world, last night’s prayer vigil in St Peter’s Square by the Family Love Movement, and the “Peace Torch” by the Centro sportivo italiano (Italian Sport Centre) which Benedict XVI blessed and which will be brought to the Holy Land by a marathon runner.

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    See also

    01/01/2010 VATICAN
    Pope tells armed groups to «stop and abandon the path of violence»
    Benedict XVI appeals to «all armed groups» to have the courage to strive for peace. Families and individuals have a responsibility in promoting an education that changes «lifestyles». The Pontiff sent his greetings to the people taking part in the march promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio.

    11/12/2007 VATICAN – WORLD PEACE DAY 2008
    Anyone who undermines the family undermines peace, says Pope
    In his message for World Peace Day Benedict XVI says that in the family one can experience and be taught peace. For this reason the “family of peoples” must protect it and be inspired by it so as to be able to manage the “common house.” Mankind, which is more important than nature, must use the natural environment and the international community in non-selfish ways and be concerned about a model of sustainable development, all of which requires a moral norm. The Pope also expresses concerns over the arms race, including the race for atomic weapons.

    19/06/2007 VATICAN
    Pope chooses family as theme for next World Day of Peace
    Vatican Press Office announces the subject Benedict XVI will address in his message celebrating World Day of Peace in 2008. His choice further develops the reflection he has undertaken since 2006.

    12/12/2007 IRAQ - VATICAN
    Iraqi bishop: West, rediscover the family as a school of peace
    “In Germany the Muslim women push children in prams along the streets while German women have their dogs and cats”. The provoking remark by Msgr. Louis Sako, Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk comments on Benedict XVI’s World Day for Peace message 2008.

    07/04/2008 VATICAN
    Who suffers because of the Gospel acts with a “strength that the world does not know,” says Pope
    In celebrating the Witnesses of the faith of the 20th and 21st centuries, Benedict XVI spoke about the many Christians who shed their blood to assert that “[w]hen Christians are yeast, light and salt of the earth, they too become subject of persecution as was Jesus.” The Sant’Egidio community celebrate 40 years.

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