01/01/2005, 00.00
VATICAN - ASIA – WORLD PEACE DAY
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Promoting peace with the weapons of love, says Pope

Pope sends a special greeting to ambassadors from tsunami-stricken countries.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In front of the "many manifestations of evil", Pope John Paul II calls upon Christians, believers of other religions and all people to recognise the "imperative of promoting peace" using every coherent means to defeat evil with the "weapons of love".

This is the core message in the Pope's homily delivered this morning during the Eucharistic celebration in St Peter's Basilica on the occasion of the solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God, which coincides with World Peace Day.

The Pontiff had a "special greeting" for the ambassadors from tsunami-stricken countries. Tonight he celebrated mass in his personal chapel for tsunami victims and those who had come to rescue and help them.

In his brief homily, John Paul II said that peace can be concretely promoted through "dialogue", "just deeds" and educating people "to forgive". And building peace, according to the Pope, requires "welcoming the fundamental moral need" for love.

Citing his message for Peace Day that was inspired by Saint Paul's words—"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good"—, the Pope said "defeating evil with the weapons of love" is the way Christians, believers of other religions and "all those who acknowledge a universal moral law" are called to follow in order to accomplish "the common mission" which is promoting peace between peoples.

The Pope called on Mary, Mother of the "Prince of Peace", to help so that people may fulfill the words of the Gospel: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Mt 5:9).

The Pontiff ended wishing everyone a "Happy New Year". (LF)

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