01/01/2004, 00.00
Send to a friend

"Mary, help us to be artisans of peace"

The pope celebrates the 37th World Day of Peace.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) At St. Peter's Basilica John Paul II presided over the mass to celebrate the 37th World Day of Peace, whose theme is "An everyday effort: educating for peace". Concelebrating were various cardinals, including Card. Raffaele Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. 

"We give thanks to God for this new year: May this year bring prosperity and peace to all," the pope wished to all those present, including representatives of 174 countries having diplomatic ties to the Holy See. 

The pope stressed "the urgency and necessity to form consciences in terms of culture and peace."  "Since peace is possible", he said, "it is a duty". (cf. Message, no. 4). In the face of situations of injustice and violence oppressing various regions of the world, in the face of persisting armed conflict often forgotten by public opinion, it becomes ever the more necessary to build together roads to peace; it becomes indispensable to educate for peace."  

The duty of Christians is to be "artisans of peace" and to proclaim and announce that "Christ is our peace", he said.

Among the artisans of peace, the pope mentioned apostolic nuncio to Burundi, Msgr. Michael Aidan Courtney, who was "tragically killed a few days ago (Dec. 29) while carrying out his mission in favor of dialog and reconciliation. Let us pray for him, hoping that his example and sacrifice bear the fruit of peace in Burundi and throughout the world."

John Paul II also remembered "the land in which Jesus was born" which continues "living in dramatic conditions." He urged everyone, Palestinians and Israelis, to not "yield to the temptation of mistrust". "To such an end, he continued, "we must work to overcome 'reasons of mere justice'  and 'to open ourselves to those of forgiveness'."

Recalling another theme of his peace message, the pope begged that there arise a "new international order, one which is placed in the interests of the experience and results gained by the United Nations in recent years; an order which is able to give adequate solutions to today's problems based on the dignity of the human being, on an integral development of society, on solidarity between rich and poor nations, on the sharing of resources and the extraordinary results of scientific and technical progress."

All this is possible if the reason governing human relationships is love. "May God help us all to build together a 'civilization of love'. It is only in the type of humanity in which love is victorious that we will enjoy true and lasting peace," the pontiff said.

The pope sought the intercession of Mary, Mother "of the Prince of Peace", for the fulfilment of this task.

After the liturgy and prior to the Angelus, the pope wished everyone a happy new year in six languages  from the balcony of the papal apartment. He also greeted participants in a march sponsored by the St. Egidio Community, which had as its theme "Peace Throughout the Earth".
Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Pope talks about the Middle East, the Holy Land and the food crisis with Bush
UN expert: Junta committing crimes against humanity
12/03/2021 14:51
Demonstrations in Myanmar: 17 killed. Risk of Civil War
11/03/2021 14:00
"We are optimistic," says Paul Bhatti as Rimsha Masih's bail hearing postponed to Friday
20 more killed in Saigang and Bago. In London, army expels Burmese ambassador from embassy
08/04/2021 14:39


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”