Documentation Service January 2016 issue

January 2017 Issue          At the beginning of the year the Roman Pontiff always gives a message on peace. Since 1967, from Paul VI onwards, all the Roman Pontiffs have been celebrating the first day of the year as the World Day of Peace (WDP). Perhaps it’s the Pope’s way of saying that we have to start the year on the right foot. For the 50th WDP, Pope Francis invited all to practice nonviolence: “I would like to reflect on nonviolence as a style of politics for peace. I ask God to help all of us to cultivate nonviolence in our most personal thoughts and values. May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other as individuals, within society and in international life. When victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promoters of nonviolent peacemaking.”

In order to promote universal peace, the Holy See has established a new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. As its name indicates, it will foster justice, peace, care for creation and concern for those in need, especially to the excluded and marginalized. Hopefully it can make our world more harmonious in contrast to one which, in the words of Pope Francis, is “engaged in a horrifying world war fought piecemeal.”

May each one of us follow the clarion call of the Pope and strive to live peacefully in every sphere we are involved, promoting a lifestyle of nonviolence particularly in our own families. For this we seek Mother Mary’s help and guidance: “Our Lady of Peace, protect us from every form of violence!”