By Ferdinand Patinio
Pope Francis. (File photo)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Pope Francis urged everyone to work hard to achieve peace, saying human strength alone is not enough for it to be achieved.
“May the Virgin Mary, who gave birth to the Prince of Peace, and cuddled him with such tenderness in her arms, obtain for us from heaven the precious gift of peace, which cannot be fully pursued with human strength alone,” he said in his New Year’s Day message from the Vatican on Friday (Manila time).
He said peace is a gift from God to be implored with “incessant prayer, sustained with patient and respectful dialogue, constructed with an open collaboration with truth and justice, and always attentive to the legitimate aspirations of individuals and peoples.”
New Year’s Day also coincided with the commemoration of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
“We begin this year placing ourselves under the maternal and loving gaze of Mary Most Holy, celebrated in today’s liturgy as Mother of God,” the Holy Father said.
He also urged everyone to learn from the sorrows of the past and help others in any way possible.
“The painful events that marked humanity’s journey last year, especially the pandemic, taught us much it is necessary to take an interest in others’ problems and to share their concerns,” the head of the Vatican added.
The Pope also expressed hope that peace would reign in the hearts of the people.
“My hope is that peace might reign in the hearts of men and women and families, in recreational and workplaces, in communities and nations. In families, workplaces, and nations: peace, peace. We might think that life today is organized by wars, hatred, and many things that destroy. We want peace,” he added.
He also wished the public “a happy and serene 2021.”
“May it be for every one a year of fraternal solidarity and peace, a year filled with expectant trust and hope, which we can entrust to the heavenly protection of Mary, Mother of God and our Mother,” Pope Francis said. (PNA)