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VATICAN CITY Back issues: : 2.00.

N. 1 (1975) - 3 January 2007
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‘Be sincere and courageous builders of peace’
At noon on Monday, 1 January, Solemnity of True foundations of peace
Mary, Mother of God, and prior to leading the An- Today, I renew my wish for peace to those govern-
gelus with the faithful in St Peter's Square, the ing and leading the nations and international organiza-
Holy Father delivered the following Reflection,
tions and to all men and women of good will. I do this
translated from Italian.
particularly with the special Message that I have pre-
Dear Brothers and Sisters, pared, together with my collaborators of the Pontifical
At the beginning of the New Year I am happy to Council for Justice and Peace, and whose theme this
greet all of you present here in St Peter's Square, and year is: “The human person, heart of peace”.
to those who are joined with us by radio and televi- It touches on an essential point, the value of the hu-
sion, the most cordial wishes of peace and goodness. man person, which is the supporting column of the
Congratulations to all of you: peace and goodness! entire, great edifice of peace.
May the light of Christ, the Sun that appeared on the Today, much is spoken of human rights, but it is of-
horizon of humanity, illuminate your way and accom- ten forgotten that they need a stable, not relative, not
pany you throughout the whole of 2007! optional, foundation. And this can be none other than
With fortunate intuition, my venerable Predecessor, the dignity of the human person. Respect for this dig-
the Servant of God Paul VI, wished the year to open nity begins with the recognition and protection of the
under the protection of Mary Most Holy, venerated as person's right to life and to freely profess his or her
the Mother of God. own religion.
The Christian community, which in these days has To the Most Holy Mother of God we confidently ad-
remained in prayerful adoration before the crib, looks dress our prayer, so that sacred respect for each hu-
with particular love to the Virgin Mary, identifying it- man person and the firm refusal of war and violence
self with her while contemplating the newborn Baby,
may develop in consciences.
wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.
Mary, you who have given Jesus to the world, help
Like Mary, the Church also remains in silence in or-
us to welcome his gift of peace and to be sincere and
der to welcome and keep the interior resonances of
the Word made flesh and in order not to lose the di- courageous builders of peace.
vine-human warmth that radiates from his presence. After the Angelus, the Pope said:
He is the blessing of God I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims present
The Church, like the Virgin, does none other than for this Angelus on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of
show Jesus, the Saviour, to everyone, and reflects to God.
each one the light of his face, the splendour of good- Today, we recall the wonderful mystery that
ness and truth. through Blessed Mary, virgin and mother, God has be-
Today, we contemplate Jesus, born of the Virgin come man! Filled with awe, knowing that the world
Mary, in his prerogative of true “Prince of Peace” (Is has been given a Saviour, we give thanks to God.
9:6). He “is our peace”, come to break down the “wall Today is also the World Day of Peace. May Mary
of separation” that divides humanity and peoples, show us, in her Son, the way of peace, and enlighten
which is “enmity” (Eph 2:14). our vision so that we may recognize Christ's face in
For this reason, Paul VI, of venerable memory, also the face of every human person.
wanted 1 January to become the World Day of Peace:
“Jesus ‘is our peace’, come to break Upon all of you, your families and communities I in-
so that each new year begins in the light of Christ, the down the ‘wall of separation’ that voke God's abundant Blessings of comfort and joy.
great peacemaker of humanity. divides humanity and peoples”. Happy New Year!

The Feast of
Epiphany, known
popularly as
“little Christmas”,
is celebrated on
6 January.
For articles
related to
this Feast, see
pages 4 and 8.
For coverage of the
Christmas Homily
and ‘Urbi et Orbi’
Address of
Pope Benedict XVI,
see pages 9-11.

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