Before announcing the names of the 20 new cardinals he will create on February 14, Pope Francis used his Sunday Angelus address to continue the reflection on peace, Mary and the Church that he began during a Mass on January 1 marking the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and the World Day of Prayer for Peace.
“Peace is not just an absence of war, but the general condition of the person who is in harmony with him or herself, in harmony with nature and in harmony with others,” he said during the Angelus address.
Everyone says they want peace, Pope Francis said, but they continue to make war, even on a small scale. “How many families, how many communities — even parishes — are at war,” he said.
Describing Mary as the “queen of peace,” the Pope said that during her earthly life she knew difficulty, “but she never lost her peace of heart, a fruit of having abandoned herself with trust to the mercy of God. We ask Mary, our tender mother, to point the whole world to the sure path of love and peace.”
Peace is a gift that comes through prayer and through small daily efforts to sow harmony in one’s family, parish and community, Pope Francis said.
He added: “At the beginning of this new year, we are all called to reignite in our hearts a spark of hope, which must be translated into concrete works of peace: You don’t get along with that person? Make peace. In your home? Make peace. In the community? Make peace. At work? Make peace.”
Reciting the Angelus on January 1, he reminded people that the theme of his 2015 peace day message was “No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters.”
“War makes us slaves always,” he said. “We are all called to combat every form of slavery and build brotherhood. And remember, peace is possible.”
Faith helps make people free, and living the tenets of faith helps make them peacemakers, he said.
“Thanks to our baptism, we were introduced into communion with God and we are no longer at the whim of evil and sin, but we receive the love, tenderness and mercy of the heavenly Father,” he added.
Earlier on January 1, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St Peter’s Basilica and focused his homily on Mary as both the mother of God and mother of the Church.
“Jesus,” he told the congregation, “cannot be understood without his mother,” the one who gave him human flesh, raised him and was near him always, even as he died on the cross and rose from the dead.
“Likewise inseparable are Christ and the Church,” he said. And, he continued, just as Mary brought Jesus into the world more than 2,000 years ago, the Church continues to bring him to the world.
Having been unable to sell in churches for well over a year due to the pandemic, we are now inviting readers to support the Herald by investing in our future. We have been a bold and influential voice in the church since 1888, standing up for traditional Catholic culture and values.
Please join us on our 130 year mission by supporting us. We are raising £250,000 to safeguard the Herald as a world-leading voice in Catholic journalism and teaching. For more information from our chairman on contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund, click here
Make a Donation
Donors giving £500 or more will automatically become sponsor patrons of the Herald. This includes two complimentary print/digital gift subscriptions, invitations to Patron events, pilgrimages and dinners, and 6 gift subscriptions sent to priests, seminaries, Catholic schools, religious care homes and prison and university chaplaincies. Click here for more information on becoming a Patron Sponsor. Click here for more information about contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund