Vatican City, 2 January 2015 (VIS) – Following the celebration of Holy Mass on the Solemnity of Holy Mary, Mother of God, and on the 48th World Day of Peace, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. Before the Marian prayer, the Pontiff gave a short address.
“On this first day of the year, in the joyful atmosphere of Christmas, the Church invites us to fix our gaze of faith and of love on the Mother of Jesus. … It is impossible to separate contemplation of Jesus, the Word of life Who is made visible and tangible, from contemplation of Mary, who has given Him her love and her human flesh. At the beginning of a new year, it is good to remember the day of our Baptism: we rediscover the gift received in that Sacrament which has regenerated us to new life, the divine life. And this is through the Mother Church, which has as its model the Mother Mary. Thanks to our Baptism we have been introduced to communion with God and are no longer at the mercy of evil and sin, but instead receive the love, tenderness, and mercy of the heavenly Father”.
“This closeness of God to our existence gives us true peace, the divine gift we especially wish to implore today, World Day of Peace. … Peace is always possible and our prayer is at the root of peace. Prayer enables peace to germinate. Today, World Day of Peace, 'Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters': this is the message of this Day. Because wars make slaves of us, always. It is a message that affects all of us. We are all required to fight against every form of slavery and to build fraternity. All of us – each person according to his or her own responsibility”.
Pope Francis urged those present to pray to Mary, Mother of God and Our Mother, to present her our good intentions and to ask her to extend the mantle of her maternal protection over us, every day of the new year. Following the Marian prayer, the Pope greeted the faithful in the square and wished them a happy new year. Shortly after the tolling of the “Maria Dolens” bell in Trentino, made in honour of the fallen in all the wars and blessed by Pope Paul VI in 1965, was heard by live connection. “May there never again be wars, but always a desire for and commitment to peace and brotherhood among peoples”, he concluded.