Vatican City, 1 January 2016 (VIS) – Following the Eucharistic celebration Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. Before the Marian prayer, the Pope wished a happy new year to those present and asked the Lord to grant peace on this, the 49th World Day of Peace.
“We know that with the new year not everything changes, and that many of yesterday's problems will remain even tomorrow. So I convey to you my wishes supported by true hope, which I draw from today's liturgy. … I also hope that the Lord may look upon you and that you may rejoice, knowing that every day His merciful face, more radiant than the sun, shines on you and never sets! Discovering God's face renews life, because He is a Father of his beloved humanity, Who never tires of starting over with us to renew us. But He does not promise magical changes, He does not use a magic wand. He loves to change reality from within, with patience and love; He asks to enter into our lives delicately, like rain on the earth, to bring fruit. And He always awaits us and looks upon us with tenderness. Every morning, as we reawaken, we can say, 'Today the Lord makes his face to shine upon me'. A beautiful prayer that is also reality”.
Francis remarked that today we celebrate the World Day of Peace, whose theme this year is “Overcome indifference and win peace”, and said that peace, that God the Father wishes to sow throughout the world, “must be cultivated by us. Not only that, it must also be 'won'. This implies a true struggle, a spiritual battle that takes place within our heart. The enemy of peace is not only war, but also indifference, which makes us think only of ourselves, so that we create barriers, suspicions, fears and narrow-mindedness. These things are the enemies of peace. We have, thanks be to God, access to much information; however at times we are so immersed in news that we are distracted from reality, from the brother and sister who need us. Let us start to open our heart, turning our attention to our neighbour, to those who are closest to us. This is the path to winning peace”.
The Pope asked for the help of the Queen of Peace, the Mother of God, whose solemnity we celebrate today. He explained that she “treasured these things, pondering them in her heart. … Let us entrust this new year to the Mother, so that peace and mercy might grow”.