Whether the new year will be good or not depends on us choosing to do good each day, Pope Francis said.
“That is how one builds peace, saying ‘no’ to hatred and violence – with action – and ‘yes’ to fraternity and reconciliation,” he said on 1st January, which the Church marks as the feast of Mary, Mother of God and as World Peace Day.
Speaking to the some 50,000 pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square for the first noon Angelus of 2017, the pope referred to his peace day message in which he asked people to adopt the “style” of nonviolence for building a politics for peace.
Lamenting the brutal act of terrorism that struck during a night of “well-wishes and hope” in Istanbul, the pope offered his prayers for the entire nation of Turkey as well as those hurt and killed. A gunman opened fire during a New Year’s Eve celebration at a popular nightclub early on 1st January, killing at least 39 people and wounding at least 70 more.
“I ask the Lord to support all people of good will who courageously roll up their sleeves in order to confront the scourge of terrorism and this bloodstain that is enveloping the world with the shadow of fear and confusion,” he said.
Picture: Pope Francis walks to the altar during a Mass marking the feast of Mary, Mother of God, in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on 1st January. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).