World Cannot Reject Children´s Cry for Peace, Pope Says

John Paul II Meets with 60 Children of Catholic Action

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 21, 2001 ( When meeting some 60 boys and girls of Italian Catholic Action today, John Paul II said that the world cannot reject their cry for peace.

Every year at Christmas time, the noise of these children breaks the silence of the Vatican Rooms, when they meet the Pontiff to wish him a happy Christmas. The Holy Father used the encounter to make an appeal for peace.

The children and adolescents of Catholic Action are organizing a “Month of Peace,” which will be observed in January. The initiative is an invitation to parishes to make time for reflection on the papal message for the forthcoming World Day of Peace.

The Holy Father encouraged the youngsters to promote the peace initiative “with enthusiasm and generosity” because “coming from you, it takes on the force of a convincing supplication.”

In wishing the children a happy Christmas, John Paul II said that he hoped Catholic Action will continue to be a special place to “know Jesus more closely” and “to live the Gospel in the events of daily life.”

“To love Jesus, to experience his great love must always be the most ardent desire of your heart,” the Pope told them. “If you follow him faithfully, you will also be able to have your friends know and love him.”

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