Pope Francis celebrated First Vespers and Te Deum in thanksgiving for the past year on December 31, 2017, in St. Peter’s Basilica.
“Even this time of the year 2017, which God had given us whole and healthy, we humans have in many ways wasted and wounded with works of death, with lies and injustices,” the Pope said. “Wars are the flagrant sign of this recidivist and absurd pride. But so are all the small and great offenses to life, to truth, to fraternity, which cause multiple forms of human, social and environmental degradation. We want everything and we must assume, before God, our brothers and our creation, our responsibility.
“But tonight the grace of Jesus prevails and his reflection in Mary. Therefore gratitude prevails, which, as Bishop of Rome, I feel in my soul, thinking of people who live with an open heart in this city.
I feel a sense of sympathy and gratitude for all those people who every day contribute with small but precious concrete actions to the good of Rome: they try to fulfill their duty to the best, they move in traffic with criteria and prudence, respect public places and they point out things that are wrong, they pay attention to the elderly or in difficulty, and so on. These and a thousand other behaviors express concretely the love for the city. Without speeches, without advertising, but with a style of civic education practiced in everyday life. And so they silently cooperate in the common good.
“I also feel a great esteem for parents, teachers and all educators who, with this same style, try to train children and young people in a civic sense, an ethic of responsibility, educating them to feel part of, to take care of themselves. , to take an interest in the reality that surrounds them.
“These people, even if they do not make news, are the majority of the people who live in Rome. And among them, many are in conditions of economic straits; yet they do not cry on each other, nor do they harbor resentments and grudges, but they strive to do their part every day to improve things a little.”
© Libreria Editrice Vatican