VATICAN CITY, JAN. 1, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today before reciting the midday Angelus with tens of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
Beforehand, the Pope presided at a Mass on the solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. It was also World Day of Peace.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters!
On this first day of the year, the Church contemplates the heavenly Mother of God, who holds in her arms the Child Jesus, source of all blessings. “Hail, holy Mother, you have given birth to the King who rules heaven and earth for ever and ever.”
The announcement of the angels in Bethlehem echoed in Mary’s maternal heart, filling it with wonder: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14). And the Gospel adds that Mary “kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Like her, the Church also keeps and meditates on the Word of God, applying it with the different and changing situations she finds on her way.
Contemplating Christ, who came on earth to give us peace, we celebrate with the new year the World Day of Peace, which began by decision of Pope Paul VI thirty-eight years ago. In my first message on this occasion, I wanted to take up this year a constant theme in the magisterium of my venerated predecessors, beginning with the memorable encyclical of Blessed Pope John XXIII, “Pacem in Terris”: the theme of truth as the foundation of authentic peace: “In Truth, Peace” is the motto that I present for the reflection of every person of good will.
When man allows himself to be illuminated by the splendor of truth, he becomes interiorly a courageous architect of peace. The liturgical time we are living gives us a great lesson: To welcome the gift of peace we must open ourselves to the truth that has been revealed in the person of Jesus, who taught us the “content” and at the same time the “method” of peace, that is, love.
God, in fact, who is perfect and subsistent love, revealed himself in Jesus, assuming our human condition. In this way he has also indicated to us the way of peace: dialogue, forgiveness, solidarity. This is the only way that leads to authentic peace.
Let us turn our gaze to Mary Most Holy, who today blesses the whole world showing her divine Son, the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:5). With trust, let us invoke her powerful intercession so that the human family, by opening itself to the evangelical message, might spend the year which begins today in fraternity and peace. With these sentiments I express to all of you here present, and to all those who are united to us through radio and television, my most cordial wishes for peace and goodness.”
[Translation by ZENIT]
[The Holy Father then greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]
I greet all the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Angelus, and in particular the many Pueri Cantores, whom I thank for their beautiful signing at this morning’s Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. I wish all of you a New Year full of joy and consolation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Through the intercession of his Blessed Mother, Mary, may Christians everywhere have the courage to be promoters of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace!