JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 27 January 2002
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. I am still feeling intensely the emotion I experienced last Thursday on the
Day of Prayer for
Peace: "Violence never again! War never again! Terrorism never again! In the name of God, may every religion bring upon the earth justice and peace, forgiveness and life, love!".
Once again, today I would like to thank the religious leaders who responded to my invitation. Together we affirmed in Assisi that the mission of religion consists in fostering peaceful coexistence among peoples and cultures, in reciprocal respect. At the same time, I express my heartfelt thanks to the immense body of believers, to the innumerable individuals all over the world who were with us with their spiritual support; as well to those who, although far from religion, have shared "the spirit" of this extraordinary Day and are ready to defend and promote authentic human values.
I am very happy now that a few days after the Assisi meeting, the youngsters of Rome's Catholic Action have come to St Peter's Square with the Cardinal Vicar Camillo Ruini to celebrate their "Day of Peace". Two of them are here with me and in a little while they will release two doves, symbol of peace. It is an expressive action, dedicated to the many children who, unfortunately, are still victims of war and serious injustices. May the dedication of all guarantee respect for the fundamental rights of every human being born on the face of the earth.
After the Angelus, the Pope added.
I greet the priests of the Archdiocese of Krakow who have come to Rome to celebrate their 10th anniversary of priestly ordination. God bless you.
I greet warmly all the pilgrims present today. As you can see, the great Nativity scene is still present in St Peter's Square. It helps us remember that God became man to remain with us always. His love is our hope.
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