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Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
38th World Day of Peace
Saturday, 1 January 2005


1. We begin the New Year with the celebration of the feast of Mary, Mother of God, the Theotokos.

The Blessed Virgin offers to the world the Messiah who is God's blessing for every person and for the whole world. The greetings we exchange today are based on this blessing:  good wishes, because in Christ, God has filled us with every good; wishes for peace, because "he is our peace" (Eph 2: 14).

2. Today's World Day of Peace fits into this liturgical context. Its theme this year is the Apostle Paul's exhortation:  "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom 12: 21).

"Evil... is the result of human freedom" (Message for World Day of Peace 2005, n. 2) and it is overcome when human freedom, urged by grace, opts firmly, that is, definitively, for good, for God.

3. May Mary, Queen of Peace, help us all to build together this fundamental good of human co-existence. Only in this way will the world be able to advance on the paths of justice and fraternal solidarity.

Happy New Year!

After the Angelus:

I warmly thank the President of the Italian Republic for the good wishes he addressed to me yesterday evening and I warmly reciprocate them, invoking peace and prosperity for the whole Italian Nation.

Once again, I express my closeness to the peoples struck by the recent tragic disaster. I offer the victims of the catastrophe and their relatives the assurance of my prayers and note with pleasure the vying for solidarity that is developing in every part of the world. Hope for better days in the course of the year that begins today is founded on this sense of human solidarity, as well as on God's help.

I wish the French-speaking pilgrims a happy and holy New Year, in the peace of Christ!
With warm New Year greetings, I invoke upon the English-speaking pilgrims God's Blessings of joy and peace!

Confident of God's faithful support, I pray that the German-speaking brothers and sisters will have trust and true peace in the New Year!

I greet the Spanish-speaking people and wish them a happy New Year, full of peace!

I offer the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims my good wishes for a Happy New Year, with the motherly protection of Mary Most Holy!

I extend to my fellow citizens my good wishes for peace, prosperity and God's Blessing in the New Year!

I greet the young people of the "Opera Don Orione", the families of the Movement of Family Love and the friends of "Fraterna Domus", as well as the numerous participants in the peace march organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio.

A Happy New Year to you all!



© Copyright 2005 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana