Make peace a reality, says Pope in New Year Angelus

Pope Francis leads a Mass marking the World Day of Peace in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, January 1, 2020.(Photo: Reuters/Remo Casilli)

In his first Angelus of the New Year, Pope Francis spoke of the importance of being peacemakers following the "painful" events of the past year.

He called on people to "take care of one another and of creation", reflecting on the theme of the Catholic Church's World Day of Peace today.

"The painful events that have marked the path of humanity in the past year, especially the pandemic, teach us how necessary it is to take an interest in the problems of others and to share their concerns," he said.

He said that true peace starts when we are "at peace with ourselves and with those around us", as he called on people to defeat the "indifference, discord and rivalry that unfortunately prevail".

"Each one of us, the men and women of our time, is called to make peace a reality every day and in every area of life, extending a hand to a brother or sister in need of a word of comfort, a gesture of tenderness, a helping hand of solidarity," he said. 

He added: "Peace is not only the absence of war, but a life rich in meaning, planned and lived in personal fulfilment and fraternal sharing with others.

"Then that peace so longed for and always endangered by violence, selfishness and wickedness, becomes possible and attainable." 

He concluded by wishing everyone a happy and peaceful 2021 "filled with confident expectation and hope".