His advice included setting aside a moment of silence daily to be with God. “At the beginning of the year, we too, as Christians on our pilgrim way, feel the need to set out anew from the center, to leave behind the burdens of the past and to start over from the things that really matter,” he said. The Catholic church designates Jan. 1 as World Peace Day.
“I desire, yet again, to speak for these our brothers and sisters who invoke for their future a horizon of peace,” Francis said. “For this peace, which is the right of everyone, many of them are willing to risk their life in a voyage that is in the great majority of cases long and dangerous, willing to face hardships and suffering.” The pope then prayed that people “work in this new year with generosity to realize a world that is more united and welcoming.” Faithful held placards reading “Pace e’ semipro possible” (Peace is always possible). The central idea of the papal statement is the relationship between global poverty, catastrophic inequality, and pursuit of the golden calf of consumerism that leads to environmental destruction.