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Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God, 2005

New Year 2005 - 38th World Day of Peace
Theme: Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good

Pope Saint John Paul II's Homily
at the Te Deum & 1st Vespers of the Solemnity
31 December 2004 - in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

1. Another year is coming to an end. With deep awareness of the fleetingness of time, we are gathered this evening to give thanks to God for all the gifts he has lavished upon us in 2004.

Let us do so with the traditional song of the Te Deum.

2. Te Deum laudamus! When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son (cf. Gal 4: 4) not to condemn the world but to save it with his immense love (cf. Jn 3: 17).

We give you thanks, Lord Jesus, our Redeemer, because you desired to take on our human nature from Mary, the ever-Virgin Mother. In this Year of the Eucharist, we would like to thank you even more intensely for the gift of your Body and your Blood in the Sacrament of the Altar.

We praise you and give you thanks, Holy Spirit, Paraclete, for you make us aware of our adoption as sons and daughters (cf. Rom 8: 16) and teach us to turn to God calling him Father, "Abba!" (cf. Jn 4: 23-24; Gal 4: 6).

3. Dear brothers and sisters of the Diocesan Community of Rome! I now offer you a cordial greeting at our end-of-the-year meeting. I first greet the Cardinal Vicar, the Auxiliary Bishops, the priests, consecrated persons and every member of the Christian people. I greet respectfully the President of the Region, the Mayor of Rome, the President of the Province and the other civil Authorities who are here.

Dear brothers and sisters, let us thank God together for the manifestations of kindness and mercy with which he has accompanied our City on its way in recent months. May he bring to completion every apostolic project and initiative for good.

4. "Salvum fac populum tuum, domine", "Save your people, Lord". We ask you this through Mary as this evening we celebrate the First Vespers of the feast of her divine Motherhood.

Holy Mother of the Redeemer, guide us as we cross the threshold into the New Year! Obtain the gift of peace for Rome and for the whole world! Mother of God, pray for us!"

St John Paul II's Homily at Mass on the Feast of Mary, Mother of God
St Peter's Basilica, Saturday 1 January 2005 - in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

1. "Hail, holy Mother! The child to whom you gave birth is the King of heaven and earth for ever" (Entrance Antiphon).

On the first day of the year, the Church gathers in prayer before the image of the Mother of God, honouring with joy the one who gave to the world the fruit of her womb, Jesus, the "Prince of peace" (Is 9: 5).

2. It is already a consolidated tradition to celebrate on this same day the World Day of Peace. On this occasion I am pleased to express best wishes to the Ambassadors of the Diplomatic Corps to the Holy See. I address a special greeting to the Ambassadors of the countries particularly hard hit in these days by the tremendous cataclysm that befell them. ..

3. The World Day of Peace serves as an invitation to Christians and to all people of good will to renew their decided commitment to build peace. This presupposes the welcoming of a fundamental moral demand, well expressed in the words of St Paul: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom 12: 21).

In the face of the many manifestations of evil which unfortunately injure the human family, the critical need is to promote peace using consistent means, giving importance to dialogue, to works of justice and to educating in forgiveness.

4. Overcoming evil with weapons of love becomes the way in which each person can contribute to the peace of all. Christians and believers of different religions are called to walk this path, together with those who accept the universal moral law.

Dear brothers and sisters, promoting peace in the world is our common mission!

May the Virgin Mary help us to fulfil the words of the Lord: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Mt 5: 9).

Happy New Year to everyone! Praised be Jesus Christ!"

Papa San Giovanni Paolo II at the Angelus on 38th World Day of Peace
St Peter's Square, New Year's Day 2005 - in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"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, 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:

"Ringrazio vivamente il Signor Presidente della Repubblica Italiana per gli auguri che mi ha rivolto ieri sera, e li ricambio di cuore invocando pace e prosperità per l’intero popolo italiano.

Ancora una volta esprimo la mia vicinanza alle popolazioni colpite dal tragico cataclisma dei giorni scorsi. Nell'assicurare la mia preghiera per le vittime della catastrofe e per i loro familiari, prendo atto con favore della gara di solidarietà che si sta sviluppando in ogni parte del mondo. Su questo senso di umana solidarietà, oltre che sull'aiuto di Dio, si fonda la speranza di giorni migliori nel corso dell'anno che oggi si apre.

Bonne et sainte année aux pèlerins francophones, dans la paix du Christ !

With warm New Year greetings, I invoke upon the English-speaking pilgrims God’s blessings of joy and peace!

Im Vertrauen auf Gottes treues Geleit erbitte ich allen Brüdern und Schwestern deutscher Sprache für das neue Jahr Zuversicht und wahren Frieden.

Saludo a las personas de lengua española y les deseo un feliz Año Nuevo, lleno de paz.

Aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa faço votos de um Feliz Ano Novo, com a protecção maternal de Maria Santíssima.

Moim rodakom życzę w nowym roku pokoju, pomyślności i Bożego błogosławieństwa. Szczęść Boże!

Saluto i giovani dell’Opera Don Orione, le famiglie del Movimento dell’Amore Familiare e gli amici della "Fraterna Domus", come pure i numerosi partecipanti alla marcia per la pace organizzata dalla Comunità di Sant’Egidio.

Buon anno a tutti!"


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