World Day of Peace_Dove

World Day of Peace

At the beginning of each New Year, our Pope offers a special message to celebrate the World Day of Peace. Directed to all people and nations of the world, Pope Francis focused his 2017 message on the role of civic and community engagement, Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace.

This message is not limited to those in formal political roles. Rather, we are all invited to make this a way of life. He asks “God to help all of us to cultivate nonviolence in our most personal thoughts and values. May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other as individuals, within society and in international life.”

It is important to clarify that nonviolence does not mean “surrender, lack of involvement and passivity.” Rather, Pope Francis is calling us to “active nonviolence.” This practice of consistent and decisive nonviolence compels us to get together and love one another through direct, bold action. “Active nonviolence is a way of showing that unity is truly more powerful and more fruitful than conflict. Everything in the world in interconnected.”  

Pope Francis points out that Jesus taught “that the true battlefield, where violence and peace meet, is the human heart.” Quoting Benedict XVI, he states, “For Christians, nonviolence is not merely tactical behavior but a person’s way of being, the attitude of one who is so convinced of God’s love and power that he or she is not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and trust alone. Love of one’s enemy constitutes the nucleus of the ‘Christian Revolution.’”

Pope Francis challenges us. “In the most local and ordinary situations and in the in the international order, may nonviolence become the hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions, indeed of political life in all its forms.” Let us take up this call and work for peace together.


Janice Andersen, Director of Christian Life


Message from Pope Francis