January 6, 2000
volume 11, no. 4

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    Today, we bring you the words from His Holiness Pope John Paul II for his first Angelus address given on the very first day of the new millennium on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and World Peace Day. His brief address reiterates Christ's call to cross the threshold and place our trust in Him. He also invokes the guidance of Mary for her special feast which ties in with the need for peace throughout the world. For that reason the Holy Father reminds all of the plight of the less fortunate in many countries where peace is only a word and persecution or famine rule the day. The full English text was translated and provided by ZENIT news agency.

    Dearest Brothers and Sisters!

1. Let us give thanks to God, who has offered us the opportunity of beginning another year. As I invoke his grace and protection for each of your, I give you my most heartfelt wishes for a good Year 2000!

    During the Christmas Midnight Mass, we heard the proclamation of the angels: "Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to those on whom His favor rests" (Luke 2, 14). This is the proclamation of hope that I have re-proposed in the traditional message for today's World Day of Peace. God loves us, He gives each of us the hope of a new time, a time of salvation and peace.

2. Yes. Christ is our peace. He calls us to love every human being without discrimination, converting our hearts and minds to thoughts of peace, and banishing the temptation to violence and war. The Jubilee that has barely begun constitutes a pressing invitation to love in the prospective of a reconciled humanity.

    We cross the threshold of a new year with the task of bringing our contribution so that peace will become the everyday language of the peoples. The Gospel teaches us that dialogue, cooperation, respect for life, and solidarity are valid instruments to weave new relations between peoples and countries, between the rich and the poor, between believers and non-believers.

    From every part of the world, a heartfelt invocation of peace is being raised. Let us pray that it not remain unheard. At this moment, my thoughts go to those who are victims of violence, to those who feel themselves alone and abandoned.

    Christ, Son of God made flesh, enlighten the hearts of men and women with the gift of peace. You, Son of the Most High, were born for us all. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever!

3. The first day of the year is placed under the special protection of Mary. We begin the year 2000 under the loving gaze of the Mother of God, who gave Christ, the Prince of Peace, to the world. The mantle of her motherhood extends itself to all and protects us from evil, frees us from hate and violence. She accompanies humanity on the paths of peace. May every man and woman discover in others -- beyond every border -- the face of brothers and sisters, of friends, of members of a single family.

    Mary, Mother of God, make us apostles of peace!


January 6, 2000
volume 10, no. 4

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