Pope Francis offered New Year's greetings of peace today (January 1, 2014) to the tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square to recite with the Holy Father the Angelus prayer at the start of 2014, according to the Vatican News website.
The Pope said his wishes for the new year are "those of the Church:" Christian wishes that put Jesus Christ at the center of history and at its end: "the Kingdom of God, Kingdom of peace, justice, liberty in love." And the Holy Spirit, the Holy Father said, is the force which propels us towards that end.
Recalling that on January first, the Church celebrates the feast of Mary, the Holy Mother of God as well as World Day of Peace, Pope Francis referred to his Message of Peace for the Day: "Fraternity: the Foundation and Pathway to Peace," saying it stems from the conviction that we are "all children of one God and are part of the same human family," sharing a common destiny.
We all have a responsibility, the Pope stressed, to build a world which "becomes a community of brothers who respect each other, accept each other's differences, and take care of each other." He added, "Everyone must work to build a society of solidarity and truly more just."