At a time when the world marks on September 21 every year the International Day of Peace, which is a day the United Nations has dedicated to fortifying ideals of peace through observing 24 hours of non-violence and ceasefire, it is important to recall the statements and positions made by His Holiness Pope Francis on the need to bring about global peace.
Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis never missed any opportunity to reflect on the values of peace as well as on the need to build a lasting peace.
Stressing the need never to marginalize the significance on peace building, he said on April 15, 2020, “One tends to think peace means calm, harmony, internal serenity. This definition is incomplete and cannot be universalized, because in life, restlessness can be an important moment for growth. Many times, the Lord plants restlessness in us, so we can draw closer to Him and find Him.”
Actually, some people think that peace only means internal harmony. This seems to be true, yet it does not bring about real peace because it is important to have peace with the outside world, namely the people with whom one comes into contact. This complements the feeling of tranquility and gives personal satisfaction.
Furthermore, Pope Francis said on September 7, 2013 that the basis for peace is the need to have everyone responsible for caring for others, being a duty that has existed since the creation of the world.
He said, “When man thinks only of himself, of his own interests and places himself in the center, when he permits himself to be captivated by the idols of dominion and power, when he puts himself in God's place, then all relationships are broken and everything is ruined; then the door opens to violence, indifference and conflict.”
In this statement, Pope Francis touched on a key question in inter-personal relations, namely by being “captivated by the idols of dominion and power “and replacing the will of the Almighty God. Actually meekness is the clue to encapsulate people in love and respect. This view is corroborated by Lord Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount when He said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5)
It is also important to point out that Pope Francis stressed on June 8, 2014 that attainment of peace needs enormous effort. He also urged global leaders to respect treaties and avoid provocations. He never forgot the victims of war and those who were martyred in defence of freedom, peace, and common living while abiding the teaching of the Merciful God.
He said, “Many, too many of these sons have fallen as innocent victims of war and violence, plants ripped out in full bloom. It's our duty not to let their sacrifice be in vain. May their memory instill in us the courage of peace."
If the world avoids trivializing peace, it takes full responsibility to fulfill this goal with courage through the enshrinement of justice and equality, then the world will definitely live in peace.
It is time to awaken humanity to embrace fraternity as a crux of a fruitful future.
May the world also seek the peace of the prince of peace who said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Thank you Pope Francis… You are the Pope of peace and harmony. May the world listen to your invaluable words and help create a world of love and peace.