In his message for the 56th World Day of Peace, which will be celebrated on the 1st of January 2023, Pope Francis reminds that there is light even in the darkest hour. Using the Covid-19 pandemic as an example, the Pope says that the pandemic made us all aware of the need for everyone, including peoples and nations, to restore the word “together” to a central place in our lexicon.  Only the peace that comes from a fraternal and disinterested love can help us overcome personal, societal and global crises.

In his message, Pope Francis also says that unfortunately this is not the post-Covid era we had hoped for. “At the very moment when we dared to hope that the darkest hours of the Covid-19 pandemic were over, a terrible new disaster befell humanity,” he said, now that that the world is witnessing onslaught of another scourge: the war in Ukraine “driven by culpable human decisions.”

Pope Francis notes that this war is “reaping innocent victims and spreading insecurity, not only among those directly affected, but in a widespread and indiscriminate way for everyone, also for those who, even thousands of kilometres away, suffer its collateral effects – we need but think of grain shortages and fuel prices.” And while a vaccine has been found for Covid-19,says Pope Francis, “suitable solutions have not yet been found for the war.”

Faced with a number of interconnected moral, social, political and economic crises, the Pope finally explains that “we can no longer think exclusively of carving out space for our personal or national interests, (…) instead we must think in terms of the common good.”

Read message here.