World Day of Peace 2017

Philip Laubner/CRS

Each year on New Year's Day the Church around the world marks a World Day of Peace. In this year's World Day of Peace message, Pope Francis says that peace is possible, and that everyone can be an "artisan of peace." He encourages world leaders, in particular, to consider nonviolence as a style of politcs for peace.

Catholic Relief Services participates in peacebuildling work in nations around the world and offers a number of resources to help people learn about and to be artisans of peace in their own lives. We also invite you to join with us in prayer for peace: 


God of Peace,

In our lifetimes alone,
We have seen miracles of reconciliation
Nations built by neighbors who were enemies for generations

Living side by side as neighbors were meant to live.
In our lifetimes alone, 
We have seen imperial forces recede—
Not in the face of superior firepower
But in the face of human dignity,
Standing and showing itself in all its glory.

In our lifetimes alone,
We have seen walls tumble—
Walls meant to separate the deadliest of foes—
Greeted by the mutual embrace of a humanity
That would not be separated.

In our lifetimes alone,
We have seen Muslim and Christian
Stand watch over one another in deadly times
So one may bow and pray to you
While the other watched and protected.

In our lifetimes alone,
We have seen shoots of renewal spring up from the blood of martyrs
Rather than the choking vines and thorns of revenge.

In our lifetimes alone,
We have seen plagues beaten back
We have seen fruits bloom in the desert
We have seen purses spilled open in times of great need
We have seen strangers reach toward each other across every divide
We have seen your children sacrifice themselves over and over for one another
We have seen rattling sabers drawn, and then blessedly resheathed,
in the face of prayer and wisdom.

God of peace,
You sing to us of a time when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb
In our lifetimes alone
We have seen it.
How can we doubt that you reign?