(Source: CD/Vatican News)
Today, on World Peace Day, Pope Francis invited the world to reconciliation and fraternity.
“We should not resign ourselves to seeking anything less than peace”
“We need to pursue a genuine fraternity based on our common origin from God. The desire for #peace lies deep within the human heart, and we should not resign ourselves to seeking anything less than this”, the pontiff wrote Monday in a message on Twitter.
He later followed up that call with another tweet: “The journey of reconciliation calls for patience and trust. #Peace will not be obtained unless it is hoped for”.
The United Nations-backed International Peace Day is celebrated around the world on September 21 each year. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Day, which was instituted by a unanimous resolution at the UN in 1981.
The theme for this year’s Day is “Shaping Peace Together”. As the UN explained, the celebration today will be marked by 24 hours of non-violence and cease fire, with activities being focused on “fostering dialogue and collecting ideas”, particularly around the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Even though we may not be able to stand next to each other, we can still dream together”, the UN urged.
To children with autism spectrum disorder: “Each of us is beautiful in God’s eyes, and God loves us”
Also on Monday, Pope Francis received in the Vatican a group of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are being treated at a clinic in St. Polten, Austria. He thanked all for the wonderful work for the youngsters.
The pontiff expressed his delight at meeting the group of 42, including children with ASD, their parents and the staff of Ambulatorium Sonnenschein where they are treated.
“Welcome to the Vatican! I am happy to see your faces, and I read it in your eyes that you too are happy to be here with me for a while”, he told the group.
The children undergo therapy at Ambulatorium Sonnenschein or the Sunshine Outpatient Clinic, which was established in 1995.
The treatment combines under one roof diagnosis, advice and therapy for children and adolescents with special needs.
Flowers in a meadow
“Your house is called ‘Sunshine’, a beautiful name!” the Pope said, adding, there is a reason behind it. “It is because your house is like a magnificent blooming meadow in the sunshine and you are the flowers of this ‘Sunshine’ house!”
Francis explained that God created the world with a great variety of flowers of all colours, and every flower has its beauty, which is unique.
“Each of us,” the Pope said, “is also beautiful in God’s eyes, and God loves us.” Hence, we need to thank God for it.
“Thank you for the gift of life, for all creatures! Thank you for Mum and Dad! Thank you for our families! And thank you also for the friends from the ‘Sunshine’ centre!” the Pope said.
Gratitude, he explained, is a beautiful prayer that is pleasing to God.
He told the children they can also ask Jesus to help their parents with their work or comfort a grandmother who is a bit sick.
They can ask Jesus to help children around the world who have nothing to eat or even help the Pope to lead the Church well.
“If you ask with faith, the Lord will surely hear you,” the Pope assured them.
Pope Francis concluded his meeting thanking all those present, including the clinic staff.
“Thank you for this beautiful initiative and for your commitment to the little ones entrusted to you,” he said, adding, “Everything that you have done for one of these little ones, you have done it to Jesus!”