International Day of Peace

on 20 Sep, 2021
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Amman (Jordan), 20/09/2021, Sr. Aliya Hikmat.- The International Day of Peace is celebrated every year on September 21. Established in 1981 by the United Nations, is a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. This day should not be confused with the World Day of Peace, January 1, a day of prayer for peace instituted by Pope Paul VI, in 1968, within the Catholic Church.

Theme for 2021 is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. It calls forth to join United Nations to recover a peaceful world by standing up against all acts of hate online and offline and by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic.[1]                                                                 

All aspire peace in different domains of life: peace of heart, in the family, at work, in the country… etc. In the Middle East, we have become people who dream for peace while it is absent, because of wars and conflicts that our region has traversed. The same is true in some countries in Africa and also in Afghanistan and other parts of the world.

We have forgotten that above all, peace is a blessing and is lived in harmony and in solidarity with others. According to Pope Francis, there is no peace without the culture of care which calls for a common, supportive and inclusive commitment, to work for reconciliation and healing … a privileged path to peace. “In many parts of the world, there is a need for paths of peace to heal open wounds. There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter”.[2]

In Iraqwe had the joy of welcoming Pope Francis, "a pilgrim of peace", during his historic and apostolic visit from March 5 to 8, 2021. He says, "I come as a pilgrim of peace, in the name of Christ, Prince of peace.”[3] Pope's visit was a source of strength as it filled us with hope and joy after so many years of war and despair. 

 Here are some excerpts from his words at the Presidential Palace in Baghdad Friday March 5, 2021:

“In Iraq too, the Catholic Church desires to be a friend to all and, through interreligious dialogue, to cooperate constructively with other religions in serving the cause of peace.” 

“Religion, by its very nature, must be at the service of peace and fraternity.  

Right now, with the spread of the Corona epidemic, there is an urgent need to work together for peace, especially after our long suffering from wars, terrorism and religious intolerance. But it should be noted that “There will be no peace without sharing and acceptance, without a justice that ensures equity and advancement for all, beginning with those most vulnerable. There will be no peace unless people extend a hand to other people... Peace does not demand winners or losers, but rather brothers and sisters who, for all the misunderstandings and hurts of the past, are journeying from conflict to unity.”[4]     

Let us take the example of our Foundress, Marie Poussepin who was a woman of peace and who made the mission of justice and peace an integral part of our Dominican Charism and pray for peace, forgiveness, fraternity through a conversion of hearts, trusting in the promise of Jesus: " Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God " and entrust our world to the Virgin Mary, mother of hope and our mother, to help us inspire peace in and around us.

[2] Pope Francis, Message for World Day of Peace 2021.
[3] Pope Francis, Address at the Presidential Palace during his visit to Iraq, March 5, 2021.
[4] Holy Father's speech, inter-religious meeting in Ur in Iraq, Saturday March 6, 2021.