January 2, 2012. (Romereports.com)
The pope welcomed the new year by celebrating Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Every year, on January 1st, the Vatican celebrates World Day of Peace
. During his homily, the pope said his yearly message for 2012 is based on educating the youth with values.
“In the face of the shadows that obscure the horizon of today's world, to assume responsibility for educating young people in knowledge of the truth, in fundamental values and virtues, is to look to the future with hope.”
As technology seems to make the world smaller, the pope said, now more than ever it's key for parents and teachers to instill values in children early on in their lives, instead of leaving that responsibility up to technology. The pope then added that religious communities also play a fundamental role in this.
“It is essentially about helping infants, children and adolescents to develop a personality that combines a profound sense of justice with respect for their neighbor, with a capacity to address conflicts without arrogance, with the inner strength to bear witness to good, even when it involves sacrifice, with forgiveness and reconciliation.”
With ambassadors from several countries seated at the front row of the Basilica, the pope also talked about world peace, by saying that the process itself begins on a personal level.
“In order to be blessed, we have to stand in God's presence, take his Name upon us and remain in the cone of the light that issues from His face, in a space lit up by his gaze, diffusing grace and peace.”
As is now customary for the pope, he was wheeled into St. Peter's Basilica while standing on a platform. The Vatican says, it's a way for the 84 year old pope to conserve his strength and energy before celebrating Mass.