Pope Francis calls on Catholics to become peacemakers

Pope Francis Pope Francis speaking to pilgrims on All Saints Day, Nov. 1, 2022 | Vatican Media

Pope Francis on Tuesday called on Catholics to “disarm their hearts” and become peacemakers. 

“Peace is not achieved by conquering or defeating someone, it is never violent,” the pontiff said before praying the Angelus on the Solemnity of All Saints, Nov. 1. 

All Saints Day is celebrated in honor of all the saints of the Church — known or unknown. 

Speaking from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis warned of “a misleading impression: we might think we are celebrating those sisters and brothers who in life were perfect.” 

“In fact, the Beatitudes of Jesus, which are the identity card of saints, show the complete opposite: they speak of a life that is countercultural and revolutionary!”

Pope Francis added that one example of this aspect is the beatitude ”Blessed are the peacemakers.“ 

”Indeed, peace must be built, and like any construction it requires effort, collaboration, patience,” the pontiff said. 

Peace, the pope said, “germinates from the soil of life, from the seed of our heart; it grows in silence, day after day, through works of justice and mercy, as the luminous witnesses we are celebrating today show us.“

To be a peacemaker, he added, “one must disarm the heart.” 

Pope Francis said: ”We are all equipped with aggressive thoughts and sharp words, and we think to defend ourselves with the barbed wire of complaint and the concrete walls of indifference.”

”The seed of peace calls for the demilitarization of the field of the heart.”

The pontiff called Catholics to look within and ask themselves: “Are we peacemakers? In the places where we live, study and work, do we bring tension, words that hurt, gossip that poisons, controversy? Or do we open up the way to peace: Do we forgive those who have offended us, do we care for those who are at the margins, do we redress some injustice by helping those who have less? This is building peace.“

For those doubting whether it is worth living in such a way, the pope said: “Jesus gives us the answer: the peacemakers ‘will be called children of God’: in the world they seem out of place, because they do not yield to the logic of power and prevailing, in heaven they will be the closest to God, the most like him.”

Pope Francis again prayed for peace in Ukraine in his concluding remarks and invoked the Virgin Mary: “Queen of all saints,” to help us “be peacemakers in our daily lives.”

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