VATICAN CITY, 1 JAN 2012 (VIS) - At the end of this morning's Mass for the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with faithful and pilgrims gathered below in St. Peter's Square.
"The Face of God ... was revealed in Jesus", he said in his remarks to them. "He is the visible image of the invisible God, thanks also to the Virgin Mary whom we celebrate today under her most exalted title, by virtue of which she plays a unique role in the history of salvation: Mother of God. In her womb the Son of the Most High took on our flesh, that we might contemplate His glory and feel His presence as God-with-us.
"Thus do we begin the new year 2012 with our gaze fixed on the Face of God, revealed in the Child of Bethlehem, and on His Mother Mary, who with humble submission accepted the divine plan", the Pope added. "Thanks to her generous 'yes' the true light which enlightens everyone came into the world, and the path of peace was reopened".
"Today we celebrate the forty-fifth World Day of Peace", he went on. "In my message, which has as its theme 'Educating Young People in Justice and Peace' and is addressed to heads of State, leaders of nations and all men and women of good will, I underline the importance of giving young generations an adequate education in order to ensure the integral formation of the person, including the moral and spiritual dimension, ... and the values of justice and peace".
"I invite everyone to have the patience and constancy to seek out justice and peace, to cultivate a taste for what is just and true. Peace is never a quality that can be fully achieved, but a goal to which we must all aspire and for which we must all work".
"Let us pray that the leaders of nations may renew their willingness and commitment to accept and support this irrepressible desire of humanity. We entrust these hopes to the intercession of the Mother of the 'King of Peace', that the year now beginning may be a time of hope and of peaceful coexistence for the whole world".
Following the Angelus, Benedict XVI greeted pilgrims in various languages, expressing his thanks for the many expressions of good wishes he had received over this period, and his appreciation for the prayers for today's World Day of Peace.
ANG/ VIS 20120102 (440)