2013-12-30 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) Several weeks after Hurrican Haiyan, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines urged the laity to shun the violence threatening society in his New Year’s message.
“We pray for an end to kidnappings, we pray that violence stop. We beg for the end of terrorism and the conversion of the corrupt,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in his message titled “Let us start again”.
“We pray for peace in Syria, healing for every troubled heart. We pray for typhoon victims that they can soon rise up and start,” he said.
“Today is the feast of peace, that all may live as one. We pray that war may end and hunger may be gone. We pray that the reign of terror and the power of each gun be melted by the mercy of God and the Blood of His only Son,” he added.
Villegas emphasized the need for positivity in the coming year, rooted in the hope in the God of newness. “Behold the Lord makes all things new, God of new beginnings. “We look at the year behind us with gratitude for its blessings. We look at the New Year eagerly, hoping for the best to come. We believe in His tender love, secure in the embrace of the Son,” he said.