World Day of Peace: 1st January 2018

Pope Francis’ message for the 51st World Day of Peace focuses on migrants and refugees.


File image of Pope Francis courtesy of

Pope Francis' has used his World Day of Peace message to call on all human kind to work together to achieve the 'dream' of peace. In focusing on refugees and migrants, the message addresses one of the most pressing issues in the world today.

The pontiff opens his address by noting the  ‘250 million migrants worldwide, of whom 22.5 million are refugees’. He puts the mass flows of people during the 20th century down to the ‘endless and horrifying sequence of wars, conflicts, genocides and ethnic cleansings’ whole also highlighting the growing number who flee poverty owing to ‘environmental degradation’.

As the World Meeting of Family approaches this coming August, Pope Francis points out that refugees, migrants and local populations are ‘one family’. He also goes on to speak of the contemplative gaze which should help us recognize the good that refugees and migrants can bring.

“When we turn that gaze to migrants and refugees, we discover that they do not arrive empty-handed. They bring their courage, skills, energy and aspirations, as well as the treasures of their own cultures; and in this way, they enrich the lives of the nations that receive them.”

The key part of the pope’s message focuses on four verbs which focus on action. He believes that these combined can bring about true peace for all. The verbs are: welcoming; protecting; promoting and integrating.

The pope concludes his message by expressing the hope that two international compacts will be drafted and approved by the UN during 2018. The first compact focuses on safe, orderly and regular migration while the second is aimed at helping refugees. 


- Links:

  • Read Pope Francis’ full message here.