World Day of Peace 2023: “No one can be saved alone”


On the 56th World Day of Peace, which the Church celebrates on 1 January, we are asked to reflect on starting afresh after Covid in light of the global consequences of the war in Ukraine: “The virus of war is more difficult to defeat than those that affect the human organism, because it does not come from outside, but from within the human heart, corrupted by sin.” This is an extract from the message of Pope Francis for the Day, entitled: “No One Can Be Saved Alone. Combatting Covid-19 together, embarking together on paths of peace.”

In his message, which takes its cue from the passage in the First Letter to the Thessalonians in which St. Paul writes that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1 Th. 5:1-2), the Pope takes stock of the situation left by the pandemic, inviting us to reread it in relation to the war in Ukraine and all the other conflicts around the globe, calling them “a setback for the whole of humanity, not merely for the parties directly involved.”

He then goes on to say that “after three years, the time is right to question, learn, grow and allow ourselves to be transformed as individuals and communities; it is a privileged moment to prepare for ‘the day of the Lord.’”