by Gabino Zavala, Justice and Peace Director

For the 52nd World Day of Peace, celebrated on January 1st,  Pope Francis said, “Good politics is at the service of peace.” He states that those who hold political office exercise that office in service of others. Politicians must base their work on charity and virtue. Pope Francis warns of the dangers that can afflict politics, such as corruption, xenophobia, racism, lack of concern for the environment, and contempt for exiles. He concluded by calling peace “the fruit of a great political project grounded in the mutual responsibility and interdependence of human beings,” and, “it is a challenge that demands to be taken up anew.” Read the Pope’s full message here.

Let me share with you the “Beatitudes of the Politician” which Pope Francis quoted from Vietnamese Cardinal Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, who died in 2002:

“Blessed be the politician with a lofty sense and deep understanding of his role.
Blessed be the politician whom personally exemplifies credibility.
Blessed be the politician who works for the common good and not his or her own interest.
Blessed be the politician who remains consistent.
Blessed be the politician who works for unity.
Blessed be the politician who works to accomplish radical change.
Blessed be the politician who is capable of listening.
Blessed be the politician who is without fear.”

As Missionaries of the Precious Blood we understand that peace is central to the mission of the disciples of Christ. Let us pray for peace in our hearts, our families, our communities, our nation and in our world.