New Year’s Day – World Day of Peace

[public domain]

Dove of Peace, Mosaic

Prayer for Peace
By Pope Paul VI

Lord, God of peace,
who has created man,
the object of your kindness,
to be close to you in glory,
we bless you and we thank you
because you have sent us
your beloved son, Jesus,
making him the mystery of the pasch,
the architect of all salvation,
the source of all peace,
the bond of true brotherhood.
We thank you for the desire,
the efforts, the realizations
which your spirit of peace
has roused in our day:
to replace hatred with love,
diffidence with understanding,
unconcern with care.
Open yet more our hearts
to the needs of all our
brothers and sisters,
so that we may be better able
to build a true peace.
Remember, Father of mercy,
all who are in pain,
who suffer and die
in the cause of a more
brotherly world.
For the men of every race,
of every tongue –
may your kingdom come:
your kingdom of justice,
of peace, of love;
and may the earth be filled
with your glory.

New Year’s Eve

[public domain]

Monks in a Cave, by François Marius Granet, First Half of 19th Century

“Only a few hours more – and this year too will come to an end and pass into history.
I too finish the year and await the new dawn with joy…
I go down on my knees before my God and,
recalling his kindness to me this year,
I humble myself in the dust and thank him with all my heart.”

St. John XXIII

Feast of Saint Stephen

[public domain]

The Sermon of St. Stephen, by Vittore Carpaccio, 1514

Prayer for Saint Stephen

We give you thanks,
O Lord of glory,
for the example of the first martyr
who looked up to heaven
and prayed for his persecutors
to Your Son Jesus Christ,
who stands at Your right hand,
where He lives and reigns
with You and the Holy Spirit,
One God, in glory everlasting.