… the product of war
While wishing his best for the year 2018, His Holiness pope Francis has sent to the press and the diplomacy a postcard characterized both by simplicity and impact that it stirs up when you stare at it.
Illustrated by a Japanese kid carrying his little brother’s dead body on his back after the awful 1945 atomic drama that shook his country twice, this postcard, plainly entitled “…the fruit of war” and manually signed with a small “Franciscus”, follows a lot of advices that the Holy Father often gave about the atomic weapons, responsible of many innocent victims. By the time of tensions over it are increasing globally, pope Francis wants to brutally but wisely remind that using weapons is never the good answer. As usual, he reminds that peace must be our all time quest, especially as part of the today issue of the great migrations, from Africa and Middle-East to Europe, that quakes our news every day for months.
« … the product of war » – Francis (A 10 years old kid bears his little brother’s dead body on his back, waiting for its cremation. Picture taken by American photographer Joseph Roger O’Donnell after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Kid’s sadness can be read on his shut and bloody lips.
Strong and heartbroken is this wish card sent by pope Francis at the beginning of this year 2018, and the words to sign it as well. A way for the pope to remind his abhorrence for war and for the calamitous consequences it might have – mostly for the weakest people, for the most innocents, for those who neither wanted it nor made it. Pope Francis took this 1945 picture to clearly claim his position regarding the debates on nuclear weapons hold all over the year 2017, and that is still far to find a clever end. He moreover openly welcomed the Nobel Peace Prize award given last year to the ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish the Nuclear weapons) global coalition, established to fight against the proliferation of atomic weapons. “Dedicating for the protection of everyone’s dignity, especially for weakest and poorest persons’ means working with determination to build a world without nuclear weapons”, he said then. In our times of increasing tensions between the United States of America and North Korea, the Holy Seat wants to clearly remind the disasters that such a deployment of military forces has already caused some decades ago.
For the Angelus Domini, pope Francis invited faithful Catholics, gathered on the St. Peter’s place of Vatican City, to pray for more peace to come, including and especially “for the 250 million and more immigrants all over the world, wherein 22 million and a half are refugees. Before all things, those refugees are men and women, kids, young and old people who are seeking for a peaceful place to live in”. This is another big world issue he takes care of and that divides our societies for years from now. “I wish you a quite and peaceful year, enlightened by the abiding grace of God.” For the world peace day – which fells every year for 50 years on the New Year Day – the bishop of Rome has fostered the “multiple prayer and action initiatives (…), especially in the towns’ peripheries, to promote peaceful coexistence”, that were organized for the occasion, particularly the National march that took place in Sotto il Monte et animated by the CEI, Caritas Italiana, Pas Christi and Catholic Action, and the demonstration “Pace in tutte le terre”, animated urbi et orbi by the Sant’Egidio community.
Finally, he ended on a positive note of hope and peace, under the mother protection of the Virgin Mary, saying as usual “enjoy your meal and don’t forget to pray for me!”