01/01/2017, 12.35
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Pope: Close in prayer to Turkish people following grave Istanbul attack

At the Angelus Pope Francis prays for the 39 dead and 69 wounded in the terrorist attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul. People of good will united against terrorism. Saying "no" to "hatred and violence and 'yes' to fraternity and reconciliation." "This year will be good to the extent that each of us, with God's help, tries to do good every day." A prayer to the Mother of God for the new year.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Unfortunately, violence has also marked this night of good wishes and hope, with a major attack in Istanbul. I express my closeness in prayer to the deceased and their families, the injured and the entire Turkish people", Pope Francis said today, after the Angelus, commenting on the attack last night on the Reina night club in Istanbul, which killed at least 39, including 15 foreigners, and 69 wounded. The attack has not been claimed, but the interior ministry calls it "an act of terrorism." The pontiff - speaking off the cuff - added that he hopes that "all people of good will" will unite to fight "terrorism" and "the bloodstain" that envelops mankind.

Today in fact is World Day for Peace, launched by Pope Paul VI 50 years ago. The message that Pope Francis issued for this year's edition is titled "Nonviolence: a style of politics for peace”.

"This is peace - said the pope - saying 'no' - with facts - to hatred and violence and 'yes' to fraternity and reconciliation." And wishing everyone a good year, he added: "The year will be good to the extent that each of us, with God's help, tries to do good every day.

Earlier, the pontiff has commented on the Gospel of today's feast, the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, that brings the shepherds to Bethlehem (Luke 2: 16-21). The festivity begins by pointing out the link between the Mother and the Son: "Jesus was" born of woman "(Gal 4,4) for a mission of salvation, and his mother is not excluded from this mission, indeed, she is intimately associated with it. Maria is aware of this, so does not close in focusing solely on her maternal relationship with Jesus, but remains open and concerned for all the events that happen around him: She keeps and meditates, scrutinizes and deepens, as the Gospel reminds us today (cf. Lk 2:19). She has already said 'yes' and gave her willingness to be involved in implementing the plan of salvation of God ... Now, silent and attentive, she tries to understand what God wants from her day by day. "

"While, like the shepherds, we contemplate the icon of the Child in the arms of his Mother, we feel a sense of immense gratitude grow in our hearts to the One who gave the world the Savior. For this, the first day of a new year, let us say:

Thank you, Holy Mother of the Son of God, Jesus!

Thank you for your humility that attracted the eyes of God;

Thank you for the faith with which you have welcomed His word;

Thank you for the courage with which you said 'here I am',

You forgot about yourself, fascinated by Holy Love,

You who became one with His hope.

Thank you, Holy Mother of the Son of God, Jesus!

Pray for us, pilgrims in time;

help us to walk the path of peace. Amen".

St Peter's Square was filled with tens of thousands of people, thanks to the presence of "Peace in All Lands" activists and other events related to the World Day for Peace. 

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