Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Church rejoices throughout the world during the Christmas season due to the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ who was born of the Virgin Mary. The Blessed Virgin Mary has been venerated for centuries as the Mother of God and it is only fitting therefore, that we begin the New Year by seeking the Lordís blessing while invoking the powerful intercession of Mary the Mother of God, who we venerate in the entire region of the Gulf as Our Lady of Arabia.
As believers we commence the New Year with renewed faith, hope and charity, for the love of God that has been manifested to us in Jesus Christ, who by his passion, death and resurrection, has made us into sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters in faith as members of his family which is the Church, and opened the way to eternal life.
It is in this spirit of fraternal love that Pope Francis has prepared his first Message for the World Day of Peace, entitled "Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace". In it the Holy Father mentions that "Fraternity is an essential human quality, for we are relational beings. A lively awareness of our relatedness helps us to look upon and to treat each person as a true sister or brother; without fraternity it is impossible to build a just society and a solid and lasting peace. We should remember that fraternity is generally first learned in the family, thanks above all to the responsible and complementary roles of each of its members, particularly the father and the mother. The family is the wellspring of all fraternity, and as such it is the foundation and the first pathway to peace, since, by its vocation, it is meant to spread its love to the world around it." (Message, N.1)
These words of Pope Francis have special significance for our local Church in the Arabian Peninsula. Each individual and every family in all our of parishes are called to strive towards building up our fraternal bonds, by accepting and respecting each other in our diverse national, cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, while always aware that it is our Catholic faith that is the primary unifying factor that binds us together and provides us with peace and hope for the future.
In this spirit of fraternal unity, I joyfully impart my apostolic blessing to one and all, and may the Lordís blessings accompany you and your families throughout the year!
Titular Archbishop of Sarsenterum
Apostolic Nuncio to the Arabian Peninsula
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič's Biography and
Pastoral Messages/Homilies to the Faithful