Message of His Holiness Pope Francis Celebration of The 51st World Day of Peace on 1st January 2018
Migrants and refugees: men and women in search of peace
Heartfelt good wishes for peace
"Peace to all people and to all nations on earth! Peace, which the angels proclaimed to the shepherds on Christmas night, is a profound aspiration for everyone, for each individual and all peoples, and especially for those who most keenly suffer its absence. Among these whom I constantly keep in my thoughts and prayers, I would once again mention the over 250 million migrants worldwide, of whom 22.5 million are refugees.
Pope Benedict XVI, my beloved predecessor, spoke of them as 'men and women, children, young and elderly people, who are searching for somewhere to live in peace'. In order to find that peace, they are willing to risk their lives on a journey that is often long and perilous, to endure hardships and suffering, and to encounter fences and walls built to keep them far from their goal.
In a spirit of compassion, let us embrace all those fleeing from war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands."