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(By Pope John-Paul II)
[January 1, 2002]

"Salve, Madre santa!"
Virgin Daughter of Zion,
how deeply must your Mother's heart suffer for this bloodshed!

The child you embrace has a name that is dear to the peoples of biblical religion:
"Jesus," which means "God saves."
So the Archangel named him before he was conceived in your womb (cf. Lk 2,21).
In the face of the newborn Messiah,
we recognize the face of all your children,
who suffer from being despised and exploited.
We recognize especially the faces of your children,
to whatever race, nation or culture they may belong.

For them, O Mary, for their future,
we ask you to move hearts hardened by hatred
so that they may open to love
and so that revenge may finally give way to forgiveness.

Obtain for us, O Mother,
that the truth of this affirmation,
'No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness,'
be engraved on every heart.
Thus the human family will be able to find the true peace,
that flows from the union of justice and mercy.

Holy Mother, Mother of the Prince of Peace,
help us!

Mother of Humanity and Queen of Peace,
pray for us!

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