World Day of Peace - January 1
(Last Updated On: November 8, 2022)


On January 1st, the World Day of Peace invites all people to reflect upon the important work of building peace. It’s also a day for the Pope to give a special message that reflects the theme for the year and to pray for peace.

When trying to define peace, people often use words like tranquility, calm, and quiet. Some associate peace with law and order. No matter how the word is defined, most people enjoy the feeling of being at peace.

How to attain peace, however, can be difficult. This is especially true in a world that is full of strife, divisions, and political polarization. What is a societal norm in one culture is not acceptable in the next. These things also made it hard for different cultures to come together in a peaceful manner.

“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” Dalai Lama

With all of these obstacles, true peace seems impossible to attain. What one must realize is that peace begins within each of us. Once we have inner peace, we can more easily live in harmony with others. Those of the Christian faith are commanded to do this. The Bible states, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone.” (Hebrews 12:14) Beginning the journey of inner peace oftentimes begins with prayer and meditation.


Each year on this day, the Pope gives a special message pertaining to peace. The Pope invites all people to reflect on the message given. Listeners are encouraged to pray, learn, and do what they can to spread the message of peace.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

To participate:

  • Listen to the Pope’s message of peace or read it online.
  • Learn ways you can achieve inner peace and live in harmony with others.
  • Try to gain a new understanding of how people in other cultures live.
  • Discuss with others how peace can be attained around the world.

You can also share this day on social media with #WorldDayOfPeace.


Pope Paul VI began the tradition of sharing a World Day of Peace Message on January 1, 1967. This tradition has continued through the years with St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis. In the past, messages have focused on human rights, women’s rights, the right to life, and peace in the Holy Land. Themes for messages in recent years include:

2021: A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace
2020: Peace as a Journey of Hope: Dialogue, Reconciliation, and Ecological Conversion
2019: Good Politics Is at the Service of Peace
2018: Migrants and Refuges: Men and Women in Search of Peace
2017: Non-violence: A Style of Politics for Peace

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