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JANUARY 1, 2012

His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič's
Message to the Faithful for the New Year


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

During the Christmas season, the Church celebrates the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ with great joy, praise and thanksgiving to God. In his infinite mercy towards mankind, the Lord came down from heaven and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man (Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed). God was born unto the world as a man, similar to us in our humanity yet always maintaining his divinity. Jesus Christ, the only Son of the Father and eternal Word of God, became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God, who "loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins" (CCC 457).

It is therefore with deep gratitude and humble acceptance of Godís love which has been revealed to us in Jesus Christ, that we begin the New Year with renewed hope. At this time we invoke the Lordís blessings upon the Church in the region of the Arabian Peninsula which has become our temporary home in our journey towards Godís Kingdom. In the two Apostolic Vicariates of Arabia there is an ever increasing presence of Catholics who have established families in the various parish communities of the area. The children born in our families are the future of our Church and parents as well as educators have the primary responsibility to provide for their spiritual, intellectual and human development.

Towards the noble aim of educating young people, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, in his Message for the World Day of Peace for 1 January 2012, stresses the importance of communicating to young people an appreciation for the positive value of life and of awakening in them a desire to spend their lives in the service of the Good (N.1). The education of our children and youth begins within the family and is vital for their formation and the overall wellbeing of future society. Educators are an extension of the initial education received from parents and play an important role in providing a positive example to youth. The Holy Father mentions that today more than ever we need authentic witnesses, and not simply people who parcel out rules and facts (N.2). As followers of Christ, we are constantly called to follow his example of selfless, sacrificial and generous love, and to keep in mind the encouraging words of the Lord: you shall be my witnesses (Acts 1:8).

Last January, the Blessed Virgin Mary was officially proclaimed Our Lady of Arabia and Patroness of the Gulf. As we commence the New Year and approach the first anniversary of this historic event, let us invoke her maternal intercession for all the needs of the Church in the Arabian Peninsula and indeed for all our families and personal intentions. May Mary the Mother of God, the Churchís model of faith and charity (CCC 967), inspire us by her example, so that we too may be counted amongst Godís chosen ones.

I joyfully impart my apostolic blessing to one and all, and may Godís blessings accompany you throughout the year!

XPetar Rajič

Titular Archbishop of Sarsenterum
Apostolic Nuncio to the Arabian Peninsula

See Also:
April 25, 2011 Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajic at the Eucharistic Celebration in Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Election of Pope Benedict XVI
May 1, 2011 Remembering Beloved John Paul II: An Interview with His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajic and His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin, MCCJ
July 20, 2010 An Exclusive Interview with His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajic
January 1, 2011 His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajic's Message for New Year 2011
March 19, 2010 Welcome Speech of H.L. Bishop Camillo Ballin, MCCJ, at the Concelebrated Mass at the Holy Family Cathedral, Kuwait City

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